Remembering Russia, Ukraine, and other 2018 Tours with Len Friesen

Thursday, 4 October 2018.

I’m writing this from my home, which means that the wonderful Russia-extension to the equally wonderful Ukraine 2018 trip is at an end.  Most of us are back home by now, except for Bill who was bound for Novosibirsk after Moscow as his most wonderful family odyssey continued.

Garen captured it best in an e-mail he wrote to me after he arrived home in Oklahoma.  He began:   “Hello Len. I feel like I should be able to look around and see members of our group close by.”

Those words made me think of Fritz, who traveled a few years ago with Mary and me to Russia and Ukraine.  Fritz took countless pictures, and months after his return he was still going through them, editing them, culling out others, and so on.  Fritz would say with a smile:  “I relive the trip every time I look at those photos Len.  It gets cheaper all the time!”.

And then there was the e-mail I received a couple of days ago from Anne, who had been part of a most excellent family unit that had previously traveled with me to Russia and Ukraine, and more recently to South Africa in August of this year.   The note was about a possible get-together in the Niagara region over the next month or two.  Or another e-mail from Neil and Edith of that same South African trip while I was still in St. Petersburg, and who shared photos of our August travels to a distant land.

These experiences make me wonder if thee most important aspect of TourMagination travel is that the people we encounter in this shared community of faith and/or culture and/or belonging stay with us long after the trip ends.  These friendships, once formed in the intensity of travel abroad, stay with us.  Long live the memories of a wonderful time together.

–Len Friesen

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