Relic Hunters Wanted

If you are an Indiana-Jonesite like me, you may have that strange desire to bring some sort of relic home with you when you travel.  It’s like a garage sale fantasy where you shuffle through some old books and find a priceless first edition for a quarter.  I have a few items like this displayed in my office.  There is the Irish bodhran (drum) that hangs on the wall; a gift from a musician who was very touched by a play I presented at her church in Ireland.  A small baby shoe, caked in mud, that I collected in the lower 9th Ward shortly after Hurricane Katrina.  Two long wooden forks, known as brain-pickers; morbid relics collected from the South Pacific.  Most people, however, are tempted to buy one of a million pieces of junk displayed in gifts shops in locations like the Grand Canyon or NYC.  Have you ever been tempted to purchase the location magnet or coffee cup?  What about floaty pens or snow globes?  Then there is the ever-enticing $3 t-shirt.  When does the insanity stop?

Here are some practical thoughts.

1. Bring back something that represents the place you visit.  I have a friend who is a movie buff.  When he went to NYC for the first time he bought King Kong on the Empire State Building.  Dorky to most but perfect for him.  He often collects movie memorabilia from the places he visits.

2. Bring something back that is worthy to be passed down to others. That will eliminate 90% of the junk buys.

3. Bring back something that tells a story.  Stories, whether personal or collected from the places you travel, give you the ability to share your experience with everyone.  Write them down, share them freely, and collect them abundantly.  The best relics you collect in your travels will always have stories attached to them or they will stir stories up in you.

After a decade working in parish youth ministry Shawn started Wonder Voyage Missions. Over the last 15 years, WVM has led thousands of pilgrims to over forty countries. Shawn is a storyteller and an award winning filmmaker. He is an author who brings the gift of engaging narrative to our journeys. Shawn is dedicated to creating voyages that give people abundant opportunities to encounter God.

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