Love is local and global

Every travel guide on the market includes two sections, regardless of the destination: guidelines about staying healthy, and about staying safe. The idea is that anywhere you go, you’re going to encounter threats to your health and safety, ranging from digestive problems and petty theft to malaria and kidnapping. These threats are assumed to be particularly acute in developing countries. 

To date, I have traveled to 18 countries, ten of which are classified as developing, and have spent a total of about 19 months abroad. As a Christian Scientist, my first resort is to turn to prayer and metaphysical examination of my thought whenever I am faced with challenges related to health and personal security. And I’ve consistently found prayer to be an effective way to resolve those challenges.

In 2010, I traveled to Ecuador alone for two months of volunteer work and travel. I had read beforehand that there was a high incidence of crime in the capital city of Quito, including armed robberies and express kidnappings. Furthermore, it was advised that travelers not drink the tap water. (In fact, after some time there, I learned that only about half the local population drinks the tap water.) There seemed to be a lot of potential threats to my health and safety to confront. 

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