Sunday, June 4, 2017

At Home in the World

At Home in the World *****
by Tsh Oxenreider

Overview: Tsh and her husband Kyle take their three young children on a nine-month trip to visit nineteen countries around the world. She writes about their experiences traveling as a family and her search to find balance between enjoying the comforts of home and traveling the world. She speaks about her search for peace and her struggle with depression. She shares some of her poetry and describes all the amazing food they eat on their travels.

Positive elements: well-written, enjoyable, and a little thought-provoking

Negative elements: made me green with envy to travel the world :)
 
Conclusion: I love her ponderings on the difference between stability and travel. She quotes monk Thomas Merton on stability, "By making a vow of stability the monk renounces the vain hope of wandering off to find a 'perfect monastery.' This implies a deep act of faith: the recognition that it does not much matter where we are or whom we live with."

Tsh shares a quote from Elizabeth Barrett Browning:
Earth's crammed with heaven,
and every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
the rest sit round it, and pluck blackberries...

She concludes, "I've seen the earth crammed with heaven...Wanderlust and my longing for home are birthed from the same place: a desire to find the ultimate spot this side of heaven...I love finding one more new place to explore, I love sowing it to my kids, and I love wandering those new streets with Kyle. But unless the flickering bushes compel me to remove my shoes, traveling the world will never satisfy. Neither with the daily liturgy of normal life back home. The laundry folding and bill paying would do you in. I'd resign myself to plucking blackberries." 

I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves to travel or the idea of traveling.