Writing about travels

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I travel somewhat often for work/ministry, and have also had opportunities to visit several other countries as part of short-term missions groups. I have been careful about how and what I write to our sponsored youth, and about the photos I include, keeping in mind the guidance to avoid writing about money and possessions. So I am wondering... is it okay to (wisely) write about my travels, or is that too likely to be received more as display of relative wealth?
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Posted 5 years ago

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Anne Oliver

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I've wondered about this too, so I'm glad you asked. In 2012, my husband and I went to Moldova for a week to help with a sports camp in a very poor, rural town (no plumbing, etc...) and I wrote and told my kids about it. I thought it was okay to write about it since it wasn't a vacation type of travelling, it was to a poor area in Eastern Europe. But then I thought, I wonder if they are wondering why I am spending money to go to Moldova, but not to come visit them on a sponsor tour. Still, I thought it was ok to write and tell them.
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I think people could make good arguments either way on this one. Personally, I do tell my kids about my travels and send them pictures and information about some of the places I go. I just make sure to not take pictures of anything too flashy and instead concentrate more on nature or famous landmarks. I also tell them a lot of my travel is for work, so that takes care of the whole "Why would you travel to such and such a place instead of always coming to see me?". I'm very sure all my kids beyond a certain age know well that I have more resources so I'm not going to go out of my way to hide it, but I also make it a point not to flaunt it. Even going to visit them, though, they probably already think I have more money than I actually do. My kids in Honduras just got put up in a hotel for 2 nights, got a trip across the country, a bunch of food and a day at a beach resort all of which was organized by Compassion, so any veil that might exist for kids who are old enough to contemplate money is pretty thin. The world offers an endless buffet of learning material and simple beauty and I think it'd be a shame to deprive them of seeing some of it, even if it's just through pictures.
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Debi, as others have mentioned, I believe it is quite alright to mention your travels in your letters. I would still avoid sending photos of extravagant things but landmarks and nature are just fine. I would look at it as helping to broaden your child's horizons with stories of different places that they may not have even heard of. They will also absolutely cherish any photos you send of yourself and your family regardless of the location.
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Thanks for the input, y'all. I am aiming to give glimpses of other parts of the world, and perhaps of otherwise-unimaginable possibilities, always with the focus on purpose and growth more than the places and activities themselves.

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