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Group Travel 101

How to Find Solo Time When On a Mission Trip

By: Liz Patterson

When traveling on mission work, you and your team members are united in a common purpose and conviction. The wonderful passion of doing God’s work and the excitement of traveling to a foreign country are increased by having other people to share it with. However, no matter how enthusiastic and patient you are, everyone needs some time by themselves to catch their breath. If you miss this time it can dampen the whole experience and lessen your cohesiveness in the team. It is important that you get a little bit of alone time when on a mission trip. But how do you find that time for yourself? Here are a few ideas you can use.

The easiest way is to simply space out. Let your thoughts take you to somewhere private, quiet, and calm where you can relax. If you respect other people’s privacy, they should respect yours as well. Try to be polite, but also tell your team members that you need some time to just think. Then don’t be afraid to drift off and enjoy your peace and quiet. When on a mission trip people often think it is selfish to want to be alone. Total reclusiveness is rude and harmful to the team morale. But everyone needs a little time alone so they can breathe and get rid of the stress.

If you have got energy to burn and want to get some stress out of your system, go for a jog or a long walk. Though it is not often safe to venture out alone in a strange place, if you remain alert and aware of your surroundings and stick to the safe side of town, you will be fine. Walking is a great way to experience the culture and sights of a city or countryside for yourself. It gives you the leisure to explore as far as you want to, or stand and stare at an interesting sight for as long as you wish without someone complaining. Also you might run into an opportunity for evangelism along the way. Though if you are going on a humanitarian trip and doing construction work, you probably will not have extra energy, I recommend a slow walk to relax and be alone.

Last but not least, bring a journal. Even if you are not a writer, you will cherish the thoughts and memories you took the time to record during your mission trip. It will invariable by a life-changing, moving time that you will want to remember every detail of in later years. Journals are a deep and profound way to document your trip and keep your memories vivid. Also, who would begrudge you time alone to write in a journal? Writing is a great way to snatch some time to yourself.

Try these simple ideas if you need some time alone to catch your breath. Do not hesitate to take some time for yourself, because it will help you to function more smoothly and patiently with your fellow mission team members.

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