#5 and #6- Costa Rica and Puerto Rico
As you can tell most of my travels have been on mission trips, minus my very first trip abroad to Germany and our honeymoon. For this I have two people to thank. My mother (and I'm sure my Father too) and Grant Byrd. I came home one day from school and asked to go to Germany with my German class. At the time I was thrilled that my parents said yes; in retrospect I'm kind of surprised that they'd let their 16 year old daughter go overseas with some classmates and 2 teachers. Nonetheless I'm very glad now that they let me be adventurous and take my first trip overseas! This trip inspired my love for overseas travel.
Secondly, my youth minister (Grant) took an international youth mission trip every year. He encouraged us to share our faith with classmates and with people in far away places. I took my first 2 trips to Mexico (well, besides the walk across with Dad and Meredith from South Padre), a trip to Costa Rica, S. Korea, and Puerto Rico with Grant. This was great for me b/c it combined two things I loved: adventuresome traveling and sharing my faith.
#6- Costa Rica had beautiful beaches. Across the street from the beach was a beautiful rain forest type park where we had rallys at night and walked around talking to people during the day. We travelled all week in the bed of a Ford Ranger equivalent. Mind you there were 10 of us crammed in the back of this little truck, roaming through the streets of Costa Rica. I'm sure the locals were thinking, "Hey, look at those Gringos!"
#7- Puerto Rico was also a great trip, this time I was a leader along with Grant for our group of 10. This time we traveled the rolling hills of Puerto Rico in a 15 passenger van. Most of us were feeling car sick after an hour ride. I asked if anyone had any motion sickness medicine b/c I was about to hurl. The response was no. About an hour later a kid says they are getting sick and finally Erica pipes up "I have some Dramamine!" I could have hurt her, b/c by now I had been feeling sick for a whole hour and not enjoying the hilly terrain. The best moment for me was sharing my faith with a girl at a park. We went to this park hoping to find some people to talk to but instead resorted to playing kickball. After the kickball I went into the stand to pass out some tracts. There was one 12 year old girl; I asked if I could read the tract with her. To my surprise she let me read it, and at the end she prayed to receive Christ. I was so pumped!