I’ve never understood the beauty of traveling until my sophomore year of college. It’s not that I’ve never traveled before; my family is from Syria so I’ve had the privilege of visiting on multiple occasions. I’ve also had the opportunity to experience other destinations such as Egypt and the Bahamas—but it was the adventure that I took the summer after my sophomore year of college that revealed to me the joy and wonders of traveling.
I remember the moment my theology professor asked me to take her course entitled Mary, Mother of God in the Spring Semester, which included a trip component to Portugal. Her exact words were,”I would really like for you to come on this trip.” I’ll be honest here, I was very unfamiliar with the country of Portugal, let alone where it was located on the map. But a part of me felt called. So I took the course and learned about the many Marian apparitions, including the one that took place in Fatima, Portugal. I just knew then that I had to go on this trip.
We arrived in Lisbon, Portugal. The music, the cobblestone streets, the food, the people, and simply experiencing another culture changed the way I viewed life and God’s presence in this world. Standing in the exact spot where our Mother Mary appeared to the three young children in Fatima brought an overwhelming sense of emotion. “Mary was here,” was what I kept saying. It was in that moment I fell in love with traveling because it was where I felt God’s presence most. After Portugal, I constantly had this strong desire to travel; I became captivated by wanderlust.
Michelle K. of New Jersey | Michelle is one of the creators of Traveling saints. While she is passionate about her job as a campus minister, she also loves to read, cook Pinterest recipes, and wonder about what part of the world God will take her to next.