Celebrating St. Michael at San Miguel del Milagro in Tlaxcala, Mexico

Sheltered from the sun, under the protection hastily put together blue and orange tarps, I pushed ever so slightly to get the person in front of me to move forward. Not only was the air thick with the smell of burning incense, it was also filled with a cacophony of sounds: from vendors yelling out their offerings to the conversations of other pilgrims around me. The scene? I was stuck in the middle of a mob, moving very slowly through the market that lays itself out before the shrine.

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The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe

I’ve been to a number of Marian pilgrimage sites, like Lourdes and Fatima, but nothing captured my interest like Guadalupe did. Historians and theologians have credited the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill for the conversion of the entire Mexico into Catholicism. Newly canonized St. Pope John Paul II declared: “The appearance of Mary to the native Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac in 1531 had a decisive effect on evangelization. Its influence greatly overflows the boundaries of Mexico, spreading throughout the whole continent… The Virgin of Guadalupe is venerated as Queen of all America” To understand this over-the-top claim, we must start at the very beginning.

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Mexico: Favorite Photos and Highlights

Hola! I’m back from Mexico and what a journey those 6 days were! Before I tell you all about it, here is a little background story.

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Worth a Read: September 2014

I have many, many blogs listed on my Feedly and I often run across very well written pieces that are thought-provoking and very profound. I thought I’d share these with you and hopefully you’ll enjoy them as much as I did!

Why You Should Always Talk to Strangers by Joel Runyon

This brought a smile to my face when I read it. I grew up with the stigma that talking to stranger is a huge no-no and is to be avoided at all cost. However, I’ve learned that these encounters are the highlights of my travel. They’re the ones I remember most when I recall a certain place. And that’s why you should always talk to strangers!

Experiential Learning Through Travel by Daniel Noll

Daniel and Audrey have consistently written articles and posts that make me think about how I travel and why I travel. This post in particular reminded me that travel can be a great teacher if we are open to the lessons it offers.

Drawing Connections in Cartagena by Candace Rardon

I’m always excited when I see a new post is up on The Great Affair. Candace is a sketch artist and her drawings help her to make connections with the locals everywhere she goes. This one made me smile all the way through while I was reading it. Plus, don’t you love those beautiful sketches?!

What I learned by Walking the Camino de Santiago by Kim Dinan

I may be biased here, but I LOVE reading about what people learned after they’ve walked the Camino. I’m not sure if I’m going to learn the same things they do, but it shows me just how much of a life-changing experience it is. Kim’s post resonated with me because she helped me realize that the lessons may not be found in grand gestures, but in the small everyday, mundane things.

Post-Trip Depression: It’s Often Emotionally Harder to Come Home than Go Away by Matthew Kepnes

In several hundred words, Matt wrote about what I could never voice every time I come home from a trip. It’s written more for those who have gone through an extended year-long trip, but it expresses my feelings just the same.


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It Started with Firenze

In many ways, Florence, or shall I say Firenze, was our first introduction to Italy and all it has to offer.

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