This past March I had the incredible opportunity to travel abroad to a city that I have always dreamed about visiting: Paris. For 9 days, I spent my days exploring this beautiful city (that absolutely lives up to the hype) and getting to know local Parisians who welcomed us with open arms.
I was extremely lucky to experience Paris with a group of fellow students who became my close friends throughout the trip. The memories we made and experiences we had together are ones that I will never forget.
Prior to our visit, we spent a quarter learning about Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in modern Paris. With a brilliant professor who taught us just as much about life as religion, we were able to experience the city with a much deeper purpose. We met with incredible people doing interfaith work to build bridges and create dialogue between those of all religions and those with no religion.
The goal of this trip was to experience a pilgrimage rather than a vacation. Essentially, a pilgrimage is a trip embedded with a deeper meaning that changes you in some way. When you return to your “normal life” you should feel as though you experienced a transformation. It might sound cheesy but that’s exactly what this trip was.
One of the biggest differences between this trip as a pilgrimage rather than a vacation was the fact that it was people based. Making memories with the other students and Parisians we met along the way was at the forefront.
This pilgrimage has truly changed my perception of what is most important in life: spending time with those you love and finding your passion.
If you have the opportunity, I would absolutely recommend visiting Paris and having your own life changing experience in this beautiful city.