I was first bit by the travel bug the summer between fourth and fifth grade when I tagged along with my Irish grandmother for a family wedding in the English countryside. After the nuptials, which included top hats and penguin coats, we paid a visit to my uncle who was stationed with his family in Frankfurt, Germany, serving in the army. My life was never the same after that. I had been given an insatiable desire to see the world. As a teenager I would experience first hand the far off cultures of Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, and Switzerland. Admittedly, the motivation to travel wasn’t always holy, fueled mostly by a desire to find fortune and happiness.
However, my twenties unearthed a powerful reversion back to the Church, and my zeal for travel, in this new light, revealed a missionary heart. I knew God had put the desire for travel in me, and now He would use it for His glory!
Within a few years of that realization, I was commissioned. My fiancé (God built Him with a missionary heart, too!) and I had an incredible opportunity to move permanently to Belize with a non-profit organization giving talks all over the country on St. John Paul the Great’s Theology of the Body. When we learned of this opportunity, I felt no reservation, and we both knew it was a call.
There wasn’t much time to prepare ourselves, as my fiancé was able to fly down right away and I was completing my last semester of college. We miraculously cleaned out his apartment within a week, thanks to some of our SOLT sisters who dropped by and picked up a few items. He took just about everything he owned and compressed it into three large suitcases and a plastic storage bin.
Because our move was an indefinite one, my packing did require more than someone who committed themselves for a year or two. I was shocked at how many things I was able to part with, give away, or found altogether unnecessary. Initially, I had the idea that I could bring everything I owned with me, but once I packed the first suitcase I realized the error of my ways. I will admit that the attachment I felt to all my holy books was the most difficult one. I ended up bringing five: my bible, True Devotion to Mary, The Four Cardinal Virtues, Life of Christ, and Love and Responsibility. Turns out that’s all I needed for now.
Finally, I will say that the “until I see you again” partings from my family were tearful and sentimental, but they were also joyful and profound! Our Blessed Mother continually walked with me, giving me every grace to begin this journey, which so far has been the best one of my life.
Submitted by Sarah Gomez from Corpus Christi, Texas