Travel. It’s one of the things I love doing. I’ve learned so much by going to places and meeting new people. One regret that I have is going to the same place over and over again (hello Brazil!) for a good five years. I could have gone to different places within those five years but I opted to visit Brazil yearly while my visa was valid. I don’t regret it though because I’ve made friends in Brazil that I would have probably never have made if I only visited once. And, it’s a great country and I love it there. I will still go back but not for now.
The country that I got to visit last year that I fell in love with was France. I went to Paris last year with a few friends and I had a blast. Since it was my first time, the usual tour was to go to the Eiffel Tower, take a boat cruise along River Seine,visit and say a prayer at the Notre Dame Cathedral, and of course, have fabulous French cuisine every night. It was great! I vowed that I will visit Paris again (I didn’t get to go up the Eiffel Tower or the Notre Dame Cathedral because I was having respiratory issues at the time). I didn’t get to go to Sacre Coeur Church as well. I definitely have to go back. I did get to do a side trip to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal while in Paris. That was cool.
But, before I go back to Paris, I must be sure that I will get to visit the one place I’ve dreamed of visiting since I was a child. I want to visit Lourdes, France. I wouldn’t say that I am a devotee of the Blessed Mother Mary but I do have a close relationship with her. I used to visit the Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran every Wednesday while I was in school in Manila. I have also been fascinated by the stories of apparitions from Fatima to Medjugorje. Our altar in the Philippines when we resided there, always had the plastic figure of Our Lady of Lourdes which contained the holy water from the spring at the shrine. I also remember watching the film with Gabby Concepcion and the late Roxanne Abad Santos, “Miracle of Love” back in 1982 which showed them visiting the shrine as well. That made me want to go and visit even more.
Next year, I will be back in Paris and when I go back, part of the tour will be my visit to Lourdes, France. The Grotto of Massabielle where 14-year old Bernadette of Soubirous first had her vision of Our Lady back in 1858 between February and July. I have spoken to friends who’ve been there and they tell me a story filled with grace and healing. They said that you can actually feel a presence when you’re there.
My plans to travel to Paris will probably begin late this year. I just hope that everything pushes through (God-willing).
Does anyone know of a good travel agent to provide me with a tour to Lourdes together with a tour in Paris? If so, leave a comment below. I would like to receive your recommendations.