To be honest, I was skeptical that a travel semester like this could be justified. Travel is a privilege that relatively few people have access to, despite how it may seem to so many of us living in the Western world. I wondered of its necessity.
Though I still could not argue for its necessity, I am much more willing to acknowledge it as an unparalleled way to learn. (At least according to my experience.)
Whether studying Western history, literature, philosophy or biblical studies, it is impossible to avoid learning about Europe. Much of it has strong roots here. Already within the first two and a half weeks of the trip, I have seen things here that have brought to life various teachings from every single one of the classes I’ve taken in the past few years.
So far, I have listened as Catalonians have described their desire for autonomy. I have seen Classical, Renaissance, and Baroque art and actually gained an appreciation for them. I have noticed that I have been reading my Bible through a newly broadened lens in recent days. I have had the opportunity to grapple with some of the difficult problems facing all/certain Europeans today. I have been compelled to ask challenging spiritual questions after visiting Assisi, the birthplace of Saint Francis. I have also gotten a better understanding of the power of language.
What a privilege this travel semester is proving to be, what a privilege.