As Paul and I gathered with a group of 18 to head off on our journey to Italy, friendship seems like an apt word for today. We are traveling with wonderful people, many of whom have traveled with us in the past and with whom we now have a great friendship.
Friends are an essential part of life – we were not designed to live in isolation but rather in relationship and when we share our lives with others; the good, the bad and the ugly, we form bonds which make life so much more enjoyable.
On this trip we have sisters traveling together; mothers and daughters; best friends and a few folks who are new to us - strangers who are friends we just haven’t met. Over the course of the next two weeks we will form new friendships and deepen others. We will become friends with our tour escort, Silvia and our bus driver. We will live in community, supporting and encouraging each other so that we all have the best possible experience of Italy. We will share an adventure, make memories and experience Italian culture and cuisine.
Here are a few of the group with our guide Silvia.
In a world where so much violence, fear and distrust loom large, the best way to work for peace is for people to connect with people, across barriers of language, culture and tradition and travel allows that to happen.
And as we go, this will be our motto:
“Share your smile with the world. It is a symbol of friendship and peace”