If I were ever to get a chance to visit a foreign country it would be only in Europe. I know the liberals don’t understand it but I simply couldn’t care less about anyplace in the Third World. All the truly interesting places are in the West. Perhaps I could see Ireland first. My mother’s ancestors came from there. It’s the land of Samuel Beckett, James Joyce and a lot of really interesting history. St. Brendan the navigator supposedly even founded the Americas, when he landed on the mythical island of Hy-Brasil in A.D. 565. I always read things about how the Catholic Church is very prominent there and the Carmelites have a significant presence there. The people are so actively engaged in their culture and politics and I’d really like to see that up close. People who’ve been there say the scenery is quite beautiful. Then maybe I could go to Italy. My father’s parents were both from there. I took two years of Italian in college and I’d really need a lot of practice with the language but I think I’d be able to handle it fairly well. They also have a lot of culture, religion and politics, history and literature that can keep me interested. I’ll be especially interested in all the Carmelite history over there too. St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, and many other famous Carmelites, were from Italy. Several of the Church’s great religious communities were founded in Italy and I can find out about all their history. I can see the famous art of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Titan , among others, and visit all the museums and other tourist traps. The food and drinks there are supposed to be excellent. I should have to sample things like that only in moderation though. An excess of that kind of enjoyment would make me very sick. After that I can go to Spain, the birthplace of the sixteenth century Discalced Carmelite reform. That’s the land of Sts. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila. I can visit places like Avila and Fontiveros and find out about all the order’s most important history in one of its most significant settings. The Jesuits were founded there too. Counter-Reformation Spain has always really interested me. I should really like to visit La Mancha too. It’s the home of Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra, the author of “Don Quijote”. That must be quite a very colorful environment with a lot of interesting stories to tell. I took three years of Spanish in high school and really need quite a lot of practice with the language. No trip to Europe would be complete without a visit to France, the home of St. Therese of Lisieux and Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity. No Carmelite could leave out a trip to Lisieux. France is also a place steeped in history and culture, as well as exceptionally good food and drinks. I can imagine how impressive Paris must be. The scenery is supposed to be quite fine and everyone raves about the food and drinks. England would simply have to be on my itinerary too. It’s the land of Shakespeare and the Beatles. Shakespeare died on this day in 1616. Cervantes died around this time that year too. I’ve always been steeped in western literature so I’d have to find out all about the Bard of Avon and Milton in their homeland. I should also have to visit the Carmelites’ Aylesford Priory, home of St. Simon Stock. England has plenty of things for me to get entirely engrossed in. Liverpool is the homeland of the Fab Four so I should have to spend quite a lot of time there. I’ve spent all my lifetime listening to their music and keeping track of everything about them so it only makes sense that I’d have a really interesting time in their hometown.