Busted Halo

Busted Halo contributors reflect on the spiritual moments they’ve experienced on vacation — finding God in all sorts of destinations.

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August 1st, 2012

The second I got off the bus I realized that I had no idea where I was going. I was somewhere in Southern Poland — mountains to my right, Slovakia to my left — with a duffel bag slung over my shoulder. No idea where I was sleeping that night, phone dead, entirely by myself. I took a deep breath and started walking. I never was one to travel like this. I always had a plan. But today all I had was a picture and a mission.

I had just come off a week in Krakow, traveling to Poland on spring break from a nine-month study abroad stint in Berlin, Germany. The trip had already drastically exceeded my expectations. I found myself reconnecting with the Poland of my family’s past, and at the same time finding a new one for myself, complete with both the traditional values of the old and the invincible spirit of the new. I could go to Mass in the morning and party with people my own age at night.

I just wasn’t ready to let go of something so precious yet. So instead of hopping on Air Berlin flight 131, I negotiated a three-day delay …

July 17th, 2012

It was three in the morning when my eager mother knocked on our hotel room door. Needless to say, my teenage brother, sister and I were not thrilled about waking up early during our vacation, but according to my mother’s guidebook, this experience was essential. Eyelids drooping, we piled into the back of our rental minivan and hit the road.

My mother had a plan. We were going to admire the sunrise from the top of Mount Haleakala, the tallest peak on Maui standing at more than 10,000 feet above sea level. Then we might take a hike on the active volcano, soak in the sunshine, and photograph the exotic vegetation. My siblings and I had a slightly different agenda. Our only goal was to get back to our hotel in time for our complementary breakfast buffet. (The endless amounts of pastries and pineapple were too good to miss.)

It was a long car ride, but my reliable mom had rented a GPS for tourists that recited facts and stories about our destination. We learned that Haleakala means “house of the sun” in Hawaiian. Ancient Hawaiian culture says that Maui, a demigod, stood at the summit of Haleakala and lassoed …

July 10th, 2012

I’m not one of those really proud annoying Texans who thinks Texas is better than every other state. But I am one of those annoying Texans that doesn’t know much about the rest of the country because I’ve lived in this huge state for so darn long. So when I think of New York City, most of my stereotypical assumptions come from either Friends or Seinfeld. That being said, you can imagine what I was anticipating when Brandon and I scheduled a vacation to New York City when Olivia was just six months old.

Brandon had a conference to attend all week and Olivia and I were staying with my best friend from high school who lived in the city. I was so nervous. If you know me at all, you know that I am pretty much the opposite of New York City. New York is big bright lights, fast-paced, hard-nosed. I am pretty much the slowest walker that you’ve ever met, laid-back, and definitely not a “tough guy.” Especially with Olivia in tow, I was dreading how rude people were going to be because I was going to be moving extra slow. Even with all the anxiety, after six …

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