Lorraine Chin was just your ordinary public health educator from New York City until a trip abroad changed her life forever. If you happen to be familiar with the media phenomenon known as “Eat, Pray, Love”, you would certainly find some similarities with the experiences that the intrepid Lorraine had while traveling to Italy. Having had prior travel experiences in countries such as France, Spain, and the United Kingdom when she was a student studying abroad, Lorraine decided to embark on a solo journey to Italy in her mid-40s and realize her dream to be confident and free-spirited.
Lorraine booked herself a trip across eight iconic cities of the boot-shaped nation (Rome, Assisi, Florence, Venice, Padua, Verona, Milan, Como) after realizing that her previous job was beginning to unsettle her way of thinking. But in an unexpected twist, she realized too late that the trip package she paid for was actually a pilgrimage! Not wanting to waste the travel opportunity in order to clear her mind, Lorraine packed her bags and high-tailed it to Italy with the rest of the pilgrimage tour group. To her immediate surprise, she found kindred spirits she could relate to when she met the rest of the travelers, which even included a group of nuns.
Lorraine ultimately discovered the clarity and perspective she was seeking as she took in all that Italy had to offer and shared it with the travel buddies on the pilgrimage tour group she was with. One of the travelers, a mother who was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, helped Lorraine realize that her trip to Italy served a bigger purpose that would affect the way she would live her life. Visiting the many grand churches and well-known sights of Italy helped Lorraine nourish her spirituality as she witnessed her travel mates praying to saints and reverently paying their respects to holy relics.
In the end, Lorraine definitely took something positive from her Italian detour: her sojourn eliminated her fear of growing old as well as strengthening her faith in one of the most devout Christian countries in the world.