In the spring of 1993, toward the end of his senior year, he surprised his professors and career counselors by informing them that he was going to take a year off and travel in Europe.  He borrowed $8000 from his family, got a job managing a bar in Torremolinos, Spain, and travelled in France, Turkey, Greece, Holland, Italy and all points in between.

            “During my travels in Europe I did some journaling,” he recalled, “I recognized that I’m probably more sensitive than I ever wanted to admit as a young guy and that I enjoyed being in relationships.  I also recognized that I’m very resourceful, creative, a problem solver, and have a very high tolerance for fear.  The hardest thing I was forced to face is that I’m very restless.  The hardest thing was being alone with myself.  I think I always knew I had a strong faith, but I was probably more resistant to structured religion than I was to the concept of faith. I think my faith at that time was subconscious.”

            Jimenez summed up the importance that year in Europe has been for the rest of his life by declaring, “I’d wish that sort of trip for everyone.”


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Tom Holmes

Tom's been writing about religion – broadly defined – for years in the Journal. Tom's experience as a retired minister and his curiosity about matters of faith will make for an always insightful exploration...