Patrick Kearney: How My First Trip to Rome Changed my Perspective on Travel

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Patrick Kearney My First Trip to Rome Patrick Kearney My First Trip to Rome

Patrick Kearney is a world-class traveler, but in his early days of travel, a trip to Rome changed his life. 


“My Mother is Italian, and her parents came to America from Naples, Italy. I was lucky enough to travel there several years ago on my first trip to Europe, but since then, I’ve traveled back to Italy and many other places in Europe and beyond, but my heart will always remain in Rome.,” said Patrick Kearny.


“Beyond the pull and desire to see and hear locals spewing the Italian language, understand their expressions and take in those beautiful facial features and enigmatic style, I fell in love with Rome the first time I stepped foot out on that historical piece of land.


“The architecture is mesmerizing and beyond comprehension.  I walked and walked my first few days trying new and traditional foods and wines and enveloped as much as my brain and imagination would take in.” 


Patrick Kearney continued, “I like to do things on a whim, by the seat of my pants as some would say, so one morning I ventured off in the wee hours before the sun came up to the nearest landmark in close proximity to my hotel, which was St. Peter’s Basilica. 


“Not many people were even up at that hour, but I soon found troves of individuals lining up with tickets in their hands.  Where were they headed to? What were they so excited to see? I asked a young Jesuit priest what was going in and he informed me that it was a general public admission to see the Pope!  The Pope, I exclaimed! I was fortunate enough to receive a ticket last minute and sat just a few rows back from the altar.  


“Even though the entire service was in Italian (which I do NOT speak) I understood very clearly that this touching mass was one that I’d not soon forget.  From the popemobile being literally inches from me to the gorgeous music, I watched the armed Swiss Guards perform their duty with grace, and the angelic atmosphere that enthralled me from the moment I walked in, overcame my spirit. I can’t explain the empathetic and relatable embrace I felt that day.  I understood that there is a deeper meaning to life and if I could pinpoint it exactly, I’d say, I felt the face of God.”


Patrick Kearny explained further, “The Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, and so many other sites that I was able to enjoy were all incredibly illuminating, but the mass with the pope that one morning, will is what keeps bringing me back to this monumental city with a heart that is daring, loving and adventurous.”