Thank you.

Recently, a friend asked me if I had ever experienced a moment where I knew God was real.

I said I had.

It was the summer after my junior year of high school. I stood at the very top of Machu Picchu in Perú, watching massive white tsunamis of clouds roll over the peaks of the Andes mountains standing guard on every side of me. Everything went silent; it was just me and the sky and the warm breeze dancing across my skin. My heart swelled. That moment proved to me God was real, because how else could you explain something so completely, beautifully and wonderfully perfect?

I will never, ever forget how that felt.

Whether or not you’re religious, traveling has a way of often being a spiritual experience. No matter where you stand, it is an indescribable feeling to be so completely in awe of everything around you, whether it be the Andes mountains or skyscrapers or an unfamiliar people speaking a foreign language. It’s spiritual.

This is why I travel. I am in constant pursuit of that sun-kissed skin, swollen heart, goosebumps, extended arms, tippy toes kind of feeling.

This is also why I write about travel. I want everyone around me to experience that feeling, because it will make you fall in love with travel. It will make you fall in love with the world around you.

When I first joined the staff of Souvenirs as a blogger in 2016, I had no idea the door I had just opened. Fast forward from blogger to staff writer to editor and finally to editor-in-chief, and I look back and breathe a sigh of relief that I stumbled upon that door and had the courage to open it.

Last week I celebrated the launch of my third and final Souvenirs print publication as editor-in-chief. Arm in arm with my fearless co-editor and newfound best friend Sophia and surrounded by an amazing staff and incredible friends, I bid farewell to the magazine that has made all the difference in my college career. As I watched strangers flip through its pages and marvel at the beautiful magazine we had created, once again I got that feeling: that sun-kissed skin, swollen heart, goosebumps, extended arms, tippy toes kind of feeling. I felt fulfilled, and I felt proud.

After four years with Souvenirs, I must say goodbye, but I am so ready for my next adventure.