In May, 2017, Dr. David Squires and his wife Colette Squires led a group of ten alumni, faculty, and friends to London and Paris. Squires has led other student-based travel studies before, but this was the first time an alumni-centered one has ever been done at Trinity Western. Because of its great success, a second one will be happening June, 2018.
The trips have been titled Alumni+ Tour: Sacred Spaces, Splendid Places, to reflect that they are inclusive to all alumni, parents, donors, faculty, staff, and friends of the University, and to highlight the reason why these cities were chosen.
“Travel broadens and deepens us as people,” says Squires. “Especially in the fine arts and Christian faith, because of the long history of the Western church and the arts in Europe. We live in such a young land. Travelling to cities and cultures thousands of years old, seeing the evidence of Christian faith on every corner, and experiencing art and history that we have grown up only reading about, is inspiring and life-changing.”
The first tour was designed to be small so as to build friendship, community, and spiritual connection. Because they all lived locally, they were able to meet together twice before travelling in order to plan and build connection, and it proved to be a huge success.
“Through these meetings, the trip itself, and a recent reunion afterwards, we saw friendships develop amongst the group,” says Squires. “Several of them want to come along again on the next trip!”
Since David and Colette are both teachers, they love encouraging a deeper experience of culture. The trip included educational talks about the arts and the spirituality of the cities they visited in order to help give the group an extra level of appreciation for what they were seeing.
“Our guests are not simply tourists,” says Squires, “but educated cultural explorers.”
The trip included a variety of sights, lots of group meals, and some free time for independent exploration.
“There’s nothing like the European streetside cafe culture—dining al fresco!” says Squires. “We take advantage of local transit, but all these cities are walkable, and we do lots of walking!”
The next trip is planned for June 5th – 15th, in Vienna and Prague. The trip begins and ends overseas, however, and is open for anyone to join—they don’t need to live close to the University to be involved.
“Vienna has a rich artistic and political history,” says Squires, “from the Habsburg Empire, to composers such as Mozart and Beethoven, to artists such as Gustav Klimt. Prague has an untouched Old World air about it, from the shops and cafes of its winding cobblestone streets to the ornate architecture of its churches. Both cities are filled with sacred spaces and splendid places to explore.”
To learn more about the trip and to sign up, please visit http://twu.ca/alumni-plus-tour
Alumni Weekend is sponsored by: