Humans have made pilgrimages and traveled in search of favor, fortune, luck, the gods, holy men, and so much more. In fact, these journeys could be classed as the earliest forms of tourism.
Maybe it’s the need to reconnect with something more profound or the desire to get away from our busy lives but spiritual tourism is on the rise. Modern quests to find meaning envelope a whole raft of experiences. Here are just a few ideas to ignite your passion.
It’s All About the Journey
The Camino de Santiago is a network of routes that reach the shrine of Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain. The way dates back to the 9th century.
Pilgrim numbers waned and were as low as several hundred 40 years ago. Today, according to estimates from before the pandemic, close to 350 thousand people make the trip. For some, it is a religious undertaking whereas for many its spirituality comes from the undertaking and the experience.
India’s Cha Dham connects the holy sites of Badrinath in the north, Rameswaram in the south, Dwarka in the west, and Puri in the east. It’s also a great itinerary choice that leaves the crowds behind and submerges you in culture.
Other popular ideas include Machu Pichu in Peru and Kumano Kodo in Japan.
It’s What’s on the Inside
Yoga, meditation, wellness, and spiritual practices take many forms. If you enjoy any of these or wish for more time to practice, a retreat or a break that offers you both time and deeper instruction could be what you are looking for.
There are so many different packages on offer in almost any location it can be difficult to know where to start. As with any holiday, write down the key things you are looking for, and remember you can still be spiritual while enjoying a luxury beachside location.
It’s Where It All Happened
There are many places of spiritual significance all over the world. Whether you practice the religion that they’re associated with or not, their cultural meaning and historical significance resonate.
The Vatican in Rome, Mecca or Medina in Saudi Arabia, The Blue Mosque in Istanbul are examples of religious sites that are steeped in culture and history.
Rishikesh in India has been called the world capital of yoga. It’s an enclave full of learning on the holy river Ganges. Classes, courses, and retreats are on offer for many styles of yoga and meditation learning.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia is home to the iconic rock formation once called Ayers Rock. This area is sacred to Aboriginals, but visitors can both learn about aboriginal traditions or take in the unique scenery.
There are plenty of sites around the world that are now monuments to the spirituality of civilizations passed. Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples in Cambodia can fill several days of exploration. The Valley of the Kings, The Valley of the Queens, The Pyramids and many other Egyptian sites are a fascinating glimpse of cultures now gone.
Spirituality is defined as being concerned with the human spirit or soul versus material or physical things. So choose something that makes your spirit soar or your soul sing. Hopefully, something I have suggested above does just that.
If you want more ideas, I’m always open to discussing possible travel plans.
Have you taken a spiritual vacation in the past? Where did you go and why was it significant for you? If so, what was your experience? What kind of a spiritual vacation would you like to plan when it’s safe to go roam the world again? I look forward to your comments.