Summer is nearly here and the travel season is upon us!
Even though you might not have an official pilgrimage planned, you can still easily infuse your next trip with a bit of spirituality. Add one of the following activities to your next trip a spiritual journey and see where it leads:
1. walk a labyrinth
The ancient practice of walking a labyrinth is experiencing a modern resurgence, and for a good reason—like pilgrimage, walking a labyrinth is an outer journey that mirrors the journey within. Wherever your travels take you, it’s likely that a labyrinth isn’t too far away. Find one nearby using the World-Wide Labyrinth Locator.
2. visit a church
Cathedrals are often on the traveler’s list of sites to visit, but why take a tour when you can visit them for free during a scheduled service and experience them as they were meant to be experienced? The soaring ceilings might leave you in awe, but the sounds of the choir at evensong echoing off those same ceilings is simply transcendent.
3. pray the examen
Journaling is a common practice for the traveler, and the Ignatian prayer of Examen provides an excellent format to reflect on your day and allow your experiences to influence your spiritual journey. A simple approach to the Examen is to explore what made you feel alive during the day (St. Ignatius calls these consolations), what made you feel emotionally or spiritually drained or distant (St. Ignatius calls these desolations), and then spend some time in prayer and reflection as you look toward the day to come. Learn more about the Examen here.
4. go to a park
It is said that creation is God’s first revelation, and many of the world’s most popular destinations are also filled with beautiful parks and green spaces. Take a break from your daily itinerary and pause to take in nature’s Sacred beauty. Is your destination already a natural wonder in its own right? Amidst your kayaking or hiking, allow nature to become your sanctuary and your explorations to become your acts of worship.
5. practice visio divina
An symbol for the traveler could be a camera, and for a good reason—we tend to take a lot of pictures when we travel! Turn your practice of taking pictures into a spiritual one by practicing Visio Divina, or “Sacred Seeing,” with some of your images. To practice Visio Divina, choose a part of your image that draws you in and simply follow the instructions for its parent practice, Lectio Divina, as you enter into a time of meditation and prayer around your chosen image. Find instructions here.