Weekend Space – 11

“Where to go on holiday and why”

The inner trip and the outer trip meet as one
The vacation as pilgrimage

 

How do you decide where to go on vacation?  Do you go to the same place each year or do you change it up?  Do you have a laid back plop on the beach with a book?  Or adventure travel, as in hammock swinging on a Amazonian river barge?  Perhaps you opt for urban pleasures abroad, all the fine dining and ballet you can enjoy.

I recently read this article on one of my favorite websites  (more about this in another post)  “Where to go on holiday and why”.  It made me think about choosing my future vacations in a different light:  Vacation as pilgrimage.

Back in medieval times, people didn’t travel for pleasure.  No one had the money, or the time to even contemplate such a thing as a vacation.  Travel comes from the French word, “travail.” Travel was hard work back then, certainly not something done for pleasure.  (It’s become modern work too:  squinched into tiny airline seats, crowds, lines, delays, bad food, etc.)

But our medieval ancestors did travel, and their raison d’être was a pilgrimage.  For some need in their soul, an inquietude, quest or doubt, to pray for their challenged material circumstances,  for health, they would confer with their priest.  Soul problem identified, the priest would suggest a pilgrimage to a certain locale that would provide edification.

Thus, traveling had a purpose and a goal.   And of course, along the way, you were able to  sightsee and have adventures, as the hardy souls are doing, above.

I live in the tropics.  Acres of steam heat, blowzy palm trees rustling in the breeze. Not much in terms of world class cultural activities.  Usually I crave exactly what I don’t have:  Paris in February, please.

Most people choose some place for whatever reason and go there.  Maybe they got a good deal.  Maybe they were going on a friend’s rec.  They have a “good time”or not.  Mostly, not really knowing why they went, just consuming the experience.

But this year, as the article suggests,  I merged the inner desire with the outer landscape.  My soul whispered and voila!  a vacation opportunity arose that addressed these previously unknown hungers of my spirit.

To wit:  The Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan.  My soul apparently craves the  fresh water expanse of the behemoth Lake Michigan with its mountains of sand crashing down into the shore.    Native American sacred land.  Hiking, biking, river tubing, cherry picking.  (It’s cherry country)  A road trip through Americana.

Matching my inner desire with the outer world.

Voted America's Number 1 most beautiful place
Voted America’s Number 1 most beautiful place


dune climb

 

I surprised myself with this choice.  But it feels absolutely right, inside and out.  Reservations are made for August.  I’ll let you know how it all turns out.

What about you?  How do you choose your vacation destinations?  Ever had a merging of soul desire with a place?  Share all because it’s so fascinating, oh yes!

xo Liza

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