Pilgrimage as a type of tourism
It is not necessary to be a deep believer in order to ask spiritual questions, to think about the meaning of life, the search for oneself, one’s purpose and path. However, unlike monks and priests, our body and thoughts absorb the everyday cycle. So strong that he doesn’t let go even on vacation. We don’t have enough time even to think! But, as they say, if you don’t go on the road, then you won’t come anywhere.
The road is a magician, a psychotherapist, a magic key to spiritual growth. Not without reason from ancient times, tireless pilgrims set off on a journey to gain wisdom, to know themselves and God. So why not take an example from them ?!
Do not be confused or confused. External presence and internal work
First, let’s dot the “ё”. The term “pilgrimage” is Christian, meaning the journey of pilgrims to the Holy Land and individual holy places to pray, repent, and venerate miraculous icons, relics or a sacred source. In other faiths, religious wanderings are called by their terms: for example, in Islam – “Hajj” or “Umra”, in Hinduism and Buddhism – “Kora” or “Parikrama”. However, the concept of “pilgrimage” also stuck to them, so in this text we use it in a broad sense.
Moreover, concepts of the type also came into use: pilgrimage tour, tourism, excursion. And the “difficulty of translation” is that everyone hears their meaning in them. The most common classification of pilgrimage by tourism:
Organized trips of exclusively religious people to cult sacred places.
Excursion tours for a wide audience to the objects of pilgrimage.
Individual trips on foot or by bicycle (sometimes on horseback) along the trails that have been used by religious pilgrims since ancient times. They participate in:
deep believers for whom this path, like prayer, is a great spiritual work;
philistines who come not for religious reasons, but for their personal interests.
So it is to the very last type of pilgrims that we draw the reader’s precious attention. And not on tours where a group of people was loaded onto a bus and taken to check in at holy places – this looks a little like a pilgrimage. In such sorties there is only an external presence, but where is the internal spiritual work of the individual?
The idea of pilgrimage is in the intense work of the body, mind and spirit, in the interconnection of physical and mental efforts, in a special spiritual action, in obtaining psychedelic experience (without psychotropic substances). And this is most possible when you are alone with nature, dear, with yourself and your thoughts.
To whom pilgrim routes are suitable
Those who love travel with meaning. Who is already fed up with package tours, excursions, shopping, acquaintance with local cuisine and attractions. Those who like to leave the comfort zone and those who do not like, but understand the need.
Loving couples and single. Extrovert and social phobia.
Those who want to lose weight, tan, become stronger and more enduring. Get smarter and clearer. Those who need to heal the nerves, patch the wounds of the soul. Take a break from information overload and emotional burnout. Who needs a reboot, the “hero’s path”, transformation.
Those who love freedom, but are clamped within the limits and limitations. Who wants to break with unstable relationships, with drugs, bad habits and other addictions.
To those who believe in God and do not believe in him.
For those who seek self and inspiration. Who lost himself and interest in life, faith in people, in the future.
Pilgrimage routes interesting to non-religious travelers
As we have already noted, it is not necessary to be a deep believer in order to enjoy and benefit from a hike in the footsteps of pilgrims. The lack of religious background is offset by the delight of natural beauties, ethnic color, historical and cultural attractions.
It is also not necessary to be a venerable hiker, climber or mountain hiker in order to overcome the walking pilgrim routes. Firstly, many paths are simple, without overcoming obstacles, which do not require special physical and technical training. Although there are difficult roads for those who are looking for difficulties and extreme sports. Secondly, do not get lost on the official pilgrimage routes: they are marked, equipped with campsites or travel shelters, often pass by villages and cities. Therefore, all that is needed to overcome the route is a desire and a minimum of things.
By the way, most of the trails can be walked, on horseback or ride a bike. And of the most important things you need to have a reliable tracking shoe and preferably a removable pair, a comfortable backpack, a quick-drying warm sleeping bag, a raincoat and a first-aid kit with calluses. As for food: you can limit yourself to a flask of water and a light, high-calorie snack, buy basic food at campsites and on-site eateries, and you can take gas, a burner, and freeze-dried foods with you.