TOURISM VS PILGRIMAGE
Updated: May 6
I have been fortunate to have a supportive family that encourages my love of travel. I have been travelling internationally for over 25 years between western, southern and eastern countries. I have also been fortunate to teach in most of those countries and share my love of yoga and wellness. In all of my travels one area that is consistent is the importance of travelling with an open mind and welcoming heart.
Travel as a tourist allows someone all the comforts of home. In fact for some , you are surrounded by the same groups of people from where you came, same backgrounds culturally and financially. You are safe in your bubble of protection from the unknown.
Pilgrimage is travelling for the sake of learning. It means being and actively participating with the local people. Partaking of their food, their friendship and culture and leaving the sense of privilege behind. Interacting without judgement is the goal. If we can venture out in this way you will find those boundaries of them and us, she and I dissolving. It is an equal exchange of information, some good , some bad but always without labels and without expectations.
I have fostered relationships with those " others" and they with me. What i have gained is respect for the "Other" and they in return ,respect for me.