Traveling has always been a powerful way to explore your religious beliefs. Sometimes a change of scenery is all we need to have a spiritual epiphany. The first pilgrimage in recorded history occurred all the way back in the fourth century, and people have been visiting new places to strengthen their faith ever since.
Here are five unique ways to explore your faith during your upcoming travels.
1. Keep a Travel Diary
Keeping a travel diary is one of the best daily habits to enable you to explore your faith. A diary will help you retain your vacation memories and hone your writing skills, but that’s not all. It will also help you relieve the stress from traveling and stimulate your creativity, allowing you to flesh out your most authentic thoughts about faith and spirituality.
Your diary entries don’t have to be complex essays. Start by writing just a few sentences about the day’s events and your various emotions. It’s better to keep your writing simple when exploring your faith. Don’t get so caught up in sounding eloquent that you get distracted from writing what you truly feel.
Travel diaries also have thoughtful features like writing prompts, photo album pages, flight logs and maps to stimulate your creativity and help with your travel plans. If used to its full potential, your diary will quickly become your favorite travel accessory.
2. Stay at Minimalistic Lodging
Instead of booking luxury hotels during your travels, keep things simple with minimalistic lodging. Stay at smaller hotels, motels and one-bedroom vacation rentals. These places might be less comfortable, but that’s the point. You’re not going to have thought-provoking experiences when you’re surrounded by leisure and entertainment.
Staying at a hotel with amenities like a heated pool, sauna and king-sized beds isn’t the proper environment for exploring your faith. If you want your spiritual journey to be successful, you need to step out of your comfort zone. Removing excessive luxury features from your vacation and embracing a little discomfort will help with your spiritual growth.
Besides, staying in a mid-tier hotel room or Airbnb isn’t all bad. The rates will be much cheaper, allowing you to save money for other travel expenses such as restaurants and souvenirs. Booking a basic room also removes the stress and time constraints of trying to book a luxury hotel room. You’ll save time and money while enhancing your religious exploration.
3. Interact With Locals
Your spiritual journey shouldn’t be a solitary endeavor. Getting a wide range of perspectives from other people is a crucial part of any faith-based exploration. Wherever you decide to travel, be sure to interact with the locals and listen to their experiences. Someone might tell you a story that completely changes your outlook on religion and life as a whole.
A great way to immerse yourself in the local culture is by attending different community sermons and observing each one’s unique style. Some churches have solemn atmospheres, while others are loud and flamboyant. Getting a taste of different churches will help you identify which style of preaching resonates with you the most.
4. Visit Historical Sites
It seems like a no-brainer to visit holy sites like the Vatican or the Temple of Jerusalem while exploring your faith. However, you shouldn’t focus exclusively on religious locations. You should also visit locations of historical events. Battlefields, ancient settlements and houses of famous historical figures are inherently spiritual because they connect you with past generations.
When you visit historical sites, there is always an atmosphere of reverence and contemplation. Standing on hallowed ground gives you a new perspective on life and death. You feel like a tiny and irrelevant figure in a long timeline of events. These feelings can be the catalysts for a major spiritual awakening.
5. Discover Earth’s Natural Beauty
While historical sites can invoke powerful feelings, nothing compares to the feeling of witnessing the Earth’s natural beauty. Spend as much time exploring nature as you can during your travels, and explore your faith too. Expose yourself to different landscapes and see what God’s creations have to offer. Humans are in their most vulnerable and authentic states when surrounded by nature.
It’s also worth noting that spending time in nature can significantly improve your mental health in many ways. Getting outside in a natural setting will lower your stress levels, put you in a good mood and improve your attention span. Nature provides the ideal atmosphere for honest introspection and spiritual growth.
Find God in All Things
These unique ways to explore your faith will help you find and appreciate God’s presence in all things. If you’re a spiritual person, finding God in random things will come naturally to you.
When you hear waves crashing on the beach, think of God. When you write in your travel diary, think of God. When you inevitably encounter an annoying situation during your vacation, think of God. Wherever you choose to travel, God will be with you every step of the way.
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