In thinking about today’s 30 Days of Indie Travel Project, I’m reminded that travel, in and of itself, can be a religious experience. Think about it. People who are drawn to travel experience life-changing events, pursue it with a passion and are united with other travelers through shared joy and an incurable sense of wanderlust.
So here’s to being moved by the spirit of travel…
Day 19: Spirit
Some places have the power to make even the most die-hard agnostic reconsider their position. Have you ever been in a place where you felt more alive or more connected to nature, the universe, or a higher power than anywhere else?
As someone with a deep and abiding faith, I find that there has been certain moments throughout the course of my life when God has revealed himself. It wasn’t the most obvious of pronouncements, but He was there. It’s difficult to explain, other than by saying that I felt connected to something larger than myself and was acutely aware of my place in the world.
Places of Worship: When traveling, there is something about visiting a church, be it the Vatican or a Buddhist temple in South Korea. It is deeply moving to see people bound together by a common faith. Between the incense and candles, the ceremonies and symbols — something stirs in my soul when I encounter the ritual of people gathering to worship. In those moments, you can feel God’s spirit all around and I see humanity in a beautiful and reverential light.
Out in Nature: From the intricate design of the moss clustered to rocks along the Appalachian trail to the schools of fish in a dazzling array of colors clustered alongside a coral reef, the place where God’s beauty and glory are on display (the diversity of wildlife and plants are awe-inspiring). I feel like a small speck in the universe and my life is put in perspective. My worries don’t seem as important and I feel blessed to be alive, experiencing the beauty and splendor God has created all around me.
On a Crowded Subway Car: In the seven years I’ve lived here, I’ve had one or two moments when sitting in a crowded subway car I am inspired by God’s love through the diversity of people around me. Every single face, every person with a different history, a different conscience and soul. And there we are — on a subway, careening underneath the city streets of Manhattan — and I find God speaking to my heart about the need for kindness and compassion.
Over the years, I’ve found that travel offers the perfect opportunity for divine intervention. After all, when we travel our hearts, minds and souls are open to the unknown possibilities and experiences that await us. It’s those moments that God will speak to our hearts if we’re willing and open to listen.