Sacred Tourism is not about travelling to traditionally sacred places or religious temples. It is about treating travel in itself with intention and purpose. So much of modern travel and tourism loses the essence and power of a place. Travel has become a form of entertainment. One in which the tourist is the audience and the place and its people become the entertainers. There will inevitably be some form of this if you are only traveling to a place for a short period of time. To truly gain the essence of a place you must not simply be a passerby, but an active participant. Someone who lives there, who contributes, who takes an active curiosity and interest in the life that calls that place home. There are things you can do in short periods of time that deepen your connection to a place and its people. Simply taking an interest in all aspects of a place is a start. Traveling with intention and purpose is another, whether you are seeking to learn from the land and people for your own personal growth. You can volunteer with the local community or people. Showing that you are aware of and helping solve problems that the community is going through is a way to connect. Participating in a local festival or event. Participating in spiritual ceremony or sacred medicine, can open your mind to connections to the land and people. These are just some small simple ways to provide a much more meaningful experience to your travel experience. Having local guides that are bringing you to special places is almost the magic key. That can introduce you behind the scenes to experiences you’d never be able to have on your own.
Sacred travel is more about treating these experiences and lands as a humble visitor. Treating these places with respect rather than a means to your own entertainment can open to the door to experiencing a place in its authenticity and truth. This form of mindful travel is a collective experience. Where both you and the people you’ve travelled to are changed because of it. The growth of the sharing economy where local guides can help travelers provide a window into their world, is a great positive step in how we experience tourism. This is an exciting time in travel, with technology assisting in this way. If you’ve ever found yourself wanting more from a place, seek your deeper meaning in the way you travel. Seek how you can affect the lives of the places that you are visiting.