This site started off as a travel blog, a space where I could share reflections from the various places I visit and the people I encounter. I wanted it to be more than just stories and pictures; I wanted to go deeper, to share my understanding with what I call sacred travel journeys – experiences that transform one’s soul. Ever since visiting Ethiopia in 20014, what I refer to as my first sacred travel journey, my life has changed. The way I see travel has changed. The way that I engage with others has changed. The way I understand myself in relationship to the world has changed. That journey and many others after it, began to form the foundation of how I understand this life – of how I understand what it means to be in relationship with God and with others.
The blog was born with my first trip to Israel and Palestine in June of 2013. I’ve added a few other reflections and am planning to add more from other journeys. Most of the experiences I will share here are international ones, but I have also had the opportunity to visit some places in the United States that I would call sacred travel journeys. However, I am going further than writing and using this space to share stories. It’s time to take the next step.
Over the past few months, something has begun to happen. I have realized that it’s not enough for me to share my experiences. I am being called to invite others on sacred travel journeys. Much like many other endeavors in my life, this site became something more and has begun to pull me in a direction I didn’t even know was possible.
This month, I launched Sacred Travel Journeys as a ministry opportunity. I am seeking to invite people to go to special places and have life-altering experiences for the simple purpose of being – of being present, of being open, of being in relationship with oneself and with others. I am not providing mission or service trips. I am not providing 5-star luxury vacations. I am providing Sacred Travel Journeys – experiences that foster peace, awareness and love and transform the soul.
My philosophy for Sacred Travel Journeys has been shaped by my Christian faith and my church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. My faith leads me to seek justice, mercy and humility at all times. Journeys only reinforce what my faith teaches – that we are all created in God’s divine image and called to love one another. My church teaches a way of being known as accompaniment. This informs how I understand mission and global engagement. I never enter into a place looking for what I can do or for what might be “wrong”; rather I always begin with relationship building and simply being in the presence of another. Accompaniment moves me to listen, learn and love without an agenda.
Traveling has taught me many things but the two lessons that stick out most are these:
- Once you are exposed to another way of being, you will forever be changed. One cannot unsee what one’s eyes, heart, mind and soul have experienced.
- Being in relationship with the other leads to increased compassion and I believe that compassion is the beginning of peace.
It is my hope to continue sharing stories with you. But I also hope that you might consider joining me on a journey so that you can experience transformation first hand and share your own stories.
Sending you love and light,