Guide: One who assists a person to travel through or reach a destination in an unfamiliar area, as by accompanying or giving direction to the person; one who accompanies a sightseer to show points of interest and to explain their meaning or significance.
Sacred Travel Journeys would not exist without Journey Guides – individuals who have a deep passion for the people and places where Sacred Travel Journeys takes travelers. Guides help plan each part of the travelers journey, working closely with partners on the ground, to arrange logistics and create travel journeys that meet the core values of sacred travel journeys (accompaniment, listening, learning, reflection and growth). Guides provide direction, support and help travelers process and reflect upon their experience. Guides have either lived in or have an extensive knowledge of the place. Guides have been to each of the locations many times and we work tirelessly to maintain special relationships with our partners. A guide will never take travelers where they haven’t been and we always follow the lead of our hosts in every place we go.
One of my non-negotiables for the leadership of Sacred Travel Journeys is that I have to trust the people who are guides. I have to be in relationship with them and they have to be deeply connected to the places where we will go. This week, I’ll be introducing the guides who will be co-leading journeys with me from now until 2017. We have plans to go to the Holy Land, Kenya, El Salvador, West Africa and Cambodia. And we are just getting started!
I am excited to work with each of these individuals and look forward to sharing with you why they are so important to me. I have learned that relationships are EVERYTHING. I can’t exist without the people in my life; without authentic connections that constantly offer support, accountability and challenge me to go deeper and dream bigger. I have a special relationship with each of these guides and I look forward to introducing them to you this week.
Sending you light and love,
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.
I am leading a group of young adults who are tasked with the responsibility of leading other young adults on trips to Israel and Palestine in the next year and a half. These travelers will use their trips as starting points to engage in issues of peace and justice back home as it pertains to the ongoing occupation and violation of human rights happening in Israel and Palestine. Each night, we hold reflections and devotions as we consider what we have experienced throughout the day and how it not only impacts our knowledge, but more importantly how it impacts our calling as people of faith who are seeking to be change agents.
The other night, the young adults leading devotions last spoke about Christian pilgrimage and they got me thinking about this question – What does it mean to reclaim Christian Pilgrimage from being viewed as an internal spiritual experience to an external prophetic journey? Don’t get me wrong, I believe that we are called to deepen in faith and do soul work that better informs our spirituality. However, it seems as though Christian pilgrimage has become mainly about visiting sites and growing in personal faith and less about connecting with a historic narrative that informs how one’s faith should impact their life in the world. Continue reading