Over the years I traveled a lot. For a few years I logged over 100,000 miles in the air. I like to travel and experience new things, cultures, foods, sights and most of all people. A couple of years ago I found myself on an adventure in the month of March in the Arctic in the Northwest Territory of Canada, working with the Inuit people. It was an amazing, new landscape; Ice Roads, Northern Lights, Dog Sledding, eating Caribou stew and so much more. I will carry that experience in my heart and mind all my life.
Life can be full of moments of adventure. I want to draw a distinction here between a road-trip and a pilgrimage. We have a culture of road trip mentality for the most part. We take a vacation, we want to rest, play, see the sights and have new experiences. There’s nothing wrong with that.
A pilgrimage can be all those things but it has one element more. We have the experiences but the adventure brings about a change in us. We go intentionally into a moment, a place, an event with the knowledge that if I give myself to this it will yield a change in my heart, my thinking, how I see the world.
When I was in the Arctic, it was an adventure with several “bucket list” moments but what I remember most are the people I met and spent time with. They told me their stories; their dreams and hopes, their fears and failures. I remember Daniel and his playful manner. I think of Bertha and Travis and how they were laboring for their family and community; they wanted to make a difference.
Yeah, I’ll never forget seeing the northern lights! What a road-trip! But the people and connections made it a pilgrimage and I walked away different, better and changed.
How are you living moments with intention, connection and discover why you are here?