When do you like to travel?
Because of the rhythms of our lives, summer seems an obvious choice, as well as holidays and school breaks. If those are traditionally the times you travel it’s likely there hasn’t been reason for you to consider otherwise. But what if I told you that when it comes to pilgrimage, it’s better to travel in the off season—the times of year when tourists are usually back at home? Here are 3 reasons why:
1. it’s cheaper
It seems like everything costs less in the off season, including airfare, accommodations, and sometimes even food or attractions. And with being a “good steward of resources” one of the seven Pilgrim Principles, the season in which you can easily travel on a budget aligns with the pilgrim’s values as well. Plus, when costs are lower, budgets stretch further, allowing you to extend your adventure beyond what it might have been in the tourist season. With the practice of pilgrimage requiring time to really sink in, what pilgrim doesn’t like that?
2. it’s less crowded
Less tourists mean less crowds and more space for you to explore freely—both the wonders of the external world you encounter as well as the shifts that happen within. It also means less time spent waiting in lines and more time spent savoring your surroundings without the distraction of tourists who don’t value the Sacredness of a particular site, speaking well above a whisper and endlessly flashing their cameras as they check one more attraction off a list and march on through.
3. it’s more authentic
Because there won’t be as many tourists around, you’ll be able to experience your destination as the locals do—an experience that aligns with another of the Pilgrim Principles: “A pilgrim immerses herself in culture.” The reason you’re traveling to your destination, after all, is to experience it fully—why not visit when you have the best opportunity to do so? You’ll not only have a more authentic experience as a traveler—it’s also likely that you’ll have a more authentic experience as a pilgrim, too, because without the noise and and comforts of tourism, you’ll be more encouraged to stretch your boundaries and uncover more of your true self.
We’ll be traveling to Iona in the off season next March and I’d love for you to join. Register by September 30, 2016, and SAVE $200, plus receive a Journey Consultation for free! Register soon—only 4 spots remaining! Learn more »
PS: One of my favorite practical reasons to travel in the off season? Cold season traveling means pockets, pockets, pockets!
How has traveling in the off season impacted your journeys?