Vipassana, Andean Cosmologies and other forms of Spiritual Tourism
People tend to think that travelling will help heal themselves, why? Because you will get to know yourself better.
Whether your trip is a personal healing journey, a faith search or a soul seeking adventure, you are a spiritual tourist.
Photo taken in Ninh Binh
There are different definitions of “Spiritual Tourism”, in 2013 the UNWTO expressed that never before people have travelled so widely in search of expressions of spirituality, faith and culture. In a world where orthodox religious practices are somewhat fading, people tend to search for their own kind of spirituality, and apparently, travel is the vehicle. The contact between cultures “has the potential to evoke profound spiritual experiences and transformational spiritual growth” (UNWTO, 2013).
The motor for Spiritual Tourism is the tourist motivation (Griffin and Raj, 2017). Generally, that motivation is set for a search for personal meaning. People tend to think that their personal life purpose can be revealed to them “by a higher source, in the right time”, and these days travelling is the way to search for that epiphany. As some people may say, travelling removes you from your day to day busy-ness, so that in the absence of normality you may begin to listen to your inner yearnings and what is really important to you. In that pursue of self-awareness there is a departure, an adventure and a coming back home. Just like travelling, distancing yourself from your normal life will give you objectivity and perspective. For me, the idea of getting to know myself better in travelling is based upon understating my reactions when I´m put on an unknown situation, for example, a different language, or an unfamiliar expression of culture.
Culture has a reflective effect. And so does tourism.
When I´m travelling I learn about my own limits, my cultural heritage is contrasted by the one that I´m experiencing, and I´m stripped of all my prejudices and normality to explore and respect the culture I’m facing.
I constantly face experiences observing, accepting, feeling and reflecting, therefore I start to understand what I like and what I don’t; I compare my morals, values and ethics with the situations I live, and that’s how I get to know myself on the road.
In the first ever recorded ImpetuHub podcast, The Wander and Wonder Podcast, I interviewed Carla Ottone, she shares with us her experience in South America on her spiritual journey, where she was part of a vipassana, a meditation practice where people reflect on their beings for a number of days.
Later on, she experienced the traditional celebration of The Lord of Qoyllority in the highlands of the Andes, an important cultural and religious celebration of the different nations of the Andes.
Learn about what is a vipassana and what she encountered in the Andes highlands and the sacred valley of Peru.
UNWTO (2013) International Conference: Spiritual Tourism for Sustainable Development: Ninh Binh City, Viet Nam, 21-22 Nov 2013. PDF: http://cf.cdn.unwto.org/sites/all/files/pdf/vietnam_brochure9_web-1.pdf
Griffin, K. and R. Raj (2017) The importance of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage: Reflecting on definitions, motives and data. International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage 5(3):1-9.
About our Collaborator
Carla Ottone is ceaseless seeker of knowledge. Hermit of the XXI century. Lawyerwith an LLM in environmental law and natural resources. Women’s rights activist lawyer, environment and human rights. A true believer in collective consciousness and the need of creating community. Check our collaborators!
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