One of the joys of being a concierge level travel consultant is assisting clients with all aspects of their travel – including faith based options. You don’t need to leave your faith behind when you travel.
While reading the book The Legend of The Monk and The Merchant: Twelve Keys to Successful Living, there is a foreword by Dave Ramsey where he states:
We’re not called to separate our spiritual life from our work life, and we’re not called to divide our Sunday morning worship from our Monday morning staff meetings. God is in both, and He blesses both.”
So it is with our travel and vacation plans. We’re not meant to separate the two. There are many people who do faith-based travel to the Holy Land or Pilgrimages, but what I’m talking about here is incorporating your faith INTO your vacation that isn’t specifically faith-based.
Find a beautiful quiet spot to read the Bible, contemplate, meditate, pray and give thanks to God for your beautiful surroundings. Below is one of my most favorite spots on the resort at Sandals South Coast. It’s no longer there as it’s been “trimmed” when the over-the-water bungalows were designed.
My husband and I were visiting Sandals Barbados and it was Sunday. We dressed and began the short 15 minute walk to the nearby Catholic church.
The church was a small sweet building. We noticed other visitors walking from nearby hotels to the church as well. All the readings were in English. It was kind-of funny to hear the chickens outside the open windows of the church as there wasn’t air conditioning in the building. We spoke with the priest after the service and returned to the resort.
Upon returning we changed into our swimwear and headed to the “playful” pool to do some Salsa dance lessons. One of the resort guests stopped me by the pool and asked, “I saw you and your husband leaving the resort this morning and you were dressed nicely. Where were you going?”
I replied, “Oh, we were on our way to church. It’s only a 15 min walk from here.”
She responded, “Really? I never thought of attending Mass while on vacation. I just thought it wasn’t necessary.”
I smiled and invited her to consider it for any future travel as it was a delight and a great way to begin our day.
When you attended faith services in the destination you are visiting then you are involved with the locals on a very personal level. This is where they place their hopes, dreams, love, troubles and thanksgiving. Nothing could be more personal – other than perhaps staying in their homes.
We have been to many services through the USA, the Caribbean, and abroad. We’ve even attended Mass in Venice at St. Mark’s Cathedral – in Italian! It’s very moving to hear the service in different languages.
I’ve assisted clients with a variety of faiths to find a nearby service for them. In many destinations, from Hawaii, the Caribbean, Europe, and the USA. On our recent Holland America cruise Mass was celebrated daily with a full house. There was also Protestant services, and Jewish Shabbat and Passover services. It was joyful to see all the faiths being served on that cruise.
For your next trip consider incorporating church services to your visit. This allows you to give thanks to God for having safely traveled, for having the funds to be able to travel, and to appreciate the destination and the people.
With that said, you should do all that you can to attend church services during your trip. If you can’t make it happen due to the travel constraints then speak to your Parish Priest about receiving a travel dispensation. This will alleviate the need for reconciliation upon returning from your trip.
Most importantly, speak with your travel consultant about attending services in the destination that you are visiting. It can be awkward as a travel consultant to inquire about faith services so it’s always nice when the client brings up the subject.
Until next time…
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OBTAIN A QUOTE
Citation: FELBER, T. (2011) NASHVILLE: THOMAS NELSON, INC. The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant. PAGE 8.