Spiritual Travel – A New Way to Explore The World
I think we would all agree that the global pandemic has certainly changed our outlook on how we live our lives.
“All across the world people seem to be talking more about mindfulness, being grounded, and connecting to a higher purpose,” says Allison Frame, Co-Founder of The Divine Destination Collection. “Having to stay physically apart from each other has made us think about what is truly important in life. For many of us, it has been a chance to re-evaluate how we live our lives and to examine who and how we want to be going forward in the world.
“It also made us more aware of our overall health and wellness and what is truly important in life, especially when it comes to our mental and spiritual well-being.”
Websites such as Tiny Buddha have become popular for tips on everything from ways to boost your happiness to how to enjoy life’s simple pleasures and bring more joy into your life.
And now that people are returning to their offices, many workplaces are committed to making their environments healthier. Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the online news magazine The Huffington Post has created Thrive Global to help employers take better care of their most precious resource – their employees.
“This shift to creating a more mindful experience extends to the travel industry,” says Allison. “Travellers are craving a more meaningful travel experience and want to go a little deeper within the destination and themselves.”
Applying a spiritual lens to travel
Ever since The Divine Destination Collection was launched 10 years ago, Allison and co-founder Deb Niven have always differentiated their travel journeys by offering an element of spirituality along with luxury and adventure.
“Spiritually is not religion,” says Allison. “It is something that is different for everyone. It can be your experience with nature, your own soul, your own personal growth, or a peek into the mysterious. It may be a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves or a search for meaning in life. We believe that a spiritual experience is uplifting, sacred or transformational or simply a deep sense of aliveness and interconnectedness. It’s whatever touches you. What gives you a sense of peace.”
Past Divine Destination Collection trips have explored spirituality in many ways – from taking part in a shamanic ceremony in Peru and visiting “thin places” in Ireland, where it is said there is a thin veil between heaven and earth, to a virtual journey to Kyoto, Japan to learn about Shintoism, Buddhism from a Zen Buddhist priest.
“Because spirituality is so personal, no spiritual adventure is ever mandatory. We always make sure we offer an alternative experience,” says Allison. “And while we’ve found that women are often more open to the spiritual aspect of our trips, more and more men are coming around to trying it.
And contrary to popular belief, there is no reason why a spiritual journey has to be uncomfortable or full of hardship.
“Working in incentive travel and business events opened up the world of luxury travel to us, but Deb and I are also seekers – open to exploring new ways of connecting with ourselves and the world around us,” says Allison. “So we founded The Divine Destination Collection intending to blend both luxury and spirituality in an exciting travel adventure.”
Upcoming spiritual experiences
This September 25 to 27, when The Divine Destination Collection will be travelling to Grafton, Ontario for Camp Divine at the Whispering Springs Wilderness Retreat, travellers will have the chance to experience different types of introspection and spirituality while glamping.
Allie Chisholm-Smith will be leading daily yoga classes, as well as opportunities for group reflection. And since the group will be surrounded by the beautiful Ontario wilderness, it is the perfect spot to commune with nature by taking a guided forest bathing experience or shinrin-yoku, one of the hottest new outdoor activities. Originating in Japan, forest-bathing is based on scientific evidence that spending time in nature, especially in a forest of trees, benefits the mind, body and spirit.
In June 2023, the journey to the Sacred South of France…the Mystery of Mary Magdalene, focuses on the activities of the legendary teacher and healer, who many believe was forced out of the Holy Land with other followers of Christ, and arrived by boat to the South of France.
The trip will also look at Mary as an archetype of the Divine Feminine – possessing an energy that combines healing, creativity, justice, awareness, and other strong feminine traits.
In October of 2023, the trip to South Africa and Uganda will offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience to visit the cradle of civilization and see wild animals in their natural habitat.
Allison is especially eager to travel to South Africa again after The Divine Destination Collection journeyed there in 2016. “Africa changes who you are,” she says. “At first I couldn’t understand it. I had a real sense of place. I felt like I had come back home.
“I’ll never forget what it felt like to be surrounded by a herd of elephants in the bush. The sense of wonder, awe and connection in the overwhelming expanse of nature was truly transformational for me.”