Everyone should go on a journey; a journey of discovery.
Even if they only do it once.
The journey will be different for everyone. No two journeys will be the same. But what they will have in common is that they will all be journeys where the traveller discovers something about themselves, as well as the environment where they have chosen to journey. The essence of the journey is that it gives the traveller both time and space to think; that on the journey they allow themselves to be open to new sights and thoughts and people.
For some, it will be a carefully curated tour to a country with a different culture to their own. Perhaps a Westerner travelling to Nepal or Cambodia, or an Indian visiting Spain or Iceland, with a carefully prepared itinerary designed to help them get the most out of their journey.
For some, it could be much the same, but as an independent traveller. They would have the flexibility to either keep to a strict itinerary, or to go off somewhere new as the whim takes them. Because everyone’s sense of adventure is different.
For some, it will be a long, long trek through difficult terrain, pushing themselves physically and mentally every step of the way.
For some, it might also be a long journey, but under easier conditions, where the aim is more one of contemplation, perhaps a pilgrimage of sorts.
For others, the difficult terrain might be that of their prejudices and fears – the terrain of the mind.
What starts as a pilgrimage might end up in your discovering that you do not believe in God; well, that is fine. Remember, it is perfectly possible to be a spiritual person without believing in any god.
Although what ‘spiritual’ actually means is not so easy to nail down. I think of it as pertaining to the spirit, rather than to material things. In that sense, I would associate altruism with the spiritual, and greed with the material. A sense of calm and peace with the spiritual, a rowdy hedonism with the material.
For some, the journey might be from their house to a town or village a few miles away, and the journey might take no longer than a day.
It is essential, though, that the journey is undertaken for the sake of the journey. The destination is, in some ways, unimportant. It is what happens on that journey that matters.
Many, perhaps, will journey without realising that they have done so, or arrive at their destination not realising that is what it is. They might only realise later.
Some will arrive at a totally unexpected destination, and perhaps that is the best destination of all.
Go on, then, off you go!