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8 Spiritual Journeys from Around the World

By Sandra Roussy July 10, 2023 Travel

Throughout history, humans have embarked on pilgrimages and voyages in pursuit of blessings, wealth, fortune, divine intervention, spiritual leaders, and a myriad of other reasons. These journeys could even be considered the earliest manifestations of tourism.

Perhaps it is the yearning to reestablish a connection with something deeper or the longing to escape from our hectic routines, but spiritual tourism is experiencing a surge in popularity.

The journeys we will explore in this article are:

  1. Bali, Indonesia – Known as the “Island of the Gods,” Bali offers a serene and spiritual atmosphere. Ubud, in particular, is renowned for its yoga retreats, meditation centers, and holistic healing practices.
  2. Sedona, Arizona, USA – Sedona is famous for its stunning red rock formations and spiritual energy. It’s an ideal destination for women over 50 seeking soulful experiences, including meditation retreats, energy healing sessions, and exploring the vortex sites.
  3. Rishikesh, India – Nestled in the Himalayas, Rishikesh is considered the yoga capital of the world. This sacred city offers ashrams, yoga and meditation retreats, and the opportunity to learn from experienced spiritual teachers.
  4. Camino de Santiago, Spain – The Camino de Santiago is a popular pilgrimage route known for its profound spiritual significance. Walking this ancient path offers a chance for introspection, self-discovery, and connecting with fellow pilgrims.
  5. Machu Picchu, Peru – Machu Picchu is an ancient Incan city cradled amidst the breathtaking Andes Mountains. The combination of awe-inspiring ruins, beautiful landscapes, and Incan spirituality makes it a popular destination for spiritual seekers.
  6. Kyoto, Japan – Kyoto is renowned for its rich spiritual heritage and Zen Buddhism. The city offers opportunities to visit ancient temples, participate in traditional tea ceremonies, practice meditation, and explore the exquisite Japanese gardens.
  7. Mount Shasta, California, USA – Mount Shasta is believed to be a powerful spiritual vortex and is associated with healing and transformation. Women over 50 can engage in spiritual retreats, meditation workshops, and connect with the natural beauty of the area.
  8. Glastonbury, England – Glastonbury is steeped in mythology and spirituality, often associated with King Arthur and Avalon. It offers ancient sites, such as Glastonbury Tor and the Chalice Well, along with spiritual retreats, workshops, and festivals.

Remember to research and choose a destination that aligns with your personal interests, beliefs, and goals for a spiritual vacation.

What Makes a Place Spiritual

The spiritual nature of a place can be subjective and may vary depending on individual beliefs and experiences. However, there are several common factors that contribute to a place being considered spiritual.

Sacred Sites

Certain locations are regarded as sacred due to their association with religious or cultural traditions. These sites often have historical, mythological, or symbolic significance, such as temples, churches, mosques, or ancient ruins.

Natural Beauty

Natural environments with awe-inspiring landscapes, serene surroundings, and a sense of harmony can evoke a spiritual connection. Mountains, forests, rivers, and other scenic vistas often provide a conducive setting for introspection and contemplation.

Energy and Vibration

Some places are believed to possess a unique energy or vibration that resonates with spiritual seekers. These energy centers, such as vortexes or ley lines, are thought to enhance meditation, healing, and personal transformation.

Historical and Cultural Significance

Places that have witnessed significant spiritual events, miracles, or the lives of revered spiritual figures hold a profound spiritual allure. These sites carry the weight of history and the stories of those who have walked before, adding depth to their spiritual character.

Silence and Solitude

Quiet and solitude can create an environment conducive to spiritual experiences. Places that offer opportunities for reflection, meditation, and inner exploration, away from the distractions of daily life, can foster a deeper connection to one’s spiritual self.

Rituals and Practices

Destinations where spiritual rituals, ceremonies, and practices are conducted can exude a palpable spiritual atmosphere. These can include pilgrimages, meditation retreats, prayer gatherings, or cultural festivals that invite individuals to engage in communal or personal spiritual activities.

Wisdom and Teaching

Places that serve as centers for spiritual learning, where ancient wisdom and teachings are preserved and shared, hold a special spiritual significance. These may be monasteries, ashrams, or spiritual communities where seekers can immerse themselves in knowledge and spiritual guidance.

The spiritual nature of a place is deeply personal and can be influenced by one’s beliefs, intentions, and receptivity. It is the combination of factors such as history, culture, natural beauty, and the ability to evoke a sense of wonder and connection that contributes to the overall spiritual ambiance of a place.

How to Plan for a Spiritual Journey

Planning a spiritual journey as a woman over 50 involves thoughtful preparation and consideration of individual preferences and needs. Here are some steps to help you plan for a fulfilling and successful spiritual journey.

Reflect on Your Intentions

Take time to introspect and identify the specific goals and intentions for your spiritual journey. What do you hope to gain or experience? Is there a particular aspect of spirituality you wish to explore or deepen? Clarifying your intentions will guide your decision-making process.

Research Destinations

Explore different spiritual destinations that align with your interests and intentions. Consider factors such as the type of spiritual practices offered, the cultural and historical significance of the location, and the accessibility and amenities that cater to your needs as a woman over 50.

Seek Recommendations and Reviews

Consult with friends, spiritual communities, or online forums to gather recommendations and insights from those who have visited the destinations you’re interested in. Reading reviews and personal experiences can provide valuable information.

Consider Practicalities

Evaluate practical aspects such as travel logistics, budget, and duration of the journey. Determine the best time to visit, taking into account factors like weather, peak tourist seasons, and any specific events or festivals you may want to attend.

Accommodation and Transportation

Research and book accommodation that suits your needs, whether it’s a retreat center, hotel, or guesthouse. Consider the proximity to your desired destinations and the availability of transportation options that ensure ease and comfort during your journey.

Health and Well-being

Prioritize your health and well-being during the journey. Consult your healthcare provider before embarking on any physically demanding activities or if you have specific health concerns. Carry necessary medications, practice self-care, and listen to your body’s needs throughout the trip.

Pack Mindfully

Pack essentials such as comfortable clothing, appropriate footwear, personal items, and any spiritual tools or accessories you may require. Consider packing a journal or notebook to record your experiences and reflections.

Openness and Flexibility

Approach your spiritual journey with an open mind and heart, allowing for unexpected experiences and connections. Remain flexible with your plans, as the true essence of a spiritual journey often lies in the serendipitous moments and unforeseen opportunities for growth.

Embrace Self-Care and Integration

After your spiritual journey, take time for reflection and integration of the experiences and insights gained. Incorporate self-care practices, such as meditation, journaling, or gentle movement, to nurture your mind, body, and spirit as you integrate your journey into your daily life.

Remember, a spiritual journey is a deeply personal and individual endeavor. Tailor your planning process to suit your unique needs, preferences, and aspirations, allowing yourself the space and freedom to explore and discover what resonates with you on a profound level.

Spiritual Vacations from Around the World

Here are some inspiring ideas to ignite your passion for spiritual exploration.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali, often referred to as the “Island of the Gods,” is a destination that captivates with its serene and spiritual ambiance. The town of Ubud, in particular, has gained international recognition for its offerings in the realm of spirituality and well-being. Nestled amidst lush greenery and terraced rice fields, Ubud has become a haven for those seeking inner peace and self-discovery.

Yoga enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise, as Ubud boasts a plethora of renowned yoga retreats. From immersive programs designed for all levels of practitioners to specialized workshops focusing on different yoga styles, there is something for everyone. Meditation centers provide serene spaces for contemplation and deepening one’s mindfulness practice.

Ubud’s holistic healing practices are deeply rooted in Balinese traditions. You can explore alternative therapies, such as traditional Balinese massage, energy healing sessions, sound healing, and other forms of natural therapies. The town is also home to an array of wellness spas, offering rejuvenating treatments that harmonize the body, mind, and spirit.

Sedona, Arizona, USA

Sedona, renowned for its breathtaking red rock formations and captivating natural beauty, holds a magnetic allure for spiritual seekers. This Arizona destination offers an idyllic setting for women over 50 in search of soulful experiences and profound connections.

Sedona’s majestic red rocks are believed to possess a unique spiritual energy that resonates with visitors. The region is known for its vortex sites, areas where the Earth’s energy is said to be intensified. These vortexes are believed to facilitate meditation, healing, and self-discovery. You can embark on guided tours or explore these sites independently, immersing yourself in the tranquility and seeking solace in the embrace of nature.

The town of Sedona also hosts numerous meditation retreats, allowing you to delve deeper into your spiritual practice and find inner peace amidst the awe-inspiring landscapes. From silent retreats to mindfulness workshops, these programs offer an opportunity for introspection and rejuvenation.

Sedona’s spiritual offerings extend to energy healing sessions, where practitioners harness various modalities to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. From Reiki to crystal healing, these sessions provide a nurturing space for you to experience rejuvenation and balance.

Rishikesh, India

Snuggled in the panoramic Himalayas, Rishikesh is hailed as the yoga capital of the world and holds immense spiritual significance. This sacred city in India’s northern state of Uttarakhand offers a haven for women over 50 seeking profound spiritual experiences.

Rishikesh is home to numerous ashrams, which are spiritual retreat centers that provide an immersive environment for self-reflection and inner exploration. These ashrams offer a range of programs tailored to different interests and levels of experience. You can engage in yoga and meditation retreats, where you can deepen your practice, learn new techniques, and cultivate inner peace and well-being.

The city attracts renowned spiritual teachers from various disciplines, making it an ideal destination for those seeking guidance and wisdom. Visitors have the opportunity to learn from experienced gurus, attend lectures and workshops on spirituality, and delve into the philosophical aspects of yoga and meditation.

Rishikesh is also blessed with the serene presence of the Ganges River, considered a sacred body of water in Hinduism. You can partake in the spiritually enriching experience of participating in traditional Ganga Aarti ceremonies, where you can witness the ritualistic offerings and immerse yourself in the devotional atmosphere.

Camino de Santiago, Spain

The Camino de Santiago is a revered pilgrimage route stretching across Spain that holds profound spiritual significance. Walking this ancient path provides a unique opportunity for introspection, self-discovery, and connection with fellow pilgrims.

The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, offers a profound sense of pilgrimage, tracing a path followed by countless pilgrims for centuries. The journey traverses diverse landscapes, from rugged mountains to scenic countryside and charming villages. As women over 50 embark on this pilgrimage, they embark on a physical and spiritual quest that encourages self-reflection and personal growth.

Walking the Camino fosters a sense of solitude and contemplation. The rhythmic steps, combined with the scenic beauty of the surroundings, create a conducive environment for deep reflection. This introspection, combined with encounters with fellow pilgrims from all walks of life, allows for meaningful connections and shared experiences that transcend language and cultural barriers.

The Camino is not only a physical challenge but also a spiritual one. Pilgrims have the opportunity to visit ancient churches, monasteries, and sacred sites along the route, adding a layer of sacredness and spirituality to the journey. Participating in communal rituals, such as attending pilgrim masses or receiving the traditional Compostela certificate at the end, enhances the spiritual experience.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, an ancient Incan city cradled amidst the magnificent Andes Mountains in Peru, stands as a mesmerizing destination that beckons women over 50 in search of spiritual awakening. This remarkable site, known for its ruins and breathtaking landscapes, carries an undeniable aura of spiritual energy.

The sheer grandeur and architectural brilliance of Machu Picchu evoke a sense of wonder and reverence. Exploring the sacred ruins, surrounded by towering peaks and lush green valleys, offers a unique opportunity for contemplation and connection with the ancient Incan civilization. The enigmatic Intihuatana stone, believed to be a spiritual and astronomical centerpiece, further adds to the mystical ambiance.

The surrounding Andes Mountains, with their serene beauty and vastness, serve as a backdrop for communion with nature. The trails leading to Machu Picchu, such as the renowned Inca Trail, offer a physical and spiritual journey, traversing rugged terrains and passing through picturesque landscapes.

Incan spirituality, deeply rooted in the harmonious relationship between humans and nature, adds another layer of spiritual significance to Machu Picchu. The sacred rituals and beliefs of the Incas permeate the site, inviting you to connect with the divine and tap into your own spiritual essence.

Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, a city in Japan, stands as a treasure trove of rich spiritual heritage and Zen Buddhism, inviting people of all ages on a journey of profound spiritual exploration. This enchanting city offers a myriad of experiences that delve into the depths of Japanese spirituality.

Kyoto is home to ancient temples that bear witness to centuries of devotion and wisdom. You can visit iconic temples such as Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion), and Kiyomizu-dera, immersing yourself in the serene and sacred atmosphere. These temples provide a space for quiet contemplation, where you can engage in meditation and ponder upon the teachings of Zen Buddhism.

Participating in traditional tea ceremonies is another cherished aspect of Kyoto’s spiritual offerings. The art of tea, known as “chado” or “sado,” emphasizes mindfulness, harmony, and reverence. You can experience the ritualistic preparation and consumption of matcha tea, guided by tea masters, in serene tea houses. This meditative practice cultivates a sense of tranquility and connection to the present moment.

Kyoto’s exquisite Japanese gardens are a testament to the profound relationship between nature and spirituality. Strolling through these meticulously designed landscapes, such as the famous gardens of Katsura Imperial Villa or the Zen gardens of Ryoan-ji, provides an opportunity to experience the beauty of nature and find inner peace.

The city’s annual festivals, such as Gion Matsuri, bring together traditional customs, elaborate processions, and spiritual rituals. You can immerse yourself in these vibrant celebrations, witnessing the fusion of spirituality, culture, and community.

Mount Shasta, California, USA

Mount Shasta, located in Northern California, is renowned as a powerful spiritual vortex that has long captured the imagination of seekers and mystics. This majestic mountain is associated with healing, transformation, and spiritual awakening, offering a profound destination for people seeking spiritual growth and connection.

Mount Shasta’s spiritual significance stems from various beliefs and legends that attribute it as a gateway to higher consciousness. It is believed to be a place where the earthly and spiritual realms intersect, creating a potent energy that supports inner exploration and transformation.

You can engage in spiritual retreats and workshops held in the Mount Shasta area. These retreats often include practices such as meditation, energy healing, sound therapy, and personal growth exercises. Experienced facilitators and spiritual teachers guide you on your journey, providing tools and insights for self-discovery and spiritual development.

The natural beauty of Mount Shasta and its surrounding area also contribute to its allure as a spiritual destination. The pristine forests, crystalline lakes, and meadows create a tranquil and harmonious environment that supports inner reflection and harmony with nature.

Mount Shasta attracts a vibrant community of like-minded individuals, creating opportunities for connections and sharing experiences. Engaging in discussions, attending group meditations, or participating in healing circles can foster a sense of belonging and support along the spiritual journey.

Glastonbury, England

Glastonbury, a town in Somerset, England, is steeped in mythology and spirituality, making it a captivating destination for travelers seeking a profound spiritual experience. This enchanting place is often associated with legends of King Arthur and Avalon, adding an air of mystique to its already rich spiritual heritage.

Glastonbury is home to ancient sites that evoke a sense of magic and ancient wisdom. Glastonbury Tor, a prominent hill with a medieval tower, is believed to be a sacred site with deep spiritual significance.

The Chalice Well, another iconic site in Glastonbury, is revered as a place of healing and divine feminine energy. Its natural spring, said to be connected to the Holy Grail, has drawn pilgrims for centuries. You can visit this sacred well, explore its tranquil gardens, and partake in the meditative atmosphere.

Glastonbury is a hub of spiritual retreats, workshops, and festivals. Numerous retreat centers offer a variety of programs focusing on meditation, healing practices, self-discovery, and spiritual development.

The town itself is adorned with esoteric shops, bookstores, and holistic healing centers, catering to the spiritual seeker. You can explore the world of crystals, tarot readings, energy healing, and alternative therapies, further enhancing your spiritual quest.

Glastonbury also hosts vibrant spiritual festivals, such as the Glastonbury Goddess Conference and the Glastonbury Festival of Light, which celebrate spirituality, sacred arts, and community.


Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you visited any of these spiritual places? Are you planning to? Have you been on a spiritual journey and want to share with our community? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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Toni Stritzke

The great cathedrals and humble churches in Europe are wonderful places to visit. Imbued with the intentions of the multitudes who knelt and made their prayers.
I like to sit and think, be still and then light a candle.

The Author

Sandra is the middle-aged woman you hear about who sheds everything she owns and sets out into the world to rediscover and redefine herself. After more than twenty years spent in the fashion industry designing collections for brands such as La Senza, Victoria’s Secret, and JACOB Lingerie, she shifted her path and pursued her longtime passion for writing, traveling, and photography. Sandra was published in the NY Times best selling book Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It. A deeply personal essay hand-picked by Elizabeth Gilbert about loss, facing fears, and going after dreams. Visit her website:

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