Anytime you go anyplace, it is a trip.  Any trip can be a pilgrimage, depending on how you approach the trip!  Here’s why it depends on you.  On a pilgrimage, you set an intention for discovering more about your relationship to God.  You can do that for any trip, because all trips take you out of your known area to a new place, and you have to trust in God as you leave the known and go to the unknown.  Even with Google Maps, surprises still happen!  Even your safe arrival and return are unknowns.  A pilgrimage usually means going to a place where you will experience a closeness with God.  God is everywhere, therefore, you can ask yourself to look for him no matter where you go.  A pilgrimage usually means you will make some sort of sacrifice or do something extra as you travel in order to deepen your relationship with God (and many times with your traveling companions!).  You can decide to make a sacrifice or do an extra activity to grow in holiness on any trip.  You have the ability to turn almost any trip into a pilgrimage!  Sometimes, it is easier for you, at different points in your life, for someone else to direct you on a pilgrimage.  You are the best judge of whether having outside help will aid you in setting your interior intentions to make a trip into a true pilgrimage.  Please feel free to comment below on whether you have ever taken a trip that turned into a pilgrimage!  One of my trips that truly turned into a prayer pilgrimage involved going to Florida and getting out of Florida before a hurricane stopped all travel.  Going to the airport, and seeing no one on the streets, windows boarded up felt like being in a war zone, and was very frightening to me as a mother in charge of two young children.  Boy, did I start praying, and the close moments in joy with God as I had walked on the beach and listened to the ocean, which always reminds me of the vastness of His love and mercy, sustained me and kept me in a place of outward calm as I submitted my inner fears to God.  Sometimes a trip can truly turn into a pilgrimage where your prayer life grows by leaps and bounds!  The experiences of making pilgrimages in my past was a part of what gave me strength of character to be calmer than those around me so that the end of the trip became yet another pilgrimage for me.


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