Tourism and Pilgrimage

Placing a Note in the Wailing Wall

A tourist is interested in any and all while a pilgrim is usually interested only in those objects worshiping which is the am of pilgrimage. Tourists depend upon their mood, pilgrims feel the calling. A tourist may be inspired, at a loss, concentrated. His actions depend upon mood and well-being. Yesterday he was running across the narrow stone streets neglecting corns and taking photos. Today he may be lying on his bed in the hotel room and refusing to do anything. In the evening he probably eats out. Grilled sepia with tomato pesto , saddle of lamb and Madeira. If he wishes.

A pilgrim is obliged to go, squeeze, worm his way and limp to reach his destination. His sole corns are his medals and dust of a thousand roads is his mantle. He doesn’t see any other idols except the relics and holy places that he worships. The rout of a pilgrim is like a glowing line in the dark since he doesn’t need to choose or hesitate. He knows for sure where and why is he going. And he anticipates the spiritual enlightenment, rejoice and holy awe. The objects that are of no significance for a tourist such as smooth stone, rough tree stem, sandbank, road turn, a silhouette of a mountain in the rain, sunbeams are full of meaning and inspiration for a pilgrim.


The tourists usually put a tick next to some place of interest in their maps and make their way further. They may suppose that one ancient temple looks exactly like some other one. “The same ruins everywhere” sighs a tourist disappointed in some view.

A pilgrim can’t be disappointed. Can you imagine a situation when a pilgrim doesn’t like some holy place?

However that is only is some reasoning. In fact the things are much more complicated in the reality. We often can’t understand who are we: tourists or pilgrims.

Today pilgrimage is treated as some special kind of tourism. More and more people make their decision to search for some new impressions not in Las-Vegas or Amsterdam but in Nepal or Israel. Spiritual experience can be more deep and moving than oblectation of the senses. A lot of people refuse from booking the luxurious hotels and spend their nights in ashrams, hospices or even outside. They claim to get more impressions from this type of traveling. However to travel like this one needs to develop the special world view in order to get more from the trip. . After your traveling you may discuss your experience with your friends. Sharing your experience will help you to organize all the new information and process it for yourself.

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