What is a pilgrimage?

In former times, pilgrimages were mostly inspired by religious beliefs, for example the Way of St. James to Santiago in Spain, the city of Mekka or the journey to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Modern pilgrimages do not focus on religious beliefs, but on places we know from movies or books or places where a famous person has lived or died.

Literature

Inspired by the novel “On the road” by Jack Kerouac, many people make a roadtrip in the U.S. from cost to cost, stopping at the exact places the novel’s protagonists Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise passed by. (Check out Katja’s road trip around the U.S.) By the way, the novel will finally be made into a film starring Kristen Stewart (Eclipse) and Garrett Hedlund!

on-the-road

With “Pride and Prejudice”, “Sense and Sensibility” or “Emma” Jane Austen showed us the beautiful landscapes of the English countryside. No wonder, many people women travel to England to wander through those dreamy hills and villages, dreaming of love, lust and Mr. Darcy!

By September ‘2010 at the latest, another pilgrimage will be on the rise. “Eat Pray Love” , originally a very successful novel by Elizabeth Gilbert will hit cinemas this fall, showing us the moving journey through Italy, India and Bhali of a woman who had it all and then threw it away to find herself on the road.(Watch the trailer now!)

Movies

Speaking of movies, there is one movie pilgrimage I just have to mention (after all, this is girl talk):

sexcity2_b

I’m sure, you ladies have already seen Sex and the City 2 and maybe even toyed with the idea of actually going to Abu Dhabi. But before you go, let me save you from disappointment, because most parts of the movie were shot in Morocco and not in Abu Dhabi! (For those of you who – like me – have no idea, how and if those two countries are related, there is this great invention called wikipedia…) Anyways, if you plan to go off on your own girlfriend getaway to oriental Morocco, here are some spots you should not miss out on: journeybeyondtravel.com

(And if Morocco is just too hot for you this SATC guided tour in NYC might be of interest for you!)

Music

When a king dies, people feel the need to pay tribute. That is why a town called Santa Ynez Valley in California is one of the most important pilgrimage places of our times. It is the place where the King of Pop Michael Jackson tried to fulfil his dreams at the Neverland Ranch, numerous fans go there to remember how MJ’s music healed the world and… made it a better place…

neverland-ranch

Have you ever been on a pilgrimage? Where did you go? And was it your reason to travel in the first place? We’d love to hear your experiences with spiritual journeys!