Religious travel, faith-based travel, fellowship travel, mission travel and voluntourism—all terms that are used in this “new” type of group travel. New? Well, it may have a new focus in the world of travel, but this purposeful travel goes back to Bible times. Think about New Testament history and the apostles traveling on foot—dusty paths in worn leather sandals—with Jesus. Traveling together to visit the sick, encourage the brethren, and spread the Good News.
Pilgrims in the early centuries walked a path of prayer and meditation marked by a scallop shell, a symbol for pilgrims to wear around their neck and used to mark the path. Our symbol of modern day pilgrims, no matter the age, is neon-colored T-shirts imprinted with the name of the group.
Today we follow the path of planes, trains, motorcoaches and mega-ships to reach places of spiritual importance. We visit sites from Biblical times or look to find a break from hectic schedules to build fellowship in the church community and to serve humanity in places near or far from home.