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Happiest/most spiritual moment when travelling

Travel Forums General Talk Happiest/most spiritual moment when travelling

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1. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

What's yours?

2. Posted by LittleHobo (Budding Member 11 posts) 11y

So many. So many. But one that sticks in my mind was in Tibet 2002. A Thangka festival at Drepung Monastery. Early in the morning, joining the mass of pilgrims heading towards the cliff side where the huge Thangka was placed.On the way,huge clouds of smoke and incense from the Burners,obscured the air amidst the people. The low tones of the monks chanting from a tent at the site,wofted down by speakers.

It was such a odd thing just joining everybody on the way up. You'd pass old women revolving thier hand prayer wheels and chanting to themselves as they walked. Locals would sell drinks along the way. At one stage in the Monastery, so many people were coming from both directions that we ended up in a massive crush that nearly became dangerous.

But i survived. The Thangka was huge. A huge mural of Buddha on the cliff face. Very impressive. Everybody just found a place on the cliff sides to watch it all. Monks with those huge long horns stood at the top corners of the Thangka later on (complete with those horn shaped hats) and began that unmistakable deep sound. At this moment, something happened to me and i was overwhelmed by something. To this day, i cannot explain what happened. But i burst into tears and sobbed on the spot for about 10 minutes non stop. No explanation for it at all.

No thoughts came to my mind before it. No thoughts of "Hey, this is overwhelming me" or anything. That's why it was such a suprise. But as the chanting tones rose and rose from the tent below,this emotional catharsis within me became more and more intense. Old pain being released, and dispersing. That was the feeling i was getting from this.

Totally out of the blue. No clear reason why it happened. But it did. Afterwards, i felt like something had burned away from me. Very strange indeed. Ordinarily, Tibetans are quite reserved and dont take much notice. But throughout all this, they were concerned about me. So all that added another special element to the incident. A day i'll never forget.

Because i was with 2 friends that day, we'd bought little packs of prayer cards. The entire site was littered with millions of them which had already been cast to the winds by locals. Just simple multi coloured cards with Tibetan inscriptions on. You cast them into the wind as a prayer. So at the end of the day, we all threw a pack into the air, and they all slowly flew around in the air. A very strange day.

3. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

That's a good one! sounds great fantasia....

4. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Quoting samsara2

What's yours?

I was hiking the Inka Trail, our group got separated so I spent some time hiking on my own...then suddenly I heard someone playing a quena (wooden flute typical of Peru), it was echoing in the mountains. It was the most beautiful sound of folklore musical notes I've heard ever. It felt very spiritual, I was happy, I was sad, I was overwhelmed...

5. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Happiest: Being able to spend 24 hrs a day w/Mr. Isa no matter where we are or headed off to visit.

Spiritual: Diving. There is no experience that compares to being completely "cradled" by the water, being able to move in all directions effortessly, a feeling of being a part of my surroundings, and becoming (physically) fully relaxed. My breathing slows to an easy rhythm and watching the bubbles rise to the surface is wonderous. I could just "hang" suspended in one place and watch the underwater world pass by for hours on end. Maybe I was meant to be a fish...

6. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y

Happiest: There is one moment that really shines through whenever I think of travelling, and that was early morning in Punta Arenas, Chile. I walked out from my hotel to a bright sunny day (of which they had been few in Patagonia since I had gotten there).

I was suddenly struck by how happy I was. I was in a place as far as I had ever been from home. Everything was at the same time both so familiar and so alien. Everything that was worrying me back home was completely and totally off my shoulders. I was totally free to not worry about anything except walking around and checking out the town. It was a moment of complete and total freedom. And the sun was shining.

Whenever I am feeling low, I think back to that moment in Punta Arenas, and it always makes me smile.

Most spiritual: St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal is a basilica built over many, many years by a monk called Brother Andre to provide a place for intimate prayer. When Brother Andre died in 1937 his heart was removed and encased in a glass box at the Oratory. Being still a small child at heart and unable to pass up anything gross and icky, I was spurred by the promised of getting to see a mummified human heart to visit the Oratory.

I should point out here that I am atheist. I don’t believe in God. So I wasn’t expecting anything at the church expect to see some nice architecture and stained glass windows, and a shriveled human heart.

We arrived at St. Joes, and wandered through the main hall and into the Votive Chapel. Ten thousand vigil lights and lamps burn in front of the statue of Saint Joseph. The heat was overwhelming; I could barely breath, kind of like sitting in a car that has been baking in the sun in the parking lot of the mall all day. I stood there feeling a bit dizzy and faint from the heat, staring up at the racks and racks of crutches that the cured had left there after being healed, and I thought, for just a slight moment, that some miracle was about to happen.

The feeling quickly passed as my lungs filled with hot, sticky air. I looked around at all the people, lighting candles, down on their knees praying, and felt extremely uncomfortable. All these people believed in something, someone who was creator and controller, and I didn't believe at all. I felt like an intruder, some anthropologist filming ancient rites for a PBS special.

7. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

I love the "I can't believe I'm actually here" feeling. I get it every time - once I'm off the plane, and having dumped my bag, taken a shower and finally find myself walking around. It makes me feel kind of giddy. I echo Greg, too: that's when the weight of my own little world is lifted right off my shoulders. Makes me want to travel for months and months and months, to see if that feeling actually stays.

8. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Quoting GregW

Most spiritual: St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal is a basilica built over many, many years by a monk called Brother Andre to provide a place for intimate prayer. When Brother Andre died in 1937 his heart was removed and encased in a glass box at the Oratory. Being still a small child at heart and unable to pass up anything gross and icky, I was spurred by the promised of getting to see a mummified human heart to visit the Oratory.

I should point out here that I am atheist. I don’t believe in God. So I wasn’t expecting anything at the church expect to see some nice architecture and stained glass windows, and a shriveled human heart.

The feeling quickly passed as my lungs filled with hot, sticky air. I looked around at all the people, lighting candles, down on their knees praying, and felt extremely uncomfortable. All these people believed in something, someone who was creator and controller, and I didn't believe at all. I felt like an intruder, some anthropologist filming ancient rites for a PBS special.

Wow, that was quite an experience for someone that doesnt believe in God...but let me ask you, do you believe on a Higher Being, a higher force greater than any of us? Some people choose to call it God, I choose to call it a Higher Being...

9. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 11y

When i was canoeing in Halong Bay, i told the guide i didn't want to continue with the group and i would make my own way back. I just laid back in my canoe, surrounded by cliffs all around me, not a noise to be heard and felt pretty good about life. It was a beautiful day as well. I think it was the first time on my travels that i have ever made a point of being on my own and it was the best feeling ever.

10. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

Quoting GregW

I should point out here that I am atheist. I don’t believe in God. So I wasn’t expecting anything at the church expect to see some nice architecture and stained glass windows, and a shriveled human heart.

The feeling quickly passed as my lungs filled with hot, sticky air. I looked around at all the people, lighting candles, down on their knees praying, and felt extremely uncomfortable. All these people believed in something, someone who was creator and controller, and I didn't believe at all. I felt like an intruder, some anthropologist filming ancient rites for a PBS special.

I don't consider myself an atheist though I do not believe in the one almighty entity theory. I believe in spirits, be it just bits of energy, or something else. Like you in the Votive Chapel, entering "holy" places makes me feel very uncomfortable and I find them to be uninviting. Though many are beautiful and I have a true appreciation for honoring one's belief in that manner, I do not belong there. We just attended a memorial service on Saturday in one of the larger churches in Evanston, IL - a beautiful chapel. It only lasted 35 minutes, but I had a very hard time participating in the ritualism of it.