SOJOURNER

Living Your Travel Dreams Now

Christian Travel

People who travel leave home for all sorts of reasons: to take in new destinations, see from a different perspective, break from work, sample other cultures, have an adventure and, ultimately, to gain appreciation for what they have at home. Many have dreamed of enjoying specific places firsthand (the Parthenon, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Jordan River) their whole lives. They’re often professionals who have decades of work behind them and are ready to go! Deferring their dreamsno matter what is going on in the worldis not an option.

Inspiration Cruises & Tours passengers are often a particular type of traveler. They’re not focused just on destinations like Alaska, Israel or famed Caribbean islands. They want more… and achieve it by embarking on experiences while seeing the world in the company of headline faith leaders and artists.

Floating with Headliners

Inspiration designs exceptional Christian travels to bring spiritual encouragement and growth for guests, enabling them to connect on a deeper level with family, friends or fellow church members with whom they may be traveling. Making new friends that “stick” after the journey finishes is also a bonus. Celebrated locations share the limelight with onboard faith celebrities, and the combination delivers memories that last a lifetime.

“Travelers who cruise with Inspiration get everything they would get on a normal cruise plus the extra benefit of music, speaking and other interactions with faith artists and leaders,” said Jerry Weimer, a repeat cruiser with the Gaithers and Michael W. Smith. “I’ve had many people tell me they would not do another cruise that doesn’t offer the ministry part.”

Weimer reports that the onboard musical concerts he and his companions have experienced far outshine their counterparts (traditional arena concerts) any day. Not only is the overall setting more spectacular, the performances are more intimate. And instead of lasting a few hours, they last the whole week.

“When you’re onboard with a headline artist or speaker, you may be in a ship theater with a few hundred people. In a traditional arena, it’s usually thousands you are with. Also, on the ships, people often get time with the celebrities for photos, autographs and maybe some personal conversation.”

Jim Tuck, another frequent Inspiration passenger, says people who go with the company’s cruises and tours get the “best Christian teaching and music in the world.”

Of course there’s no way to know the extent to which your Christian travel will uplift your spirit or inform your faith except by taking the plunge and finding out. Many feel travel gives them a new lease on life. After visiting one dream destination, they may even get the itch to cross country after city after island after ocean off their “travel bucket list,” becoming world travelers in the process. The Sistine Chapel?Check.Sailing Mediterranean waters the Apostle Paul did?Yep.Hearing a sermon preached on the Mount of Beatitudes?Unforgettable.Taking in the majestic glaciers of Alaska?Been there; done that; going back.

Faith Travelers’ Top Dream Destination

Ask most any faith traveler about their top dream destination and your likely answer will be Israel, center of the Holy Land region.

Television host and entertainer Kathie Lee Gifford is one such traveler. Earlier this year, she brought a group of family and friends and her “Today” audience to major sites such as Caesarea, the Western Wall, the Dead Sea and Galilee.

From Jerusalem’s famed Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrows)—the path tradition says Jesus walked to his crucifixion site—Kathie Lee said “I have been coming to Israel for 45 years yet it never gets old. It’s a place you can’t even describe; you must experience it for yourself.”

Bob Rist, another frequent Inspiration guest and fan of Israel, said he has never felt anything but safe during his five visits to Israel, and he would not hesitate to go now.

“I still think about the visit we had in the home of an Israeli family on one of our visits,” said Rist.

“We were invited into a home for coffee and conversation with them. One of the things we talked about was how every Israeli must, at age 18, do their time in the armed services. Everyone seems to know what’s going on around them even as they go about their lives. Their communications and security systems are incredible—really the world’s gold standard. They know about a potential problem even before it happens, and their priority is not only their own safety but that of their millions of annual visitors whom they want to protect.”

Take Some Care and Go

While caution is something today’s travelers are advised to pack with them whether they cross oceans or city blocks, recent travel bookings indicate people are definitely pursuing their dreams. Skift, the leading industry intelligence platform, reports 2015 as a record year for American travelers.Nearly 33 million Americans traveled overseas last yearthe highest percentage of them to Europe. According to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, people are taking advantage of a strong dollar and cheaper airline tickets, and they are booking cruises and tours to dream destinations around the globe in record numbers.

“Anything can happen—at home or abroad,” said Rist. “It’s a matter of being vigilant wherever you are. I would not let fear keep me from doing what I have dreamed of for maybe a lifetime, no matter where that may be. The Christian teachers and artists who go with Inspiration on cruises and tours don’t hesitate to go, so I say nobody else should hesitate either. The company is composed of professionals who have many years of experience in guiding travelers to their lifetime experiences. I say seize the moment now and go.”

Today’s faith travelers can take cues from nearly two millennia of spiritual pilgrims who have been moving around the world on their feet, oxcarts and boats to get to their dream destinations and experiences. Have you joined their ranks? Let Inspiration guide you to yours now.

Ruth A Hill
Ruth A Hill has written about the pleasures and industry of travel for over 25 years.
Faith and cultural travel are her special interests.

 

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