• Posted:Friday, August 28, 2009
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Go on a backpacking pilgrimage

Posted in: Travel
Go on a backpacking pilgrimage
A new breed of backpackers is emerging, apparently. Gone are the travelling motivations of old - "sun, sand and suds" is no longer the main driving force behind flying off to pastures new. These days, it's all about spiritual journeys - going to another country to find yourself is the name of the travelling game. They're that popular in fact that the director of the National Trust for Scotland, Lester Borley, recently declared that going on a pilgrimage to a sacred place has become the most often-cited motive for going away.

There are various places around the world that are havens for people wanting to experience both cheap travel and the more meaningful aspects of a place. (And no, I'm not talking about the bar). Ireland, for example, has its very own mythical mountain - Croagh Patrick - which is where Saint Patrick is thought to have fasted and prayed for 40 days. There's also the island's most famous prehistoric site, Newgrange, and an ancient monastery that was founded in 545 by Saint Ciaran, both of which might be of interest to those seeking to add more meaning to their lives.

Of course, a blog on pilgrimages wouldn't be complete without a mention of India, the beacon for all hippy-ish travellers the world over. While there, make sure you visit the ancient Hindu temples, shop in the 600-year-old marketplace and meet Mother Amma, the Hugging Saint.

While in India, an elephant safari might also be appealing. Indian Adventure states that riding around on pachyderms can mean you'll get to see a lot more of the countryside, as lots of places are inaccessible by jeep.ADNFCR-2435-ID-19337531-ADNFCR
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