Provider: Journeys of the Spirit
Price: from $1,795
Spiritual travel—travel that combines visiting a destination regarded as sacred with time spent focusing on one's inner spirit—has grown in popularity recently, and has, not surprisingly, become a prominent theme of many women's-only tours. One well-regarded spiritual tour company, Journeys of the Spirit, offers more than a dozen itineraries annually to sites such as Machu Picchu in Peru and the Pyramids of Egypt, and has a few women-only departures.
"We travel to beautiful places like most other travel organizations but unlike them we focus hours of time working with people on their spiritual journey," says former physician Sheri Rosenthal, who started the company several years ago. "Our trips aren't just about having a guide to visit sacred sites, but having a teacher who can actually assist students in transcending their ego-mind and fear-based thoughts so they can come home to their personal life and make positive choices."
A typical Journeys of the Spirit trip will include visits to sacred sites, spiritual sessions with Sheri (now a trained spiritual teacher) or other instructor, personal meditation, and time with the group. You'll focus on matters such as self-discovery, overcoming outside pressures, and finding happiness in life.
"The trip was wonderful," says Melanie Hobbs, president of an Indiana-based consulting company, who went on Journeys of the Spirit to Baja this past year. "[The spiritual sessions on this trip] taught me that I could do things for myself that I never believed to be possible—to live without fear, act from love, and stop being so judgmental. I feel so blessed to have had an experience that keeps me moving forward, not to mention having had a wonderful and relaxing vacation. How many times do we get all of this in a single trip?"
The next Journeys of the Spirit women's retreat is a seven-day trip to Santorini, Greece, scheduled for next June. During your stay on Santorini, you'll spend the morning hours working with a teacher or as a group on spiritual growth and the afternoons exploring the island, learning about its past as a center of ancient Greek civilization. There's plenty of time for personal reflection and meditation, too.
The trip price listed above is based on the 2007 rate; the 2008 cost is expected to go up slightly. Prices include accommodations, breakfast, spiritual sessions, ground transportation and transportation from and to Athens, the trip start point. Lunch and dinner, optional excursions, and airfare to Athens are extra. Round-trip flights from New York next June start at $680 plus taxes on Air France.