We are delighted to tell you about our Celtic Journeys to some of the most magical places on this earth - the Holy Island of LINDISFARNE, IRELAND, WALES, CORNWALL, and SCOTLAND. Our trips continue to be a source of learning, fun, inspiration and enjoyment for countless people who have gone with us, again and again. For many, the trips are a kind of pilgrimage, for some an opportunity to return to their roots, and for others it is simply a vacation...
Being on one of our Celtic Journeys is like an adventure of the spirit! There is always the possibility of the unexpected on these trips, along with a hint of mystery. The basic itinerary is certainly followed, yet we allow time for special stops along the way. You can certainly expect a few surprises!
Each destination we explore has a detailed itinerary, for future trips as well as recent ones.
Often the itineraries are similar, so if you missed going with us, you can get a sense of what the next trip will be like by simply reading through the day to day diary. You might also like to see our PHOTO GALLERY, with pictures of each country visited.
Why not take some time to meander through the pages that follow? Enjoy...
A participant once said that this was really what he called ‘transformative travel'... and we believe it is, to be sure.
People first arrive on these trips with a litany of expectations. As the group organizer, I encourage everyone to have a ‘wish list', especially at the beginning of each journey. One of our ‘pilgrims'
(I believe it was a Scotland trip) said she wanted to see a rainbow. She indeed saw a rainbow… and another, and another!
...perhaps it could be a thatched roof cottage, or a Highland Cow, or possibly hearing bagpipes in the distance...
We try to create a kind of rhythm for the journey, with the pace relaxed and unhurried. We want each person to enjoy the experience, maybe stepping aside for reflection as well as being in the midst of the group. Whether it is riding on the coach, or exploring on your own… there is time for listening to the silence of the mountains, walking along sandy beaches, hiking through wooded paths, or sitting by the water's edge.
One of the joys of this kind of travel is that we usually try to keep the number of participants to no more than 15. We usually stay in family run guesthouses or small hotels, the hospitality warm and friendly. There might be a fire going, or perhaps afternoon tea served! In no time you will feel like it is home away from home…
A folder is given to each participant at the beginning of the trip, with a map, details of the places we are going, and supplemental readings. There is the opportunity to learn not only from this material, but from the professionals who are our guides along the way. Educational booklets are also available at most places we visit. Hence, for clergy, our trips can certainly be under the umbrella of ‘extended education'.
Pilgrimage has long been a part of the Celtic psyche. Sacred mountains, stones and trees, revered islands and holy wells have all inspired poets and beckoned would-be pilgrims. Pilgrimages to sacred sites continue today in the British Isles and Ireland, some maintaining an unbroken tradition dating back over 2,000 years to pre-Christian times. Visitors can sense the animae loci (spirits of place) still residing in these sacred sites. For many, this experience is one of "coming home", where there is a deep connectedness, where inner and outer realities converge. Have you ever had the experience of being somewhere when time stood still? The light seemed almost unearthly, and you felt transported from the here and now. In the Celtic tradition these moments are often called ‘thin places', where there is a thin veil between the worldly as we know it, and the divine. We experience many such moments on our trips…
We hope you can join us on one of our very special Celtic Journeys… It just might be an opportunity of a lifetime, to see and experience the unique and truly enchanting beauty of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall. We assure you that it will be an unforgettable experience, hopefully an adventure of the spirit for you. You may return tired, yet refreshed… and perhaps transformed.
Come with us… you won't regret it!
Some afterthoughts from previous participants ….
“It was a trip of a lifetime”
“Well paced tour. I returned refreshed. I felt comfortable not doing everything… I could make choices.”
“Ireland was awesome!!! So much beauty. Now I know why it is called the Emerald Isle.”
“A very special experience with time for reflection, relaxation and fun.”
“Spectacular scenery, wonderful companions, great food, and lovely accommodations.”
“When standing in the middle of the courtyard of one of the castles,
I felt transported to the 15th or 16th century! I could almost hear the sound of the horses' hooves pounding the earth…”
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Celtic Journeys is sponsored by the Community of St. John Baptist, an Episcopal religious order for women in Mendham, New Jersey.
Since 1999, these trips have been organized by Sr Margo.