The concept of Pilgrimage has been around since really the beginning of recorded history. Abraham called on God to begin a new life, Moses and the children of Israel left Egypt in the hopes of the promised land, the Magi sought out Christ, the biblical accounts can go on and on. The last 2000 years have added many new routes and destination, opportunities and people to seek out, and as many reasons to go on pilgrimage as their are pilgrims.
The word “pilgrimage” literal translation is “through the land”. It implies a journey, seeking out a predetermined destination, with a specific reason. It is movement of some kind. It may be to walk in the footsteps of a Saint, to seek a spiritual experience, to change something in your life, to seek out a miracle of healing, to discover something new. It involves a committment and a desire to be transformed. The question remains unanswered as to whether a pilgrimage must physically take you somewhere, or whether you can take an internal pilgrimage without leaving where you currently are. I honestly don’t believe you have to travel to Europe and walk the Camino de Santiago to go on a pilgrimage, I honestly believe you just have to have a desire in your heart to make a change, to reach a destination, to come back from that space changed.
So how do you know when it is the right time to go on a pilgrimage? I honestly do not think there is a wrong time. After all isn’t life ultimately just one long journey to our final destination?