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Riding the buses » Spiritual travel

Taking a mid-life gap year to see the world

Taking a mid-life gap year to see the world

Debra Lynkowski and her partner, Marc Archambault, were at the peak of their careers when they decided to sell their house, find a temporary home for their cats, and spend 8 months traveling around the … Read entire article »

On the lookout for Alice Munro

On the lookout for Alice Munro

Was that Alice Munro, the highly acclaimed “master of the contemporary short story” and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, eating dinner at a ‘rib restaurant’ in Goderich? It all started a couple of weeks … Read entire article »

Tirumala Venkateswara, the busiest temple in the world

Tirumala Venkateswara, the busiest temple in the world

Ron Perrier, a retired Canadian physician, visited this Hindu “Temple of Seven Hills”  earlier this year and shares his experience. On to Tamil Nadu (pop 85 million), the southernmost state in India. On the way I … Read entire article »

Rishikesh, the place of sages, India

Rishikesh, the place of sages, India

The city of Rishikesh is in the foothills of the Himalayas, 240 km north of Delhi. It is on the Ganges River, surrounded on three sides by mountain ranges. Rishikesh is a pilgrim and spiritual … Read entire article »

A spiritual journey for Jenna

A spiritual journey for Jenna

Editorial: I was helping a long-time family friend reorganize her garden the other day and in front of a newly planted tree she created a small memorial to her daughter, Jenna, who was killed in a … Read entire article »

Amritsar, home to Sikhism’s holiest shrine

Amritsar, home to Sikhism’s holiest shrine

The city of Amritsar is in the Punjab in northwest India, very close to the Pakistan border. It is an affluent state and the majority of people are Sikh. Unlike some Indian cities, there are … Read entire article »

Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India?

Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India?

Varanasi, located on the banks of the Ganges River, is one of the holiest cities in India. Hindus from all over the world come here to bathe in the purifying waters.  Wide steps called ghats … Read entire article »

Prambanan Temple, a huge Hindu complex in Java

Prambanan Temple, a huge Hindu complex in Java

Java is the most populous island in Indonesia and the majority of people there now practice Islam. At one time, however, Buddhism and Hinduism were widespread and there are two temples on the island that … Read entire article »

Borobudur Temple, Java, one of the world’s great Buddhist monuments

Borobudur Temple, Java, one of the world’s great Buddhist monuments

One of the reasons foreign tourists go to Yogyakarta in central Java, Indonesia is to visit the Borobudur Temple, which is 42 km outside the city. Borobudur Temple, one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the … Read entire article »

Visiting the Tirtha Empul Temple during the full moon

Visiting the Tirtha Empul Temple during the full moon

What is Tirtha Empul? Tirtha Empul is one of the most important Hindu temples in Bali. It is in the village of Tampaksiring, about 18 km north of Ubud. In English it is called the Holy … Read entire article »

Should you “vote with your feet” and skip the Besakih Temple in Bali?

Should you “vote with your feet” and skip the Besakih Temple in Bali?

The Mother Temple of Bali may be the most important temple on the whole island but foreign visitors increasingly skip it because it’s not worth the hassle. “This place is run by gangsters, ” says … Read entire article »

The Day of Silence when Bali shuts its door

The Day of Silence when Bali shuts its door

When I first heard about Nyepi I didn’t quite get it. Like there is a day in Bali when everything shuts down and no one is allowed in or out? Seaports and airports are closed … Read entire article »

Ta Prohm (and the other Angkor temples!)

Ta Prohm (and the other Angkor temples!)

Everyone seems to know about Angkor, that archaeological wonder in the jungles of Cambodia where so many temples have been restored. The most famous are probably the Temple of Angkor Wat and the Bayon Temple … Read entire article »

The alms ceremony in Luang Prabang, Laos

The alms ceremony in Luang Prabang, Laos

Early every morning in much of Southeast Asia monks can be seen out on the roads collecting alms. This is an ancient, religious tradition and those who give alms earn merit for their next life. … Read entire article »

The spirit houses of Thailand

The spirit houses of Thailand

Outside virtually every house and building in Thailand there is a miniature structure that looks like a little temple or old style Thai house. This is where the spirits that inhabit that particular plot of … Read entire article »

Monk spotting in Thailand

Monk spotting in Thailand

Where most men spend at least a short time in the robes I had just arrived in Thailand and in fact was leaving the Bangkok airport when I spotted my first Buddhist monk. He was dressed … Read entire article »

In Todos Santos, all the saints are celebrated on Nov. 1

In Todos Santos, all the saints are celebrated on Nov. 1

Don’t bring a suitcase on wheels,” my daughter Jessica told me. “You’ll never be able to pull it up the hill to the house”. When I got off the bus in Todos Santos, a village in … Read entire article »

Spiritual Journeys

Spiritual Journeys

Editorial: A pilgrimage is described as a journey to a site that has special spiritual powers or significance. The person who makes the journey is called a pilgrim. India is known for its pilgrimage sites and … Read entire article »

Walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela

Walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela

Jessica Sunter walked this famous 780 km pilgrimage route, starting in France and reaching Santiago de Compostela 40 days later. She walked every step of the way. Question: What is the Camino de Santiago de Compostela? Answer: … Read entire article »