There are many ways to honor our departed loved ones, but commemorative travel is not often thought of and can go a long way in helping the bereavement process. Commence your own healing journey with one of these ideas that will surely bring you comfort.
The Hoi An Lantern Festival in Vietnam, The RiSE Festival in Nevada, the Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden’s Lantern Festival in Florida, and Lantern Floating Hawaii in Oahu, involve symbolically “letting go” of loved ones. These lanterns have handwritten messages to the departed on them, and their release at night will surely stir your soul as sparkling communal memories take flight or float away.
Pick a Destination from Their Bucket List
Find out where your loved one always wanted to go but didn’t have the chance to. By taking a trip to your person’s longed-for destination, you are carrying on their legacy in a very special way. You will feel them traveling along with you, as you act as their eyes and bear witness to all the sights on their behalf.
Travel to a Place They Loved with Mutual Friends and Family
Organize a trip to your dearly departed’s favorite vacation spot and celebrate your loved one’s life together. Traveling as a group will help you all grieve together and support each other during a difficult time. Sharing anecdotes while you laugh and cry can help process the loss, and you won’t feel so alone.
Camino de Santiago
People make a pilgrimage on the Camino for many reasons, but a common theme is in memory of a loved one. This transformative physical and spiritual journey through Spain will allow you to take uninterrupted time for meaningful reflection about your relationship with your loved one. Most people take on only part of it, as the entire path is 500 miles and would take 30-40 days to complete. The Camino was originally designed for Catholic pilgrims, but today attracts people from all walks of life and all religions as an escape from modern life and as a bucket list accomplishment.
Dia de los Muertos
Attend this festival in Mexico or South America, and it can be an outlet for your emotions. Celebrants believe that spirits arrive on October 31 and leave on November 2, with November 1 being the main day of celebration. During this time, it is believed that the veil between this life and the next is thinnest, and spirits can easily pass between our world and the afterlife. Instead of a sad day of mourning, Día de los Muertos acknowledges death as a part of life and involves song and dance. Spend it with a Mexican family and see them build an ofrenda (altar), set extra places at the table, exchange stories, and prepare gifts of food and drink for their deceased loved ones.