Laura’s tours are known for being off-the-beaten-track, focused on the local culture, and up close and personal. If you are looking for a sterile, pristine, comfortable journey, this is not it. You have to get out of your comfort zone to grow. This will change you. It will rattle you. And when you shake the dust off and things settle, you will see that you had the opportunity to open yourself up to a new version of you. Will you take it?
In 1998, I set out for Cairo, Egypt on what would become my first sacred travel journey. Although most of us begin with the intention of meeting the divine either within ourselves or somewhere “out there,” this particular journey snuck up on me and touched off a passion for sacred travel that has never waned. Spiritual travel disrupts my complacency, gently (or sometimes insistently) nudges me towards growth, and enlightens my soul. Different places have different energy so the exploration never ends. It’s been a grand adventure that I’ve had the pleasure to share with others since hosting my first tour in 1999. If you are ready to begin your exploration, email me for information about my next group tour. ~Laura Giles
Sacred travel is simply going to a destination with the consciousness, openness, and the intention to fully experience what is there. There is usually a hope of transformation. That wish is generally fulfilled.
One traveler called it “ninja therapy” because it’s a bit like being thrown in a blender with all your “stuff.” New things are added. The top is left off and the motor comes on. Everything mixes up. Some stuff spills out. In the end, you can decide to clean up the mess or put it all back in, but it is never the same as when you started. You get quick shifts that don’t happen in ordinary life.
What Makes a Place “Sacred?”
Truly all places are sacred. The spark of the Creator is in all things; however, leaving behind the mundane often prepares us for transformation. Being in a new environment provokes us to pay attention so we see things that we may not see at home.
Our chosen destinations tend to be those with a reputation for metamorphosis and healing. They are the sites of miracles, places of extreme tranquility or beauty, or have a high vibrational frequency. They also tend to be places where I’ve been before and have a strong local connection so that I can take you off the beaten path and offer more than the cookie cutter tour. I’m always on the look out for hidden surprises. (For example, past groups have attended a wedding, been invited to eat dinner with a local family, met local celebrities, and ate at an indescribable local haunt that no tourist would ever discover. We’ve gotten private tours of closed sites and many special, unadvertised perks like that).
What Can I Expect on a Sacred Travel Journey?
No two people are alike. No two journeys are alike. All I can say is that when I travel, I tend to get exactly what I most need. Sometimes this is pleasant. Sometimes, when I am in a state of resistance, it is not. In the big picture, it’s always for my highest good.
What does this look like? It could be about letting go of something (a person, job, belief, etc.) that has outgrown its usefulness. It could be about exposing our limitations or prejudices so that we can release them. It could be about experiencing bliss, creativity, or inspiration. It is almost always about exposing your truth and being in a state of love.
Tour size is always limited to about 10 – 16 so you will always have time for personal attention should you need it.
Well, that’s the mysterious part, isn’t it? My theory is that your intention, your energy, the energy of the site, and the energy of the group creates your experience. If you have a desire to find love, your experience may show you all the barriers you have to love. Or it may be about showing you all the love you already have. Or it may be about helping you to grieve and let go of a past love or limiting self-belief that is preventing any new love from coming in. Sometimes it awakens a past life memory of something that is unfinished and gives you a chance to complete old business.
In power places, the energy of the site can lift and align yours to such a degree that the change is physical. I’ve stood in places with such high energy that I’ve burst into tears, been overcome with emotion, felt myself splitting apart, felt myself merging with everything and everyone, or just been overcome with a sense of overwhelming peace. It is truly extraordinary. This extraordinary experience makes the ordinary somehow brighter and more alive.
Has Anyone Ever Gotten “Nothing”?
There have been people who don’t see the beauty, abundance, and opportunity before them. Some choose to complain about the things that are uncommon or uncomfortable. They may feel that they’ve gotten “nothing.” The way I see it is that everything is as it should be. They got the opportunity to see things differently and chose not to accept it at that time. It’s not “wasted.” The lesson will come back around. And I am sure there are others in the group who got something out of observing this. Sacred travel groups tend to have a wonderful synchronicity about them. We don’t come together by accident. We all can learn from each other.
It is a spiritual adventure although not necessarily a religious one – even when we are visiting places like churches or mosques. My tours do not cater to any particular faith. Love is universal.
If you are ready to journey to your inner world, check under this tab for upcoming adventures. I look forward to sharing my passion with you.
You can journey to sacred sites and see pretty things or, if you have a passion for self-exploration and growth, you can go with me. I promise, you will not return home the same.
Is This A Good Fit For You?
Most tours are a bit athletic. There is a lot of walking. You need to be relatively fit. We tend to spend a lot of time outdoors in the weather. If you are frail, have a weak immune system, or no stamina, this is not for you.
You need to have a sense of adventure. The culture is different. The land is different. The point is to get out of your comfort zone.
Laura’s first tour was dubbed “The Jolly Group” by the Nile cruise captain. Laura quickly realized it wasn’t simply due to the magic of Egypt, but to her! Laughing is contagious. You may find yourself bursting with happiness and seeing beauty in things you didn’t notice before – mainly yourself!
Laura is a therapist. She encourages opening up and feeling. If you fall apart or need some help integrating your new discoveries, she’s here to support your process or put you back together. (In fact, all attendees may have a free session either on tour, beforehand, or afterward to facilitate letting go and expansion). Healing requires energy. It sometimes means letting go of pain. You won’t have to do it alone.
You will be with people you have never met before. This doesn’t mean you have to be an extrovert. It just means that you will have people with you who will serve as mirrors for what you need to see within yourself. You will have people whom you form intense bonds with because they shared an intensely personal experience with you. These bonds may last a lifetime.
The tour is going to be loose. Things always happen on a sacred travel journey that aren’t planned. The “accidents” tend to be the juiciest parts. We’re going to go with the flow. If you need to feel, feel. If you want to need to sing, cry, or shut down, it’s your time to do you. That’s our only agenda. Let go and let God.
Still not sure? You can shoot Laura an email or check out what others have said (below). If you don’t feel sure, don’t come. It’s probably not for you. If you can’t wait, register today!
“I’m a believer in the power of your tours. One of the reasons why I have been inviting people to your trips is exactly due to the unique feeling it left me from my first experience so its just natural I want people I love to experience it too.” C.S, VA ’15
“The most informative, life changing tour I have ever experienced! I was given all the head information that was required, and had not realized the extent my heart would be moved, changed, uplifted and shifted into a new reality. Everyday in England was a shock to preconceived notions, and I spent so much time processing and allowing the changes to flow. It is difficult to explain all that went on during this tour, I just know I am changed for the betterment of my heart, my spirit and all phases of my health!” J.E., MO, ’15
“I would like to thank you so much for your kindness… We had a wonderful time in Cairo, too short and we will come back.” ~ Birgit, Zimbabwe ‘04
“I had no idea Laura knew so many people, but I can see how. Everyone is so friendly! This was way better than going on a commercial tour. I felt like I experienced everything and got to connect with the land and the people. A Nile cruise, two birthday parties, two weddings, and six marriage proposals- wow! Unforgettable. Go, and have a great experience too!” ~ Lisa, Rhode Island USA ‘04
“The key to having fun in Egypt is… opening your mind to the vastly different culture, breathing in the beauty of Cairo and the people! If someone asked if I should go to Egypt, my advice would be … GO! GO! GO! Take a backpack, good walking shoes and a sense of adventure! I enjoyed my trip to Egypt so much, I started saving for the next one before we departed the airport in Cairo to come home!! My only regret is that sleep interfered with my shopping and touring!” ~Gameela, VA ’06
“Egypt, you take everything: my control, my contacts, my cohesion, my comprehension… At the same time, you give everything: majesty, wonder, intensity, companionship… I also cried when I first saw you, and when I left, because I knew I’d never be the same without you. You taught me take care of myself and to let go… I believe only Laura could open the doors to: buying scarves at Hussein’s, ordering the best, hardest-won costumes, “trekking” through the Khan, dancing in a workshop with Raqia Hassan in the middle of the night in evening clothes, riding in taxis that made me call on Jesus, and so many other things. I was never really scared, though, and I think people who have this impression are wrong and should not let this idea stand in their way of the trip of a lifetime. These were opportunities that had to be taken as soon as they were offered, for fear that they would not come around again. Insh’allah, we will have this chance again.” ~Zuleika, VA ’06
“Touring with Laura is like touring with a well-connected native. Seemingly effortlessly, Laura pulls together the sights, people and places you want to see. “Tourist” destinations are included, but most everything has an “off the beaten path” perspective you won’t often find on crowded buses with overworked tour guides. Touring with belly dancers was also very fulfulling, as our goals meshed well. How else would we have convinced our guide to take us to a local music store to clean out their DVD collection instead of touring the Egyptian Museum?” ~Samira, VA ’06
“I loved the non-stop go go go go pace. If felt like we were there for two weeks. I loved having everyday crammed full!! I also want to thank you (Laura) for your patience, stamina, and afro-senses! Your guidance and knowledge made the trip an experience of a lifetime. I feel so fortunate to have met you and so blessed to have been invited to participate in this adventure.” ~Aisha,WV ’06