Pilgrimage in its truest sense is religiously motivated travel for the purpose of meeting and experiencing God with hopes of being shaped and changed by that encounter. -- Rev. Dr. Arthur Paul Boers, The Way is Made by Walking: A Pilgrimage Along the Camino de Santiago
Pilgrimage is not the same as tourism; here are some of the differences:
The group has been working for nearly two years planning this trip. All the teens have fund-raised their costs; we have worked together as a group to build individual and team skills; we used a rigorous process of discernment to choose the destination and activities; and now we are ready to travel and be transformed as a group.
While discerning the best destination to meet all our needs, it became very apparent that we all shared this: we feel closest to our Creator when we are in the middle of undisturbed creation. Although we considered a number of more traditional pilgrimage destinations, Alaska alone offered the huge opportunities to feel and see the full force of Nature, and thus to feel and see God.
I don’t think it is enough appreciated how much an outdoor book the Bible is. It is a book open to the sky. It is best read and understood outdoors, and the farther outdoors the better. Passages that within walls seem improbable or incredible, outdoors seem merely natural. What the Bible might mean, or how it could mean anything, in a closed, air-conditioned building, I do not know. – Wendell Berry