R is for Ritual- Your GTG’s Guide to Rituals in Travel

Happy Gregorian New Year Globetrotters from a balmy East Coast of Australia. While many of us are setting or attempting our New Year’s resolutions or attempting to figure out what went wrong in 2018 and how we can set ourselves on track for 2019, your GTG couldn’t help but think about all the rituals that go along with travel.

Firstly, what exactly is a ritual? The Oxford Dictionary’s definition is below.


Having read that, you may or may not now see where your GTG is going with this, so let’s go into a little more detail.

Rituals prior to departure

Some Globetrotters may have a special way they always pack their bags, a favorite cafe to go to for a last coffee before leaving, an update or countdown that they share on social media or any number of repetitive behaviours. Taking a photo beside the departure gate at an airport is a classic farewell gesture that many also partake in. While perhaps not strictly religious, these behaviours carry many of the same principles as rituals.

Rituals while away

Some people like to always visit the national museum, national gallery or most significant cultural site when they arrive in a country. Others might have a set amount of time they spend in each place they visit. In some cases, rituals like going for a morning run are rituals that people carry out at home but bring with them wherever they travel. Personally I like to keep a travel diary and collect a postcard from each place I visit where possible to help me remember a trip in detail long after I’ve returned home.

So what do these rituals do?

Rituals are designed to mark life-changing moments and special occasions in our lives. So using rituals to mark travel seems quite fitting. Rituals provide us with a sense of challenge, comfort and structure at times where we are faced with the unknown. These can give us the confidence to go beyond our comfort zones and also the reflection to consider the meaning and impact of these experiences.

Whether or not we know it or realise it, rituals are part of our everyday lives and the way we travel. Your GTG encourages you to explore the rituals you practise and learn about how they help or shape your experience. As always, your GTG is keen to hear what you’ve discovered. You can share your travel rituals (or other feedback) using the contact form below. Til next time.