As I wrote in my post Are You Ready for Spiritual Travel? Spiritual Travel is…
2. Spiritual Travel: Are You Ready To Go Walkabout in Australia?
To Go Walkabout in Australia is a rite of passage within the Australian Aboriginal society. It is a ritual in which males undergo a journey during their adolescence period; teenagers are sent on a journey to survive on their own for a period of six months. It is a spiritual transition of a young boy into a wise man. The journey connects the people to their heritage and helps them to discover their true selves.
It forms part of a series of posts I have written on Spiritual Travel which is inspired by experiences I have had travelling around the world to destinations that have had a powerful effect on me. As I got older and travelled to more places I realised that the memories of locations that stayed the closest to my heart were those that I would describe as being Spiritual Travel Destinations.
It s hard to describe exactly it is about a location that makes it have this effect on someone, but for that person there is a particular place that seems to speak to their soul. I have numerous that I will mention as I go along in the series but today I was so compelled to write about Spiritual travel experience to Go Walkabout in Australia.
Table of Contents
Where Did Going Walkabout Come From?
To Go Walkabout in Australia is a tradition of Aboriginal society. It is a rite for passage defined as some important ritual or event that brings a major change in the life of the traveller. According to the Aboriginal culture, it is a journey for their boys to undergo during their adolescence period to discover their strength and spirit by living in the wild on their own.
At present, it is just termed as a traveling experience to explore the traditional aboriginal life in Australia . If you want to discover Australia, then going on a journey is your best option to have a close look at the culture of Australia.
Survival is not the only purpose of this practice as it is taken as a journey that allows young people to devote their time to think and discover themselves. Coming of age ceremonies are considered very important among many cultures. It is a journey that can last up to six months, transforming a teenage boy into a wise man.
Where Can You Go Walkabout in Australia?
Wherever your travels may take you, tours are often done for pleasure alone, but going walkabout is a different concept in Australian culture. The landscape of Australia is infamous for its cruel and dangerous environment. It consists of hot regions along with a wide array of poisonous animals and plants of all shapes and sizes. That’s why, going on a walkabout in Australia is really a difficult test – but one that comes with equally significant rewards.
For starters, you will need to know how to hunt and forage for food and how to find shelter to survive the of the hardships of the climate. Or if not, at the very least a guide who can. But, this survival makes a person mentally as well as physically strong for when they return back to daily modern life. It is also the perfect pilgrimage for someone who is seeking to start a new chapter in their lives upon their return home.
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- Spiritual Travel: Are You Ready To Go Walkabout in Australia?To Go Walkabout is a rite of passage within the Australian Aboriginal society. It is a spiritual transition of a young boy into a wise man.
- Pack Your Bags and Get Ready for Spiritual TravelSpiritual Travel is the act of seeking out experiences from around the world that will enrich the soul, broaden the mind and further the health and happiness of the traveller.
Go Walkabout in a Modern World
It is a term used by the aboriginal people of Australia. Australia is an amazing country with a cultural and spiritual history of more than 50,000 years. Aboriginal people were treated badly by the British. They were divided into colonies. Their traditional hunting grounds were taken over, which resulted in destruction or end to their distinctive cultural groups.
Many of them were brutally killed, and others were forced to become slaves for the rest of their lives. Children were separated from their families and forced to study at the residential schools to completely end the Aboriginal culture at large. Learning their own languages was a prohibition at that time. It was an intentional move to erase the traditions of the Aboriginal culture.
It is a way to connect the Aboriginal people to their traditional values that were wiped out. They have a fascinating spiritual yet complex life. Their culture is a beautiful combination of different traditions and ceremonies with noteworthy and exceptional meanings. It proves to be a journey not only to discover the strength to survive but also connects to a civilization of a thousand years old. It is believed that the adolescence period is a difficult time period for young people. Going walkabout practice gives assurance that they will find their place in the adult world.
Is Going Walkabout a Religious Pilgrimage?
Well, yes and no. A pilgrimage is a spiritual journey in search of purpose or meaning for their life. So from this point of view, going walkabout most definitely is a form of pilgrimage. However, it doesn’t need to be undertaken for religious purposes.
Some of the pilgrims wander around without a specific place, but commonly pilgrims seek a commonplace often identified by different religions or their holy books. Pilgrimage leads towards a personal transformation adding purpose to our lives. So in this way, you may want to go Walkabout simply to connect with nature and to the higher power with yourself as part of the wider world.
There could be many reasons to go on a pilgrimage. It doesn’t need to be always based on religious beliefs. One can take it as an interesting activity which allows you to communicate with the people of different cultures and regions. It could be done to enjoy the company of others. It helps to reconnect people to nature and their heritage.
The inheritors of the unique cultures are termed indigenous people. They are strongly connected with their traditions. Although technological inventions changed the lifestyle around the globe, yet some people are proud of their culture and retained their norms. For indigenous people, a walkabout is not only traveling the land but to seek wisdom and meaning of life, connecting them to their real traditions.
For tourists, the main purpose is to explore different places for their own pleasure. They travel around the world for entertainment purposes. They love to communicate and enjoy the company of people from different societies.
Why Would I Want To Go Walkabout?
The traditional adolescence ceremony is still considered very important in some cultures. It is considered as an important part of the identity of a person in the Aboriginal culture. Many boys traditionally undergo this journey. At present many young people want to visit the place, but they are not comfortable traveling on foot, or they cannot spend 6 months on land just to explore the land. People do prefer to travel by road, driving through ancient places. This may not transform them into a strong man physically, but still, it is an important part of their lives.
Aboriginal people fought very hard to hold on to their heritage and taking a walkabout journey proves to be an important ritual for them. Having an actual Aboriginal guide can bring the opportunity to learn the practices used by their children to survive in the wild. Lessons about medicines and foods await in the bushwalks along with the tribal lands.
Visitors learn the skills like mud crab catching and spear throwing. A journey is still important for people to have a close look at their traditions and to connect with them. It helps to reveal your real self and connects you to nature.
What People Say About Going Walkabout as an Experience
It proves to be a very amazing experience of their lives. People say that going on a walkabout helps them to discover themselves. It feels very good to leave your routine life for some time and just enjoy the company of the strangers you meet during the journey. It is difficult to leave your comfort zone, but the hardships of the journey make you stronger than before.
People say that a chosen place tour is a very different and amazing experience as compared to normal traveling. Exploring the other cultures by spending time within their communities could be life-changing for you. Learning different skills amaze you. You start to recognize who you really are.
How Does Going Walkabout Work?
Firstly, as a non-indigenous Australian, you need to seek out a tour operator or specialist guide who can assist you with your quest. As mentioned earlier, Australia is no place to just go wandering about in the Outback. Secondly, Walkabout isn’t simply a hiking expedition, it is a journey of the spirit and that journey needs a qualified guide.
That being said, once you have settled on your preferred guide, you can travel by road or by air to reach your starting destination in Australia. You can contact different travel groups who can assist you with the logistics of the journey.
Things Not to Miss When You Go Walkabout
Walkabout wildlife sanctuary proves to be an amazing experience for foreigners. You can learn many skills like catching mud crabs, throwing spears, meditation, etc. Enjoy telling your story in the form of dot painting. Don’t forget to take the bushwalk slinks through the lands of local tribes.
Tribal people believe that their ancestors created the universe while dreaming, so based on those myths, Dreamtime is a very important part of all the campfires during the whole journey. Enjoy the wattle ice cream during the journey, and you can walk around the civilization having a history of 50000 years. Even today, it connects you to spirituality and the real you.