cover image Are We There Yet? Travel as a Spiritual Practice

Are We There Yet? Travel as a Spiritual Practice

Shefa Gold. Ben Yehuda, $14.95 trade paper (106p) ISBN 978-1-934730-72-0

Gold (Torah Journeys), a Reconstructionist Jewish rabbi and composer, shares mystical thoughts inspired by her travels in this pleasant and imaginative work. “I wrote this book to explain what it means to make traveling a practice,” she notes. Enthralled by the sliver of wilderness behind the New Jersey home she grew up in, Gold thought that “being an explorer was my identity” and, as early as possible, began travelling to far-flung locales: the Amazon, Greece, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, and elsewhere. For her, each place opened up new space for her to face deeply rooted fears, as when she confronts her fear of war during a train ride through the German countryside and her sense of purification while floating down the Colorado River. New places are also way stations on her spiritual “pilgrimage of self-discovery,” which she facilitates by keeping meticulous journals. Gold is a reflective traveler and provides aphorisms: “My rule of travel is twofold: Bring blessing wherever you go, and receive the blessing of the place.” Readers looking for a straightforward travelogue won’t find one here, but those open to tales from a travel guide with an idiosyncratic itinerary will get much out of tucking this into their luggage. (Feb.)