Some think that in order to travel to a sacred site, where spiritual connections can be made, you have to travel afar, to somewhere like Scotland’s Isle of Skye, Macchu Pichu in Peru, or to the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona in the U.S. These sites are known as places of peace and strength, where incredible miracles have been witnessed, or where the healing force of nature has been displayed in spectacular ways. Tourist websites for these scenic locations praise not only the beauty but the energy that is sometimes actually palpable in such places. But as the book Personal Pilgrimage: One Day Soul Journeys for Busy People points out, a sacred site could be as close as your own backyard. What makes it sacred? According to the book, it’s the intent one has for making a spiritual connection and the experience of that connection while there. For those in recovery, finding spots for contemplation, reflection, journaling, and spiritual connection could make the difference between a day of serenity and one of chaos. Here are five places where you can go for a spiritual boost that won’t cost you a round-trip airplane ticket and an extended hotel stay, but which will let you experience the breathtaking peace: A Place Where Water Flows. Water is known to have healing properties. Is there a pond at your city’s botanical gardens? A stream that flows through a local forest? Is there a fountain in your town square? Where can you go to take a spiritual dip? Sun’s Farewell. Sunset – the time when day draws to an end and the sky fills with pinks, oranges, lavenders and reds. Anywhere you go to witness this miracle will be a place of peace and power. Check out the story of the Hesperides, the three Greek goddesses of sunsets, before you make this personal pilgrimage. Tree Site. Surely there is a magnificent tree somewhere nearby. Whether it’s big and gnarly or small and spindly, a tree is a miracle of life. Find one – at the park down the street? In your own backyard? — and use it as your meditation focal point. Consider its life force and all that it gives. Send back vibrations of appreciation. Inspiration Point. Find a place where creators display their work. An art gallery, perhaps, or a craft fair. Or what about that sculpture in front of the civic center. Consider all that goes into the act of creating, and the personal challenge of showing it to the world and asking for acceptance. Beautiful Benches. Parks, meditation gardens, churches, hiking paths – these are some of the places where you can find unique outdoor benches for rest during contemplative moments. Seek one out. Sit for a few minutes, or a few hours, and clear your mind so that you can feel the healing power of nature and a quiet, spiritual connection. Add your thoughts and comments below and follow us on Facebook!