“A pilgrimage is not simply a matter of getting to a particular shrine or holy place. It is a deliberate sundering and surrender of one’s habitual conditions of comfort, routine, safety, convenience. Unlike the tourist, whose aim is to see things and to travel around in conditions which are as comfortable, secure, familiar, convenient, and unchallenging as possible, the pilgrim breaks with his material servitude, puts his trust in God, and sets out on a quest which is inward as much as outward. In this sense he becomes the image of the spiritual seeker. He removes himself as far as possible from the artificiality within which he is enclosed by his life in society. Of this spiritual exploration, inward and outward, walking is an essential part. His feet tread the earth—the earth from which he is made and from which he is usually so cut off. Through his eyes, ears, nose, he renews his sense of natural beauty. He watches the flight of bird or insect, the ripple of light on leaves, the timeless vistas of the sea; he listens to the song of water, the call of God’s creatures; he breathes in the scent of tree and flower and soil. His feet tire, his body aches, sweat drips from his head and trickles into his eyes and down his neck. He tastes rigor and hardship. But through all this—and only through all this, and through his prayer and dedication and confidence—slowly an inner change is wrought, a new rhythm grows, a deeper harmony. The pilgrimage is at work.”
-Philip Sherrard in "The Paths of Athos”.