Our immersive, one-of-a-kind, communal journeys into the peoples, realities, and cultures of conflict/post-conflict spaces offer the kind of experiential learning that can transform us—both personally and systemically.
Our trips invite you to explore the rich history and vibrant cultures of the places we visit—Telos trips leave participants with new knowledge of complex conflicts and a deeper understanding of their own story.
CONNECT WITH OTHERS
At Telos, we believe in the power of lived experience. Our people-centered approach means we carefully and actively listen to a diverse array of stories and experiences on every trip. Connect with people from all walks of life and leave with a deeper understanding that will challenge you into new ways of engaging the world’s most intractable conflicts.
Our trips do not start and end in one place, and neither will you. As peacemakers, we believe that our individual agency, along with our lived experiences, can transform the people and systems around us as we are transformed ourselves. Join a Telos trip and accept the call to the radical life of peacemaking.
“My Telos experiences continue to transform my understanding and thinking about peacemaking. I realize the conflict is more complicated and layered than most Americans believe. It has and continues to inform my ability to have conversations with people about the conflict. It also inspires me to consider how I might be a peacemaker in my family, community, and nation.”
Ray Kollbacker, 2019
WHERE DOES TELOS GO?
We offer trips to Israel/Palestine, the U.S. South (ReStory US) and are currently expanding our programming to South Africa, Puerto Rico, and Ireland. Telos hosts both solo travelers and groups. Take a look at more comprehensive descriptions of our trip programming below and apply today!
Our “telos”–or ultimate purpose–is the mutual flourishing of all Palestinians and Israelis. Our immersive experiences connect you to the cultures, histories and lived realities of both Palestinians and Israelis, with an emphasis on inspirational peacemakers.
You and your group will come away not simply with a deeper understanding of the multiple Israeli and Palestinian narratives that shape the modern-day “Holy Land,” but also equipped to meaningfully work for change, should you choose to do so.
As peacemakers, we know the importance and value of interrogating our own story. Our trip to the American South explores our nation’s history—its triumphs, tragedies, and omissions.
In a time of division and polarization, Telos’ “American Pilgrimage” explores how the seeds of our division were sown at the noble yet contradictory beginning of our American story. But it also connects you to the leaders and visionaries building the Beloved Community in some of the most difficult places, giving you the opportunity to come alongside them while learning to become a peacemaker in your own context too.
We currently offer immersive experiences in Israel/Palestine and in the US South. We’ve also developed experiences in Ireland/Northern Ireland and South Africa. Other locations, including Puerto Rico, are still in development.
How much do your trips cost?
Per-person trip costs vary widely, starting at about $2,500 USD per person. Some high end experiences cost many times that. Group size, hotel/meal standard and the length of stay all affect the price. Many organizations and groups value the care of Telos community experiences and work with us to make these transformation experiences accessible to their communities.
Why would I choose to join a Telos trip over regular, more affordable pilgrimage trips?
On a Telos trip, you won’t just be bussed around from museum to tourist attraction. Instead, you will get to immerse yourself in the local culture. Meaningfully engage extraordinary people. Sample local cuisine—regardless of the standard of your trip. Each trip is created specifically for your group and includes a variety of exchanges with local community leaders, as well as world-class pedagogy from your Telos trip leader. Both you and our partners are at the center of the experience, meaning that it’s important that all of the local partners you meet with are appropriately compensated for their time. The trip pricing accounts for all these expenses and staff time.
Why do we offer such a premium, unique experience at such a low cost?
We see the trips as a critical first step to transforming our world–and the conflict areas you visit. We’re not a travel agency; we’re a peacemaking organization. We expect many of our alumni to go on and become consequential peacemakers–both in their own communities and in relation to the issue-areas you’ve engaged with. Thus, we aim to make these experiences available to as many people as possible.
Please click here if you’d like to donate to a travel fund, which helps people with significant influence or people with passion but who could not otherwise afford such an experience to travel with us.
What is included in the cost?
Hotel accomodation, all meals and non-alcoholic beverages, transfer to/from the airport and all internal transportation, driver and guides (including tips), site entrances, speaker honorarium and Telos coordination and facilitation.
What is excluded in the cost?
Airfare, requisite health and travel insurance, gifts, additional gratuities, personal items, incidentals, and anything not mentioned in “included” above. Also any additional nights due to flight itineraries or unforeseen changes to flights.
Where will we travel and what is on the itinerary?
Each Telos trip is a unique experience tailored to the specific group and their requests. We travel to multiple locations and meet with a variety of different people on every trip, in every location. Sample itineraries are included below:
Please contact us if you would like to organize a trip for your community.
How long are the trips and can I join for part of it?
The trips to Israel/Palestine and the US South range between 6-8 nights on the ground. As the trip is an immersive group experience we require participants to arrive on the same day in time for the welcome dinner on the first night and depart after the farewell dinner on the last night.
Can I join a trip as an individual or do I need to be a part of a community?
Our change theory focuses on building communities of peacemakers, therefore our trips are generally designed for groups who come from the same community. If you are a church pastor or a community leader that would like to bring a group, please contact us. If you are an individual or a couple that has heard about Telos and would like to join another trip please contact us and we can determine if there is a relevant group for you to join.
Is it safe to travel on these trips?
Safety of our participants is our number one priority. We have deep, ongoing relationships with all our local partners, and we have security protocols in place. Yet we do travel exclusively to places with active conflict, which we believe is necessary if we are ever to learn how to engage and positively transform conflict. All participants must sign liability waivers acknowledging these risks.
Can I bring my children? What’s the minimum age?
It is possible for children 16+ to join the delegation, however parents should be aware that there are some experiences that may be challenging and require a high-level of maturity. Additionally, we require parents or guardians to be responsible for minors as participants on the trip.
How physically demanding is the trip?
The trip involves a lot of walking and long days with multiple meetings/tours. We do our best to cater to all ages and abilities, so please be in touch if you have specific concerns.
What dietary options are available on the trip?
On a Telos trip, we make sure that you get to sample a wide variety of some of the most delicious local cuisines. We can cater to vegetarians, vegans and most food allergies. Prior to the trip we will ask for your dietary requirements–but please let us know as soon as possible about any medical issues so we can do our best to accommodate your needs.
Is travel even possible with COVID-19?
At this time we ask travelers to be patient and flexible as the situation is fairly unpredictable. We are following all news and daily health updates on COVID-19, to keep you in the know about potential closures or restrictions. For entry into Israel and to join a Telos US South trip, travelers are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. For all information on entry into Israel please visit the Israeli health ministry website. It is also wise to purchase flights that can be changed or refunded, as dates might be shifted if the health situation does not allow for safe travel.
We’ll be visiting vulnerable communities. Will we be welcome there? And is this poverty tourism?
This is a great question. As aspiring peacemakers, the last thing we want to do is further harm or extract from already marginalized communities. When you travel with Telos, you’ll be joining a community of connected individuals, working to transform our world. We have deep and long partnerships with communities on the ground, ensuring they have a say in how our programming is designed and executed. We make sure to offer significant honoraria to all speakers. And we encourage our alumni to become increasingly active after the trip by deepening relationships with new partners, helping to fund projects, exercising their political voice. Our aim is two fold: to uplift the incredible peacemakers you will meet on the ground and to equip you to join them in doing the impossible: transforming seemingly intractable conflict into an oasis of mutual flourishing.
If you are preparing to travel with Telos, we highly recommend taking a careful look at our compiled selection of books, films, short articles, and other resources below.