I know several people who have made pilgrimages and/or entered monastic life. The pilgrimages were to Rome and the Holy Land. They are done in a group and are led by a priest.<br />
There are different kinds of monastic life with varying forms and degrees of asceticism. The Redemptorists on the Orkney Islands, for example, run a self sustaining community, arise at different hours during the night for community prayer and live in isolation from the world.
Perseverer- I would love to hear more! My fiance and I have always wanted to do this. Maybe after our kids are grown, we will get the chance. But I find this incredibly fascinating.