The Cheltenham Literature Festival (and a Bonus Book Review of Travels With a Stick)

The email came as a surprise. “I am getting in touch to invite you to this year’s Cheltenham for a panel event about modern pilgrimages.” “This year’s Cheltenham”…as in the Cheltenham Literature Festival, in Cheltenham, England. The oldest festival of its kind in the world, Cheltenham is a big deal. It draws tens of thousands of people … More The Cheltenham Literature Festival (and a Bonus Book Review of Travels With a Stick)

The Pilgrim Statue of Astorga (#CaminoTuesday)

Over on Twitter, the hashtag #CaminoTuesday is becoming a thing. Someone (I don’t know who) announces a new theme every week, and people post their photos and stories that fit. Today’s theme is “modern statuary and sculpture,” of which there are plenty of examples along the way. But for some reason, this previously unpublished photo from my … More The Pilgrim Statue of Astorga (#CaminoTuesday)

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Holloways

If you’ve walked the Camino de Santiago, you’ve likely encountered a holloway, though you may not know it. According to Atlas Obscura: “Appearing like trenches dragged into the earth, sunken lanes, also called hollow-ways or holloways, are centuries-old thoroughfares worn down by the traffic of time. They’re one of the few examples of human-made infrastructure … More Almost Wordless Wednesday: Holloways

The Passionate Man’s Pilgrimage (An Almost Wordless Wednesday)

      Give me my scallop shell of quiet, My staff of faith to walk upon, My scrip of joy, immortal diet, My bottle of salvation, My gown of glory, hope’s true gage, And thus I’ll take my pilgrimage.   — The Passionate Man’s Pilgrimage by Sir Walter Ralegh (click here to read the full … More The Passionate Man’s Pilgrimage (An Almost Wordless Wednesday)

Why Your Friends at Home Don’t Care About Your Camino

When I came back from my first long hike on the Camino de Santiago, friends and family would politely ask, “how was your trip?” If you, too, have walked part of the Camino or come home from some other big adventure, you understand the dilemma. I could give a short, trite, insufficient answer. It was … More Why Your Friends at Home Don’t Care About Your Camino

New Podcast with Out There: On Being a Secular Pilgrim and a Non-Outdoorsy Hiker

Need something to listen to on these long winter nights (especially for those of you in the Pacific Northwest, facing another week of being snowed in*)? My interview with Out There Podcast about walking a thousand miles on the Camino de Santiago released this week. Last December, a radio producer came to my apartment and held a … More New Podcast with Out There: On Being a Secular Pilgrim and a Non-Outdoorsy Hiker

Is Walking the Camino Going to be the Status Symbol of 2019?

When people ask me why I took a three-month sabbatical from my life in 2015 to walk the Camino de Santiago, I try to describe the sense of burnout and mental exhaustion I was feeling. Postmodern adulting had burned me to a crisp, destroyed my attention span, and left me far too attached to my … More Is Walking the Camino Going to be the Status Symbol of 2019?