Writing about the land with no arrows: what happens after Santiago

yellow arrow on the Camino de Santiago

My reason for walking the Camino involved a search for answers about life. When I arrived home, the scale tipped with further questions, instead of resolution. As someone who likes tidy conclusions, I wanted my pilgrimage wrapped up with a neat bow. That’s not what I got.

As the Camino blues plagued me, I started writing this blog hoping for catharsis and relief.

Over time, the practice of describing each day on the Camino de Santiago became a form of meditation, a tool for examining the significance of my journey. As I wrote about the places, people, and events of my seven-week pilgrimage, my blues began to dissipate and the meaning of personal insights became clearer. Ultimately, this practice helped me move through my deepest unresolved questions into understanding and transformation.

If you’re a regular reader of other Camino blogs, my writing is about to veer away from the typical story of familiar Camino landmarks and daily rituals. I’m about to venture into the land with no arrows where the once-clear purpose of getting to Santiago is gone, but a new destination slowly emerges.

After the Camino ends, the pilgrim’s challenge (if s/he chooses to accept it) is to discover a new way of being in his/her life, based on the insights s/he gained on the Way. To do this, s/he must walk down many frustrating paths in the wrong direction. S/he must enter blind alleys in search of his/her guiding light. Once there, s/he may realize this was never the way in the first place. Eventually, the pilgrim finds renewed peace in discovering that the answer was in her/him all along. The new path is to live that peace every day.

Guided by the truths of the Camino, I went from enlightened pilgrim to lost soul and then found a new way. In the posts that follow, I hope to inspire you to stay on your post-pilgrimage path—for your own field of shining stars awaits.


Still here… still writing…

“Writing the hard thing will require a great deal more of you than had you taken a safer route, but once you’ve committed to it and bled all over the page, you’ll find it was worth the effort.”


While this quote seems a bit dramatic, I must admit that I’ve written and rejected at least six posts describing the events that took place in the wake of my pilgrimage. When we last saw our heroine, she was flying home from Dublin.

Though I want to explain what happened next, I keep not finding adequate words.

What I do know is this: the physical pilgrimage was only half the journey. The other half unfolded over the year(ish) that followed. In a few short months, I went from the highest spiritual high to a deep low. Ultimately, I found my way through. It was worth the effort.

So I wanted you to know that I am writing the hard thing. But I also want to write it well. The story will continue soon.

Yours cheer of courage! and animo! are welcome. Also chocolate.