I’m going back.
In 2013, I walked across northern Spain on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella and for me—and for many pilgrims—returning home was disorienting. For months afterward, many feel a profound longing for something they can’t name, often referred to as the Camino Blues.
Did ancient pilgrims get the Camino Blues?
Long ago, before trains and planes, the pilgrim’s arrival in Santiago was only the first half of a months-long trek.
Here’s the thing: if a complete pilgrimage includes walking back to the beginning, modern pilgrims are whisked away mid-journey. Is that why they struggle and long to return?
I want to know.
Ever since I returned from my pilgrimage, I’ve been consumed by questions about the Camino de Santiago experience. What helps lift the Camino blues? How do you integrate its powerful insights? Does retracing one’s steps from Santiago to the starting point helps a pilgrim re-enter her life more whole?
In order to know what happens when the pilgrim makes her way back to her original starting place, I’m going to do it myself.
My purpose is motivated by more than pure curiosity.
As with my first spiritual quest, I feel called. This journey feels as challenging as the first, but for different reasons. Doing the Camino in reverse means walking alone, without arrows, on a shoestring—this time with arthritis in my knees.
The idea of it makes me both excited and nervous—which means I’m on the right path.
My intention is one of service.
I’ve been writing this blog since 2012, and when I return, I will continue to write about what I discover. My hope is to find answers to the deeper questions about how to integrate a Camino experience, meaningful ways to address the Camino blues, and help other pilgrims move toward wholeness.
A humble request
if you feel called to share in the journey with me, I seek your support
I am planning a bare-bones journey. Donations give me a literal place to rest my head at night, support my spiritual growth, and eventually allow me to help other seekers through my writing.
At present (Feb 2016), I have saved and raised enough to cover my airfare and pilgrimage expenses.
My current need is for contributions to my $500 emergency fund which will cover any unforeseen needs like transportation, medicine, replacing anything stolen, extra food, etc. Any amount helps. One euro, for example, buys a café con leche. On a cold day, that single hot coffee can warm both the body and the soul.
Whether you’re able to offer support of a financial, spiritual, or emotional kind, please accept my immense gratitude for your love and encouragement on my quest.
Want to help sponsor my pilgrimage?
Because of my webhost’s settings, all commerce must be conducted on my business website (not this blog). Clicking the link above will send you to jenniferhofmann.com.
Huge thanks to Melanie, Nancy, Caitlin, Barb, Alison and Don, Colleen, and Mary for your donations. Gratitude to Mary Ellen for the compass/thermometer, Nancy for the Injinji socks, and Sarah for lending me her poncho! I feel so blessed!