Our pilgrimages

Walking outside to get inside.

Since spring 2003 we have walked several pilgrimages, both alone and together. This page introduces you to where we have walked and to our writings about our pilgrimages.

Many go on a pilgrimage in a car, plane, or train, while others go on a bicycle or on foot. We are foot pilgrims. We like to go on foot both because we just like to walk and because we enjoy literally following in the footsteps of the pilgrims of the middle ages. We like to feel the world pass under us one step at a time.

The walk is the destination. As pilgrims our destination is just as much our hearts, souls, minds, bodies, and spirits where we are as it is a place on the surface of the earth. In fact, this is the real goal of any pilgrimage: to gain knowledge of and feeling for oneself and everything around. The city or shrine named as the destination is only a convenient goal to keep one walking, experiencing, listening, thinking, and feeling, to keep one receiving the grace and gifts that pour into one when s/he walks with an open heart, mind, soul, and spirit.

With this in mind, we have to realize that all life is a pilgrimage. This page and the pages it points you to are about a few smaller pilgrimages in the larger pilgrimage of our lives.

Our past pilgrimages

This map illustrates the pilgrimages we walked in Europe since early 2003. You can read what we have written here about each of the routes by clicking on that route in the map or on the list below the map.

Our pilgrimage walks. (I scanned this map from the official Spanish pilgrim's passport.)

In summary:

  1. Camino de Santiago de Compostela - Petra (1,500 mi./2,450 km.) and I (590 mi./950 km.) walked this route separately where we met each other in spring 2003. Petra walked from Constance, Germany, and I from Roncesvalles, Spain. We walked parts of it together in fall 2003 and then twice again over the years from Santiago back toward Europe.
  2. Via de la Plata (455 mi./735 km.) - We walked this route together in spring of 2005. I began but never finished a narrative of this walk. In the future? The written outcome of this walk is Walking Life: Meditations on the Pilgrimage of Life, a book of meditations on life's pilgrimage illustrated with photos from our pilgrimage walks.
  3. Rome pilgrimage (745 mi./1,250 km.) - We walked this route in three phases between August 2006 and February 2007. In addition to the extensive writings in this site, we have written Germany to Rome in 64 Days: Our Pilgrimage, a comprehensive book chronicling this walk to Rome from our front door in Germany.
  4. California to Jerusalem (5,285 mi./8,560 km.) - We left our home in California in January, 2009, walked across America and southern Europe, and arrived in Jerusalem 23 months later. We were in Bethlehem for Christmas, 2010. In addition we wrote Encounters on the Road to Jerusalem to tell the story of the pilgrimage.

  5. Camino de Levante (368 mi./603 km.) - I (Mike) walked the Camino de Levante in Spring 2012 from Valencia to Avila then took a train to Santiago.
  6. India (2004, 2011, 2013-15) - Though we didn't originally think of India as being a pilgrimage, our visits there have proven to be valuable additions to our pilgrimage of life.

What is a Pilgrim? is a concise pamphlet on pilgrimage in India by Swami Rama. It is a good read.

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Modified January 2016
Copyright © 2007-2016 Mike Metras, www.WorksAndWords.com