Thoughts on the Eve of Yet Another Camino

I leave the Arizona desert in a few short days to begin my fourth pilgrimage to the tomb of the Apostle Saint James.

Why do I do this? What is it about the Camino de Santiago that keeps calling me? I am not certain of the answers to these questions.

I will say however, the Camino has given me a new life. Or perhaps it has afforded me the time to think about the life I am currently leading and time to think of ways to enrich this life. The Camino has definitely widened my circle of friends to include people both local and from many different countries and continents.

I do know each time I return from Santiago I have made changes in my lifestyle.

After my first pilgrimage in 2012, I formed and still currently chair the Old Pueblo Chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino. The Chapter has brought me many new friends. I can say the Camino has given me a social circle of like-minded people.

During my second pilgrimage in 2013, I finally made peace with some deep regrets I’ve carried with me for years. Upon my return home, I also found myself clearing my life of clutter. I donated many, many items to charity. But most importantly I realized we don’t need things to make our lives full.

After my third pilgrimage, just this past April, I realized a deep need to give back to the Camino. I am currently mentoring a prospective pilgrim. But most importantly, during that pilgrimage I was inspired to open an albergue or casa rural on the Camino de Santiago.

I wonder what this Camino Inglés will reveal. Where will it lead my life once I’ve returned home?

Maybe the reason I do this is simple, maybe it is to become the best person I am capable of being. And maybe that is exactly why I am called to Pilgrimage.santiago cathedral 2

36 responses to “Thoughts on the Eve of Yet Another Camino

  1. Buen Camino, Arlene! I always enjoy reading your blog so look forward to the next Camino. Sorry we could not get together between our time in Spain & your departure but maybe when you return.

    Once again, enjoy it all as I know you will.



    • Hi Nancy,
      I’ll be back in the States on August 29th. Hopefully we can connect then. You missed a really nice gathering for St. James Day at Feast. Talk to you soon.

      I intend to blog daily along the Camino Ingles and the Muxia and Finisterre route so stay tuned.


  2. Hope this pilgrimage continues to open doors and answer prayers..have a safe and joyful journey.


    • Hey girlfriend! I’m sure it will do all that and more! Talk with you soon, I’ve decided to put texting on the phone, so you know the number – stay in touch.


  3. Hi Arlene,
    Buen Camino!! Hope you have a wonderful Camino! I leave for my first Camino September 2nd and am getting very nervous and excited at ethe same time.

    I am excited to read your blog once again!

    How long will your Camino be and where are you starting from?


    • Debbie,
      Don’t be nervous, it will be wonderful!
      I’m starting in Ferrol and continuing to Santiago, then I will walk to Muxia and onto Finisterre and then back to Santiago. This is another short Camino. But next year the plan is for Le Puy into the Norte which will be 1,000 miles in total. I will be exploring the possibility of a casa in France next year so that one should be real exciting.


  4. Arlene,

    I love what you are doing and have so much respect for your quest and the effort you put into it. This is your quest, to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far”.

    Follow your star. Follow your heart. They will not steer you wrong. Excitement and perhaps a new life await you in Europe. I look forward to following not just your Camino, but your Quest.

    Buen Camino, Steve


  5. My dear Arlène,
    As you say, the camino changes your lifestyle, your personn, and each pilgrimage brought you differents things, a questioning and now a new desire to open a place of rest or something like this in a very nice region of France.
    Have a very very nice camino, let it guide your thoughts and sure you will be another time a woman swamped with enjoyment.



    • Mon cousin merveilleux,

      J’espère que pour Saint James à me montrer le chemin pour avoir une maison pour pèlerin dans l’un des beaux villages Français le long du chemin. S’il vous plaît prier qu’il me montre la voie.



  6. ingridfolkers

    Dearest Arlene, as you embark on your journey, be at peace, light and love guide each of your steps and let this blessing accompany you. .

    From her Painted Prayerbook, called : FOR THOSE WHO HAVE FAR TO TRAVEL.

    An Epiphany Blessing:

    If you could see the journey whole
    you might never undertake it;
    might never dare the first step
    that propels you from the place you have known
    toward the place you know not.
    Call it one of the mercies of the road:
    that we see it only by stages as it opens before us,
    as it comes into our keeping step by single step.
    There is nothing for it but to go
    and by our going take the vows the pilgrim takes:
    to be faithful to the next step;
    to rely on more than the map;
    to heed the signposts of intuition and dream;
    to follow the star that only you will recognize;
    to keep an open eye for the wonders that attend the path;
    to press on beyond distractions, beyond fatigue
    beyond what would tempt you from the way.
    There are vows that only you will know;
    the secret promises for your particular path and the new ones you will need to make when the road is revealed by turns you could not have foreseen.
    Keep them, break them, make them again:
    each promise becomes part of the path;
    each choice creates the road that will take you
    to the place where at last you will kneel
    to offer the gift most needed—
    the gift that only you can give—
    before turning to go home by another way.

    Buen Camino Peregrina. Ingrid


    • Ingrid,
      Thank you for this, it is absolutely beautiful. God Bless you Ingrid, thank you for your friendship.
      I have read this once, then twice and now three times. The words have been written in my heart as well as my journal so I may refer back to them. Thank you so much!


      • ingridfolkers

        You are so very welcome my friend. Not sure where you are going to be on August 28, but just in case it is Santiago, here is something you might enjoy: “The 28th of August, at 21:30 h, Santiago Cathedral hosts a piano concert by the Japanese artist Mine Kawakami. The concert is part of the cultural activities organized for pilgrims during this summer. The entrance is free”..


      • Ingrid, that sounds so nice, but I fly out of Santiago on the 27th, heading to Madrid overnight for an early morning flight back to the States on the 28th.


  7. Angie Mitchell

    How exciting Arlene, it sounds like a lot of fun coming your way
    Love Angie


    • Angie,
      Can we call a pilgrimage fun? I don’t know. But I do know I am called to the Camino and must return, so yes, many new experiences and refinements are sure to come my way. As I said, the Camino has given me a new life and I love this new life. So I am open to what Camino #4 will bring to me. Stay connected to see, we all may be amazed. Each Camino has shown me new aspects of my life, for some reason I am sure this one will do the same.
      Love you too,


  8. Very nice and thoughtful. Ingrid, you rock and you help Arlene rock.
    Blessings to you both, as you frequently say.



    I am looming forward to your next pilgrimage!

    Sent from my iPhone



    • Hey Bonnye,
      Good to hear from you! Stay tuned for Camino #4, I’m looking forward to what this one will reveal.
      So when are you going to walk one of these? I know you want to!


  10. Arlene –
    great talking to you on the phone just now.
    Jennifer and I send our love and know that this next pilgrimage will be a further step along your path to something very spiritual and quite wonderful.

    Bill & Jennifer


    • Bill & Jennifer,
      It was wonderful hearing your voices once again. I’ve missed chatting with both of you. We surely did have some fun times in Portugal didn’t we? Now that was some kind of pilgrimage wasn’t it? White Port and Cuarenta y Tres and all!
      Love to you both,


  11. Arlene,

    This is so amazing. I am in awe.

    Know that you are loved and respected. This next journey will reveal something wonderful. I can feel it in my bones.

    I look forward to your blog.

    Let’s chat when you return.

    Love, Elizabeth


    • Elizabeth,
      I have the same feeling about this Camino – something very big! We shall see. I’m back the evening of the 28th, we’ll talk sometime after that.


  12. Dear Arlene. Mentoring? What a wonderful way to not only give back but also for you to have a different connection to the way of The Way. Would love to hear more about that and looking forward to all your blog posts!! 🙂 Britta


  13. What a well thought out and articulated statement. I bet you are excited as to how the Camino is going to change you this time. Walk with God and be open to His thoughts, prayers and personal changes.


  14. I be following the blog. Enjoy your camino and learn from it.


    • Hi Dana,
      Good to see you back here following me. Stay tuned for hopefully daily updates along the Ingles and Muxia/Finisterre.


  15. Arlene, You are an inspiration – may this Camino bring you the answers you still seek – Buen Camino and Blessings on your journey.


  16. petermcglamery

    Arlene, I look forward to following along with you. I have recently bought my ticket for the last three weeks in September for Ponferrada to Santiago to Muxia/Fisterra and back! I’m excited for it.
    May God, who fills with his presence all the way, bless you, Arlene, with love!


    • Peter,
      Nice to hear from you once again. Good for you! The Camino is glorious during September and early October. Actually that is the time I’ve walked the Camino Frances. Will you be blogging along the way?


      • petermcglamery

        Arlène, I’m planning on it. A friend who read it when he had his hip replaced told me how important it was for him. He went into surgery when I began in SJPP. I planned it that way.


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