What a great pleasure to be a guest on English author Jo Frances Penn’s Books & Travel Podcast. With more than twenty titles to her credit, Jo is an accomplished writer, with her thrillers often focused on relics and shrines from famous pilgrimages.
We first connected in 2021 when Jo appeared on the Sacred Steps Podcast to discuss her journey on England’s Pilgrims’ Way, a walk I completed from London to Canterbury in October 2021. But for a strong storm, our paths may have crossed (literally) along the Way of St. Cutherbert, but I arrived at the Holy Island of Lindisfarne just a few days ahead of her.
On this episode, we discussed pilgrimage as an intentional journey, how it differs from other hikes, and how pilgrimage resonates with people of all faiths and none. We also talked about the physical, emotional, and spiritual hardships that pilgrims endure and the insights that often come as reflections after the journey.
I shared some highlights of my past pilgrimage walks, including the Camino de Santiago, the California Missions Trail, and my most recent walk along the Via Francigena to Rome. These pilgrimages and the pilgrims whom I was fortunate to meet along my journies, help form the basis for The Pilgrims’ Table. In the book, five pilgrims from across the world meet while staying at an albergue along Spain’s Camino de Santiago. Overlooking the Spanish coast, they share their heartfelt stories of dinner and, in one another’s experiences, find deeper meaning in their own pilgrimage.