I'd like to create a real-time, postcard-based travelogue website of my walk across Spain on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. But I can't do it without you.
The Way of St. James, or the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, is a system of historic pilgrimage routes. Each path ends in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, where the apostle James's relics are believed to be kept. Thousands of pilgrims walk the Camino every year. One trail in particular, called Camino Frances, is ~785 km, and it hosts the most pilgrims annually. This summer, I'll be one of them. I will carry everything I need for approximately five weeks of walking in a single backpack. Here is a map of the trail I'll be taking:
I'll be going alone. While I doubt I'll be at a lack for human interaction, as there will certainly be many other pilgrims on the trail with me, I'd like to send you postcards from my pilgrimage and collect all the messages I write to you on a website, ultimately building a travelogue of the Camino that everyone can access.
In short, I want to upload the messages I write you on the postcards to a website in real-time and build a comprehensive travelogue of the Camino along my walk down it.
Here's a more detailed, step-by-step description of how I will write and build this travelogue, titled El peregrino del camino:
1: If you pledge as little as $3 (and give me your mailing address, too), I will send you a postcard, complete with a unique message about the Camino written specifically to you, from somewhere along my pilgrimage. If you pledge $10, you'll receive two postcards. If you pledge more, you'll receive even more postcards with more unique travelogue entries.
2: On each postcard, I'll write you a unique note about something I experienced that day as I walked. It could be a description of how beautiful the landscape is, a definition of a new Spanish word I learned, a story another pilgrim told me, a recommendation for a restaurant or alburgue (pilgrim hostel), a prayer. Who knows what the note will be; it could be--almost--anything. If you pledge $100 or more, you can even tell me what to write to you about.
3: When I write your message, I'll scan the postcard and the note I wrote you, and then I'll take a picture of your card on the trail at the exact spot I wrote your message.
4: I'll then upload your message and the picture of your card on the Camino (don't worry--I won't display your address) to a website alongside the exact GPS coordinates of the photograph. This location, then, will be dedicated to you in the travelogue. Every postcard I send will be one more entry in the travelogue.
5: The website will begin empty at the beginning of my pilgrimage, and by the time my trip is over, together, we will have built a real-time, comprehensive, web-based travelogue of the Camino de Santiago together.
The more backers I receive, the more detailed this travelogue can become because that will mean I can write to you about more sights to see, flavors to taste and enjoy, places to stay, accounts from other pilgrims, etc.
In the end, you'll be able to hold a physical, personalized, unique memento from my pilgrimage, and every entry in the travelogue will be dedicated to someone.
Other travelogues of the Camino do exist; however, you must buy many of them in print, they do not tell the story of a single pilgrim's journey, and they weren't made by you. This travelogue, El peregrino del camino, will alleviate these issues. And the best part is that, since it's web-based, anyone can access it.
Regarding how I will spend the finances:
Of course, most of your donations will go toward purchasing postcards and postage. I will also need to pay for web hosting and a portable scanner. I plan to use my iPhone for its camera and GPS tracker to take the pictures that include coordinates, so I will also need to pay for international cell phone service. Your backing will not go toward purchasing my flight, meals, accommodations, or any other of my travel expenses. I've already purchased my flight and have the rest of my travel expenses saved.
For more information about the Camino, check out this video.
To get an idea of the look and feel of the travelogue, go to the main website.
I'd really love it if you could walk the Camino with me--if not in person, then at least in spirit. Thank you so much for your support, and I hope to be writing you some postcards soon!
- (15 days)