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What is it like to be a pilgrim?

A pilgrim is someone who sets out on a journey to a place considered holy, looking for a transcendental experience. Whereas, literally speaking, the Latin word peregrinus means one who has come from afar, a pilgrim is not a just a tourist: the purpose of the trip is not necessarily that of a mere change of scenery. The pilgrim is on route towards a destination, both physically and spiritually.  

For a pilgrim, the goal is not necessarily the most important part of the trip. If that were the case, using the fastest means of transportation to get there would be the only reasonable thing to do. It is mostly about the route itself. The experience of setting out, of leaving something behind, of fully committing oneself to take one step after the other and putting oneself to the test is fundamental. The chosen route must imply some sort of effort to make it significant, meaningful, life changing.

A pilgrim sets out on a journey to get rid of the superfluous and the unnecessary. Carrying nothing but a backpack, a pilgrim overcomes exhaustion, experiences her or his own limitations, and finds a new sense of freedom by learning to live on the road with just a handful of things.

The pilgrim shares the road with other pilgrims and meets all kinds of peoples while walking. The route blurs all kinds of boundaries (national, social, cultural, racial, religious, et cetera) and brings people together in a shared spiritual and physical experience.

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