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How do Internet Technologies impact the Camino Experience?

NancyFrey

New Member
Hello there. Back in the early 1990s I researched the resurgence in popularity of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage on the ground interviewing hundreds of pilgrims, working as a hospitalera in numerous refuges, maintaining contact with pilgrims once their experiences were over and living in Santiago and practically camping out in the Pilgrim´s Office when it was staffed by one or two people. As a cultural anthropologist I was interested in understanding the experience of becoming and being pilgrim before, during and after the experience of the walking (or cycling) was over. That work became the book 'Pilgrim Stories. On and Off the Road to Santiago' ( UC Press, 1998, Nancy L. Frey). Since then I have remained continuously connected to the Camino in different capacities and have had the chance to observe and participate in the Camino's evolution from then until now.

One of the major changes that I have witnessed over the last five to ten years (and ever more increasingly) is the accessibility and use of internet/cyber technologies (ie, mobile phones, blogs, moBlogs, iPads, iPhones, Skype, email, digital cameras, iPods/mp3, etc) associated with the pilgrimage experience. If you are reading this then you are using some kind of internet technology either to learn about the Camino, to share your own knowledge, or stay connected to the pilgrimage in some way (and probably many more reasons).

What I am interested in trying to find out is how these technologies potentially influence the pilgrimage experience:

How did you use internet technologies to prepare for the Camino (if you´ve not yet gone, how are you using them in your preparation?)?

What devices did you decide to take with you and why?

How did you use internet/cyber technologies while doing the pilgrimage?

How do use internet technologies to remain connected to the Camino?

Upon reflection, would you do anything differently in this regard if you could do your pilgrimage over again?

How do you think your use of internet technology impacted your experience?

I would be grateful for any responses. I am currently researching this topic and once I have conclusions I would be happy to share them with the forum.

Nancy Frey

Ultreya! - go forward with courage
 
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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
When I first started researching the Camino pilgrimage, one of the frst books I bought was Nancy's book. I still refer to it often.
There was very little on the Internet then and besides two 'list serves' (forums) there were no blogs which only took off in the late 1990s.

Nancy, I think technology has become the Alice in Wonderland for el Camino!
Today I can use Google earth to hover above the Camino Frances, visit the museums and cathedrals along the way, enter the Pilgrim Museum in Santiago and view a 180 degree view of the rooms. I can log onto the webcams and see pilgrims drinking wine at Irache, struggling up the hill to O Cebreiro, arrving in the Obradoiro square and sitting at Mass in the Cathedral.

And to think that individuals have only been using the World Wide Web for about 10 years!

1990/1991 The first trials of the World Wide Web were at the CERN laboratories (one of Europe's largest research laboratories) in Switzerland in December 1990.
The first search engines began to appear in the mid 1990s, and it didn't take long for Google to come on the scene, and establish a dominant market position.

1993 - On April 30, 1993 CERN's directors made a statement that was a true milestone in Internet history. On this day, they declared that WWW technology would be freely usable by anyone, with no fees being payable to CERN.

By 1998 there were 750,000 commercial sites on the world wide web, and we were beginning to see how the Internet would bring about significant changes to existing industries. In travel for instance, we were able to compare different airlines and hotels and get the cheapest fares and accommodation - something pretty difficult for individuals to do before the world wide web. Hotels began offering last minute rates through specially constructed websites, thus furthering the power of the web as a sales medium.
And things went even further - in some fields of travel, individuals would outline where they wanted to travel to and from, and travel companies would then bid for the business. All these developments rapidly changed the way traditional markets worked. In some industries, the world would never be the same again. http://www.nethistory.info
And neither would the Camino!
 
A

AJ

Guest
NancyFrey said:
How did you use internet technologies to prepare for the Camino (if you´ve not yet gone, how are you using them in your preparation?)?

What devices did you decide to take with you and why?

How did you use internet/cyber technologies while doing the pilgrimage?

How do use internet technologies to remain connected to the Camino?

Upon reflection, would you do anything differently in this regard if you could do your pilgrimage over again?

How do you think your use of internet technology impacted your experience?


Preparation: I used this forum, the Malaga Friends and other Friends of the Camino websites for information. I bought clothing and books via internet.

On my first Camino I took no devices. On subsequent Caminos I have taken a mobile phone.

During the camino I occasionally use email. I use the mobile to keep in touch with family.

I will continue to take a mobile and use email occasionally. I do not plan to take any other devices in the future. I have considered GPS for the Via Francigena but decided against it.

Internet technology made planning very easy. It had little impact on the Camino in progress. Without it I would keep in touch with family by public phone as I did on my first Camino.
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Time of past OR future Camino
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
NancyFrey said:
What I am interested in trying to find out is how these technologies potentially influence the pilgrimage experience:

How did you use internet technologies to prepare for the Camino (if you´ve not yet gone, how are you using them in your preparation?)?

What devices did you decide to take with you and why?

How did you use internet/cyber technologies while doing the pilgrimage?

How do use internet technologies to remain connected to the Camino?

Upon reflection, would you do anything differently in this regard if you could do your pilgrimage over again?

How do you think your use of internet technology impacted your experience?

For preparation, I most definitely used internet to research and plan my trip. However, when I first learned about the Camino 15 plus years ago, I used old fashioned card catalogs at the library to find books to read about it.

Devices: I started out with a netbook (I only brought it because the Camino was a starting off point for a RTW trip), shipped it ahead to Pamplona, and just used computers in Albergues or libraries. I also brought my cell phone, with the service disconnected, but it was my alarm clock, address book, and occasionally, internet access point because it can connect to wi-fi hotspots. Because I didn't have the phone connection, the battery lasted for a week or so at a time.

On the way: I used internet cafes, computers in albergues and libraries. Usually, once every two or three days. I would update my blog from my written journal.

To stay connected to the Camino: I participate in this forum and use google searches to find information I need about planning for future trips.

Would I do it differently?: Nope. It all worked out for me in the end. I'd consider an e-reader, actually. Put my guidebook, Spanish-English dictionary, contact information, address book, etc in it and carry that instead of a regular guidebook. Unfortunately, I have a mother who worries about my whereabouts. I have to stay connected or she would go nuts. :)

Impact: I don't think it really impacted my experience one way or the other. This is the reality a lot of us live in today.
 

evanlow

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
After 11 Caminos, want to Ruta de la Lana next...
Internet Technologies has provided pilgrims and would be pilgrims with information (this forum for example) which were not possible even 10 years ago (sometimes too much information. :))
Overall this is good.

The usage of Internet Technologies on the Camino itself is more subjective.

On my first 2 caminos, I carry a mobile for photos, alarm and ebooks
On my last camino I did is with a mobile that also has wifi capability. Personally in retrospect, I think it is a tad distracting if one end the day's walk looking for hotspots to connect. Even with a local data SIM card, the distraction is still there.

The Internet is 1 part work and 1 part distraction, no?

That said, it is a matter of balance and choices.
 
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newfydog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
A few years ago I noticed some yellow and blue clam stickers on some poles in Carces, southern France.

--Without the internet I would have never found that a new route was been planned (GR653A ,voie Aurelian)
--I wouldn't have found the people working on it to get their sketch maps
--Without Google Earth and Peter Robbins I wouldn't have gotten it mapped out and in a GPS to follow the route where it is unmarked
--I wouldn't have sent maps and notes to Alan from Australia, so that I knew the only other pilgrim on the route when we crossed paths
-- I wouldn't have found a rental car in a holiday weekend in Toulouse at the end.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Many pilgrims are drawn to the pilgrimage by the idea of getting back to the basics -- wake, walk, eat, think, wash, drink, talk, and sleep. I strive for a balance with technology so that it does not interfere with those. With parents in their nineties, I could not disappear for five weeks. But I only turned on the cell phone during a two hour window daily. Internet every other day kept me in contact. Before a walk, the internet is essential unless you believe that ignorance is bliss. In the future I expect that my iPhone will replace maps and books. I doubt that it will replace companions at dinner.

Unless there is an app for that ...
 
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
My answers:

How did you use internet technologies to prepare for the Camino (if you´ve not yet gone, how are you using them in your preparation?)?
I did a lot of research on the internet, including the use of this forum

What devices did you decide to take with you and why?I took an ipod to use at bedtime to drown out snoring. I also took a small camera.

How did you use internet/cyber technologies while doing the pilgrimage?I used computers when they were available in albergues - to keep in touch with family back home.

How do use internet technologies to remain connected to the Camino?

Upon reflection, would you do anything differently in this regard if you could do your pilgrimage over again?I will leave my camera and ipod at home

How do you think your use of internet technology impacted your experience?Yes, I think it was unnecessary. You can purchase better photos or have others take photos OF you; I'd rather talk to people than listen to music; computers are readily available along the way so I see no reason to take one; I enjoyed having no telephone for 3 months!
 

+@^^

Active Member
i maxed internet technology prior to departure - research routes, spoke to vets on forums, booked flights, and made hotel reservations
.
i tried to remain unaffected directly by eschewing internet tech as far as was humanly possible during the walk (tricky bit here..... to make it as "authentic" as possible, ie uncluttered by as much interference as was possible)
.
i had decided to go with no mobile phone, but the death of my mother a week before made me make myself a bit more contactable (by text only) - happily so - i had an alarm, a texting device and a camera
.
i wont walk the camino again, but i would do it like this again if there was a next time
 

Telluridewalker

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (1988)
I walked back in the late 80's so I think my experience was quite different than others on this forum.

The only preparation I could do was library research (books and card catalogues, remember those? :)) and talking with Spaniards, mostly Madrilenos, many who knew the Camino as more of a mythological story than an actual route one could follow. The information I got was scattered, sometimes contradictory and often cautionary about "those Northern Spaniards" (reminds me now of the Codex Calixtinus :p ). Eventually I laid my hands on Bravo Lozano's guide and that was my only source of info along the way.

I carried nothing with me that contained a battery (except a small flashlight). I did carry a cheap camera and took one roll of film along the way- I've since lost those prints except for a picture of a sunrise in a palloza window which I use as my avatar.

So obviously I did not use any technology on my Camino- as far as staying in touch, I sent off postcards and stopped twice in Leon and Burgos at the Telefonica office, the only places back then where I could get an outside telephone line to the US.

A couple of years ago I was surfing the internet and feeling slightly nostalgic and was researching the Camino when I came across this site which was like hitting the motherlode on the Camino. I've been checking in on this site ever since. I enjoy reading about others' experiences, even while they're still on the road (lovingkindness' blog on this site is a prime example).

Last month I went to the American Friends of the Camino gathering which piqued my interest in possibly doing a second Camino. The idea of multiple Caminos is a whole 'nother topic (I'm dubious about trying to capture lightning in a bottle a second time) but if I were to do it again I definitely would not take or use any technology along the way- I feel very strongly that completely "dropping out" is a big part of the experience. Then I wonder how annoyed I would be at those around me who don't feel similarly. :?
 
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Dear Dr Nancy, On June 3rd 1998, I met a group of your students in their hostal in Pamplona. They were very friendly and polite; a credit to themselves and their parents. I was walking back from Pamplona to SJPP, having previously walked much of the Camino from Pamplona to Santiago and now returning to go over the Pyrenees. I was walking solo but that night and I found myself eating alone. I reflected that it was a pity I had not been invited to join them and you for the evening meal. It would have been a privilege and very interesting. I gathered that the meal was part of their learning time, so I guess they were not in a position to extend the invite.

They did tell me that they were using a support car to carry their books and notes; no doubt that is now replaced by the laptop.?.

1998. No digital technology whatsoever. I had a camera that took slide film. The Camino had many payphones, either in bars or in phone boxes. All my research was confined to the CSJ guide to the Camino Francés. I did not even have Alison Raju’s book. I travelled from London to SJPP and booked my tickets in person at a travel agent. The return tickets were done at the station. I used the payphones just to let my wife and family know I was ok.

In 2004 I again took no technology apart from a digital camera and relied on the CSJ guide and Alison Raju. I booked my outward flight on the Internet and used an Internet café to book my flight home once I knew when I’d be finished.

2005, 2007, 2007, 2008; no technology apart from a digital camera. I booked my flights before hand and had a deadline on which I had to return. In 2008 I was taken ill and had to use an Internet café to book an earlier flight home but otherwise payphones again.

However, as the years passed I did note that public telephones were diminishing and that both pilgrims and locals were showing an increasing use of mobiles.

In 2009 I used the Internet to book my flights and download a CSJ guide to the Camino Inglés. My wife insisted I took a mobile as I was medically retired and clearly not robust. I only used it to inform her where I was sleeping that night and my destination the next day. I dropped and damaged my camera, so in Santiago I used the Internet to trawl for a replacement as I was going out to walk A Coruna to Hospital.

In 2010 I again booked flights via the Internet. I took a mobile but only used it as in 2009. The only exception was to inform my wife that I had run out of time and could not complete my Camino. I was leaving early as there was no possibility of completing the walk to Santiago. She then made several phone calls and covered two services of worship that I was supposed to be leading. I used the Internet in Santiago to book a new flight home.

ATM's are technology and their rapid spread across the Camino between 1998 and 2004 was both noticable and highly welcome. This is technology I embrace, though as a customer of a UK bank I know we have to be careful about the fact that withdrawls incur steep charges.

There is no doubt that by not having the technology that others carry I have made the Camino more difficult for myself. In 2010 I took the bus from Arzúa into Santiago and made an expensive overnight stay there because my wife’s mobile did not have Internet access. Having sorted out my return flight, and dealt with a package I’d forwarded to the Post Office, I had to return to Arzúa and complete my Camino.

I often travel solo and on nights when there is no one who speaks English then I am alone and sometimes lonely. On the long stretches I have no music to sooth my soul and distract my bored mind.

(This paragraph has been edited by the author) However, I have put up with this because on the longer Caminos, when my loneliness and boredom have threatened to overwhelm me, I have found an inner strength to keep walking. I also have found that it is often on the long stretches and the isolated nights that my soul has moved into that place between being and non-being. If you have experienced this you will know exactly what I mean. In that place I have truly found God and a God who is real and close. (The place of non-being is dangerous because it is a vaccuum and not only does nature adbhor a vacuum, it is a place where evil may move in). That place between being and non-being is where the pilgrim is physically upon the earth but spiritually is very close to heaven.

For myself I would certainly be happier with a Kindle and books to read, a mobile to phone home whenever loneliness threatens to settle in, but I wonder if that inner journey to the soul would be blocked off if I did so. An incoming call at the wrong moment can shatter the tranquillity of the soul.

Frustration and loneliness are surely part of the Camino experience and they are often the door into solitude, silence and the presence of God.

I would add that if I have a good book to read I know I would ignore the other people around me. I go on the Camino to hear their stories. I want to know that which they have not, and will not, write down and which I otherwise would not hear.

I do not read other people’s blogs; there is simply not enough time to read them all, so I choose to read none.

I do read people’s journals because they often contain reflections that have had time to mature and develop. I am particularly interested when people have begun to analyse their experience in the light of their faith. They also tend to have been edited down to fewer words.

That is a very personal opinion and to those who feel that writing a blog is an integral part of their Camino, I urge you to keep writing.

In all of this I speak only for myself and I respect the experiences of those who find their use of technology assists their pilgrim journey, even if it is not for me.
 

evanlow

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
After 11 Caminos, want to Ruta de la Lana next...
Blogging on the Camino is also another thing I did back in 2008 on VDLP. This is great as your family and fellow pilgrim friends can follow you (in a way also walk with you).

Every blog post is an email with a photo attachment on my cameraphone (with wifi) so it's like writing daily journal as an email every day. Back then I carried the Nokia e61i, and the tiny alpha keypad still makes writing much easier than T9 on numeric keypad. Whenever I find Internet connection, I just email them out to my blog.

This is one way to make Internet technologies work with me rather distract me. I was pleasantly surprised I was able to blog almost everyday, with no more than 2 days of backlog (days without wifi). That device was almost a perfect pilgrim companion, at least for me. It was my alarm, ebook reader, music player, phone, camera, email, VoIP, and has a excellent battery life. The only it doesn't have was gps, and preloaded maps were extremely slow.

As much as I love my iPhone, I will have to look for a similar device before my next Camino (2012). This time round, I hope to add preloaded map with gps (agps). And yes, not forgetting battery life that can last more than a day. Looks like I might have to consider Nokia again (battery life and free ovi maps). As for me, I would never consider carrying anything larger than my palm.
 

jeploss

Member
Nancy,

Last year before I embarked on my first walk on parts of the Camino Frances and parts of the Via de la Plata, I basically lived on this forum. The veteran posters had a tremendous influence, and so did great topics like: What were you most glad that you had with you? I studied foot care and constantly reviewed various viewpoints on what to take, the great debate on dealing with bugs, etc.
Most importantly, I made a personal connection with Syl, one of the veteran posters. When I shared with her my itinerary, she suggested that I switch to the Via de la Plata for my last 100 km into Santiago de Compostela. Last fall when I heard that Syl would be leading a group this year, I jumped at the chance to be in a group led by someone as expert in the Camino as Syl is. And in a couple of months I'll be walking twice as many days this year (16) as I did last year (8)

Though Syl's Amawalker blog, I also found someone to help me make travel arrangements, since the "race for the beds" was something I never wanted to participate in. Like so many people, I faced how much technology to bring. This is a whole topic on this forum, and I poured over the main piece on the topic, plus a so many other opinions. I decided a computer would be too heavy, but I arranged to have the person who made my lodging arrangements drop off a Spanish cell phone for me -- walking alone, I considered this basic for my safety.

Bottomline: This forum completely shaped my experience of the Camino. It allowed me to learn from other people's mistakes. With a chorus of voices saying that THE biggest mistake was taking too much stuff, I spent three months considering and reconsidering what was going into my pack.
And it's not just about stuff; there's a lot about how to approach the Camino - the philosophical and spiritual aspects of the experience . I paid a lot of attention to that too. Now I can use again this year what I learned and worked so well for me last year!

Janet
 

NancyFrey

New Member
All of you, thank you very much for taking the time to respond and reflect on the questions that I have proposed. I greatly appreciate your responses and feedback. I can’t answer each one of you individually but please know that I have thoughtfully read all of the responses and I may contact some of you individually. The responses have provoked some additional questions in my head and I would be very interested in hearing your reactions either publically on the forum or privately to me by email. I’ve divided the questions into three stages – Preparation & Afterwards, and During.

Preparation & Afterwards
From your responses it is clear that the internet has become a common part of people’s experiences in the PLANNING stages. This is no surprise. The level and amount of information available has increased dramatically due to the accessibility of the internet. I hear ambivalence beginning to surface about whether all that information is necessary. I also hear clearly the importance of the internet for maintaining connections to the Camino once the experience is over. The internet facilitates this tremendously.

During the Camino
One of the main reasons I began to be interested in this topic was my observation that the use of technology WHILE DOING the pilgrimage is inherently distracting on some level. In the pre-internet age, it was a non-issue because there weren’t easy ways to keep yourself connected to some other reality other than the one you were living on the Road. People did communicate home but, as many of you describe, it was usually done by phone calls at the end of the day. In my book Pilgrim Stories, I argue that the power and depth of the experience is heightened when a person makes a significant break from their daily lives. By confronting a whole series of challenges on one’s own (pain, not knowing where you are, not knowing the language, not having friends, not knowing whether you can do it or not, getting out of your comfort zone) plus eliminating all of the noise and stress from our daily lives (appts, obligations, feeling like you have to do something, being a particular person in a particular role, be somewhere, be available), people’s inner worlds, often in a very unforced way, would open up like a cork coming out of a bottle. When this occurred it typically led people to have a rich, profound, unforgettable inner journey. In essence, disconnecting allowed people to connect (to themselves, others – villagers, pilgrims, God, nature, the body, the landscapes, the culture & history, the dead pilgrims past, etc). Some of you reflected this in your responses – Telluride mentioned ‘dropping out’

Over the last several years, I began to wonder how pilgrims' choices in relationship to the technology available now are changing the experience of being a pilgrim. What I hear on this site and in some of the responses to other forum questions (eg, Techno Geek’s Guide) is how easy it is to remain connected to one’s daily life or the web if one chooses to do so. It seems to me that more and more people are choosing to remain connected or that this is a trend of the future. What I’m trying to grasp is – does that connectivity, ease of access to information while walking, comfort that it provides, etc – change the nature of the pilgrimage experience as it was known prior to the rise in the internet? What do you think? Some of you have already answered this but many of you did not address this in your responses.

Some of you remarked – ‘This is a reality of today’, ‘I couldn’t do without it’, ‘internet is essential’. I am assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that most of those who answered did live before the internet was big and so you did do without it at some time in your life. But I hear, though, that now the internet (and all of the remarkable things it allows the individual to do) is intertwined in your life in such a way that it has become an essential part so you can’t imagine doing the Camino without it. Is that correct? If that’s correct, do you believe that your relationship to the internet influences your pilgrimage experience DURING the experience?

Also, for those who blog regularly, how do you think your cyber reality compares to your lived reality on the Camino? Are you aware of having created a cyber pilgrim personality? Is it idealized in anyway – ie, do you want to show (or hide) any particular side of yourself or the Camino? It is impossible to convey everything that happens to you as you go along so you must be considering, writing and constantly editing what you will make public about yourself? How do you make those choices? Do you ever find yourself thinking about your blog as walking – this is a ‘blog-worthy’ moment? Do you think this distances yourself from the experience and distracts you from just living it?

Please keep in mind that I am making no judgments here about people’s choices. I am trying to understand how pilgrimage is changing within the context of the changing world and how those changes are impacting the experience of being a pilgrim to Santiago. Just so you know where I stand on a personal level. I don’t believe there is a ‘right’ way to do the pilgrimage but I do believe it is easier to have a profound inner journey (if that’s what you are looking for) when you make a profound break from your life and work and plunge yourself (with all its consequences) into the unknown. I recognize that this is harder and harder to do in the cyber age as this technology now is part of our everyday lives. Consequently, now it must be a choice to do this unlike before it was just the way it was. But I would like to hear from people who do choose to make the internet and technology part of their pilgrimage experience WHILE doing the pilgrimage to hear and represent your perspective. Thank you again. Nancy
 
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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I love to blog about my experiences but find that I blog more frequently at the start of a walk than I do once I’m into the ‘switch off zone’. I often find this on other pilgrims' blogs too. By the end of the 2nd week they are apologizing for not having posted anything for a few days.

Some things influence my psyche on the Camino - how long I walk for, which route I am walking and whether I am alone or with a companion.
I don’t get into the ‘switch off zone’ when doing a 5 to 10-day walk. I’m still carrying my ‘self’ with me!
If I am on a lonely route with very few other pilgrims (Aragones, Ingles) I get into the zone far quicker.
If I am walking alone I get into the zone more quickly too.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
NancyFrey said:
Also, for those who blog regularly, how do you think your cyber reality compares to your lived reality on the Camino? Nancy
Just a few comments re blogging. I am a blogger in 'everyday' life- though actually I tend to keep 'personal' details to a minimum on my blogs. I currently have three Camino blogs. In one I keep a collection of quotes that inspire me together with photos from my 2008 Chemin/Camino from Le Puy.http://kiwinomadsphotos.blogspot.com/ Perhaps that one has almost 'run its course'. In another I have started slowly collecting info about possibilities for my 'next' Chemin- which at this stage looks like it might be from Cluny to around about Conques. http://dawdlingwalks.blogspot.com/ I will probably blog from the Chemin when I am next walking- but briefly- and will do a fuller recount once I am home again.

My 'major' Camino blog- Il faut aller doucement- http://chemincamino08.blogspot.com/ recounts my experience along the way from Le Puy, together with some of my photos. I did this blog after I arrived home, and largely I did it to help provide more information for English speakers about the part of the route from Le Puy to SJPP, as I knew from my own experience that little info was available in English. I know that some people are still using this blog and are finding it useful.

As far as blogging along the route goes, it wasn't very easy to do it in France but was much easier in Spain. To a large degree, I did it to reassure my sisters back home in New Zealand that I was fine. One of my sisters soon became interested enough to follow my route on Google Earth. I tend not to divulge anything too personal on my blog. One day, descending to Zubiri, I had a major fall on slippery concrete as I arrived in the town, and was lucky not to badly injure myself. I made minimal reference to the incident on my blog, as I didn't want to worry my family back home. My sister was quite shocked when she eventually heard how major the fall was, so she quite possibly won't believe my 'wellness' accounts quite so blithely in the future!! When I made blog postings on the Camino, my time was usually limited, and I just typed quickly without time to give much thought to the postings.

There were a couple of occasions on the Camino when I felt a real need to communicate with someone back at home who I knew well. (One of these times was after I had shared a morning break in a cafe with a young woman who was clearly suicidal.) I chose to make this communication quite privately by e-mail.

I had an interesting chat with a very religious Frenchman one day. He had obviously noticed me on the internet in the evenings, and was trying to tell me that I shouldn't be using it on the Camino. I tried to explain to him that I was mainly using it to communicate with my family in New Zealand, so they wouldn't worry about me. But my explanation was clearly not good enough for him. Suddenly his mobile phone went off in his pocket, and he answered it. He did manage to look sheepish when he explained to me that he had it so his family in France wouldn't worry. I heard no more about my use of the internet!
Margaret
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I learned of the Camino de Santiago in a series of scholarly lectures close to 50 years ago when in graduate school. During the ensuing years it always fascinated me on a multitude of levels - as religious experience, social mix, architectural and urban endeavors and, of course, pure adventure. Thus, I tried to read as much as possible about the Camino; however. only in 2004 when 65 was I able to first walk the Camino Frances. Since then I have walked it 6 times, alone and generally in winter.

During my first Caminos I communicated when necessary by land-line telephone; during later Caminos I have carried a smartphone for infrequent communication. This also served as a camera and computer on which I wrote my blog. I have always kept a journal and at first thought of the blog as a journal for friends. Perhaps because of my age and the season when I walk many other readers have found these blogs informative.

Sincerely thankful for each day lived, for the opportunity to have walked the Camino these past six times, for my own extraordinary good luck, growing strength and intense determination to endure, for strangers' gracious offers of help and other kindnesses, and for fellow pilgrims' shared conversations and meals; what I write is what I have honestly experienced. In no sense do I have a separate cyber personality!

Providing information about the Camino by sharing experience is for me a particular pleasure whether walking together with another pilgrim or writing alone for an unknown reader.

MSPath
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Margaret - you have been an absolute inspiration for many, many pilgrims! Without your winter blogs the Camino cyber network would have been much poorer.
 

daesdaemar

Camino-holic
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles - twice
I consider myself a techno-geek and feel that I must be in touch with the world at all times. I sit in front of a computer (sometimes computerS) all day long.
I certainly used the internet extensively to find out about and to plan my camino.

On the camino itself, I had a cell phone and that's it. Called home and checked email once every night. That was all the technology for me.
 
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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
On being a different person when you are blogging:

What you've done becomes the judge of what you're going to do - especially in other people's minds. When you're traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don't have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road. ~William Least Heat Moon, Blue Highways
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Preparation & Afterwards
I am the consummate preparer. I enjoy the planning almost as much as the execution. I believe that “better a good plan now, then a perfect plan never!” And, even the best plan goes out the window once you take your first step.
The internet, the Forum and exchanging PMs with many folks added greatly.
During the Camino
When I planned and completed the Appalachian Trail…it was my intent to do as “authentic” a thru-hike as possible. Carry me and my gear over every step…blaze to blaze from Springer to Katahdin. I found out then and I found out on the Camino…that the AT/Camino takes over at some point.
I took no technology with me on the AT (against the desires of my loved ones) rather I called the family and friend’s 1-800 numbers when I found a phone handy.
I took a SPOT GPS with me on the Camino. I preset ten emails prior to my departure and once I stopped for the day…sent my Google Earth location as an “I’m OK and here” message.
Initially, I stayed in touch with the Forum, but once I was injured, I became more reclusive. Why, because my predeparture personae was very brash, self-centered and personally convinced that the Camino would be just another “long hike” well within my physical and mental capacity. As the reality set in, I turned away from the Forum because of a misplaced belief that the “real Arn” wasn’t as advertised and I didn’t want the curtain pulled back to expose the reality that I was somehow normal. Consequently, I focused more on the internet connection with family and friends. Even that had a day to day drag on my progress, as some folks encouraged me to continue, while others “demanded” that I give up this quest and just come home. They said they “needed me” to be there so that they could help (read: baby) me in my recovery; that is why I never chose to call home. I needed a filter that I could control so as not to be overly influenced. So, on that level, I was still being “authentic” because I was doing my own evaluation and progressing as I chose without the competing drama. Failure to complete the Camino was not an option.
It's been three years since my 1st Camino. My intent was to make the 2010 Holy Year pilgrimage but family issues and the economic downturn reared it's ugly head.
Things are marginally better and my desire is to return to the Camino Ingles late in the Fall.
As far as technology goes...I'm looking into using an Iphone for communications (internet and Google Earth location) and will probably turn off the phone capability. No, I will disconnect the phone.
More importantly, I will use it to stay in touch with my extended family here on the Forum. I'm not going to make the same mistake I did the first time. We all walk our own Camino...but we are never really alone.

Arn
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)
How far has the Internet become a crutch that helps us get through our daily existence and how far does it expand our understanding and enjoyment of the world?

To that I do not have the answer, but it is surely part of what Nancy is exploring.

How far is the Internet our "voice" as we communicate with the world? Is our life diminished if we do not communicate through it? Are we able to say in type what we cannot say in spoken word?

I have to phone home because my wife can hear in the tone of my voice whether I am well or struggling. If I wrote and said I had a fall, no matter how minor or serious, she would not rest until she has heard me speak.

For many Christians the act of listening to a sermon is important because it is through the tone and timber of the delivery that we hear what is truly important to the preacher. In the spoken word so much more is conveyed.

When I hear pilgrims speaking about their Camino, I realise that there is so much that is conveyed in their body language and the tone of their voice that would be lost in mere words on paper or a screen. This is why I do not want to take technology. I want to hear the authentic, spoken voice.

One final thought. Is there anyone out there who has undertaken a pilgrimage because they have been able to put aside their fears and put their confidence in their technology to help them get out of a difficult situation? Is that a crutch or a liberation?
 

Nandy61

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2010 CF StJPP to Santiago
2014 CF Leon to Santiago
2015 Primitivo
like so, so many on this forum, I visited this space extensively to "prepare" me for my 2010 Camino. There were so many positive and encourage postings -not that I needed encouragement; I was going no matter what. There was/is reams of practical advice that I found invaluable, everything from clothes to weather to the obvious blisters! Ironically, the best advice was the advice that I didn't actually heed! I didn't weigh my pack before I left (major faux pas) and had to ship a package forward. I didn't relax and take it slowly. It was the Holy Year and each day I was sure that the flood of pilgrims would greet me at "my" albergue that night. So, I once I was up and out, I kept on keepin' on. Only stop for a couple of short breaks each morning so that we could arrive at our destination at a reasonable hour. . By the way, the flood never came! Ever. There was always a bed regardless of what time I arrived.

There were also many voices from both sides of the technology issue on this forum. I could very much appreciate their reasoning. In the end, I opted to not bring any kind of digital book. I didn't bring a laptop. I did bring an iPhone. I only used it to blog. I turned the phone off entirely. Each afternoon, while most of my companions took their siestas, I would stake out a wifi cafe and blog. It kept me in touch with my husband and children back home, and hopefully provided some inspiration for others to undertake their own Camino some day. I don't believe it removed me from a more spiritual, reflective journey. I had plenty of hours of the day to meditatively walk, or walk in new friendships, or meet other pilgrims after their afternoon naps. In fact, I think by blogging each day, I became more in touch with my Camino. I reflected on each day, what went right, what went wrong, what parts of my personality was I struggling with on each day's walk? (In fact, I think technology is allowing me to continue that this very minute!) Having said all that, I made a friend along the way who also brought her smartphone along and I TOTALLY think it interfered with her Camino. SHe would be using it constantly in the bars/cafes. She was a realtor back home, and felt as if she needed to keep in touch with her business, but I often, often found her communicating with friends and "others". It got to the point that I personally found it distracting just sitting next to her on occasions! She was clearly "addicted" to her technology. But I don't think she is very different than millions and millions of younger people today (she was in her 40s) This generation has never known life without "technology". They never wrote a letter home on light blue rice paper. They will never have to search for a phone box and the right coins, just so they could make a collect call home! They will never have to figure out the giant yellow printed train tables and get to the right quai before the train pulls away! (unless they lose their printed copy from the internet) They are constantly "in touch" and SMSing. I too wonder how their Caminos compare to those of us in an older generation, not so very, very connected, if at all. I'll say one thing, I don't envy them!
 
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Time of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Technology brings us a pilgrim who is more "needy" than ever. He not only "needs" a clean bed, bath, (at a donativo price) and perfectly plotted path for each day, he must have a high-speed internet connection at each stop, so he can update his followers on his progress... maybe his ongoing spiritual enlightenment? It is vitally important to have updates moment by moment!

As a hospitalera I find that the people who swear off technology on the camino are much more forthcoming, relaxed, and friendly, and those who demand the most technology are, well... the most demanding and "verklempt." They cannot seem to leave behind their "real world," with all its wacky demands. They find our rural, low-speed internet connection completely inadequate, and even sometimes throw up their hands and stomp away to the bigger town for a "better pilgrim exerience!"

The sign above the stove says "Less Is More." Here I stand.

Rebekah
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Fascinating thread. Thanks to all who have shared here, many whose blogs I've read/read! I do plan to continue blogging on route. I do plan on minimal communication when I'm out there. You all have been the voices that allow me the courage to move forward with this plan. Behind me stands a sad Greek chorus, wailing that it's dangerous, your a woman ('bout time they noticed!!), your not young (NO!), it's a foreign country (ya think?), you only speak a tiny bit of Spanish (still more than most of them!), and my all time favorite comment, "they" don't like "us" (say what?). I love 'em all, but some days it's like being bleed to death by a thousand tiny little cuts. YOU, the Camino Forum folk, have been the breathe of fresh air I've needed to continue putting one foot in front of the other planning my Camino in May (if'n this damn grandbaby, a week late already, would arrive!) So to steal from Bette Midler (while gagging at the sachariness of this) you've truly been the wind beneath my wings...God I feel a hairball coming on!! :oops:

If it weren't for the Greek chorus, lead by my hubby, I would give serious thought to absolutely no communication while away. Hell it is only 6 weeks at most. Truth be told, they would all have complete meltdowns before I returned. I'd be visiting mental hospitals instead of homes when I got back. So in an effort to maintain sanity of those who wouldn't ever do this (with or without others or technologies) I'll email & blog along the way. There was a real reason my other half was referred to as Ray the Reluctant Pilgrim on our Camino Portuguese.

So my thanks, truly from the heart, to Kiwi, LK, Rebekah, Arn, Sil, and others too numerous to name here, for sharing via the Internet. You've given tools to many of us that will allow us to share in the Camino. While sometimes overused, the internet can be God send.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
A syndrome similar to those who brag about having no watch, that they are not slaves to the clock, asking for the time so they know when the restaurant opens. Or borrowing your Brierley's after saying they only need the yellow arrows to get to Santiago. All commenting later that "the Camino provides," when the facts would indicate that other pilgrims and hospitaleros, properly prepared, do the providing!! :D
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
falcon269 said:
A syndrome similar to those who brag about having no watch, that they are not slaves to the clock, asking for the time so they know when the restaurant opens. Or borrowing your Brierley's after saying they only need the yellow arrows to get to Santiago. All commenting later that "the Camino provides," when the facts would indicate that other pilgrims and hospitaleros, properly prepared, do the providing!! :D

All excellent points, expressed with the sting of experience. Yes, having less technology requires no bragging about it (there's nothing to boast about) and not constantly asking others for guidebook info when you've chosen not to take one. In my case above, there were no guidebooks to be had en route...it was a while back. I'm off shortly on another camino - and I have a guidebook which I'll share if anyone asks, though. Unthinkable not to.
 
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Caminando

Veteran Member
There may be one factor about this topic which heavily skews the nature of the responses, and possibly the conclusion, if any.

There are only a few here who walked caminos before comms technology was commonplace( I think the OP is one). So, most who respond are unaware of a camino before such technology. Should this be taken into account in the responses?

On my rough count, there is only a handful on this forum who walked caminos before the comms revolution. Perhaps only they can make the comparison? And they are few.

Dunno really, what do you think?
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Caminando opined
On my rough count, there is only a handful on this forum who walked caminos before the comms revolution. Perhaps only they can make the comparison? And they are few.

As he says:
Dunno really, what do you think?

I offer a solid: yes, no and maybe!

1. Yes...if you are a pilgrim on Camino "in the Beginning" back when you started at your door step and walked for months with no resource for immediate communication with home.

2. NO...those that came before "the comms revolution" may have a clearer dividing line of comparison than does today's pilgrim especially if...when they did walk...they didn't avail themselves of the then currently available technologies, i.e. phone, telegraph, post cards and carrier pigeon.

3. Maybe…because, whenever the time line…it comes down to an individual’s ability to focus on the situation at hand be it a clean break, a minor respite with the day to day toward whatever goal, or adding the Camino to today’s “TO DO” list.

So, how we choose to adjust, or not to adjust…that is the question!

Arn
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
I have a French friend who walked from Burgos to Santiago in the early 80s as a young woman with a group of friends in the summertime. This was before many albergues existed, when hardly anyone walked the trail, and they slept most nights together outside under the stars. Their total experience was eons away from modern experiences. But the question Nancy asked was directed at those of us who are walking now, and hardly any of us can make comparisons with walkers from even a decade ago.
Margaret
 

jl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
I have walked the Camino 3 times and have used the internet each time for communicating with family and friends. I don't own a mobile phone and have no intention of ever owning one and chose in each of my Caminos to not commucicate by phone . The only time I rang my father (because a kind host insisted that I should and it was free because it was throught the internet) I stuffed up badly - ringing him in the middle of the night for an hour before I realised that there was no ring tone and I just had to allow him time to pick the phone up!

I am a copious writer and so I chose to send emails home to family and friends, sitting down at a computer - when I found one - and letting my fingers do the talking for an hour. There were times on some of the paths when it was a week or so before I had access to a computer. This gave me a wonderful feeling of freedom, as the computer allowed me to stay in touch and to share my journey without having to get on the phone to people. I found that after 3 months away I would continue this habit and it would take some months to get back into the swing of things (friends joked that I was hiding from them) and pick up the reigns of a busy life.

I found, in particular,on my last Camino on the Vezelay / del Norte / Primitivo that I was glad to see a library or internet cafe where I could sit down and "talk" via my emails. I was alone for days on end on this path, and if I met anyone my brain was always struglling with how to translate my more complex English into to simple language to ease communication. Emails, for me, were a way to relax and be free to talk without having to think about how or the best way of saying things. I really did "talk" using my fingers. I was not interested in doing a blog, as that would have meant that I would have had to take more time, and would then have reverted to having to think carefully about what I was saying.

My family had my planned itinerary,and knew via the emails where I had deviated from it, and so should they have need to contact me in an emergency they had a knowledge of where to find me for authorities.

Oh, and I did use the internet to book a hotel room for 2 nights in a city - when it was too late for the tourist office. Yes, I took a small digital camera too, and I had to charge batteries but that was all. As I posted elsewhere I take 2 batteries only charging the flat one when in a secure venue.

I guess what I am trying to say is - yes I use internet technology when available to support me in communicating with home (and occasionaly with friends on "the Way"). I don't believe I overuse it though. I do use the internet to do reasearch before I go, though I generally print off what I find so that I can highlight bits and reread things. I much prefer books to research so that I can scribble in margins an mark pages.

cheers, Janet
 

evanlow

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
After 11 Caminos, want to Ruta de la Lana next...
The essence of the camino will always be there with or without internet technology (the activities of the camino, walking, sleeping, and laundry).

One just adapt with the times. It is not just internet technology here. We also have:

1. ATMs for money. Imagine having to stay longer in a town/city to cash a postal check.
2. Mobile phones for communication.
3. Digital cameras.
4. iPods or mp3 players.
5. Other electronic devices.

The technologies help the pilgrim in many ways. However, it also competes with the essence of the camino and a distraction if they are overly used.
 
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renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Time of past OR future Camino
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
In response to Caminando, I learned about the Camino for the first time back in 1995. This was when my university was using a now "antique" form of email and listservs (old version of online forums) based on UNIX and PINE, if I remember correctly. I went to the library and used an old fashioned card catalog to find books and information about the Camino. If I could have afforded to do the Camino then, I would have. And I would have read whatever books I could find at the library and tried to find a "listserv" to help with my planning. Instead, I waited 15 years. In those 15 years, technology has changed and how pilgrims prepare for the Camino has changed. In another 15 years, it will be even more different and those of us who have done the Camino in the past few years will be reminiscing like Caminando about the "good ol' days".

All things in moderation.....
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
renegadepilgrim said:
In response to Caminando, I learned about the Camino for the first time back in 1995. This was when my university was using a now "antique" form of email and listservs (old version of online forums) based on UNIX and PINE, if I remember correctly. I went to the library and used an old fashioned card catalog to find books and information about the Camino. If I could have afforded to do the Camino then, I would have. And I would have read whatever books I could find at the library and tried to find a "listserv" to help with my planning. Instead, I waited 15 years. In those 15 years, technology has changed and how pilgrims prepare for the Camino has changed. In another 15 years, it will be even more different and those of us who have done the Camino in the past few years will be reminiscing like Caminando about the "good ol' days".

All things in moderation.....

Interesting thoughts here R, and as you say, times change. I like change if it's for the better and appropriate; I think it's essential and also inevitable.

...though I will disagree that I reminisced about the "good ol' days". Absolutely untrue, nor did I use this quote you attributed to me! :shock: Can you show me where I waxed nostalgic?

If you can carefully read what I said, I'm convinced you will agree with me. Most good universities offer courses in 'close reading'; it's a valuable asset which helps avoid confusion, and can enable accurate reading.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
While preparing for the camino the internet has been a wonderful source of information. How else could we use this forum?
Once on the Camino however we will update our blog briefly and post on this forum if we see an internet café, without specifically searching for one. So our blog will be 'out of sync' with actual days and where we are; we might even be home already as we update it. Does that matter? Not really.
For communicating with family, who might worry about silence from us for too long, we have a simple phone and can text occasionally and they can text back. We can phone home, but prefer not to make promises in case there is no phone signal.
Part of the joy of the Camino for us is being away from phones and e-mails etc and appreciating occasional contact.
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Time of past OR future Camino
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
Caminando said:
...though I will disagree that I reminisced about the "good ol' days". Absolutely untrue, nor did I use this quote you attributed to me! :shock: Can you show me where I waxed nostalgic?

If you can carefully read what I said, I'm convinced you will agree with me. Most good universities offer courses in 'close reading'; it's a valuable asset which helps avoid confusion, and can enable accurate reading.

I wasn't quoting you....if I was, then I would have used the html coding to quote you as demonstrated above.... :)

I'm not disagreeing with you at all. Perhaps if you read my original post a little closer you would see that. :)
 
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Pieces

Veteran Member
I haven't gone yet, so I am only able to reply on prep and intentions

I have used the web extensively, mostly to buy gear and get the layout of the route. As there are fewer guidebooks to my Camino of choice this has been a great help, and I have also ordered the CSJ guide online. In addition I have read accounts of the route to figure how "tough" it actually is and what kind of shoes to bring. So, even if I have been wanting to go (first thought of it in 97 or thereabouts) since before I even started using the internet, the internet has made it easier, and it was actually while googling hotels in Jamaica it came to me that what I was actually looking for was much more likely to be found on The Camino than in the Caribean. So for prep quite extensively, but could have done without I think, (but would have brought too much and too heavy gear :D )

As for the trip itself I plan to bring 2 electrical devises, my Ipod and my cellphone.

On my Ipod will be tons of talking books and my spanish course as well as music, which I find handy as it willlessen weight. I imagine I will not use it much, but it may be nice if there is no one to talk to, or I may keep up the spirit when my legs hurt and its pooring and I am crying by singing along to ABBA.

My cell phone will mainly come as my camera as i gave away my compact camera when i bought my DSLR (which I haven't even considered bringing) The reason for not getting a new compact is that I don't wanna do the walk from behind the lens as I sometimes catch myself doing with my Nikon, so a small crappy cellphone camera suits me fine. The phone also have alarm which may be handy. I have no one who will expect a call or that i have a need for calling while on holiday, but as I am doing the less crowded Camino Primitivi, alone I think that along with my whistle it is good safety if I get lost in the hospitales or injured along the way.

I have no desire to go looking for internet while away, and nothing I need to o there. I actually find that usually when I am on vacation, I go online only to figure out in minutes that i didnt miss out. Not saying I will not check my mail if it is there, but i DO think that it will be nice to have a computerfree trip. I am one of those who sometimes miss the computerfree days, and I think that just maybe, that is also what this trip is about for me,going back to basics, getting out there and actually meeting and talking to people IRL.
 

NancyFrey

New Member
Caminando said:
There may be one factor about this topic which heavily skews the nature of the responses, and possibly the conclusion, if any.

There are only a few here who walked caminos before comms technology was commonplace( I think the OP is one). So, most who respond are unaware of a camino before such technology. Should this be taken into account in the responses?

On my rough count, there is only a handful on this forum who walked caminos before the comms revolution. Perhaps only they can make the comparison? And they are few.

Dunno really, what do you think?

Yes, I am definitely taking this into account. This forum discussion/post is only a part of my research. I understand that what I hear here is limited and skewed by the fact that you are all active members of a virtual pilgrim community and I'm taking that into account. I am very interested in the perspective of both those who have experienced the Camino pre-internet/mobile technologies as well as those who started walking/cycling/doing the Camino after these became mainstream.

KiwiNomad06 said:
But the question Nancy asked was directed at those of us who are walking now, and hardly any of us can make comparisons with walkers from even a decade ago.
Margaret

I would like to clarify that I am interested in ANYONE's opinion and experience who is part of this forum or following this post.

Caminando said:
And you, Nancy; how does comms. tech influence your caminos? Does it enhance or detract?

I could give you a lengthy answer on this but I really don't think my experience is relevant or interesting for the discussion. I don't want my personal opinion and/or experiences to skew the forum's conversation as I'm probably not representative of the forum with my internet and IT habits. I'm not trying to hide anything - if you really want to know then I'll be happy to share but I don't think it's important.

I'm listening very closely to what you are all saying and not saying, what you are focusing on. As the discussion progresses I will probably ask some more questions to the forum as a whole and to some of you individually. It's a very odd way to do research for me because I can't see your faces, hear your voices,and listen to your silences as I would normally. You know what I look like and my name so you can visually represent me. The vast majority of you have made up names and images to represent you. But I believe that that is an important part of the reality of on-line relationships and is therefore also an important way to find out about the contemporary reality of being a pilgrim before, during and after the experience is over. That's one of the very curious developments that I am observing is how you can be 'on the road' all the time and there is a tremendous fluidity between the lived and on-line Camino. People's 'Caminos' are intersecting in new and curious ways that before the internet were impossible. I'm going to stop there. I don't want to hear myself speak. I want to hear from all of you and what you have to say to each other on this.
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
NancyFrey said:
Caminando said:
There may be one factor about this topic which heavily skews the nature of the responses, and possibly the conclusion, if any.

There are only a few here who walked caminos before comms technology was commonplace( I think the OP is one). So, most who respond are unaware of a camino before such technology. Should this be taken into account in the responses?

On my rough count, there is only a handful on this forum who walked caminos before the comms revolution. Perhaps only they can make the comparison? And they are few.

Dunno really, what do you think?

Yes, I am definitely taking this into account. This forum discussion/post is only a part of my research.

Caminando said:
And you, Nancy; how does comms. tech influence your caminos? Does it enhance or detract?

I could give you a lengthy answer on this but I really don't think my experience is relevant or interesting for the discussion. I don't want my personal opinion and/or experiences to skew the forum's conversation as I'm probably not representative of the forum with my internet and IT habits.

Thanks Nancy for a comprehensive reply. Actually, I'd say that none of us is representative of the forum, so no worries there. I realise too, that your caminos form at least two different types - personal and as group leader. Two different species, I think.

It's a very odd way to do research for me because I can't see your faces, hear your voices,and listen to your silences as I would normally. You know what I look like and my name so you can visually represent me.

I really like what you say about being aware of silences, ie what is not said, at least in face to face. Absences can be nearly as valuable as presences. I like to see a face too, but I must say that in the end it shouldnt matter at all. In some ways not seeing a face (thus avoiding unconscious prejudices) can help us focus on the text offered. And yet, we most of us unwittingly construct a persona online which may or may not be what we intend. Hmmmm!

Your project is really very interesting - please share the findings when the time is right.
 

fraluchi

RIP 2019
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One every year since 2007
Mobile 'phone switched off unless an emergency arises. Internet checking (e-mails) once in a while to learn from far away family members. And for the remainder of our pilgrimage admit that
"We're just sitting here stranded, though we're all doing our best to deny it....."
Great!
(NB. and SillyDoll is always hitting the ball on the spot)
 
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.
I've just come to this thread having heard about it on Saturday: Nancy gave a brilliant talk at the CSJ AGM in London that covered this theme. I wish it had been videoed for posterity, or else a commissioning editor gets word of it and can persuade her to make a documentary on the subject.
I find my personal reaction to this is that - for better or worse - it invokes the very strong impression made on me (and somehow 'internalised' since then) by frequent sermons experienced in childhood, based on the verses in the New Testament (Luke) that deal with the trouble the rich man has in giving up his worldly resources/comforts in order to follow Jesus (and that novel idea, to me as a child, of visualising a camel struggling to squeeze through the eye of a needle...) . There seem to be some parallels here about divesting and giving up in order to find more (programmed into me, at least).
Anyway, what alarms me now is the rate of internet development. At least now we can still choose to make the Way without recourse the internet. But in 5 years' time? I'd offer good odds that by then it will be mandatory to sign in to some kind of 'account' if you want to stay in a Galician Xunta albergue - and that'll be linked to payment systems, social media etc etc. And if anyone complains they'll be told it's for everyone's security, convenience and peace-of-mind...

PS Nancy - it'd be great if, when the time is right, you're able to post your wonderful drawing of the relationship between pilgrims and 'the cloud'. Thanks, tom
 
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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I've just come to this thread having heard about it on Saturday: Nancy gave a brilliant talk at the CSJ AGM in London that covered this theme. I wish it had been videoed for posterity, or else a commissioning editor gets word of it and can persuade her to make a documentary on the subject.
Nancy Frey has now made the content of her keynote speech available on Youtube:

 
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.
Nancy Frey has now made the content of her keynote speech available on Youtube:
Fab. Make yourself a pot of tea and settle in for 1hr 15 mins!
The PowerPoint has loads of filmic photos contrasting the camino in the the 1990s with more recent images.
The best view of Nancy's pictures (that I mention in a post above) of how the internet/cloud changes the nature of the pilgrimage is at 56.20 (though it first appears at 25.00).
All of this makes me wonder - given there have been movements in support of things like real ale, wholegrain foods etc in a bid to return to some idea of authenticity, flavour etc, are we getting to the point where's there's scope for a 'real camino' movement? Which, paradoxically, no-one would get to hear about unless it promoted itself via a website, facebook and twitter, e-news etc. - so perhaps it's already out there...
 
S

simply B

Guest
@NancyFrey -

On the off-chance that you check back on this thread, I offer you my congratulations on your "tour de force"!

Factual and non-judgmental, you have taken a keen analytical scalpel to the way things are now. (I'm just a newbie by comparison but my experience between Fall 2012 and Spring 2014 was phenomenal in difference and, to some extent, disappointing.)

I have, just 2 days ago, come out of a Trappist monastery after a period of discernment and, disappointingly, can report the same phenomena taking place among 'retreat-ants' at such places. (The Abbey had to install 'wi-fi' to be amenable to the broader populace seeking peace and quiet.:eek:)

Having done both "dis-connected" and "connected" over the years, my family has been advised that, except for daily safety checks with my wife via text, I will be offline for the duration.

Respecting that other people have different needs,

B

[Edit: As much as I appreciate the Forum, I have the distinct feeling that my involvement with it (as regards posting, NOT financial support!) is probably on the wane. I save on time and everybody else is spared reading my occasional drivel.)
 
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Bala

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Frances 2015, 2018, 2022
Thanks @peregrino_tom for pulling up this thread. Really interesting reading. Looking forward to watching the video tomorrow when I can carve out a bit more time. Much food for thought.
 
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