8 Steps for Pilgrimage Planning


8 pilgrimage planning steps

A pilgrimage is a meaningful journey, often religious (but not necessarily).  

Many different faiths have pilgrimage traditions, and many who become pilgrims are searching or are making the journey for their own reasons:  

Grief … 

Healing …

To remember someone or something … 

Because a llama was involved. **(See below.) 



** My husband is absolutely immune to the charms of llamas.
It cost me a certain farm stay & llama pilgrimage in France.
That's not okay.


8 Pilgrimage Planning Steps

Likewise, some steps will be useful across all pilgrimages, while others vary by journey. Here are some common steps to consider in your pilgrimage planning:


  1. Physical preparation: How to ready the body for your walking quest. If you throw yourself out there unprepared, you're less likely to enjoy the quest.
  2. The “why” of the journey: This is more of a driver for the subsequent steps than you might think.
  3. Inner preparation: Spiritual, mental, emotional (depending)
  4. The “where” of the journey: Place may be driven by “why” or by other considerations. Regardless, I think this is the fun part!
  5. Researching options and resources: For pilgrimage planning and along the way
  6. Gearing up: Once you know your journey and your options, it’s time to decide what equipment you’ll need to take with you.
  7. Contingency planning & coordination: You’ll nearly always forget something or encounter something unexpected. 
  8. Reflection: What came out of this journey? What will you take with you into everyday life?


In the coming weeks, I’ll explore each of these pilgrimage planning steps in more depth. Likewise, I’ll continue working through my own spiritual preparation (#3) for my small, upcoming solo pilgrimage.

Happy walking!



Inspiration for the journey...

The Basilique Saint-Nazaire in the walled city of Carcassonne was my favorite French pilgrimage site. Beautiful and moving, like the Louvre.

Peak to Prosperity Passage on the Palmetto Trail in the U.S. This was my own time to “go apart” & find my center. Lots of tree tunnels & train trestles. Great for freeing up your mind & just being…


Try this book...

Perhaps ironically for this page, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye is about an impulsive unplanned pilgrimage. Consumed by regrets & a debt to an old friend, Harold takes off across England, learning about what matters to him & how to take life as it comes.