St James Pilgrimage

An Interview with Thomas, St. James pilgrim

Camino Compostela

Thomas used LiveTrekker for the full 60 days of his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, also known as Saint James’ Pilgrimage. Here is his full report!

Why did you do this particular trip?

It is something I had in my mind for a long time, and many pilgrims will tell you that the reasons for doing the St. James pilgrimage are by nature very diverse anyway. But I wish everyone could live the same experience!

Why did you decide to use LiveTrekker during this trip?

St. James Pilgrimage to Compostela is very ancient, and modern technology is at the antipodes of it. Using an iPhone is an entirely remote concept from the simplicity of such a pilgrimage. But the main purpose of using LiveTrekker during this journey was to share with my friends and family, which on the other hand is something very faithful to the Compostela spirit. As such, they could get live updates and check my progression every day… and additionally, be reassured that I was safe. I was on my own but with LiveTrekker it meant I was never truly alone.

What were some of your best moments?

I would say the full 60 days experience was my best moment!

How did you use LiveTrekker to remember and share this amazing Trek?

It allowed me not only to record pictures, videos, audio comments and text directly, but also to link them to a particular position in time and space, which will last in time. What was important to me was to match content and its true geographical location, and the idea I could relive these moments in the future anytime.

In what ways was LiveTrekker appropriate or not to your trip?

An iPhone and everything it stands for, especially as a tool that conveys a certain social status, is the opposite of the simplicity and spirituality of the St. James pilgrimage to Compostela. As such, using an iPhone on my trip, I was not truly disconnected from the outside world as would fit the simplicity of the pilgrimage. The only reason I decided to take an iPhone was in order to use LiveTrekker to record and share my trip.

Thus, it was possible for me to convey a message and to share my mood at every moment of the journey, so that people could get a glimpse at my state of mind. It also acted as a security safeguard, because my followers could verify that I was OK all the time, and they could travel with me to escape their everyday routine.

How convenient was using the App during your trip?

It was simple and easy to use. Regarding battery life issues, I had planned in advance and brought a battery extender and a solar battery loader with me. I could thus record content for 12 hours a day using 3G and GPS without running out of battery, except on one or two occasions.

Which feature did you use the most?

Blog capture aside, I could show other walkers my exact track and recorded content for the previous days of my trip (up to 30 days old) on the spot. For example, once in Spain, I could show other trekkers parts of my trip, including in France, which was pretty interesting to them in order to see which path I had chosen. Since all the trips are listed on the App, I could easily retrieve them and display their content one by one.

Who did you share the resulting LiveTreks with?

I shared with friends and family, but also with colleagues and even other pilgrims along the road, without having to manage hundreds of pictures on a computer afterwards.

What did LiveTrekker bring to your trip?

What I particularly liked, is that since you decide what you deem important enough to be recorded as a photo, video (etc.) blog, you’re inclined to have a certain awareness of your surroundings. As a result, it improves your perception of the environment, since basically everything around you can be captured and shared.

How did other people use the trips I shared with them?

They could experience my trip with me along the way and in real time, and many of them told me that it allowed them to escape from their daily work environment, they could also check if I was still in a good shape, again in real time!

In fact, I know of some people who would work and follow me in their office on a second screen…in real-time. They could see my pictures, videos, etc a few seconds after I took them in the exact natural context where I was. That’s truly unique.

Would you use LiveTrekker again?

Do you mean that I have to trek 1800km again? :-) Yes, I do it often these days.

Thank you!

Click on the following thumbnails to relive Thomas’ adventure as if you were with him!
Day 6 - Nasbinals to St. Côme d'Olt
Day 6 – Between Nasbinals and St. Côme d’Olt

D30 - border between France and Spain
D30 – Crossing the border between France and Spain

Day 35 - Viana to Navarette
Day 35 – Road from Viana to Navarette

Day 53 - O Cebreiro to Samos
Day 53 – From O Cebreiro to Samos

D58 - Labacolla to St. Jacques
Day 58 – Almost at Compostela! Labacolla to St. Jacques

Arrival in Murcia, Spain
Arrival in beautiful Muxia, Spain