An award-winning debut memoir by travel expert Julie Gianelloni Connor
Published by Bayou City Press
The book is available worldwide in digital and print format
Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike focuses on the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage trail that began around 820 AD and that traverses Spain, ending in Santiago de Compostela, the burial place of St. James the apostle. A resurrection of interest in the Camino since the 1980s has meant that more than 300,000 individuals are nowadays undertaking the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela each year. The author made the pilgrimage in 2016 via the French route from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, a journey of some 500 miles. Her book incorporates a blog and travel journal she kept during that pilgrimage, with an illustration accompanying each of the 49 days of the journey.
The book is also a memoir, with Ms. Connor explaining how and why she decided to make the pilgrimage.
While the prevailing culture of the Camino is to walk the route, Ms. Connor believes that walking is not the only way to undertake the Camino. Taking buses, taxis, or even driving are also valid ways to experience the Camino, in her opinion. She advocates for pilgrims to slow down and savor the pilgrimage by stopping in churches, cathedrals, museums, and interesting towns and cities along the route. Not everyone experiences spiritual or personal growth through the act of walking; Ms. Connor urges pilgrims to take the trip in the manner that will most connect them with
their spiritual, religious, and transcendent wellsprings.
After completing the pilgrimage, the author journeyed on to Madrid and Toledo, and there are chapters in the book covering those visits. Ms. Connor also recounts activities following the journey related to the Camino, such as writing an open letter to relevant governmental authorities in Spain and hosting a thank-you dinner in Houston for those who helped her plan and organize her pilgrimage.
The book includes a useful chapter on resources and an index. A blog about the trip, Camino for Boomers, complements the book by offering many additional color photos as well as updates about events relating to the trip.
“Delightful hand-drawn illustrations…Connor’s message is simple. Walk your own Camino, take time to enjoy it and work so that others might do the same.”
–La Concha, American Pilgrims on the Camino
“a story that is powerfully written, capturing adversity and revelation alike.”
–Donovan’s Literary Services
“Those who want a satisfying blend of spiritual and travel revelations which use the Camino as a road to understanding and enlightenment on many levels will find Savoring the Camino de Santiago the perfect item of choice. It covers the emotions, reactions, and insights of a pilgrim who cultivates a slower approach to viewing the world than most travel accounts offer.”
— Midwest Book Review
“Fans of armchair travel or those exploring their own interesting walking the Camino de Santiago will get a lot from this down-to-earth guide and memoir.”
— BookLife Review, a subsidiary of Publishers Weekly
Julie Gianelloni Connor is an award-winning author and retired senior Foreign Service Officer. Her first book, Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, not the Hike, garnered no. 1 status on Amazon in both the category for new books on hiking and walking and the category for Spain and Portugal. It subsequently went on to win a silver medal in the eLit national competition as well as being selected as a finalist by Self-Publishing Review (SPR). She released her second title, a children’s book, in 2021. It has won first place in the children’s book category at the North Texas Book Festival and the Grand Prize for children’s book from AMI (Authors Marketing International). The Baby with Three Families, Two Countries, and One Promise tells an international adoption story. Julie’s short stories have appeared in four anthologies. She is the owner and publisher of Bayou City Press (BCP) in Houston, Texas, which focuses on travel writing, Houston, history, and international affairs. Julie writes a weekly newsletter for BCP updating subscribers about activities. She founded BCP after spending 33 years as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, first with the U.S. Information Agency and later with the U.S. Department of State. She had nine overseas assignments in seven different countries: Israel (twice), Paraguay, Guatemala, Indonesia, Colombia (twice), Malaysia, and Chile. In Washington, DC, Julie worked on a variety of matters, ranging from nuclear non-proliferation to narcotics control to women’s issues. She has one son, James, and two cats, Halloween and Charles Augustus V.
To request additional review copies or an interview with Julie Gianelloni Connor, please contact Mickey Mikkelson at Creative Edge Publicity: firstname.lastname@example.org / 403.464.6925.
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