For those of you who want to read more about pilgrimage from the perspective of a gifted ethnographer, I highly recommend the work of Victor Turner. I have read Image and Pilgrimage in Christian Culture and The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure.
After having experienced first hand the physical, psychological, and social changes that occur in a human being as a result of pilgrimage, reading Turner was a relief and an affirmation. In his books he wields the rigor of academic study and research to confirm and elucidate the mystical experience-something that many in the Western world may find a relief and comfort in this age of skepticism.
-And don’t forget to support my Kickstarter East or West: A Walking Journey Along Shikoku’s 88 Temple Pilgrimage