A video of my conversation with Jen Hofmann, creator of the Americans of Conscience checklist.
Every journey teaches us something, even if it’s only that pig’s ears really are as rubbery and tasteless as you’d imagine, or that the best time to check for bed bugs is when you arrive at night, not when you get up the next morning. For Jen Hofmann, a writer and social media teacher in Oregon, her 40th birthday inspired a host of what’s-life-all-about questions that led her to a pilgrimage on the famous Camino de Santiago across northern Spain.
What wisdom did she find on the journey?
"The entire route has yellow arrows that help guide you,” Jen told me. “In my own life, I’ve learned to identify what those arrows look like and feel like inside of me.” One critical turning point came after the 2016 election. “I had about two weeks of lying in bed eating Oreos,” she recalls ruefully. “I was seriously depressed and disillusioned." Then one day she got up, got dressed, and went to a meeting of local Resisters.
The group was struggling to make their way through the morass of social media to discover reliable information and figure out how to take meaningful action. Jen volunteered to research, verify, and post a checklist of useful actions for the forty people in the group. By January subscribers had grown to 7,000, and after the Women’s March, it went viral. Today, her Americans of Conscience checklist has 70,000 subscribers.
I asked Jen if she could look the president in the eye and say one thing to him, what would it be? Jen (who is clearly a far more spiritually evolved person than I am) replied, “It would probably be to heal. I’m aware that behind his egregious actions and massive ego is a deeply wounded man. I wish for him healing in whatever it is that plagues him.” And I say amen to that!
This video is Episode 3 of my ongoing series Women of the American Resistance. You can view the complete series on YouTube, this blog, and American Resistance Sevilla; many episodes appear on Americans Resisting Overseas and other social media sites. Feel free to repost this video or link to this content. My goal is to tell the world about these remarkable American women and the work they're doing to help fix the mess we're in.
“The great value of travel is the opportunity it offers you to pry open your hometown blinders and broaden your perspective. And when we implement that world view as citizens of our great nation, we make travel a political act."
I'm an American travel writer based in Spain and currently living in California.
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