Deciding to Walk the Camino de Santiago?

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2018 is full of goodness for all of us and hopefully lots of great hikes too.  😀

It’s very early January and even though I am still finishing off the Christmas chocolates, I am looking at the year ahead and wondering what it will bring. I’m lucky to have good health so looking ahead is something that brings hope to my heart. I have options. There are possibilities. I have everything to play for.

What lies ahead?

Between you and me, I’ve been reflecting a lot on when to walk another camino.

Like countless pilgrims before me, I thought it would be enough to walk 500 miles across Spain just the once. I thought I’d “do it” and get it out of my system. I never imagined that I would want to walk again – that is, until I came home and began to reflect on the enormity of my experience. Very quickly, I realized I wanted to walk several more camino journeys in my lifetime. I even had a sense of my next route and when I would walk it but I didn’t make any commitments. I wanted to keep the planning loose until I was sure of the timing. There are lots of things to consider, like the cost, the time it takes, and the preparation it takes for a successful walk. Still, I reflected on when is a good time to walk and how to make that decision, and I wrote a little about it here.

Since then, I’m still reflecting and still trying to figure out the timing for my next journey.

Things are different now. Unlike last time round, I am not in a position to quit my job and walk away from family for 6+ weeks any more. I’m also not really in a position to bring family walking the trail *with* me either.

I know my circumstances will change and I won’t always face these hurdles so I’m not very worried about the timing just now. I just have to be patient and trust that it will come together.

But all this wondering and waiting is a curious thing. I feel my way through a lot of my big decisions and my last camino (and next one!) are no different. But  I wonder how everyone else arrives at the choice to walk camino.

Did you feel called? Was it the answer to a prayer or a heart’s desire?

Did you mentally commit to a year and a route, and then forge your life around making the plans work?

Maybe you suddenly needed a time-out and camino seemed as good a place as any to go think and “be”?

Was it a whim? Were you in Europe with a bit of free time and just decided to go check it out?

Or was it a dream you nursed for twenty years until finally the obstacles fell away?

I know that thousands of people overcome all sorts of obstacles to embark on a camino journey. People with lives far more complex than mine can make it happen. Either life bends to their will or they make it bend for them. Whatever the case, they live colorful, meaningful lives and stay connected to what has meaning and heart.

So, I’m curious. I want to know how to make it all work.

How did you come to your choice to walk camino? What were your obstacles and how did you overcome them? And what would you say to someone thinking about walking but unsure about how to start?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂



9 thoughts on “Deciding to Walk the Camino de Santiago?

  1. oh yes, once the Camino bites, for many it’s hard to let go. I had barely finished my first Camino (Portuguese Coastal Route) in September 2017 than I was ready to cancel my ticket home and start another walk. Instead I’m planning my next for this September; Camino Ingles. It makes sense to me to walk that and it will be preceded by a 15 day pilgrimage from Winchester to Canterbury (my 3rd long distance UK walk). I yearn every day to return to the Camino and although I dislike wishing my life away, I can’t wait for September. I waited 10 long years to walk my first and now I plan to take the next 10 years walking different routes, and alongside of that I plan to do a long distance UK walk each year as well. There is nothing quite like walking each day to a different destination. I loved every minute of my Camino, despite the heat, exhaustion and pain….it’s been the ghighlight of my 60’s. Buen Camino

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh how fabulous, what an inspiration!
      Thanks for sharing, you have given me hope that I can/will return to the trail when the time is right 🙂
      In the meantime, Buen Camino to you and I hope your preparations are going well!


  2. I read for the first time of the Camino when I was twenty-something. When my Dad died twenty years later I needed time off from life and everything else and I’m not the person who meditates. So I thought about it again, but it was just an idea among many. Than someone gave a backpack to me as a gift and I took it as a sign 🙂 I never regretted it. I even didn’t wanted to stop at the end after 750 kms.

    If you want, read this: (about the camino)
    Or this: (what the Camino started in me, somehow)
    Or this: (why i hike in general)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I start my Camino Frances in April.. I’m not religious and I’m not an avid hiker… I can’t quite put my finger on exactly why I’m doing it, I just know that I am.. I’m giving myself a couple of months to complete the CF and hope to practice my dubious Spanish along the way.. I’m sure there will be some interesting experiences to put in my blog, Even the training has been fun. From knee deep in snow to breathless halfway up the side of a huge hill… And on the plus side I’ve met some great people already both whilst out walking and through my blog.. and the real journey hasn’t even started yet !!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Andy.
      By now, your journey really is starting so I wish you a Buen Camino! “A couple of months” to complete the Francés sounds great…plenty of time to take it at your own pace, hopefully. Enjoy 🙂


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