Hundreds of thousands walk the series of routes that converge in Santiago de Compostela. And pilgrims have been doing this for over 1000 years. Walking the Camino was not on of my "bucket list" of adventures, but it became a perfect choice when life took me down a different path.
Many create their own Camino while in a transition, but many others walk for other reasons too. It's not necessary to know what your Camino should be, it does not matter. It could be clear on your walk, but most likely it will be more subtle and be a catalyst that marks a new beginning. Either way, its personal. Choosing your route, distance, how to walk or cycle, to go alone, with a small group or take an organized tour is all up to you. There is no right or wrong way. I met many returning pilgrims and I often asked why they were back. Quite a few returned to make it their own walk. Some found defeat in the daily distance or the load on their back. Many enjoyed their walk with others, but did not feel it was the walk they personally wanted. And others simply wanted to finish a route; parts at a time. St Jean to Santiago seems to be the most popular route. Not everyone has 6 weeks or more for that trek, so many choose to join the route 100-200 miles out. You earn a certificate at the end as long as you have walked at least 100 kilometers. So you can image the traffic on the route picks up at the end. The Camino is safe and it is easy to travel alone. If you want to walk alone, you can also travel with a few friends and meet up each day for shared rooms and meals. You will meet new friends and see them or hear from someone who met them along the way. It's a network and a lot of fun to see familiar faces throughout the trip.
I will post a series of stories and information about the Camino in my future blogs. In the meantime, you can watch the movie "The Way" on Netflix and read about the Camino. I used the book " A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean---Buen Camino (Good Path, Good life)