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Adjusting to “real life” after the Camino - how long did it take?

JustJack

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers
Just Jack,
For many posts relevant to your querry check out this earlier thread

Some of us never are the same but continue by following new aspects of the journey.

Whenever you walk Buen camino.
 
Last edited:

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I never did ...

I was unemployed before and after my first in 1993 ; after the 1994 I started University ; before and after the 2000 to Rome I was still studying at the post-graduate level plus freelance translating ; before and after the 2005 I was mainly looking after my mother ; as to the 2014 and the current 2019/2021 I've been handicapped and so unable to work (the 2014 required a year of close to full-time training to overcome the physical limitations).

What's referred to as "Real Life" as such had come to what I thought was a temporary end in 1992 & '93 before I ever put my first foot down onto the Camino at Logroño railway station -- little did I know at the time that I would never return to it.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
I never did ...

I was unemployed before and after my first in 1993 ; after the 1994 I started University ; before and after the 2000 to Rome I was still studying at the post-graduate level plus freelance translating ; before and after the 2005 I was mainly looking after my mother ; as to the 2014 and the current 2019/2021 I've been handicapped and so unable to work (the 2014 required a year of close to full-time training to overcome the physical limitations).

What's referred to as "Real Life" as such had come to what I thought was a temporary end in 1992 & '93 before I ever put my first foot down onto the Camino at Logroño railway station -- little did I know at the time that I would never return to it.
I think in your heart you never left it. Buen Camino.

Samarkand.
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
I'd also caution about thinking too much about this type of thing in advance of your first camino. You refer to a life-changing experience, and while it is for some ... it isn't for others. The camino affects different people in different ways and I would try to let it come to you and see where it takes you rather than assuming that you will have a certain type of experience, because maybe you won't have that experience after all. So my advice would be not to worry about your post-camino at this stage and just let yourself live your actual camino.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I think in your heart you never left it.
No, I did -- every time I finish a Camino, it's finished and done for, and any new one needs to be its own purpose.

But my 1994 and the 2005 did kind of permanently turn me into a pilgrim, which is what I am anywhere and whatever I may happen to be doing.

You refer to a life-changing experience, and while it is for some ... it isn't for others.
Indeed !!
The camino affects different people in different ways and I would try to let it come to you and see where it takes you rather than assuming that you will have a certain type of experience, because maybe you won't have that experience after all. So my advice would be not to worry about your post-camino at this stage and just let yourself live your actual camino.
Very wise advice.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers

Hate to say this............
But the life you left behind, may lack appeal once you return :oops:
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I always like leave a bit of vacation cushion after returning from travel before starting work again. I think it was a couple of weeks after the Camino Frances and probably a week or a bit less after the Camino Portugues from Porto. That said, returning to work doesn't necessarily mean completely readjusting to the "real world" and leaving the Camino behind. I'm still here, after all
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I Ido not think anyone can really answer that question-for you?

For those of us, for example, traveling transatlantic or half way around the world...there may be several factors worthy of consideration.

How long was your journey home and how did the time change impact you?
Since I travel westbound going home, I need almost a week to get just to normal sleeping patterns. Processing the Camino lasted a lot longer.

Other considerations might include the length of time on a camino. I think it may take a bit more time to integrate upon return when one is away for longer periods of time.

Support system at home, work and/or school

This issue is not a new one on this forum.


Here is an-article written about the possible impact of the Camino upon you. https://www.caminoadventures.com/blog/transitioning-camino-life-real-life/

Ultimately my suggestion is to live each moment as it comes. Plan,Yes! But after that, be mindful, stay in the moment on the Camino. When you return, if you have a few days to recover and share your experience with others great. Maybe join a camino group in your country or region. Keep a journal of your experience to reflect on later, take photos to process and share at home. And, let the forum members know how you are doing while on your camino and when you return home!
 
Last edited:

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Year of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
Forever,
... it takes forever...
You will have noticed the greeting

Ultreïa" - and then you are supposed to reply -"et Suseïa", like in the old greeting "Forwards", you will reply - "and Upwards"....

(look up the meaning of these greetings...)

your own imprint of your very own Camino will permeate your mind and your life in your own way to your own degree.
Some cannot stop talking about the Camino, most do not let go of thinking about it in their own secret ways,

so, like sb mentioned you might never return fully to your former life...

It is all up to you how you want to embrace that....

Good Luck... and Ultreïa...
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
I Ido not think anyone can really answer that question-for you?

For those of us, for example, traveling transatlantic or half way around the world...there may be several factors worthy of consideration.

How long was your journey home and how did the time change impact you?
Since I travel westbound going home, I need almost a week to get just to normal sleeping patterns. Processing the Camino lasted a lot longer.

Other considerations might include the length of time on a camino. I think it may take a bit more time to integrate upon return when one is away for longer periods of time.

3). Support system at home, work and/or school

This issue is not a new one on this forum.


Here is an-article written about the possible impact of the Camino upon you. https://www.caminoadventures.com/blog/transitioning-camino-life-real-life/

Ultimately my suggestion is to live each moment as it comes. Plan,Yes! But after that, be mindful, stay in the moment on the Camino. When you return, if you have a few days to recover and share your experience with others great. Maybe join a camino group in your country or region. Keep a journal of your experience to reflect on later, take photos to process and share at home. And, let the forum members know how you are doing while on your camino and when you return home!

Going back to my Appalachian Trail days, my wife has always indicated that I come back a "better" person after a long walk. I expect that this is a combination of a collection of new experiences, new contacts, trimmer body and being reunited with her. It helps that I am retired and don't have to fit back into a work environment.

It works well for both of us as when I get a certain far away look in my eyes, she says: "why don't you go somewhere". I always assume that it is meant in the most benevolent way. :rolleyes:
 

Dieterm

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
After a Camino you never get back to what you were before, the tranquility and peace of the trail change you forever, new we enjoy long hikes and walks and seeing the world through different eyes.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers
First things first. Listen to the words of Jungleboy:
The camino affects different people in different ways and I would try to let it come to you and see where it takes you rather than assuming that you will have a certain type of experience, because maybe you won't have that experience after all.
I would take his words one step further. You almost without a doubt NOT have the experience on the Camino that you are assuming you will have before you take your first step. As we all say just let it happen. Any expectation you have is just that an exception not rooted in the reality of what will be.
Secondly I have always pushed back on the assumption that the Camino is not part of the "real world". I do not quite get that. The camino is the real world. You have had real experiences, seen and heard real sights and sounds and met real people. The thoughts you have on the camino may actually be the most real thoughts and feelings you have or will ever have in your life. Are the pressures your boss imposes on you and the arguments and stresses of coworkers at a job and the deadlines and threats more real than the lightness of body mind and spirit that permeate your body as you walk? Is the sounds of yelling people, blaring traffic horns and jet planes roaring overhead more real than a bird chirping or a cow mooing as you walk silently and singularly along an open field? The Camino is reality. The Camino may be the most genuinely real experience you may have on this earth.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
After a Camino you never get back to what you were before
No, that really does vary massively between one individual and the next.

I've found that among those affected the least by it are some American thru-hikers having already hiked one or more of the PCT, CDT, and/or AT.

It's also very different for some Spaniards than for others.
 

kdespot

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés SJPP-SdC Sept-Oct 2016
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers
 

kdespot

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés SJPP-SdC Sept-Oct 2016
I agree passionately with every comment that has already been posted. And while I also agree that trying to anticipate your emotions upon finishing your Camino is akin to tempting fate, my words of wisdom would be that, if at all possible, plan to stay in Spain a few days or a week after you finish. I hopped a train and explored the country a bit and found that buffer/transition to be a lifesaver.
 
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JoroAtanasof

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF may 2018
CP july 2018
CP Coastal august 2019
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers
Well after my first and only Camino Frances I took a month and instead going back to work I have done Camino Portuguese starting from Porto. I was not ready to go back to the real life . Best decision in my life I would say. I never returned to my initial work . Before my first Camino I only worked and worked , these days because of Camino I won’t hesitate quitting my job if it is messing my Camino plans. And yes I still work from 9 to 5 but let’s be honest who is the same person after Camino ;)
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
, my words of wisdom would be that, if at all possible, plan to stay in Spain a few days or a week after you finish. I hopped a train and explored the country a bit and found that buffer/transition to be a lifesaver.
I completely agree with this. A transition period between Camino life to regular life is very helpful.
 

Kimtom

Wannawalk
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances on bike (2014)
Frances on foot (2019)
Frances on foot (2020)
When I come home from a Camino I notice that I bring a certain quality back with me. It is a gift, this quality. Not sure what it is exactly but it allows the presence of mind to appreciate all of life more. It is expansive. I’m with It56ny that the Camino might be the most real experience we have. Much extraneous stuff is chucked out the window. We just walk through the land and enjoy one another. What more did we ever need?
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
Most people have to go straight back to their job arriving home after a camino, since walking for weeks takes more time than their ordinary holiday from work. So it was for me after my first 2 caminos in 2005 and 2007. When I started from Le Puy in 2009 I was retired and did not have to bother about reaching Santiago in time.
I don´t think it has been a trouble to return to ordinary life after a camino, but it´s a tendency to start planning a new.
I still do even if I probably is too old to go further.
My last camino was the Invierno in 2018. We will see what the corona leads up to wether there will be another.😉
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Dumb question as far as I am concerned, life was what it was before my first Camino and as I can remember it was not much different after 11 years of walking various Caminos. Sorry to bust your myth!
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Dumb question as far as I am concerned, life was what it was before my first Camino and as I can remember it was not much different after 11 years of walking various Caminos. Sorry to bust your myth!

Mine changed quite a bit, based on my reassessment of values and priorities.

Maybe it was screwed up re Camino ? :rolleyes:
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Yes, Robo, it is question that rests on where you were "before" and not "after" the Camino.
 

trevorcc

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPD to Santiago 2013,2014, Camino de Levante Sept. 2016, Frances March 2018, planning 2020
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers
Never went back to the so called real world found a better world on the Camino and try to live that way.
 

La Brique Jaune

Official member of la confradia del pinza del oro
Year of past OR future Camino
2017: SJPDP to Finisterre
(202?): I hope and need to
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers

Hi,

To answer to your first question: I think like you, After my Camino (I did only one) I had two weeks off before my job and I think it's was necessarily. For your second question: I was kind difficult on the return, buy don't really remember. But your experience will be probably different than mine, it's depends on many things.

For my next Camino, I will probably more time for relaxing in Finisterre / visiting more Santiago for acclimating myself.

Couple days before my Flight and my Camino, my transports to SJPDP and my gear was settled, I was searching about topics like your.
The best advice I had is to do not have expectations, I really thinks my Camino give me the answers/experiences/reflections I needed.

La Brique
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
When I arrive in Santiago after a camino, I am always tired and I want to go home. However my camino went, it is over for that time, and I long for my own bed. I am never home for very long before I am planning the next one. About two months on camino and ten months at home planning the next one seems to work for me. This pandemic has really screwed up my schedule.
 
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JustJack

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I'd also caution about thinking too much about this type of thing in advance of your first camino. You refer to a life-changing experience, and while it is for some ... it isn't for others. The camino affects different people in different ways and I would try to let it come to you and see where it takes you rather than assuming that you will have a certain type of experience, because maybe you won't have that experience after all. So my advice would be not to worry about your post-camino at this stage and just let yourself live your actual camino.
Thank you, I have been thinking the same all along. I know there’s a danger of setting high expectations, and I’m doing my best not to do so. Life changing is very likely an overstatement. I have a few things that I want to spend a lot of time thinking about, and if I can come to some sort of resolution on those things I will be more than happy when I finish. Your comments are well noted.
 

JustJack

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
First things first. Listen to the words of Jungleboy:

I would take his words one step further. You almost without a doubt NOT have the experience on the Camino that you are assuming you will have before you take your first step. As we all say just let it happen. Any expectation you have is just that an exception not rooted in the reality of what will be.
Secondly I have always pushed back on the assumption that the Camino is not part of the "real world". I do not quite get that. The camino is the real world. You have had real experiences, seen and heard real sights and sounds and met real people. The thoughts you have on the camino may actually be the most real thoughts and feelings you have or will ever have in your life. Are the pressures your boss imposes on you and the arguments and stresses of coworkers at a job and the deadlines and threats more real than the lightness of body mind and spirit that permeate your body as you walk? Is the sounds of yelling people, blaring traffic horns and jet planes roaring overhead more real than a bird chirping or a cow mooing as you walk silently and singularly along an open field? The Camino is reality. The Camino may be the most genuinely real experience you may have on this earth.
Quite right, “real world” was a poor choice of words. Typical day-to-day work life would have been more accurate.
 

JustJack

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Dumb question as far as I am concerned, life was what it was before my first Camino and as I can remember it was not much different after 11 years of walking various Caminos. Sorry to bust your myth!
You’re not busting anything, no worries. Sorry you find it a dumb question. I assume everyone knows that life itself doesn’t change, but one’s perceptions, priorities and assumptions can certainly change. I think that’s what people are commenting on.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
For me there's these things called mortgage payments, insurance, utilities etc that encourage me to brush aside my longing for albergues, watching the sun rise on the path and inexpensive red wine lol. My Camino holiday has come to an end and it's time to be practical and move on until, God willing I can hopefully walk it again.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
My Camino holiday has come to an end and it's time to be practical and move on until, God willing I can hopefully walk it again.
I do not regard my caminos as holidays, but as my retreat times, times of spiritual renewal. It is difficult to live through this pandemic without any opportunities for this. But, like RJM, I must wait until, "God willing I can hopefully walk it again."
 

Chris RJ

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers
I wanted to find pilgrims in Santiago airport, not really wanting to let go, but I was surprised that inserting myself back into my former life in the City wasn’t that difficult, at least initially.

That was 2 years ago. In the meantime, the only thing preventing me for from returning to the Camino was Covid. I do still feel different and look at ‘civilians’ who are not pilgrims as not being able to understand the camaraderie, conquering adversity and general decency that I associate with my Camino experience.

I haven’t been changed by the Camino, but like my Inca Trail experience back in ‘86, I feel enlarged by it. Improved, perhaps.
 

Arctic_Alex

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Finished: Camino Frances April/May 2019
Canceled: Primitivo May 2020
Hate to say this............
But the life you left behind, may lack appeal once you return :oops:
Well, this very much depends on what life you return to and how much this life suits you and your personality.
I actually learned already on the Camino and even more when I returned from it how much I really like my "normal" life.
So enlightenment is not in every case disruptive, it can also be very affirmative :)
Both happens, but I guess people talk simply less about the latter as it is less dramatic, less of a tale to tell.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Quite right, “real world” was a poor choice of words. Typical day-to-day work life would have been more accurate.
It is a choice of words that lots of people have used before you. No biggie. The biggie is not to worry about it now. Just walk and let it happen. The sooner you drain your brain of all your junk that is leading you to the Camino and all your expectations the quicker you can let something new inside. Remember it may be the greatest thing that ever happened, it may be the dumbest thing you ever did, or it may be somewhere in between. Let it be.
 

Chris RJ

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I'd also caution about thinking too much about this type of thing in advance of your first camino. You refer to a life-changing experience, and while it is for some ... it isn't for others. The camino affects different people in different ways and I would try to let it come to you and see where it takes you rather than assuming that you will have a certain type of experience, because maybe you won't have that experience after all. So my advice would be not to worry about your post-camino at this stage and just let yourself live your actual camino.
👍👍👍 good point jungleboy
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Perhaps I should have stuck with the adage that "there are no dumb questions, only dumb answers" or in my case "comments." It depends on the situation and we all are different as this thread has proven.
 

NYSE

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances & Camino Finisterre/Muxia April 2019
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers
After walking my Camino and then to Finesterre and Muxia I headed up to A Coruna, walked that city, then down to Porto, walked that city, then down to Lisbon, walked that city then returned home and have been
walking 35 to 40 miles per week since May 2019. Of course, I'm retired. I guess I can say life never goes back to "normal" after walking the Camino.
 

KellysMom

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - May (2019)
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers
Hi Just Jack, I am a fellow British Columbian who walked the Camino Frances in May/June, 2019. I agree with most when they say that there is a lot to consider when trying to answer your questions. Do you enjoy your "old life and job" now? if the answer is, yes, then maybe you will come home with appreciation, gratitude etc etc for the things you have. If you don't enjoy your life and job then you may find the courage and strength to move on - and there is no doubt that you will have a life-changing experience, it's inevitable. The only thing that I will do differently next time is I would continue walking to Finisterre - I ended up spending an extra day in Paris before flying home and it was such a culture shock to my system. I then went straight back to work and continue to struggle with the balance that I want to see for myself and my life but I don't ever see that as a bad thing. I see it as a gift the Camino gave me - reminding me of all I learned, wished for, decided, cried about, laughed at ( I could go on and on) while I was on my 32 day pilgrimage.
Enjoy every moment of this journey, from the planning, to the walk itself and the changes that will occur both during and after.
Buen Camino!
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers
The camino is the real world, you return to the fake materialistic world. I walked my first camino 8 years ago. I have never readjusted to the so called real world. Yes you will have a life changing experience. Nothing will ever be the same again but you will enjoy the new perspective on your old life. You will see things with new eyes and priorities may change. As far as work is concerned, I am not qualified to speak about that as I took early retirement 12 years ago so I already saw things with new eyes but the camino was something else. Next to getting married and becoming a father it was the single most important awesome thing I had ever done. So awesome that I went back in 2015, 2016 and 2018. Would have been back this year except for covid
 

camino.ninja

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers

A lot of people never really adjust to life before the camino again. The question might be if you are really supposed to.
 
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catperson

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
Many comments in this thread but I would agree with the answer will ie with you. You know you best. Do you want to have a cushion at the end.? I and my daughter walked to finisterra , stayed there five days and then in Madrid 3 days. We enjoyed the time in finisterra. We were able to meet others walking in and just relax by the sea. But we love the sea so for us this was a good choice. We had others in our Camino family arrive in Santiago , grab their compostella and head for airport. .. if you can allow you to do what is best for you. It will work out
 

Walkingboy

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino France
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers
Not sure I have got over the camino Frances walk in 2019. Scariest bit was getting on the bus to the airport, couldn't believe how fast it was after 25 days at walking pace. Looking forward to doing the camino Portuguese 2022.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
May and June 2017
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers
Hi JustJack
It took me a number of weeks to get back into the rhythm of the old normal. I'd left a lovely warm Spain in late June and returned to a cold NZ in July. Feeling out of sorts and uncomfortable with switching summer for winter, all I could think about was booking another flight to go walking again. Portugal gripped my attention. I researched starting from Lisbon and my patient husband listened as I processed my state of 'not being ready' to be off the camino.
When we did our second and third caminos we built in a 'holiday' at the end to create a buffer between walking and returning home. Having some 'inbetween' time was a real help, mentally speaking.
Not everyone can have an extended break from work. I understand that. But we now build in that additional time with our planning, given that I need that time to 'reintegrate'!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
My Caminos have all been 4-6 weeks long and I was always happy to return home; satiated and grateful for the mostly wonderful experiences I had. After a few months back home I always had a desire to plan the next one. It's been very disappointing to be stuck on my side of the Atlantic without my Camino "fix" since 2020.
 

Frank Wortley

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
French Caminos - April/May 2013, March/April 2017 and (Sept/Oct 2018)
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers
I wonder if your question is on the money. There is a saying that "When we fininsh walking the Camino the Camino continues to walk us." Is it a matter of adjusting from/to or one of integrating the Camino experience into the normalcy of our ongoing lives? My Caminos have had significant impact on my life and I still feel those impacts today - 8 years after my first pilgrimage. Something to reflect on.
 
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natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2009
Building in some margin after you return from the Camino can be a wise thing, and then if you find you don't need it, you can always return to work sooner :). But it's often a good time to finish journaling (if you'll be doing that), reflecting, cleaning things up, and really letting this Camino journey close out, even if of course you will still be reflecting on it and letting it change you for a long time to come. Many people can't plan at least a week to reacclimatize to their "normal" life before going back to work; I'd say go for it if you can!

Buen Camino.
 

56pilgrim

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Casino finisterre (2014) camino Frances last 150k (2012) starting sjdp April 23 2016
After 30-some days walking, being introspective and living mindfully, I have to assume it takes some time to readjust to the real world after finishing. I’m thinking/guessing I will need at least a week before returning to work after the Camino, to reacclimatize.

What have other’s experience been? In particular those who are working regular 9-5 jobs? How soon after finishing did you return to work? Was it difficult? I wonder about having a life-changing experience, and struggling to enjoy my old life and job after it’s over.

I would appreciate hearing if others have struggled with this.

cheers
I walked in 2016, left the office on Friday 23 April? and returned to my desk on the first Monday in June. I managed to last 4 days before something had to change. spoke to my partner on the Thursday, went to see the HR director on the Monday and left for good on the Thursday morning 3 months before my 60th birthday. Best wishes for your walk and good luck with returning to work.
 

Arn

Veteran Member
No, that really does vary massively between one individual and the next.

I've found that among those affected the least by it are some American thru-hikers having already hiked one or more of the PCT, CDT, and/or AT.

It's also very different for some Spaniards than for others.
As an AT thru-hiker (1996), and having walked the Camino (CF3, CP and CI), I can honestly say, I have no desire to thru-hike the AT again. Sure there are the usual expectations: long days with no contact with other hikers, sleeping in a lean-to, a twenty-space lodge, hotel, etc, many, many Scenic Overlooks (they melt into one after #3 because you reach the understanding you need more miles not more smiles), wild animals, wild people, and a desire to finish. For me at Mt.Katahdin that was the end of the trail and the end of the desire to do it again. Sure I still section walk the AT, but it's more to get out and about than walking with a goal.
The Camino, is never the same. You could plan out a 45 day trek from SJPDP finish in SDC. Turn right around, grab public transportation back to SJPDP, do the exact CF...lodging, restaurants, bodegas, Churches and hospitals (just kidding, well, maybe not) and this Camino will be different. For one, you may find you totally misremember something (a place, person, etc), discover the thrill of meeting a fellow pilgrim that went off the Way and now is back along side you again. The Camino is different and just the same.
Walking the Way leaves me with knowledge that, when I do it again, it will be like putting on a comfortable pair of slippers, wrapping my hands around a fine single malt whisky and silently reminiscing of that which is past and building up the enthusiasm to plan the next in the future.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Year of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
- I rarely sleep later that 6 o´clock in the morning... something that the caminoes changed for good...
I have furthermore developed a profound tolerance for snorers, the more the merrier..:
Three part harmony snoring seems appropriately calming ...
In the meantime my wife has stopped snoring due to improved health and stress management...
Life is strange sometimes....
 
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