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Anything wrong with wanting to walk alone?

FeatherG

Member
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese Route (last 100+kms) (2011)
Finisterre Route (2012)
French Way (first 100+ kms) (2014)
Northern Coastal Route (first 100+kms) (2015)
French Way (last 100+kms) (2017)
I see what you did there ;)

It was a nice enough mutt

View attachment 116401
but I didn't want to be tailed all across Spain!
I totally understand Jeff. On my first solo Camino, my beloved Riley had recently died, & he was obviously worried about me being on my own, so the first day, as I started out from Sarria, all these dogs kept appearing 'out of nowhere' on my trail. I had Riley's pic on a key-ring, on my ruck-sack, & I honestly think he was sending out a 'call' to any 'Tom, Dick, or Harry' dog, "please mind my mammy"! 🥰
 

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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
To any who thought my "go alone, go alone, go alone!" post was too strong I thought I would try to explain, from my perspective. I have walked alone and also with a good friend. Have enjoyed both equally but in very different ways.

It is like this. There is pilgrimage and there is Camino, and they are different.

A pilgrimage is the same mindset and intent as going to a retreat in a monastery or convent.
You go alone.
First thing they do is to take all your communication devices away.
This is how it is supposed to be - no distractions, just you, universe, God (or whatever name you wish to use).
You will meet and sometimes become friends with monks/nuns, have sometimes joyful mealtimes, but will spend a lot of time totally alone, even during the services you will be alone.
The only differences between a religious retreat and a pilgrimage is that in Spain you will not have a spiritual guide with you and you will probably walk 500 miles :)

A Camino is going on the pilgrim route and moving towards Santiago. If it doesn't have a deep spiritual element then technically it is a hike, a holiday, tourism.
On a Camino you can go with whomever you want, alone or with others. Use your phone, take a laptop or pad and write blogs and send photos of the meals you are eating, stick earbuds in and listen to songs, etc.

So it is about intent.

Neither is superior to the other, they both have value, both can be visited by synchronicity, the breath of the Spirit, all are called - though I would lean towards pilgrimage as it is a Roman Catholic pilgrim route to the remains of a saint, not a hiking holiday. Therefore my statement - Go Alone.

For most pilgrims this may be the only time they have been alone in their whole lives. Childhood, school, college, work, girl/boyfriends, marriage, children, family again - never ever alone, for decades and decades - so this, for anyone reading this and being afraid about the newness of actually being alone - be not afraid, all is well, go alone xx

Buen Camino all. ♥️
I think I have a different understanding of pilgrimage than you do. Perhaps because my introduction to the concept was Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
 

El Gordo

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
I started my Camino Frances on my own in September 2021. By SJPP I was meeting people and walking with them. The nature of pilgrims walking makes it very easy to greet each other and begin a conversation. I say start on your own and allow your Camino to naturally unfold.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
Like others who have commented above, it is a matter of following what suits you.
I always pilgrimage alone and allow the Camino to provide what I need, be it people, lodging, vistas, food, blessings, and lessons.
 
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Selfish? Not at all! And even if it is, who are you hurting or harming with this 'selfish' decision? I love walking on my own, for all the reasons you mention. I love meeting new people, which is harder if you are already with someone, because others might think you prefer your own company. I sometimes prefer walking in silence, other times I enjoy chatting all day, sometimes I want to walk fast and sometimes slow, and sometimes I decide on the spur of the moment to stop for the day just because the restaurant across the street has got pork cheeks on the menu. Some people think it is strange that I prefer to walk alone, and that I prefer to carry my (lightweight) pack instead of forwarding it, but I love it because it gives me so much freedom and flexibility to follow my own heart and mind. Selfish is such a negatively loaded word, how about telling them that you are giving yourself some time and space? That is after all what you are doing. Call it self-care, not selfish. Buen camino to you!
Not selfish at all, I walked the Frances alone, but you really are never alone. Then did the Portugues with my son, once we both agreed to just walk our own pace and meet up at the end of the day, we both enjoyed the walk much more. And I’m the same as you I like yo socialize at stops and the end of the day.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
Selfish? Not at all! And even if it is, who are you hurting or harming with this 'selfish' decision? I love walking on my own, for all the reasons you mention. I love meeting new people, which is harder if you are already with someone, because others might think you prefer your own company. I sometimes prefer walking in silence, other times I enjoy chatting all day, sometimes I want to walk fast and sometimes slow, and sometimes I decide on the spur of the moment to stop for the day just because the restaurant across the street has got pork cheeks on the menu. Some people think it is strange that I prefer to walk alone, and that I prefer to carry my (lightweight) pack instead of forwarding it, but I love it because it gives me so much freedom and flexibility to follow my own heart and mind. Selfish is such a negatively loaded word, how about telling them that you are giving yourself some time and space? That is after all what you are doing. Call it self-care, not selfish. Buen camino to you!
When I'm on the comino I too prefer to walk alone. I find it gives me not only the freedom to travel at my own speed, but it allows me to appreciate what I'm seeing, hearing, and feeling. I agree - it is "self-care" and not selfishness.
 

Debi Baker

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
Walked the Frances with two other girlfriends in 1998, it was a great experience. But even with Covid, being 69 I set out to do the Portuguese and Fatima from Lisbon this past September alone. So glad I did it. I agree with everyone, do try it alone for you are never truely alone!
Buen Camino!
 

Jackieduda

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF September (2018)
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
As a 68 year old woman in sept 2018, i walked the entire camino frances alone, safely, and successfully. Do it! As i explained to my worried friends and family, one is never alone on the camino, and neither will you be, especially if you walk in may as you plan. You will be alone very rarely. Have your own camino your own way.
 
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Bilby

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
Go on your own. Do not go with people you already know. If you do, you will inhibit interaction with other caminantes. It will allow you to experience solitutude on the road and the company of strangers equally alone. It is major part of the experience if not at its very core.
 

dfitzg773

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012), Camino Frances (2014), Camino Norte (Oct 2018)
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
I walked alone the entire Frances from SJPP to Finnesterre. It was great. No compromises. You do what you want to do. Somedays, I would walk further when I felt like I could.
 

GailGwyn

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
part Camino Frances (2013), Part Camino Norte (2014)Camino Frances (2019)Camino Portuguese (2020)
I knew nothing about contrails till I spent the night in the lovely albergue in Arrés on the Aragonés, where the hospitalero took us all to a great viewing spot for the sunset and proceeded to tell us all about them. Maybe people who believe in contrails are drawn to the Camino. Sorry, off-topic, I know.

BTW, I got a tip from an iconic Camino forum member, who advises that the best way to keep people from bothering you when you are walking is to carry rosary beads and mumble to yourself.
I'm bringing my rosary beads, but I'll use them in private, unless I am accosted by 'a Jane'😁
 

Ricardo Moretti

Camino Frances x 2: Apr./May 2018 & Apr./May 2019
Past OR future Camino
Two Camino Frances:
April-May 2018
April-May 2019
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
I did it twice alone and it was excellent for me. But you are never alone on the Camino. You will end up meeting all kinds of interesting people along the Way. Some people walk together for a while and then split up usually because of walking speed differences or time schedules. Walking at your own pace is super important so, if you do walk with someone, the faster walker has to walk at the slower walker's pace. Otherwise, the slower walker will probably develop blisters or even a foot injury.

I would say that a little more than 50% of the people that I met on the trail were walking with someone else and had planned and started in this manner. The rest were lone walkers or lone walkers that paired up along the Way - this is common.
 

Brandy

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF,VDLP,NORTE,ARAG,SANABR,SALVAD,PRIMIT,MOZAR,JAUME,LEVANT,MADRID,HUELVA,PORT,EPW,ESTRECHO;
I you want to walk alone then take the VDLP, or better the Camino de Levante, Sureste or Mozarabe . Then you are alone and on your own. :)
Buen Camino.
 
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julia ann smith

New Member
Past OR future Camino
StJpdP 2018
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same? Totally agree, too much chatter interrupts one’s internal dialogue 😛
 

ThomasFromColorado

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
It is your Camino. If you want to walk alone. Walk alone. When you are there, if you want to walk with others, walk with others.
 

FeatherG

Member
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese Route (last 100+kms) (2011)
Finisterre Route (2012)
French Way (first 100+ kms) (2014)
Northern Coastal Route (first 100+kms) (2015)
French Way (last 100+kms) (2017)
When I'm on the comino I too prefer to walk alone. I find it gives me not only the freedom to travel at my own speed, but it allows me to appreciate what I'm seeing, hearing, and feeling. I agree - it is "self-care" and not selfishness.
You are so right Tomas! When you walk alone, your senses are alive & more in touch with what's going on around you. I love chatting to people along the way sometimes, but my favourite is meandering through a meadow alone, preferably early morning, & listening to those beautiful birds welcoming in another new day. I often end up speaking to them & asking advice for the journey ahead. Birds are 'messengers from above', so they can take our prayers, questions, pleas & troubles straight up to heaven, to be solved. That way, you've already 'lightened your load' at the start of the day, & the birds are delighted because they now have a 'mission to accomplish'! Of the 7 'weekly journeys' I've done on Camino, the 3 solo ones were my favourite, because I had time for reflection, that I didn't even know I needed to do; but greatly benefitted from it. I'm a big believer in angels & 'signs from above', & on one particular Camino was reflecting on my job, where I really felt I was being under appreciated, over-worked, & just not enjoying it anymore. I was 'talking this all out' (me & the angels) & I asked should I continue working there? My dilemma was, I really liked the kid I was caring for; we really 'connected' & I could see he was benefitting from my guidance & knowledge, but his mother had 'forgotten' to pay me, two weeks in a row, & I'd also had to call a family member one evening as she hadn't returned from work, & I was already delayed for my long car journey home. I empathised with her situation, as her husband worked abroad & she was 'under pressure' with an autistic little boy & 2 demanding teenagers, who'd come in from school hungry, so I'd make them dinner, & help with 'teenage issues' & chats about sport or whatever, but I was arriving home at 8 in the evening, totally shattered & often no pay! One time I had to phone a friend on the way home, to borrow money for petrol. She hadn't arrived home that Friday evening, so I didn't get paid. Anyways, I'm telling all this to the birds & the angels one day, explaing that I really love (all) the kids, even though I'm only supposed to be looking after one; so could they please 'direct me' about what I should do? Later that day, as I walked along in the afternoon sun, I could see a plane in the distance, but was too engrossed in smelling the lovely plants around me & looking across at the path I had just walked. I then heard a squalk, & as I looked up, there was a huge 'X' in the sky. I took that as a 'Get Out' or 'Leave Now' from the job. It could have been a big 'kiss' from my spirit guide (my grandfather), who's always with me, especially 'in times of need', but I always go with my gut instinct, & first thought, ... & so I left the job on my return home. I really missed [name deleted], (who was 11 years old) a lot. He phoned me that Christmas to say he'd gotten a new bicycle & his mother was now working part-time & they were doing lots of fun stuff together. She took the phone & said "thank you for leaving us; I learnt a valuable lesson & we are all now closer than ever". The Lord works in mysterious ways, ... & the Camino always provides! 😇
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
Go on your own. Do not go with people you already know. If you do, you will inhibit interaction with other caminantes. It will allow you to experience solitutude on the road and the company of strangers equally alone. It is major part of the experience if not at its very core.
I have done both. By myself and with my son. Both were extremely valuable experiences. I wouldn't say that the core Camino experience was lacking when I walked with my son, nor were my interactions with other peregrinos lessened. There were times we walked together and other times our paces were different during the day's walk and we walked apart. I still got a chance to experience solitude on the road.

I wouldn't advise against walking solo, nor imply that it is selfish. But nor would I advise against walking with a companion. It can be a deeply enriching experience, both for you as an individual and for the relationship.
 
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Reidun Fyno

I'm a beliver :-)
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014)
Camino de Assisi (2015)
Camino Frances from Villafranca del Bierzo (2017)
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
I my opinion - the way you think of your Camino is absolutely, the right Camino. The pace . the pauses, the choice of albergue. You don't risk pushing yourself or getting slower for that matter, which is both hard in equally physical and mental sense. You also get easier contact with others when you are alone and sometimes you do walk along with someone for a while. In the afternoon/evening, as you say, it is the time to socialise, this is awesome. Eating together and get all the stories from fellow pilgrims from al over the world. Buen Camino to you :)
 
Past OR future Camino
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@Viva Terlingua, a very interesting thread you have started and so many responses. I note @Robo got there before me when he suggested most were for going as each wished, but predominantly alone.

To paraphrase from S Augustine, love your camino and do what you want.

In more than 3,000 km "on camino" in Europe (and a little at home) and more than 7,000 km training at home I have walked alone, except for less 20 km in total in someone else's company. The most time was about 10 km with a woman from Alaska: she heard something of customs in my country and I learnt as much as I could take in about living in her place. And about the same with a younger woman on holiday from crewing on a sailing boat in the Mediterranean.

Some of my worst experiences have been on encountering groups walking together. On one occasion I had been walking for more than four hours, with a short mid morning break. It was hot and it was after mid-day when I came across a restaurant with a bar. First task: get something to drink. The bar was a small place well inside the building and ahead of me were two making decisions. It became quickly apparent they had started their camino a few hours before and they were part of a larger group and this was a celebration for them. The conversation was along the lines of "Do you think Jane will like ... Is Bill into ... etc." In the mean time the queue was quickly growing. After nearly five minutes a second staffer arrived and I could get a cold one. This experience was an extreme but indicative example: in my experience groups of two or more have their own existence, and good luck to them.

If you kept fit, done hill work, sorted out your gear pretty much alone, then my suggestion is keep it that way.

Kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui (take care, be strong, confident and patient)
 

Wmonk2071

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Sarria to SdC)
Camino Portugues
There is nothing wrong with walking alone. I did it by myself as during my first camino last year in Sep 2021 (Frances from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela). What I discovered though is that there were others like me doing it alone many for personal reasons like me to recharge and review my life and do some retrospection.

Having said this, at least in Camino Frances, as it is the most popular route, you will never be alone. You will always find company along the way during the walk or afterwards during lunch or dinner.

So enjoy and dont feel strange if you do it alone.
 

Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Past OR future Camino
Starting May 2023 from St Jean Pied de Port
There is nothing wrong with walking alone. I did it by myself as during my first camino last year in Sep 2021 (Frances from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela). What I discovered though is that there were others like me doing it alone many for personal reasons like me to recharge and review my life and do some retrospection.

Having said this, at least in Camino Frances, as it is the most popular route, you will never be alone. You will always find company along the way during the walk or afterwards during lunch or dinner.

So enjoy and dont feel strange if you do it alone.
I intend to walk alone, but my biggest worry is not being able to get rid of unwanted company!
 
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Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Past OR future Camino
Starting May 2023 from St Jean Pied de Port
Script: It's been so nice to chat. I'm really here for badly needed time to myself. Buen Camino.
Yes, I suppose that might work.

I'm really quite good at getting rid of unwanted company in my usual life. And I'm not afraid to offend.

It just feels like in a Camino situation you're very exposed. You can't really pretend you have somewhere important to be.
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Having said this, at least in Camino Frances, as it is the most popular route, you will never be alone.
That's precisely why I prefer to walk other routes these days! On my first Camino I met about 30 other pilgrims over the whole 800km. The last time I walked the Camino Frances there were times when I saw that many in a second-long glance at the path ahead. I much prefer solitude to company when I walk.
 
F

Former member 91017

Guest
Yes, I suppose that might work.

I'm really quite good at getting rid of unwanted company in my usual life. And I'm not afraid to offend.

It just feels like in a Camino situation you're very exposed. You can't really pretend you have somewhere important to be.
The somewhere important is "with myself".
I have a strong distaste for New age appropriations of the ancient road as a pathway to individual self-actualization, but whatever. We go on our own for our own reasons, and anyone ought to be able to grasp that as the case.
 

Bilby

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I have done both. By myself and with my son. Both were extremely valuable experiences. I wouldn't say that the core Camino experience was lacking when I walked with my son, nor were my interactions with other peregrinos lessened. There were times we walked together and other times our paces were different during the day's walk and we walked apart. I still got a chance to experience solitude on the road.

I wouldn't advise against walking solo, nor imply that it is selfish. But nor would I advise against walking with a companion. It can be a deeply enriching experience, both for you as an individual and for the relationship.
I accept that it is an opportunity to work on a specific relationship away from the normal environment. However, I walked for a week bumping into two brothers who were doing the camino together. One brother was introvert and distant, the other brother extrovert and talkative. I felt that both of them would have been better served by going it alone rather than trying to maintain their relationship via the camino.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
I accept that it is an opportunity to work on a specific relationship away from the normal environment. However, I walked for a week bumping into two brothers who were doing the camino together. One brother was introvert and distant, the other brother extrovert and talkative. I felt that both of them would have been better served by going it alone rather than trying to maintain their relationship via the camino.
I can't speak to their experience, only my own.
 
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F

Former member 91017

Guest
More on this general thread... this past year I encouraged a friend to go on her own walk... she really needs the time away from care-giving to *everyone else* in her family.
For her 55th birthday she is giving herself the walk.
We have been friends for 44 years, and I love her dearly.
I considered her invitation to join her for the last few days on her walk, but I know that I walk better on my own.
I wished her a buen camino, and I help with her many preparation activities and questions.
But I will walk from the Norte, and she will walk from the CP somewhere.
We will meet on her birthday in front of the Cathedral. I'm sure there will be tears. But we will each follow our own paths.
To leave others to their own devices and pursuits does not have to be an act of rudeness (or worse).
Sometimes it is an act of deep care and love that we owe to ourselves, sometimes to others, sometimes both.
Spouse will go on his own this summer after I get home. Some of that is pragmatics of one of us having to be present at all times for family members with disabilities. Some is that full-time careers plus full-time care-giving really needs a break from everything sometimes.
Would we love to walk together? Yes. We do it pretty well... having managed it once when we were able to pull together 3 weeks of respite care.
But it is a gift... each to the other... to walk alone.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2022
Ever since I started thinking about and planning my first Camino I've never even considered walking it with someone else. I've been describing it as a kind of walking meditation to friends and family, and for me meditation is something best done solo.

However, I'm now in the position of figuring out how to delicately explain that to an old friend who will be in Europe around the same time I'll be walking this spring and who wants to join me for part of it. Reading through this thread has given me some ideas about how to approach the situation without causing offense and/or hurt feelings ... and has definitely validated my belief that a preference to walk by myself does not make me an antisocial weirdo :)
 

Bilby

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Ever since I started thinking about and planning my first Camino I've never even considered walking it with someone else. I've been describing it as a kind of walking meditation to friends and family, and for me meditation is something best done solo.

However, I'm now in the position of figuring out how to delicately explain that to an old friend who will be in Europe around the same time I'll be walking this spring and who wants to join me for part of it. Reading through this thread has given me some ideas about how to approach the situation without causing offense and/or hurt feelings ... and has definitely validated my belief that a preference to walk by myself does not make me an antisocial weirdo :)
On the camino frances, there is a party atmosphere for the first week down to Pamplona and La Rioja. Thereafter it becomes quieter especially on the meseta between Burgos and Leon. I found my best interactions with others during this time. In Galicia, after Sarria, you encounter the 100k crowd, who don't tend to share the same ethos as those who have walked 700k beforehand and once again it becomes more party like.
 

Lindsay53

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Portugues 2022
I met a woman who had walked several previous Caminos, always alone. This time a friend had pressured her into agreeing to walk with her. The friend had never done a great deal of walking previously but was captivated by her friends Camino descriptions. A few days in the friend decided she had had enough and was quitting and "Going to lie on a beach somewhere".....A much relieved peregrina continued on her way alone.
 
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EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Past OR future Camino
CF 2016 CP 2022 PORTUGUESE 2023
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
Almost two months until my solo Camino...I've got my wife's blessing to be be gone for 3 weeks. We have a 4 yr old son. I'm starting to have guilty feelings about going. I worry about something happening to me or my son and not being there for him.
 

Bilby

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Almost two months until my solo Camino...I've got my wife's blessing to be be gone for 3 weeks. We have a 4 yr old son. I'm starting to have guilty feelings about going. I worry about something happening to me or my son and not being there for him.
Throughout your life and your son's, there will be times when you are apart. It doesn't matter whether it's three weeks or three minutes. Things happen that you cannot control. Provided that you are happy that your wife can manage him without you and that you are not taking risks doing the camino eg health risks, there is little reason for concern. You may owe them for your absence, but they will be pleased to see the new man when you return.
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
Selfish? Odd? I think 'normal' is the word that immediately springs to mind, or maybe 'human'. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be alone. Or seeking company when you feel like it. Buen camino.
 

FeatherG

Member
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese Route (last 100+kms) (2011)
Finisterre Route (2012)
French Way (first 100+ kms) (2014)
Northern Coastal Route (first 100+kms) (2015)
French Way (last 100+kms) (2017)
Almost two months until my solo Camino...I've got my wife's blessing to be be gone for 3 weeks. We have a 4 yr old son. I'm starting to have guilty feelings about going. I worry about something happening to me or my son and not being there for him.
@EL LECHERO Get rid of that 'guilt' now or you may stay home! I have a 4-year old grandson & if either my son or daughter-in-law gave each other's blessing for a 3-week 'escape', there would be no hesitation or guilt. The phrase 'gone in a flash' comes to mind! 🙃 Listen, you have a lovely, contented wife & happy son. You are obviously a lovely husband too. Marriage is a partnership, not a life-sentence 'joined-at-the-hip' sort of agreement. Your love grows as your individuality deepens. You are teaching your son that Mam's & Dad's can survive, for a few weeks without each other; that it's perfectly healthy to have time apart & parents discuss everything before 'big decisions' (& little ones!) are made. Think of all the adventure stories you'll have for him! He will be so proud of you. Your wife will miss you, & all those 'annoying things you do', but also will be delighted that you've come back, looking healthy & full of chat. Who know, she might join you next time ... or all 3 of you can plan for a trip in a few years together. Did I mention my son & wife also have 4-month-old twin girls? Go ... while you can! You will love it & come back with stories & of course a pressie for both, always helps! Buen Camino & enjoy every day! 😇👣😇
 

Jackieduda

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF September (2018)
Almost two months until my solo Camino...I've got my wife's blessing to be be gone for 3 weeks. We have a 4 yr old son. I'm starting to have guilty feelings about going. I worry about something happening to me or my son and not being there for him.
in providing her blessing, your wife has given you a tremendous gift. Accept it.
 
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Jackieduda

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF September (2018)
in providing her blessing, your wife has given you a tremendous gift. Accept it.
Another note...i had the same second thoughts. I had been merrily planning my camino for months. Then i bought my plane ticket and nearly fell apart with fear. Not like me at all. I was consoled by a friend then i started packing. I never regretted it. The camino has something for you. Go and find it. Otherwise, you will regret backing out for the rest of your life.
 

Bilby

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Another note...i had the same second thoughts. I had been merrily planning my camino for months. Then i bought my plane ticket and nearly fell apart with fear. Not like me at all. I was consoled by a friend then i started packing. I never regretted it. The camino has something for you. Go and find it. Otherwise, you will regret backing out for the rest of your life.
I took the train from Paris to St Jean PDP and felt terrified all along the way, thinking Wtf every second.
 

EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Past OR future Camino
CF 2016 CP 2022 PORTUGUESE 2023
Another note...i had the same second thoughts. I had been merrily planning my camino for months. Then i bought my plane ticket and nearly fell apart with fear. Not like me at all. I was consoled by a friend then i started packing. I never regretted it. The camino has something for you. Go and find it. Otherwise, you will regret backing out for the rest of your life.
1642614290761.png This poem got me through the first Camino after the death of my mother.......
 

Wheelchairpilgrim

Wheelchair pilgrim, in annual stages to Santiago.
Past OR future Camino
From NL.to Le-Puy-en-Velay
www.rolstoelpelgrim.nl
I love to roll (I "walk" by wheelchair) alone. My experience is that when I am on my own it is easier to have contact with local people and even find places to sleep at locals. That is what I love the most I think and then the next day I roll alone again through nature and enjoy the silence, my own thinking and the birds in the sky.

When you want to read my experience read www.rolstoelpelgrim.nl (in Dutch, but also automatic translated English and French)
 

EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Past OR future Camino
CF 2016 CP 2022 PORTUGUESE 2023
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
Also, one has to be ok with telling a fellow pilgrim with whom you’ve been walking with that it’s time to part ways, that you want to walk alone. Americans in particular find it hard to say goodbye, end relationships without feeling badly. No harm no foul it’s just time to move on….. Now can I only follow my own advice and not get caught sneaking out of an albergue at 4 am just to avoid an uncomfortable conversation!
 
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EMILE M

Member
Past OR future Camino
I WALKED THE ENTIRE CAMINO FRANCES IN FALL 2011, ALSO I WALKED FROM LE PUY EN VELAY TO CAHORS, FRANCE IN MAY, 2013 (About 350 Km) I PLAN TO WALK THE CAMINO DEL NORTE IN MID SEPTEMBER (2015)
It is your Camino. If you want to walk alone. Walk alone. When you are there, if you want to walk with others, walk with others.
I walked 5 different Caminos over the past 10 years. The first Camino was the Frances back in 2011, which I did with a friend. We walked at the same pace, so there were no issues about keeping up with each other. On all the other Caminos I undertook, I discovered that having a "partner" or "partners" can turn out to be a major hassle as so many issues can arise, which can totally mess up your timeline. I've come to the conclusion that at least initially , walking alone is the best way to go. Chances are, you'll meet people who walk at your pace on the trail and develop friendship(s) that way.
 

Athena Atterdag

time&space traveller
Past OR future Camino
Via Francigena
Via Turonensis (Paris-Chartres)
Camino de Invierno
Camino Primitivo
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
There's absolutely nothing wrong with walking the Camino solo, just as there's absolutely nothing wrong with walking it in company. The right thing is what feels right to you :)
I've walked three Caminos: one in mid-winter, one in September, and one again in mid-winter. One of the reasons why I chose to walk in winter again was precisely because I wanted to walk solo. I did enjoy the company of fellow pilgrims when I walked the popular Primitivo in September, but I much prefer walking on my own, in my own tempo.
 

ken2116

Member
Past OR future Camino
Someday. But have hiked the Sierra and the Pyrenees.
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
Our daughter walked on her own several years back and had a wonderful time - sometimes she had adventures alone and learned things about herself, other times she met interesting people along the way and either walked with them or met up in the evenings. Do it any way you please.
 

Elna

New Member
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
Hi Viva, I walked the whole of the Camino solo….many people do and you will find a lot of solo pilgrims😁 Enjoy!
 
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Gazelle2

Member
Past OR future Camino
19th May 2014
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
You will not be on your own for long !!!!
 

Knoxshu

New Member
Past OR future Camino
July 25, 2018
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
In 2018 I walked the CF alone, beginning in Lourdes, France. I met plenty of new friends from all over the world. Being alone allowed me maximum flexibility. I was also much more open to meeting new people and walking with them. When I did walk alone, meditation and prayer were so easy. The beautiful scenery just makes you feel so happy to be alive.

What was really incredible is how many times you separate from individuals, only to meet them again down the road.

I never felt alone or lonely throughout my forty-five day journey. I was an older fellow (62 years old at the time) and was happy to take my time and smell the flowers along the way!

Buen Camino!
 

Sher

Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning first Camino May (2019)
I'm planning on doing the Frances in May-June and have told numerous people of my plans. I've had several people offer to go with me. Some find it odd that I would go by myself. However, I want to walk at my own pace, stop when I want to stop, stay where I want to stay. Am I being selfish? While walking I'm content to walk with someone else 25% of the time but the rest of the time I prefer to walk solo. Once reaching my destination or even stopping for a break I love socializing, so I'm not a grumpy old man, well maybe old :) Anybody else feel the same?
Yes. You should walk alone.
When I announced that I was going to walk alone I also had some people volunteer. I honestly think they thought I was only walking alone because I didn’t have a choice. I mean I think they felt pity for me. I’ve come to realize that there are a lot of people that just don’t do anything alone in life and so they kind of glom on to others.

I was told before I went that I should walk alone and I’m really glad that I took that advice. I met so many people and had so many adventures that I wouldn’t of had if I had been with someone else.
 

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