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Can I do the camino at 16

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countryroads

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Time of past OR future Camino
possibly this summer
Hi all! So basically what the title says. I'm 16, I have a month off once my summer exams finish, and I just have a pull to get away from life and do something a little crazy. Not sure how to explain it. But I love the outdoors, and I think it'd be the most wonderful thing to just walk across a country because you wanted to and you got up and did it. My main question is whether I'd face too much trouble finding places to stay, because I'm not 18. Unfortunately I'll have to start college before I turn 18, and I really don't want to wait until after college, because who knows where my life will be going by then. And would I meet any younger people (twenties)? Thanks!
 
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I have seen a couple of younger people over the years. It appeared to me that they had organized an older person to walk with, such as an older brother or other relative, even when it was clear they were the leader of this little group. I don't recall any walking completely alone.

There has been discussion on your question (some more recently if I recall, but some several years ago) and the general issues of requiring someone to act in loco parentis. You might find these with a search.
 
I did meet a group of 6 young men (high school aged) walking together on our first Camino. I remember them because one had a broken strap on his pack and I loaned him a sewing kit so he could make a repair. They had no parent or adult with them.

As hospitaleros at donativos we are not required to screen for age although we do look at and record national ID numbers in the register. We've had some younger children staying with us with a parent or parents. I admit I don't now if there is any legal issues to consider.
 
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I went to sea at 15yrs 9 months, still alive .... go for it .... just remember the NT - "be as wise as a serpent and as innocent as a dove" -
lots of young folk out there, though probably not as young as you - but! you will meet people of all ages from all over the world - each has a story to tell, so ask questions, listen ... if you need assistance/help, ask.

With refugios, you just walk in, smile, hand over your credential and get it stamped and follow the house rules.
Enjoy.
 
Hi all! So basically what the title says. I'm 16, I have a month off once my summer exams finish, and I just have a pull to get away from life and do something a little crazy. Not sure how to explain it. But I love the outdoors, and I think it'd be the most wonderful thing to just walk across a country because you wanted to and you got up and did it. My main question is whether I'd face too much trouble finding places to stay, because I'm not 18. Unfortunately I'll have to start college before I turn 18, and I really don't want to wait until after college, because who knows where my life will be going by then. And would I meet any younger people (twenties)? Thanks!
Firstly, I am very happy about people of young age walking the Camino: It can be a lifechanger.

Secondly, you will make new friends: When I was 60, I walked for several days with a Dutch man, 22. We are still friends. Age is only a number.
 
First thing to check are airline and visa regulations since you are still a minor. You may also run into problems if all the albergues are full and you need to rent an actual hotel room.
 
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Hi, I walked parallel with a 16 year old German student from a Montessori school a few years ago. He chose it as his assignment during school term, from St Jean Pied de Port to Burgos. He was totally alone, and I admired his commitment. We ended up in Burgos, a group of 12 of us of all ages (I’m retired), having stayed on and off together in the albergues along the way, learning a lot from each other. Lots of youngsters in the summer. Yeah, go for it, it’s a huge learning curve.
 
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Once on the Camino age is but a number, and I can't recall any times when age was relevant to anything (apart from getting a beer I guess (obvs I never got asked for ID disappointingly), but even this tends to be more relaxed in Spain).

If you have the chance, the means and the inclination to go and do it then you should because it might just be the most amazing thing you ever do.
 
Had I known when I was 16 that the Camino existed, I'd likely try to do it myself.

As noted before, ask questions (even hard ones) and listen. When in need ask for help. If someone appears to need help, offer it willingly.

There are amazing people on Camino. You will end up with friends from around the globe.

Buen Camino countryroads!
 
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If you're happy to work through the details, you'll be fine. Anyone over the age of 12 flies on an adult ticket and so I don't know if there are rules for minors - you'd need to check that.
I have taken my eight kids on the camino (6-18 years), and some of them multiple times. They were all well received by everyone we met. If you were my son, I'd give you a letter stating you had my blessing to undertake this endeavour and I'd try to encourage you to unplug from all social media while you were gone! I'd encourage you to make the most of the opportunity and to think of others. I'd ask you lots of questions like how will you manage your money? have you packed a sunhat? is your passport up-to-date?
Then I would hand you a little paper journal and you would write in it every day and five years later you would thank me because it would turn out so special to look back on when things get hard in life. True story.
 
I left home at 16 and worked away. A different time I appreciate and i know me and not you. Embrace every opportunity and experience you can as you only have one life (as far as i know). If you have the support and agreement of your parents you need nothing more. Keep in touch with your mother as they worry. (Dads do too). Enjoy.
 
@countryroads , go for it. My son started traveling solo at 16 too. Whilst some countries have official forms that technically you're supposed to fill out the reality is that so long as you have a clearly written permission from your parents or Guardian including a copy of an official ID ( eg passport) and their contact phone number it is normally considered more than sufficient. I literally photocopied both our passports and then hand wrote my permission underneath, signed, and dated it
(If you're struggling with the wording PM me and I'll send you what I wrote.)

My son carried that on three separate journeys (both on paper and a copy on his phone) and never got asked once. (Probably because he's travelled so many times he's pretty confident).

A friend's son got challenged at the airport - they didn't want to let him on the flight ( from Germany to the USA) because he didn't have written permission. They were able to get it sorted but let's just say stressful is an understatement !

I saw a couple of teenagers on the Primitivo in July last year, and the Frances is far, far busier.
 
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So every airline is different, but here’s an example of an American Airline requirement that you probably do not know about that:

For children under 18, flights must be, “Nonstop flights, or any connecting flight through Charlotte, NC (CLT), Washington Reagan, D.C. (DCA), Dallas-Fort Worth, TX (DFW), New York, NY (JFK and LGA), Los Angeles, CA (LAX), Miami, FL (MIA), Chicago, IL (ORD), Philadelphia, PA (PHL) and Phoenix, AZ (PHX)”

Again, it’s possible, but you do need to do a bit more flight and visa preplanning then the typical adult traveler.
 
My daughter walked her first camino when she was 12, and did 4 more by the time she was 18 (Lock-down stopped us for a while). By the time she was 16 she could have done it well without me. Although it was a long time ago, I hitch-hiked all around Europe for several months when I was 17, and had the time of my life. Go for it. Check out all the legalities, just to make sure you are not caught out by bureaucracy.
 
My daughter walked her first camino when she was 12, and did 4 more by the time she was 18 (Lock-down stopped us for a while). By the time she was 16 she could have done it well without me. Although it was a long time ago, I hitch-hiked all around Europe for several months when I was 17, and had the time of my life. Go for it. Check out all the legalities, just to make sure you are not caught out by bureaucracy.

your daughter did not walk her first camino aged 12 on her own, or did she?
she had training and help from adults before she might have walked alone at 16.

we do not know if this is the case of @countryroads and without further info, the comparison is unfair.
 
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Hola @countryroads
What a great adventure awaits you. You do not say which Camino you intend to walk, so I will make an assumption its the Frances.
Some 5 or more years ago a mother wrote to the Forum asking if it was safe for her 17 or 18 year old son to walk the camino alone. Almost every response was that it was most probably the safest 800km in Western Europe.
Now you are 16 thus you are under the age of legal responsibility. So I can understand your perceived apprehension. May I suggest the following: have a good long talk with your parents; map out a walking strategy; bring a mobile phone that will enable you to send daily SMS/text messages (if deemed necesary) or to phone home at regular intervals.
I agree with MinaKamina that you will need some form of written permission from your parents. Airlines may also need some reassurance that you are not " running away from home"; Visa's I do not think this will be a problem provided that you have a confirmed date and return ticket and evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself whilst in France and or Spain. Maybe you should be registered with your country's embassy with them being your back stop if you need assistance.

But in general I would say this is a great adventure and one I am sure you will look back on as the years pass. A very special Buen Camino.
 
Some things were a lot simpler when I was your age but I started wandering around ANZ when I was 14, mostly hitchhiking and spent most of one summer living on the beach, eating what I could catch or gather and left home at 16 to live and work away.

Your plan sounds great to me.

Of course, as others have mentioned, crossing an international border adds some complexities and you will need written permission that you carry with you.

Once you are on the Camino then I am sure that you will have memorable adventures. I envy you.
 
I met two 16 year olds on the CF, twin boys, who were managing just fine, and, separately, a 16 year old girl. (Although an older woman, 20s, took her under her wing.) I went to Paris on my own when I was 15, though just for the weekend. Hitched all over Europe in my teens, everyone did. I once checked in to a hostel in Athens and within the hour two lads from my school arrived, separately. We had all hitched from Calais, through Yugoslavia. I still hitch occasionally, just for the fun of it. It's got a lot easier since I lost that 'serial killer' look.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
You would do well to first speak about the pros and cons about this with some adult you know whose advise is unimpeachable. The reliable advice of those adult people who really know you, about the pros and cons of trying this now for you, should be helpful. Don’t forget that you will have many years for many caminos if you take time now to study the many options. The camino will be there for a long long time. I am from Oregon too.
 
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I don't know of the legalities or policies on minors under the age of 18. But as for meeting younger people, I met an 18 year old German the first day out of St. Jean Pied de Port and saw him almost every day through Santiago. He had just graduated from high school and was uncertain about what should come next for him, so he decided to walk the Camino.

He met several other 20-somethings along the way, and some of them have gotten together in their respective countries since then.

I'm sure you'll have no problem in that regard! Buen Camino!
 
The age of consent in France is 14 and in Spain is 15.
So, given that, a 16 year old walking in those countries should
be fine. But I would still check the rules for each country
 
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The age of consent in France is 14 and in Spain is 15.
So, given that, a 16 year old walking in those countries should
be fine. But I would still check the rules for each country
The age of consent in Spain is indeed 16 but the age of majority is 18. Anyone under 18 is considered a minor. There are restrictions that apply to that which a minor may do. Sexual congress is fine. Reserving a hotel room may offer a significant challenge at check-in.

The difficulty lies within any Hospitalero/a willingness to act in loco-parentis for any minor they admit
 
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being 16, you will need a written document with the consent of your parents or guardians ~ make sure to have this in Spanish.

and what is wrong with Oregon anyway? too boring?
Did this person say they were from Oregon? Did I miss that?
 
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Yes, go for it! But, do know that, while there is walking through forests and mountains and hills and you'll be outdoors a lot, there is also a lot of walking in cities, city outskirts, and villages (my favorite part). Not just a nature experience.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I travelled on my own at your age (actually a bit less when visiting friends abroad). No mobile phones then. I had a written permission that nobody ever asked for and didn't need a visa for the countries I visited. All my journeys were by train, boat, and bus. Can't see any reason why you shouldn't walk a Camino but maybe some walking in your own country would be a good idea before you start raising the money to travel.
 
Yep, I was visiting my niece in Trondheim in 2022, couldn't resist visiting Hell again.
It's still tickles me to have been to Hell and back (twice). Silly, but fun

Hell for me would definitely be freezing cold - hot, I can live with!
 
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I admire your gumption, and you will have an amazing time. Go for it!! I would offer one teeny piece of advice to all those above who suggested you carry a letter of permission from your parents. That is, have it notarized! Anyone can make up a letter and get it signed, but that doesn't necessarily make it legit. Having it signed and stamped by a notary adds considerable credibility to the document. It may not matter to any hospitaleros, but it may to someone in authority - airlines, hotels, police, etc. You may never need it at all but, as they say, better safe than sorry!

Buen camino, and have the time of your life!
 
As a name it ranks that ranks up there with: Why, Hell (also a town in Norway by the way), Accident, Bald Head, Nothing, Peculiar, Rough and Ready and - get this - Intercourse. I kid you not!

Welcome to the USA.....
Hell railway station in Norway at sunset. Note that there is a separate section "Gods Expedition" : Gods is a Norw. word for goods..

Hell stasjon.png
 
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I was thinking about this post overnight! Three things.
One has already been covered by someone else - talk to people who know you (and are not risk-averse) and ask for an honest assessment about whether you're up for the challenge. Listen to them carefully and if they have any concerns, work out how you would address them. Talk to your parents. I assume you already have and they are supportive.
The other is about who you will meet. Could I encourage you to be open to meeting with people MUCH older than yourself (like in their thirties - lol - and sixties and eighties). Slow down to walk with them, listen to their stories, ask good questions and you will be richly blessed. It would be a pity to miss these encounters because (for example) you were so busy trying to be independent that you were somehow threatened by the thought of interacting with adults. Individuation is healthy and so is connection. You can do both.
If, for some reason, this does not come off, remember two things....1) the camino will always be there and 2) you are 16 - hopefully you will have many many opportunities to walk. You can aim for that if you really want it no matter where life heads for you. If you don't go to Spain this summer, maybe you could do something similar in your own country (when I was 13 I read "Walk Across America" and a spark was ignited - there is adventure in America too! At the same time I understand the pull of something very different.)
We'd love to hear how you go.
 
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As others have pointed out, @countryroads would be well advised to supply documentary evidence of parental permission (i.e.that you are not a victim of child trafficking). Health and travel insurance for an unaccompanied minor might prove problematic. You don't need to wait until you have finished college to walk the Camino; you could do it during the first long vacation. The Camino will wait for you; if you can't wait for it, it was only a 'crazy' notion. Note the valuable suggestions from @Kiwi-family.
 
Hi all! So basically what the title says. I'm 16, I have a month off once my summer exams finish, and I just have a pull to get away from life and do something a little crazy. Not sure how to explain it. But I love the outdoors, and I think it'd be the most wonderful thing to just walk across a country because you wanted to and you got up and did it. My main question is whether I'd face too much trouble finding places to stay, because I'm not 18. Unfortunately I'll have to start college before I turn 18, and I really don't want to wait until after college, because who knows where my life will be going by then. And would I meet any younger people (twenties)? Thanks!
Hey, where are you from in Oregon? I'm in Dallas, Oregon if you want to pick my brains.
At 16, I traveled alone - but it just depends on the person.
What do your parents think?
 
The other is about who you will meet. Could I encourage you to be open to meeting with people MUCH older than yourself (like in their thirties - lol - and sixties and eighties). Slow down to walk with them, listen to their stories, ask good questions and you will be richly blessed.
Great post! I was going to write something similar but you captured it so well. For the OP, it’s natural that you will want to interact with people closer to your own age, but the opportunity to connect with older people could be a very enriching aspect of your camino.

I was 37 when I walked my first camino and found that there weren’t many people walking who were of a similar age. Most were in their 20s or 50+. At the beginning I thought, ‘I’m cool enough to hang out with the young people,’ but by the end I realised that I preferred the company of the older people.
 
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being 16, you will need a written document with the consent of your parents or guardians ~ make sure to have this in Spanish.

and what is wrong with Oregon anyway? too boring?
Nah :) Oregon is amazing. I grew up there but my family moved to India a few years ago. So now I'm much closer to the camino than the trails back home.
 
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First thing to check are airline and visa regulations since you are still a minor. You may also run into problems if all the albergues are full and you need to rent an actual hotel room.
The airline and visa stuff should be fine, I did some research and know people who've flown alone to Europe to visit family. Renting a hotel room probably wouldn't be possible though, so I'm tentatively thinking that worst case, I could just sleep outside? If for example one night I can't find a space in an albergue, I can just find somewhere out of the way to put out a sheet and my sleeping bag, then just go to the next albergue the next day... How practical/impractical does this sound? Some internet people say they've camped out many nights and it wasn't a problem, but I'm not sure.
 
Had I known when I was 16 that the Camino existed, I'd likely try to do it myself.

As noted before, ask questions (even hard ones) and listen. When in need ask for help. If someone appears to need help, offer it willingly.

There are amazing people on Camino. You will end up with friends from around the globe.

Buen Camino countryroads!
Thank you for the advice and good wishes!
 
If you're happy to work through the details, you'll be fine. Anyone over the age of 12 flies on an adult ticket and so I don't know if there are rules for minors - you'd need to check that.
I have taken my eight kids on the camino (6-18 years), and some of them multiple times. They were all well received by everyone we met. If you were my son, I'd give you a letter stating you had my blessing to undertake this endeavour and I'd try to encourage you to unplug from all social media while you were gone! I'd encourage you to make the most of the opportunity and to think of others. I'd ask you lots of questions like how will you manage your money? have you packed a sunhat? is your passport up-to-date?
Then I would hand you a little paper journal and you would write in it every day and five years later you would thank me because it would turn out so special to look back on when things get hard in life. True story.
8 kids! wow! I wonder sometimes what it would be like to have such a big family :) Thank you for the advice. I tried to keep a journal a few times but I always got super inconsistent with it, so now I just have a bunch of random ramblings on my phone, my laptop, and on the last few pages of all my school notebooks. Mostly written past 1 at night. I imagine it'll be the same if I try to write on the camino lol... The one thing is that I'm not a son, I'm a 16 year old girl, and I don't know how much this would change your advice. The country I live in now is pretty unsafe for solo young women, so I wouldn't even be able to dream of doing something like this here - until I'm older and hopefully more street smart. Hence the camino. Lots of people, pretty safe country.. at least, I think. But of course I'm not sure, so I'm trying to get a lot of different opinions. :)
 
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I left home at 16 and worked away. A different time I appreciate and i know me and not you. Embrace every opportunity and experience you can as you only have one life (as far as i know). If you have the support and agreement of your parents you need nothing more. Keep in touch with your mother as they worry. (Dads do too). Enjoy.
wow! I do hear of people who left home quite early, but I don't know anyone personally. I'm definitely pretty scared of the world and such, I wouldn't really call myself "excited" to live alone - but I do want to experience as many things as I can, so I'm left with an odd combo of wanting to sit safely at home with my cats and literally get on an airplane tomorrow. I haven't told my parents yet about the camino specifically as I want to be more sure, but I did tell them I want to travel somewhere alone for a few weeks. They were open to the idea as long as my plan was reasonably safe, so I think they'll support this when I tell them. Of course I'll have to call my mom every day though :)
 
@countryroads , go for it. My son started traveling solo at 16 too. Whilst some countries have official forms that technically you're supposed to fill out the reality is that so long as you have a clearly written permission from your parents or Guardian including a copy of an official ID ( eg passport) and their contact phone number it is normally considered more than sufficient. I literally photocopied both our passports and then hand wrote my permission underneath, signed, and dated it
(If you're struggling with the wording PM me and I'll send you what I wrote.)

My son carried that on three separate journeys (both on paper and a copy on his phone) and never got asked once. (Probably because he's travelled so many times he's pretty confident).

A friend's son got challenged at the airport - they didn't want to let him on the flight ( from Germany to the USA) because he didn't have written permission. They were able to get it sorted but let's just say stressful is an understatement !

I saw a couple of teenagers on the Primitivo in July last year, and the Frances is far, far busier.
Thanks for the super useful advice! yes it's things like this I was worried about, logistics and such. I'll probably message you later about the details if that's okay. My understanding so far is that if my passport is valid for 6 months I can travel into the Schengen area without needing to arrange a visa before, and this applies to minors too. I'll take a letter from my parents and if necessary, maybe get it notarized. If anything here is incorrect please correct me! Thank you :)
 
@countryroads,
1/sadly I think that females are always considered to be more vulnerable than males - whether that is correct or not. (My niece for example is far more able to protect herself than my son following many years of martial arts training, however in the first instance you would think she would be the more vulnerable).

Personally I would consider Spain to be safer for you than India for example (based solely on the numerous reports of sexual attacks on females) however I have come by that opinion purely as an outsider. Also, as I am not your parent, that is not my call to make.

2/ I think that @MinaKamina's advice is well intentioned, not being from Spain I am unsure of the legal situation. From what I have read: with appropriate documentation you would have no issues. As I cannot read Spanish I have only read the English versions of the websites available, all of which state (as several have suggested above) that you require your parents written consent. Some of them also state that it should be notarised, and a couple say that it should also be in Spanish. (Always a good idea).
If you are truly serious about this you may wish to consider contacting the Spanish embassy in India for written confirmation. You may even find that there is an official form that they wish you to fill out.

3/ I generally discourage any young person from sleeping rough, alone, outside - male or female.

You could of course simply decide to visit somewhere else this year (perhaps with a friend in tow) and shelve the wish to walk the Camino until you graduate, then do it as a celebration of this accomplishment.
By which time you will of course be of legal age.
 
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Concerning my previous post I feel it important to make some caveats for clarification.
Whilst I did leave home at 16 and worked away it was not to a life of Independance.
My lodgings and accomodation were all found for me and when it came to meal times all I had to do was look at my watch and follow my nose.
Whilst I was mature for my age and reasonably "street wise" I had a lot to learn.
Advice I would give to my sons at that age would have varied depending on the boy and, the hypocrite that I am, would certainly have been different if it was a daughter.
Reading your following posts I would suggest a lot more parental discussion, planning and research and, whilst the spirit of adventure might be strong, a few more years may be beneficial before travelling abroad solo.
 
My understanding so far is that if my passport is valid for 6 months I can travel into the Schengen area without needing to arrange a visa before, and this applies to minors too.
I think you've thought through a lot already and you are still researching; that's great. I'm a bit concerned about the visa thing because I don't remember you explicitly mentioning which passport you will be using, American or Indian. Those traveling with an Indian passport have to apply for a visa. I'm just being extra cautious here.
 
I remember planning an elaborate spring break camping trip to Padre Island with my best friend. We were both 17 at the time. When I told my parents our plans, they said "Absolutely NOT" and I called my friend in tears. On the same day, she had shared the news with her parents who had the exact same response.

On the other hand, I used to travel in Europe and in the states with my dad on business trips. He would give me some money in the morning and ask me what I planned to do for the day while he was at work. At age 12 in Washington DC my brother (aged 9) and I were set loose in the morning to make our way to the various Smithsonian Museums and met Dad for lunch. One day we managed our way to the famous Watergate Hotel. That was in 1974 and before the Metro was in place. In Holland, Belgium, and Germany we made our way to various cities by train, bus, or on foot.

I can think of worse places to be a young person than on the Camino, but it might be good if you had a friend to go along with you and be prepared as your parents might say "Absolutely NOT" just like mine did 44 years ago to another trip.
 
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Countryroads, you ask: can you do this? The answer is always yes, you can.

But the question you really want to know the answer to is, should you do this?

To learn this you must be willing to do some difficult work making a list of the benefits to be gained and the losses to be avoided. Not just about going on camino, but also about not going on camino.

Then you will have an accurate idea of what is important to you, not what some anonymous persons on this forum think is important for you.

Consider this quote from H.D. Thoreau:

“A man must generally get away some hundreds or thousands of miles from home before he can be said to begin his travels. Why not begin his travels at home? Would he have to go far or look very closely to discover novelties? The traveler who, in this sense, pursues his travels at home, has the advantage at any rate of a long residence in the country to make his observations correct and profitable. Now the American goes to England, while the Englishman comes to America, in order to describe the country.”

I am surprised nobody has mentioned the rich cultural and spiritual opportunities in your own backyard.
 
Interesting how the mood has changed on this thread for some people and how they have brought their own biases to their comments.

It reminded me of confronting my own biases in this area when I was aged 16.

By way of background, I am the youngest in my family and from the age of 7 lived in an all male household with my three older brothers and my Dad and I attended an all male school as a teenager. At that time girls and females were a mystery to me.

This particular year my three mates and I were planning our annual summer road trip when one of my mates announced that he was bringing his 14 year old girlfriend with him for the three weeks of living rough around various beaches.

I was a little surprised but didn't think much about it until the four of us in our hand painted V8 pulled up in the driveway of this rather well-to-do, large country house and the mother walked her attractive, diminutive daughter out to the car to meet us for the first time.

I can remember being a bit flabbergasted and thinking, who is this parent who would allow her young daughter to go off unsupervised with what I would charitably describe as four louts!

Not that it mattered but I probably put such eccentric behaviour down to the parents being recent immigrants from the USA.

We shuffled some of our beer out of the way and made room for the lass to sit next to her boyfriend, the driver and I wondered how this was going to turn out as her Mum cheerfully waved good bye as we reversed out of her driveway and disappeared down the road.

I need not have worried, as it turned out that lass was the most mature person in the car, moderating our most outlandish behavioural traits and was completely safe throughout the three week trip.

By the time that we dropped her back with her family I had developed a new respect for the outlandishly liberal parenting of this American couple who had taught their daughter to be independent and how to make good decisions in life.

I hope that I have applied some of that good sense to raising my own daughters.

@countryroads I wish you well with your planning and if your trip goes ahead then I would love to hear posts from you as you walk your own Camino.
 
Isn't it interesting how so many of us assumed it was a young man writing - I'm sorry @countryroads for not checking. I also assumed you had spoken with your parents. You are wise to be gathering information. Good idea. You'll be able to show them the possible pitfalls you've discovered, and how you plan to mitigate them. If I were you, I'd think about whether you expect your parents would be OK with you sleeping outdoors alone before suggesting that as a possibility! Also, be open to listening to their concerns. It sounds like they are trying to be supportive of your desire and at the same time ensure your safety (which is not only legitimate, but a responsibility of theirs)
My second daughter announced she was doing a summer roadtrip with a girlfriend at age 17. While my initial internal reaction was "No way", after discussing with them and having them agree NOT to post their location on social media and promise to stay in a campsite each night, they went. It was my own fault really - I had sent her to India at age 15 (admittedly, with her 16yo brother, and they stayed with a family we knew for eight weeks and then travelled with their 80yo Grandpa for a month)
Do you have a friend who might go with you?
Now about the journal.....it's not forever, it's just for the duration of your trip. You can do it. And you'll be so grateful later. There will be so much to write.....you'll be seeing things that are different, tasting different food, hearing different sounds, meeting different people, learning about yourself in a new way....these are things worth capturing.
Do let us know what your parents say!
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
In 1972 I was 17 and my brother was 16. My older sister had a boyfriend who was 19. He and another student who was 21 were driving back from NJ to Nebraska for college at the end of the summer break, but taking a detour to visit the older fellow's brother in Boulder CO. The boyfriend asked if my brother and I wanted to join them, and catch a one-way flight back home at the end of the trip. I still can't believe today that our parents agreed, but they did! I guess they really trusted that boyfriend (and us).

We had a great time seeing parts of the country I had never visited and seeing sights I had only heard of (USAF Academy, Pike's Peak, Loveland Pass, Vail, etc.). We even got to a Grateful Dead concert at the University of Colorado. I don't remember how we booked that flight home in those pre-internet days, but I certainly don't remember anybody asking for a note from our parents (not saying that the same would be the case today).

We had a fantastic trip, and didn't do too many things our parents wouldn't have approved of! That said, I think the Camino environment is fine for somebody of a similar age, with parental permission of course.
 
I did have one small thought.... Who is paying for this? Because if it's your parents that might be a firm no. I don't think it matters whether you are male or female, but in either case it won't be free. So you might need to delay until you have the money.
 
Hi all! So basically what the title says. I'm 16, I have a month off once my summer exams finish, and I just have a pull to get away from life and do something a little crazy.
NAAAW if you want "crazy" oh I dont know go swim with the whales (mind you - not Wales'...although that also would be CRAZY!) in North Sea.

I went to sea at 15yrs 9 months, still alive ....
But David... Those were the Days, my friend! We wish they never end.... (but end IMHO sadly they did)

... that said I do recall one member on a thread 2 years ago "fessing up" that they "ran away at 16"
Must've been something ;)

View attachment 165638 View attachment 165655

Ummm... yeah... well there is this one town in my State... Intercourse ....

So... lots of good ideas and musings from which I can take that chances are you'll do fine on Camino proper as long as you have your head on straight, but most likely you might jump through some legal hoops (esp. now-a-days and coming from US). Concentrate on that and if you get all of hurdles conquier - then sure - Boldly Go where so Many More Trodded Before Thee!

Good Luck and Buen Camino! I hope it happens for you!
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Hi countryroads! Adding to others' encouragement, I also admire your dream and wish a Buen Camino, whenever you walk. You may have already thought of this...or you may not be interested...feel free to disregard. But have you considered a summer immersion program in Spain? Here is one with good reviews, but there are so many others. I imagine you could capture many elements of the Camino without some of the worries/unknowns, while also setting yourself up for an epic return at age 18 (and for the rest of your life, even career-wise potentially, although that's still a distant thought). People I've met who did these summer programs in high school absolutely loved them and made great friends. Whatever you decide, good luck, all the best, and Buen Camino!
 
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