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Couldn't do it

ewy

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Getting there
Dear pilgrims,

Just feel I have to share my experience with you...

Yesterday was D day for me. I've been preparing for the Camino Notre for the past 5 months. Mentally and phisically. Read this forum, booked a flight to Bilbao, booked a bus to Irun, packed my bag and got on the transfer to the airport.
And then it started...

Tears just came out of nowhere and wouldn't stop... I cried like a baby, couldn't hold it in. I sat at the airport lounge looking through the window, looking at the time and when the boarding started, could not get on my feet to board on the plane. I just froze there, tears running down my cheeks...

Couldn't do it.

I planned everything. Quit my job, that was phisically and emotionaly exhausting me for the past year and decided to treat myself with a five week Camino trail. My family supports me, I'm phisically ready, time is not a problem, nor are finances...

But I just sat there...

I returned home, crushed. Been crying through the night and today I feel so sad. I'm thinking on trying again this friday but am not sure what will happen.

Did any of this happened to you?

Thank you so much. I really hope to make it. Maybe this friday, maybe some other friday...

ewy
 
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Frances Bat

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances SJPdP (June 2017)
Camino Frances Sarria (June 2018)
Camino Ingles (July 2018)
Hi Ewy,

You sound like you have been under a lot of stress in your life in the build up to your departure. Leaving our familiar lives to go walk the camino also puts us under a lot of stress - maybe your sudden reaction is a sign that it is too much at this point, or maybe you will rethink and try again. Try not to be too hard on yourself and I wish you well in thinking through your decision and working out what is best for you at this time.
 

MaireK

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés from Sarria (June 2017)
Camino from A Coruña (Sept 2018)
You poor love. I'm a new member, and this is my first post, so I know nothing of the Camino yet, but this I have learned from life...

This is part of your journey for whatever reason so stop beating yourself up.

How often have you seen 'The Camino will provide' written in posts on the forum. Go with it. Yesterday wasn't the right time. In Ireland we have a saying - 'what's for you, won't pass you' and so it will prove. Your tomorrow will come. Your Camino is your Camino, whenever it happens. At least you have the preparation done, go out, lace up your boots and walk today. Even a few steps to continue your preparation. The answer will come to you......
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I am so sorry for the difficult moment you are passing through.

I often think that too much is made of walking the Caminos: training, weighing clothes, trying to figure out our etapas, which are the best socks, shoes, soaps.

I have been out on the Caminos seven times now, and I think it was only this last time that I didn't feel anxious. Even if I know there is nothing to be anxious about. But there it is.

I don't know what may be causing you to feel this way, but in case you are feeling overwhelmed by the idea of "walking for 5 weeks", which does sound daunting, keep in mind that you are only walking a day at a time.

You are walking from town to town, not in the wildernes. You will have access to restaurants, a hot shower, a comfy (ok, fairly comfy) mattress each night. In fact, on the Norte, you will find delicious meals (you will want to prepare these recipes when you get back home), will enjoy stunning coastal views, will visit beautiful cities.

You will also have internet/cell service 90% of the time, if not more. You will never be more than an hour away from a road a taxi can come collect you. You will meet lovely people in the albergues at night who will enrich your evenings and can make the days shorters by walking with you.

Just out one foot in front of the other and go. Don't plan or try to envision things for the next three or five days, you can plan for the next day in the afternoon after a shower. While enjoying a cold drink.

You will be ok. In fact, this may be one of the best moments in your life.
 
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H

HighlandsHiker

Guest
Yes, Ewy. Yesterday as well. And not long ago on another forum heard of someone else who, like you, got to the airport and didn't get on the plane (and these are just the people willing to get on a public forum and talk about it.....). It is not in any way a failure. As Fleur said, there is always the option of starting again, and "false starts" probably aren't uncommon (at least they aren't in life in general).

I've walked two Caminos before (both of them involved some real adversity) and hike alone in the States as well, but had gotten to Madrid on May 17 to do the Norte/Primitivo and found that my small local bank group had blocked all of Spain and not bothered to check the itinerary I'd turned in 3 weeks ahead (and had not bothered to tell me that I would have no access to cash for an entire 35-day trip in Spain). On taking into account a number of factors between the time I got back home and today's planned restart date, I just didn't have the energy to put one foot in front of the other and start the process of long train, plane and bus rides and all the uncertainty over again.

I decided to spend a couple of months doing volunteer trail work with an organization in the mountain area where I live. NOT going is the best decision for me at this point in time.

I think I hear your struggle, and there aren't easy or sure solutions for the things that might have prevented you - the aloneness, the potential for adversity, the uncertainty of having a place to stay. They're all real and valid concerns (if those are indeed among the things that kept you from going). I hope you can arrive at a decision you're at peace with and wish you all the best whatever decision you make. You are not the only one. Beth
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
So sorry that you're feeling this way @ewy. This is just a moment in your life - it will pass, like any other. Maybe it's panic or anxiety, or maybe you're just feeling the full impact of your recent stresses - whatever the reason, just breathe and try to accept that this is where you are right now.

This may or may not be the right time for you to walk the Camino but as others have said, the Camino will wait until you're ready. You'll know if or when the time is right - and this little interruption might turn out to be a good thing. And yes, I understand that it really doesn't feel like that right now.

@Anemone del Camino's words about the Norte will hopefully give you something to look forward to. This is a Camino where you can take your time, eat nice food, swim in the sea, be kind to yourself, laugh and cry and alternate between being sociable and reclusive.

In the meantime, I hope that you can take some encouragement from all the great replies that I know will come pouring in. I especially like @MaireK 's advice to:
..... go out, lace up your boots and walk today. Even a few steps to continue your preparation. The answer will come to you......
Sometimes it is that simple. One step at a time.
 

MKalcolm M

Solvitur ambulando - It is solved by walking
Past OR future Camino
north route spring 2013
Hi Ewy, so sorry to hear what a hard time you are having.

I walked the Norte after some very difficult and stressful times, which included loosing my house, my business, access to my child, and quitting after four years of study. I was nervous at first, but it was one of the best experiences of my life. The peace, quiet, and time to be in nature was one really good part, the friends and camaraderie was another. I was told that on a long camino, the first week you adjust physically, the second week you adjust mentally and the third week you start to enjoy yourself. This proved to be completely true in my case, and by the start of the third week I found myself wishing that the camino could go on forever. I met a wonderfully eccentric Irish man who taught me what it was to laugh again, a great German teddy bear of a man who showed me how to enjoy life again, and a lovely friend who gave me back my trust, plus many others who shared the good times as well as the weary moments and sore feet. The whole experience was very calming, restorative, and allowed for some great times and happy memories.

When the time feels right, give it another try, you will be in Santiago before you know it.
 
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evanlow

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
Sorry to hear that. I see the problem is the first step, getting on board the flight.

Not sure if this will help but I had the luxury of visiting Santiago de Compostela before I even knew what the Camino is about. Saw the rugged weather beaten pilgrims so elated when they arrived I had to asked them what it is all about and dumbfounded about their whole experience. That day I vow I will return, the next time walking... it took 4 years but I managed to walk my first Camino.

Maybe because of that experience I had a fire in my belly when I embarked on my first Camino.
1. Never mind my train arrived in Pamplona at 10 pm and I have no place to stay. A taxi to the location with lots of hostal and knocked at every door until one was available.
2. Never mind the following day I found no bus to transport me to Roncesvalles (my starting point). Together with two French pilgrims, we all share a taxi and I was dropped off in Roncesvalles while the other two went on to SJPDP.
3. Never mind that I carried a 70 liter backpack. Dumped what I could and soldiered on...
4. Never mind that my boots were too tight and after a week I had to do a 12 km day for two days to give my feet more time to rest.
5. Never mind that in Melide (two days before SDC) my ankle almost gave in (hospitelero says it's probably tontilitis). Two days hobbling and a fear I might do more damage to my feet (I don't recommend that to others), I took the risk since it was ... well, two days.
6. Arrived very late (slow speed the last two days) at 4 pm and when I got to the same location in the square in front of the cathedral, the same spot where I asked the pilgrims what the Camino was all about four years earlier.... I broke down and cried in pain and joy (making sure no one saw me.. old fashion thinking... boys don't cry...). I guess I saved my tears for that moment....so emotional, hugging St James, putting hand on the pillar (was still possible in 2006)..

That's how determined I was on my first Camino.....

All the way I kept telling myself, 'Damn it Evan, for whatever you screwups in your life, you are going to at least do this right...'.

Hope that helps you in boarding your flight the next time....
Don't worry being a fish out of the water, everyone walking are fishes out of water, even the Spaniards.

My experience on my first Camino is almost a poster child of the Camino cliche .. 'The Camino always provide'. :)

And happy to say, it does provide! In many Caminos thereafter too...

Fast forward 1 year later on my second Camino. A 45 liter backpack, 7 kg dry weight, a foldable walking stick, lightweight trekking shoes, I could literally walk backwards. In SDC, I was happy but surprised that emotionally I wasn't that engaged as the first time. Saw St. Jame and even uttered in my mind 'hey Jimmy I am back!'.
 
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SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
A bit of tough love here: Your Camino has already started, so do what people do when they fall from a horse or bike - get on it again! Book the next flight and off you go. Nearly everybody cries on the Camino, you just started earlier than most.
Buen Camino, SY
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Frances, 1wk, Jan 2017
Ewy,

Yesterday was not your day, but you will find it. I think when you do get to the Camino, it will be the correct Camino for you! Maybe next week, Maybe next month, Maybe next year but it will be just what it should be.

I like this comment from Aneomone:
Just out one foot in front of the other and go. Don't plan or try to envision things for the next three or five days, you can plan for the next day in the afternoon after a shower. While enjoying a cold drink.

You will be ok. In fact, this may be one of the best moments in your life.

I think you should do that now, don't beat yourself up, just start walking where ever you are, don't plan, don't worry, don't lament, just walk.

A few days of long distance walking and you may find your future plans reveal themselves to you.

And I will reiterate . . . You will be ok. In fact, this may be one of the best moments in your life!

Kathy
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I often think that too much is made of walking the Caminos: training, weighing clothes, trying to figure out our etapas, which are the best socks, shoes, soaps.


I don't know what may be causing you to feel this way, but in case you are feeling overwhelmed by the idea of "walking for 5 weeks", which does sound daunting, keep in mind that you are only walking a day at a time.

Why not tell yourself you're going to try it for a day or two and if you like it you'll keep going, if not you'll return home. That way it doesn't seem like such a large undertaking?

I agree with all of these thoughts.
People do make the Camino into something bigger than it is.
It's really about one the simplest things that we do every day - walking.
And if you don't like the walk no one is obligating you to do. You can stop and go book a nice seaside hotel instead if you want. :)
 
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D

Deleted member 12253

Guest
Dear pilgrims,

Just feel I have to share my experience with you...

Yesterday was D day for me. I've been preparing for the Camino Notre for the past 5 months. Mentally and phisically. Read this forum, booked a flight to Bilbao, booked a bus to Irun, packed my bag and got on the transfer to the airport.
And then it started...

Tears just came out of nowhere and wouldn't stop... I cried like a baby, couldn't hold it in. I sat at the airport lounge looking through the window, looking at the time and when the boarding started, could not get on my feet to board on the plane. I just froze there, tears running down my cheeks...

Couldn't do it.

I planned everything. Quit my job, that was phisically and emotionaly exhausting me for the past year and decided to treat myself with a five week Camino trail. My family supports me, I'm phisically ready, time is not a problem, nor are finances...

But I just sat there...

I returned home, crushed. Been crying through the night and today I feel so sad. I'm thinking on trying again this friday but am not sure what will happen.

Did any of this happened to you?

Thank you so much. I really hope to make it. Maybe this friday, maybe some other friday...

ewy

However far you go
however high you climb
you must begin with a single step.
Go and you are taking first step of your adventure
Buen camino we are all with you
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Dear pilgrims,

Just feel I have to share my experience with you...

ewy

Ewy, have you walked the Camino Frances yet?
If not, that may be the best "first Camino" to do.
Once you're done it, you know the ropes and the other routes don't feel so daunting.
At any rate, you are smart to follow your gut, in my opinion.
There could be a very good reason you need to stick close to home.
 

StepheninDC

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
June 2017
What great advice from all of these seasoned veterans! @ewy , welcome to the forum and may I also add my voice in saying I'm sad about your experience, too. I'm a total newbie and have been preparing and getting excited for my first Camino (which starts in 9 days!) for a little more than 6 months. I'm apprehensive because I've never undertaken something like this before, although I have traveled extensively, but nothing like this. I don't know you at all but let me offer just this: I think human beings are amazing, all people everywhere. And I wonder just how cool it'll be for people on the Camino to meet YOU. I'll bet YOU have lots you can teach us who have been/will be going on the Camino, you probably have interesting stories to tell and if nothing else, it seems the Camino is really all about the people you meet, and I want to meet you. Of course, if it's not the right time, you can always go later, if that's what you want. I think your anxiety is totally understandable but part of me hopes you'll overcome that with the helpful advice others have offered and join the ranks of the peregrinos. I know it would be interesting for me. Take care.
 

Dorpie

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
Hi Ewy,

I'm not sure if this will help as there's no real outcome to my story, but at least it might help assure you that you're not alone. Once I'd finished university I started interviewing for jobs and pretty quickly got offered a music industry job that I really wanted. I accepted and on the day I was due to start I just didn't go in. They called and I didn't answer and I never went. To this day I can't explain why I did it. Not long after I got another job and all was fine.

Sometimes we're just not in the right frame of mind to take the leap into the unknown. But one thing I've learned since then is that what's on the other side is never as bad as what the mind can imagine.

I really hope you find yourself in the right place soon, but you are absolutely not the first or last person who will waver over a decision like this and you shouldn't beat yourself up about it.

Rob.
 

ewy

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Getting there
My dear all, so much wisdom in your lines...

Thank you so much for your support. Today I feel strangely calm, like I've cried out all my fears, doubts and disappointments.

@SYates your line
Your Camino has already started..
Buen Camino, SY
gave me the goosebumps. So true... No return here.
Tomorrow @poogeyejr I'm doing just as u suggested, walking...
@StepheninDC you have no idea :) All the crazy things I have to share and so much to learn from you all. I belive there is a German bear for me somewhere outthere too...

However this works out, I'll let you know...

Thank you for being with me.

ewy
 
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Purky

The Dutch guy
Past OR future Camino
Reality is frequently inaccurate
You write that you've been preparing (vigorously?) for the camino. And sure, you can train and research to a tee, but ultimately this thing is a leap of faith. There isn't a real rehearsal available (unless you've been on a five week hike before).
The more pressure you put on yourself leading up to your camino, the more likely you are to get in your own way. And when your anxiety gets the better of you, you might choke, as you unfortunately found out.
So try to relax. Have a bit of a breather, and do take good care of yourself. No need to beat yourself up about it. The whole idea of a camino is to let go, have fun, and see how you like it. It's not an exam. Nobody will check if you've done your homework.
If you want to try again is up to you. But please realise that a camino doesn't have to be a matter of life and death. Feeling strangely calm, like you said just now, is a good place to start from.
Take care.
 
Past OR future Camino
2019
@ewy
You can try to write down your feelings from that moment on a paper, look at it with some an objectivity and understanding mindset and yes go walking, it makes you see things "less heavy", more clearly.
Time will tell when you ready, but I'm sure you know that.
In the meantime do "pleasant things", have fun ... Carpe diem:)
 

LesR

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
You poor love. I'm a new member, and this is my first post, so I know nothing of the Camino yet, but this I have learned from life...

This is part of your journey for whatever reason so stop beating yourself up.

How often have you seen 'The Camino will provide' written in posts on the forum. Go with it. Yesterday wasn't the right time. In Ireland we have a saying - 'what's for you, won't pass you' and so it will prove. Your tomorrow will come. Your Camino is your Camino, whenever it happens. At least you have the preparation done, go out, lace up your boots and walk today. Even a few steps to continue your preparation. The answer will come to you......

I have to agree with MarieK - I have met some Indigenous Australians who told me "things will happen when the time is right" - I think they would say that the time was not right for you to set out on the Camino.

Methinks you will revisit the opportunity to do the Camino and will have a sense of whether or not "the time is right". As MarieK says, "the answer will come to you".
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Just................Go! You will be fine !
Millions have done this life changing and beautiful adventure and have come back to their homes anew.
I hate to use this overused cliche, but here goes........"The Camino will provide for you"
 
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Pei2spain

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2011)
As willydp noted, you could write down your feelings from that moment.......and when you eventually do the Camino Frances, that could be your "rock" that you leave at the Cruz de Fero! It is a tradition to bring a rock from home and leave it at the Cruz, with the idea of leaving your troubles behind and moving on. Write it on some thing biodegradable so as not to add to the garbage on the trail. Maybe this will help?

Buen Camino....wherever your Camino is!
 

amorfati1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2014_Caminho Portuguese (Lisboa to Santiago_4 weeks in May)
Well done - for letting those tears flow - and then to U-turn back home and not pushing against it.
Sometimes even the most beautiful event/thing is just one-thing-too-much and there is no capacity left within to absorb more of anything.

and it's a good 'story' to show that preparation is not everything. We plan and plot - and then life happily intervenes and has other plans indeed. But we as humans are so much more complex than any planning could account for.

Not to be dismayed - those tears were also eMOTION of course. Some sort of MOTION went on, just not the motion you might have thought would take place that day.
Something moved within - and maybe it needed to leave your system before other steps could be taken?!
Who knows?
So much is not knowable, ... one has to have a measure of acceptance of those turns and upsanddowns.

very best wishes - warmly, C




Dear pilgrims,

Just feel I have to share my experience with you...

Yesterday was D day for me. I've been preparing for the Camino Notre for the past 5 months. Mentally and phisically. Read this forum, booked a flight to Bilbao, booked a bus to Irun, packed my bag and got on the transfer to the airport.
And then it started...

Tears just came out of nowhere and wouldn't stop... I cried like a baby, couldn't hold it in. I sat at the airport lounge looking through the window, looking at the time and when the boarding started, could not get on my feet to board on the plane. I just froze there, tears running down my cheeks...

Couldn't do it.

I planned everything. Quit my job, that was phisically and emotionaly exhausting me for the past year and decided to treat myself with a five week Camino trail. My family supports me, I'm phisically ready, time is not a problem, nor are finances...

But I just sat there...

I returned home, crushed. Been crying through the night and today I feel so sad. I'm thinking on trying again this friday but am not sure what will happen.

Did any of this happened to you?

Thank you so much. I really hope to make it. Maybe this friday, maybe some other friday...

ewy
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Millions have done this life changing and beautiful adventure and have come back to their homes anew.
I know that everyone means well when they call the Camino a "life changing experience", but I think that it can put a lot of pressure on people.
Such as -what if I go, and I don't have this wondrous life changing/spiritual/transcendent experience that everyone talks about? Does that mean that I did it wrong? Does it mean that there's something wrong with me?
When expectations are set too high, disappointment follows. And someone who may already have many disappointments in their life may be hesitant to embark on an endeavor that could possibly leave them disappointed again.
 

ouroboros

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012) (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
It seems that we think we are one being, one entity, and of one mind, but perhaps it is more complicated than that: perhaps we encompass several beings in one, and it is important to get a consensus among these various aspects of ourselves before we undertake something major. What if there were at least four aspects of yourself that needed to come to agreement about the Camino--your spirit, your heart, your soul, and your nafs (individual self)?
This is called the four voices of discernment method and you can practice listening to all of these parts of yourself by having an internal town hall meeting of sorts. If you ignore any of these aspects, one or more of them may undermine your efforts. In this case, nafs, which looks out for your safety and security and self-interest, may have felt threatened by this venture and did not feel heard. Nafs will lash out in fear and upset if not heeded. If you ignore your spirit or your soul's desires, you will also feel restless and stifled, possibly by a dominant nafs, which tends to shut the other voices out. The quietest inner voice is your heart, even quieter than your soul voice. "The still, small voice" is often your heart's voice, which often combines and harmonizes spirit, soul and nafs. Check inward and see if any of this resonates with you by asking these many parts of yourself to speak up and be heard. I know this is pretty esoteric, but thought it might be helpful.
 
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Finisterre

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Sarria 2001,
Porto 2006,
Valenca 2008,
Finisterre 2010,
SJdPP 2012,
Tui 2014.

No plans to return, yet.
so you have five weeks holiday.

What ya gonna do?

Personally I'd book a last minute flight to Porto. The Portuguese is a lovely walk.

have fun.
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
Ewy, there's not a much to say that others haven't said already, and better than I could. But a heartfelt buen camino!

To walk the way requires trust, patience with yourself, and graceful surrender to what is. You've already succeeded in honesty and openness, which says a lot.
The entire journey is just one foot in front of the other, metaphorically and literally. So there is only that next step to take, and the next, and the next...at home and in Spain. Fortunately, it doesn't have to look like anyone else's camino. So if there is the sincere attitude of pilgrimage inside, no matter how it looks externally, you can't possibly do it wrong.
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Frances, 1wk, Jan 2017
Why not tell yourself you're going to try it for a day or two and if you like it you'll keep going, if not you'll return home. That way it doesn't seem like such a large undertaking?

If you do stop the Camino early or very early you can do what I did in January - go site seeing in Spain! Spending a week or two in San Sebastian would be a great end to any Camino, aborted or not! The hostel "A Room in the City" gives you a great place to stay, great security and a reasonable price. Cooking in their kitchen is easy and reasonable priced and San Sebastian is a gorgeous beach side city!

The first time I went I never considered any alternatives to doing the Camino or coming home, but there are many different reasonable priced options once you are in Spain.

Kathy
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
I agree with the people who said Just Go. I understand why people want to reassure you and prevent you from beating yourself up. But I am guessing you will continue to beat yourself up until you have gone and at least given it a shot... especially after all that planning. Freezing up at the last minute doesn't prove there "must be a reason" you needed not to go. I don't always give this advice, but in this case I think you need a push to get on the plane. Like another said, if you don't like it after a few days, go sightseeing instead. But you'll never know unless you Go.
 
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notion900

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
>
Hi @ewy I think the Norte is the wrong way for you. It's a rather odd camino, in the sense that it is really rather hard, and yet you are exposed to frolicking holidaymakers left right and centre. I bailed on it once, I just could not keep my camino mindset going. It sounds like you need the flow of humanity to bear you along, which is best found on the French way.

If time and money is no problem, I strongly suggest you go and do a week or two intensive language course in a small city like Salamanca or Malaga, living with a homestay family. You will get massive confidence from your new found language skills, fall in love with Spain as a whole (as opposed to 'the camino'), and you can then start your camino from whatever place on the French way feels right and doesn't put undue pressure on you.
 

Parham

Parham
Past OR future Camino
Camino Del Norte (May 2017) Irun-Santander
I wouldn't presume to say what is the Camino for you. I will share with you that, as my first Camino experience, I had time enough to just walk the first couple of hundred kilometers of Camino del Norte (and bussed a couple of segments) and I'm glad I did. I was lucky enough to enjoy every single day, even though it was not an easy walk, in large measure thanks to people I met on the Camino and in the Albergues.

I kept a daily journal, which gives one flavour of some of this Camino: http://hiking.topicwise.com/doc/CaminoDelNorte2017

I hope you find your Camino.
 
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StepheninDC

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
June 2017
My dear all, so much wisdom in your lines...

Thank you so much for your support. Today I feel strangely calm, like I've cried out all my fears, doubts and disappointments.

@SYates your line

gave me the goosebumps. So true... No return here.
Tomorrow @poogeyejr I'm doing just as u suggested, walking...
@StepheninDC you have no idea :) All the crazy things I have to share and so much to learn from you all. I belive there is a German bear for me somewhere outthere too...

However this works out, I'll let you know...

Thank you for being with me.

ewy

Haha, well I'd be glad to enjoy a good German beer (is there any other?) with you, @ewy . :) Buen Camino whenever you decide it's right to go.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I also have to disagree with the comments about the Norte not being the right route for you. It is the first route for many and not odd at all. Many people end up walking the Frances because they think it's the only Camino, and now well, it's turned into Disneyland. On the Norte you will most likely walk alone unless you want to,walk with someone, but find yourself in busy albergues in the evening. You will also find places for breaks during the day, including food. Don't worry, just go. You will be just fine.
 
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Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Way too deep...............................Just go !!!!!!!!!!!!! (Or maybe I am just too shallow !!!!!!!!)
 

ark

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (17)
I'm so sorry you are feeling anxious and disappointed, and on top of that probably embarrassed to have planned and not gone. I say LISTEN TO YOURSELF- I think many of those saying "just go" and "the Camino will provide" are pushing their agenda on you. I am currently walking the Camino Frances solo, and it is a hard and often lonely experience. Days and days, hours and hours, miles and miles of thinking, walking meditation, and sore feet! It's what I anticipated, but it is not a fantastic life-changing experience for me, at least not yet. It is hard. Maybe your inner self was telling you that you just aren't at a place to put yourself through this kind of intense self-analysis right now. Do what feels right to you, the Camino will always be there when you are ready. Good luck and best wishes!
 

Zen Librarian

Member
Past OR future Camino
9-17: SJPdP-SdC
4-18: SdC - Fisterra
4-19: Cadiz-Sevilla/Via Agusta
3-20: Sevilla-SdC/VdlP
Thanks for sharing Ewy. I am embarking on my first ever Camino (Frances) in September and in equal measures excited and shit-scared. Friends and colleagues are all telling me how jealous they are that I have quit my job, going on this wonderful adventure, on my own. But it does take courage. My avatar is my brave face, I can totally imagine your feelings. Doing something scary every now and then feels good too though. Hope to see you on the camino.
 
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Elphin ap Gwyddno

New Member
Past OR future Camino
French, Epilogue, Portuguese, Primitive
Dear pilgrims,

Just feel I have to share my experience with you...


ewy


Everything will be there waiting for you when you're ready. The landscapes, the feelings, the Apostle, your fellow pilgrims... Just let your mind relax and come again when your heart tells yo to.

Buen Camino!
 

Chrisp

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: 2014
EPW: 2015
Portuguese Camino: 2016
TMB: 2016
Rota Vicentina: 2017
VF: 2018
Ewy, have you walked the Camino Frances yet?
If not, that may be the best "first Camino" to do.
Once you're done it, you know the ropes and the other routes don't feel so daunting.
At any rate, you are smart to follow your gut, in my opinion.
There could be a very good reason you need to stick close to home.
I agree, I think the Camino Frances is the best way to start. I was anxious and fearful and all I wanted to do was turn around and go back home.. I'm glad I didn't do that. It was the best experience of my life and I have since done the Portuguese Camino and two other long distance walks, the European Peacewalk and Tour Mont Blanc
 

Tim Floyd

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017
TDMB 2016
Cotswold Way 2018
Portugues 2021
You poor love. I'm a new member, and this is my first post, so I know nothing of the Camino yet, but this I have learned from life...

This is part of your journey for whatever reason so stop beating yourself up.

How often have you seen 'The Camino will provide' written in posts on the forum. Go with it. Yesterday wasn't the right time. In Ireland we have a saying - 'what's for you, won't pass you' and so it will prove. Your tomorrow will come. Your Camino is your Camino, whenever it happens. At least you have the preparation done, go out, lace up your boots and walk today. Even a few steps to continue your preparation. The answer will come to you......

What's for you, won't pass you...

I am going to remember that! Thank you for sharing.
 

susiemcc

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2010)
Le Puy Route (2012)
Camino Portuguese (2015)
Finisterre/Muxia (2015)
Euro Peace Walk (2015)
Dear pilgrims,

Just feel I have to share my experience with you...

Yesterday was D day for me. I've been preparing for the Camino Notre for the past 5 months. Mentally and phisically. Read this forum, booked a flight to Bilbao, booked a bus to Irun, packed my bag and got on the transfer to the airport.
And then it started...

Tears just came out of nowhere and wouldn't stop... I cried like a baby, couldn't hold it in. I sat at the airport lounge looking through the window, looking at the time and when the boarding started, could not get on my feet to board on the plane. I just froze there, tears running down my cheeks...

Couldn't do it.

I planned everything. Quit my job, that was phisically and emotionaly exhausting me for the past year and decided to treat myself with a five week Camino trail. My family supports me, I'm phisically ready, time is not a problem, nor are finances...

But I just sat there...

I returned home, crushed. Been crying through the night and today I feel so sad. I'm thinking on trying again this friday but am not sure what will happen.

Did any of this happened to you?

Thank you so much. I really hope to make it. Maybe this friday, maybe some other friday...

ewy


Dear Ewy
I admire you greatly. To be able to stand up and say that you don't know if you can do this takes a strong and brave person. Try not to be sad or upset with yourself. I believe what ever you decide to do will be the right thing for you. Stand tall, breathe deeply and allow your adventure to unfold what ever it may be. XX
 

angeliki louk

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2014 camino Frances.
June 2015 Camino north
Camino primitivo
Dear pilgrims,

Just feel I have to share my experience with you...

Yesterday was D day for me. I've been preparing for the Camino Notre for the past 5 months. Mentally and phisically. Read this forum, booked a flight to Bilbao, booked a bus to Irun, packed my bag and got on the transfer to the airport.
And then it started...

Tears just came out of nowhere and wouldn't stop... I cried like a baby, couldn't hold it in. I sat at the airport lounge looking through the window, looking at the time and when the boarding started, could not get on my feet to board on the plane. I just froze there, tears running down my cheeks...

Couldn't do it.

I planned everything. Quit my job, that was phisically and emotionaly exhausting me for the past year and decided to treat myself with a five week Camino trail. My family supports me, I'm phisically ready, time is not a problem, nor are finances...

But I just sat there...

I returned home, crushed. Been crying through the night and today I feel so sad. I'm thinking on trying again this friday but am not sure what will happen.

Did any of this happened to you?

Thank you so much. I really hope to make it. Maybe this friday, maybe some other friday...

ewy
The Camino is waiting for you.....I hope you got on that plane......nothing is easy at the beginning....the beauty comes once you take the first step....we were all scared at some point I think...at least I was in both my caminos....hope you are already there and walking!!!!
Take care and smile!!!!
Buen camino!!!!
 
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Ark, you are walking through the heart of the camino. Keep going! There is so much to be found there, in all that emptiness. It might take years to poke through it all. Later on.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
ewy, usually the hardest part of a Camino is that very first step out of your front door -- and ark is right too in his description of how hard it can be to be on the trail.

Discouragement is a normal experience on the Camino, and as someone else said, you're just getting it a lot earlier than most. My usual advice for such situations would still apply -- take a rest day or two til you're past it, then move on. :cool:
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
I am no special person on dealing with anything like this. But I sense that all you need to do is take a few deep breaths then go. A miracle will happen when you arrive and meet your first pilgrims where "The Way" begins. I did my first Camino last August.... :)

I agree ! Take a deep breath and move forward ... see what happens ... however you feel is OK ... whatever happens is OK ....

Just ... ROCK UP and take one step ... it seems that you need this ...
 
D

Deleted member 67338

Guest
Dear pilgrims,

Just feel I have to share my experience with you...

Yesterday was D day for me. I've been preparing for the Camino Norte for the past 5 months. Mentally and phisically. Read this forum, booked a flight to Bilbao, booked a bus to Irun, packed my bag and got on the transfer to the airport.
And then it started...

Tears just came out of nowhere and wouldn't stop... I cried like a baby, couldn't hold it in. I sat at the airport lounge looking through the window, looking at the time and when the boarding started, could not get on my feet to board on the plane. I just froze there, tears running down my cheeks...

Couldn't do it.

I planned everything. Quit my job, that was phisically and emotionaly exhausting me for the past year and decided to treat myself with a five week Camino trail. My family supports me, I'm phisically ready, time is not a problem, nor are finances...

But I just sat there...

I returned home, crushed. Been crying through the night and today I feel so sad. I'm thinking on trying again this friday but am not sure what will happen.

Did any of this happened to you?

Thank you so much. I really hope to make it. Maybe this friday, maybe some other friday...

ewy

My friend is doing Del Norte now and says it's the hardest thing he has ever done and the 5 experienced pilgrims who started have all pulled out, he says he is not enjoying it and myself who is doing France and meeting him in Santiago has no wish to ever do it but Portugal sound brilliant maybe you should do that as the weather is great Buen Camino I can't see the value in Del Norte
 
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JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
I also have to disagree with the comments about the Norte not being the right route for you. It is the first route for many and not odd at all. Many people end up walking the Frances because they think it's the only Camino, and now well, it's turned into Disneyland. On the Norte you will most likely walk alone unless you want to,walk with someone, but find yourself in busy albergues in the evening. You will also find places for breaks during the day, including food. Don't worry, just go. You will be just fine.

Just to add my different perspective, I walked the Frances last May/June and loved the whole thing. I often walked alone all day and thoroughly enjoyed the varying landscapes, natural beauty, history, etc. It didn't feel like Disneyland to me.
 
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poogeyejr

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Frances, 1wk, Jan 2017
I was/am of larger shape and slower stamina but I loved the Norte! Sure there are hills, but there are also spectacular ocean views! Walking day after day, catching a glimpse or the full vista of ocean unexpectedly filled my soul with joy on a daily basis.

I think preconceived notions, comparisons and expectations can cloud our perception of what really is . . .
 

SusanMB

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012)
Camino Portuguese (2014)
Camino Via de la Plata (April/May2016)
Norte (2017)
Dear Ewy,
I am feeling for you. Like some others have said your Camino starts from the time you leave your front door. I have always learnt and experienced on the Caminos that I have completed that at some stage of the journey there have been times of tears and the belief that I couldn't go any further. I think the difference for me being I was already on the road and turning back to jump on the plane was not an easy task. I overcame my fears and apprehensions spending a little time meditating on why I was actually doing such a thing and so far from home.
Perhaps for you, it may help to think about your WHY you want to so such as thing as walk 800+ kilometres across Spain. If your why is strong you will be on your way again and don't despair if there are tears again a Camino journey has this effect on many. It is also important to acknowledge that this journey is different for everyone, some find parts easy where others find parts hard. Some travel fast and many travel slow, what pathway you take and how you get there is entirely up to you.As personal experience and it may not be your belief, but having faith in yourself to take that next step will no doubt bring much joy for you.
 

Alan Smith

New Member
Past OR future Camino
(2015)
Dear pilgrims,

Just feel I have to share my experience with you...

Yesterday was D day for me. I've been preparing for the Camino Notre for the past 5 months. Mentally and phisically. Read this forum, booked a flight to Bilbao, booked a bus to Irun, packed my bag and got on the transfer to the airport.
And then it started...

Tears just came out of nowhere and wouldn't stop... I cried like a baby, couldn't hold it in. I sat at the airport lounge looking through the window, looking at the time and when the boarding started, could not get on my feet to board on the plane. I just froze there, tears running down my cheeks...

Couldn't do it.

I planned everything. Quit my job, that was phisically and emotionaly exhausting me for the past year and decided to treat myself with a five week Camino trail. My family supports me, I'm phisically ready, time is not a problem, nor are finances...

But I just sat there...

I returned home, crushed. Been crying through the night and today I feel so sad. I'm thinking on trying again this friday but am not sure what will happen.

Did any of this happened to you?

Thank you so much. I really hope to make it. Maybe this friday, maybe some other friday...

ewy
Hi Ewy,

Lots of wisdom in these replies. There is one thing I might add. As much as I enjoy Ivar's Camino forum, sometimes I think it can scare folks off. It contains lots of suggestions, warnings, and technical advice. That is largely what this forum is intended to do--to help out pilgrims. But for someone who has never walked a step on el Camino, sometimes the technical talk makes it look as if you have to be superhuman, or superdedicated, or in super shape to do this thing. In 2015, I felt that way even though, for age 68 (then), I was in pretty good shape. Sometimes, however, after reading this wonderful forum, I felt that I was not up to the task. Ask anyone about their first day. Mine was in St. Jean. I woke up and started walking, sure I was going to drop out by the afternoon. Why was I even doing this?

What you can't see from the posts in this forum is that everyone who is walking is really just out for a walk. To see the sights and to meet the people. Maybe to find something out about themselves. But if you are able to go walking at home, you can walk on the Camino. It is just a walking path. Your mind will do the same things as it does when you walk at home. At least at the beginning. It will wander. Like it is supposed to do.

You can stop anytime you want. You can do as many or as few miles as you want. Everyone who isn't a schedule freak winds up doing what they choose. You might have to walk to the next town, but the next town is never very far. You can turn around and go back to the last town if the next town is too far off. Or just stay where you are and enjoy Spain. You can call it quits or maybe stay in a town another day and see how you feel about it. Go to Madrid or Bilbao or wherever, or go home. It is just a walk. No kidding. If you decide to go on for a few days, it becomes something much more than that, but only in your head and your heart. It is still just a walk.

Forget the miles the book recommends or the elapsed times and the other stuff. If you don't like to walk in the rain, don't. If you don't want to decide how far you are going, you can use cabs and Uber and busses and go off the Camino to a hotel.

It is just like walking at home. But if it turns out that you like it, you can walk the next day too.

Buen Camino, on el Camino or whatever camino or path you decide to follow.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Welcome Alan !!!!!!!!!!
 
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