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Four Categories of Pilgrims

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Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
People always ask me what did I find on the Camino -that is somewhat of a random thing. you never know who you will meet or what enlightenment you might find. Kind of like an Easter egg hunt.

The more reveling question of what were you looking for? What were you seeking?

I found on 100 days on 4 different routes, that these were four general categories of pilgrims.
Of course many fit into multiple categories.

The first category was the adventures. They were people looking for an inexpensive travel diversion who liked making new friends, drinking wine with strangers and hooking up with other pilgrims, occasionally falling in love. The spiritual component of their pilgrimage was secondary to their search for adventure. The younger pilgrims seemed to make up most of this group.

The next category was the damaged. They were looking for healing. Some were recently divorced or widowed, some had lost a family member and others were dealing with sickness, addiction or depression. Some were suffering from PTSD. Men often were war veterans. For them the Camino was a kind of reset button, a chance to do a rewind and start over, a chance for a rebirthing. These people were especially grateful for the kindness and empathy of others. Like in AA, one day at at time, one mile at at time - the healing is incremental.

There was a group I encountered that I call the “New Age Zen-Types” who were authentic in their spiritual search, but that search did not involve the Catholic Church. These were the people who were looking to be fully aware in the present moment – they were in pursuit of mindfulness. Their inner journeys were often a winnowing that pealed away ego, resentments, prejudice and attachment to material possessions.

The last category was the faithful. Usually Catholic, sometimes Christian, but the faithful also included people from all faiths. Every one of these pilgrims believed in God, or at least the possibility of God intersecting with the arc of their lives. They all had a personal relationship with God; they spoke to him, prayed to him and humbly asked him for guidance. For most of the faithful, the Camino pilgrimage was a way to broaden and strengthen that personal relationship.

But all arrived in Santiago transformed.

The Rolling Stones Song
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well, you might find
You get what you need
 
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Nev Sheather

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walking now (2017)
I think you can certainly have more categories. I perhaps fit in the Adventures one, but as an older person who has been walking all his life, the walking and carrying a pack was not new at all, the experiencing a different culture, architecture, landscape, people certainly was. The journey didn't change me at all spiritually, it broadened my knowledge and experience certainly. Perhaps an 'Experienced Wanderers' category....
 
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Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
The journey didn't change me at all,
I am sure that every journey transforms all of us, Even if you are not aware of it,

You have a personnel narrative in you. It your identity -and that whole narrative is a somewhat an illusion for must of us. We are not the objects of our awareness , but pure awareness itself,
. You wander to find your true self.

A little ancient philosophy .Heraclitus held extreme views that led to logical incoherence. For he held that (1) everything is constantly changing and (2) opposite things are identical, so that (3) everything is and is not at the same time.

You achieved sometime that was very hard to do and it strengthened you.

But I like the experience wanders - we often do not change much when we get older - old dogs don't learn new tricks.

The again some dogs do learn
He was 66 when he wrote is best book!
McCourt is a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist for his book Angela’s Ashes published in 1996 based on his poverty-stricken childhood between Brooklyn to Ireland. McCourt won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography in 1997 and the 1996 annual National Book Critics Circle Award for Angela’s Ashes.

So if you’re feeling like you are not where you want to be with your writing, life is long, you still have a lot of time to put your thoughts onto the page.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
But all arrived in Santiago transformed.
Really?
Some are just tired, homesick, and footsore.
Some are just more authentically themselves.
Some just had a nice long meditative walk.

There's a kernel of Truth in what you've written, and yet I find myself feeling vaguely annoyed that someone has put words into my mouth and imagined what I must be experiencing— when they have no idea. Please don't do it.

This kind of stereotyping gets in the way with our direct experience of the amazing diversity of humanity that we all encounter on the Camino. No one will neatly fits into any number of categories.

(BTW...New Age and Zen are about as different as one can get.)
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I agree with you. I find the image painted, of the four categories and the great transformation, a grossly distorted image. Everyone I know in my personal life and who went to Santiago on foot or bike, and a number of them went from home which means about 2000 km, speaks of a great experience and wonderful memories but that's about it. But we certainly talk about "it" for hours on end; it's pleasurable memories and we have many of them in common. And that's many years after their Camino.

It was not the greatest adventure for us, although some of us are adventurous. It was not the religious pilgrimage for any of us although some of us are practising Christians and even Catholics. It was not the great healing experience although some of us are affected by hurts.

Great if you can frame your own experience in this way but don't generalise for the hundreds of thousands of others.
 
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SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
IMHO labels are for food containers.

1. I'm the least adventurous person you can find and still I walked different Caminos.
2. As everyone who has lived a while I had my share of bad news but it did not leave me damaged.
3. I get a bad rash when I hear someone talk ' New Age ' and yes Zen is something completely different.
4. Born and raised a Catholic I decided around my 18th to say goodbye to it and never substituted it for another faith.

I'm just someone who tries to live and walk a Camino with gratitude and compassion. And the occasional ironical/ sarcastic remark to keep it in balance.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
Really?
Some are just tired, homesick, and footsore.
Some are just more authentically themselves.
Some just had a nice long meditative walk.

There's a kernel of Truth in what you've written, and yet I find myself feeling vaguely annoyed that someone has put words into my mouth and imagined what I must be experiencing— when they have no idea. Please don't do it.

This kind of stereotyping gets in the way with our direct experience of the amazing diversity of humanity that we all encounter on the Camino. No one will neatly fits into any number of categories.

(BTW...New Age and Zen are about as d
Some just had a nice long meditative walk.
ifferent as one can get.)
Clearly every Camino Experience is unique . I posted this for folks who are thinking about doing it
One man - one Camino
This WAS not intended to stereotype folks

Some are just tired, homesick ---The Damaged?
Some just had a nice long meditative walk. ---The Zen Folks
Some are just more authentically themselves - Mindfulness Category?

You actually confirmed all my general categories Zen and New age are combined categories Yet they are not the same---- but neither is reflective of the Catholics Faith,

I am not putting word into your mouth - I am simply making a general observation.
Thanks for the feed back
Terry
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I posted this for folks who are thinking about doing it
And you will not be setting up some of these folks for a disappointment? Of course, one can always counter this with the "the Camino gives you what you need and not what you want" and "go without expectations" platitudes.

I guess, like @SabineP, I make the occasional ironic/sarcastic remark to keep it in balance. :cool:
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Eeeek I think Terry was only getting a conversation going! Nothing wrong in musing. I agree that labels are for food jars - my personal dislike is Myer-Briggs (developed by two women with no psychological training, and no science behind it). But even if it is nonsense, who doesn't like to play the occasional quiz in the magazines found sitting in the dentists surgery? Particularly when we are all confined.

In that vein, I categorise myself as the self-indulgent escapee from responsibility claiming to be walking for a higher purpose.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
But I like the experience wanders - we often do not change much when we get older - old dogs don't learn new tricks. Then again Frank McCourt wrote his fist novel at 66 years old
I read Angela's Ashes a long time ago. Your comment made me look up information about the author, for example in the Guardian's obituary. Frank McCourt had a Bachelor's degree in English. Taught Spakespeare. Taught creative writing. Had his own work published occasionally in small magazines in 1970 (his highly successful book was published a quarter of a century later), spent time with other writers such as his brother who was more successful at the time.

It doesn't sound like he learned a new trick at age 66 but rather, being retired, found the time to use tricks he had acquired throughout his life.

When retired, some write a novel or a memoir, creative or otherwise, and others go on Camino - and a few try to do both when they are retired. 😇. In recent years, both the number of Camino walkers and of books published by Camino walkers about their Camino walking have reached astronomical heights, relatively speaking.

Maybe we should have categories of people 1) Before their Camino; 2) During their Camino; 3) After their Camino; and let's not forget most of us here: 4) Between their Caminos. 😄
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese coastal (2021)
Hi all!
You can shoot me down in flames if you want (no probs)
Perhaps i am wrong but i think the Camino in itself is an adventure for all whatever the instigation; be it any of the reasons posted above and more.
I have things i wish to resolve in life(mainly how those closest to me perceive me ) ;the thought of undertaking something special and enduring in the memories that life will hold for me if i can do it ;will change my opinion of who i am for the better .
But the adventure is i think the catalyst that draws everyone to try it!
Woody.
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
All I was trying to do a to was to make some general comments about the types of people who walk the Camino -- and got obliterated.
I am gone from this abusive site

Having a bad day – huh?

Don’t go, there’s nothing wrong with stating your personal observations. We all generalize to some extent, sometimes that’s the only way to understand a complex reality.

Just don’t expect everyone to agree, that would be too easy… :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
Having a bad day – huh?

Don’t go, there’s nothing wrong with stating your personal observations. We all generalize to some extent, sometimes that’s the only way to understand a complex reality.

Just don’t expect everyone to agree, that would be too easy… :)
What happens when observations wander into the pontification category? They tend to attract a little abuse. The solution is not to leave, but learn to temper. Ah well, let’s all keep growing as well as we can
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
i think the Camino in itself is an adventure for all whatever the instigation; be it any of the reasons posted above and more.
Welcome to the discussion, @woody66. What's to shoot down in your post? Not a thing. Quite right. It's an adventure, regardess of motivation.

Some are just tired, homesick ---The Damaged?
Some just had a nice long meditative walk. ---The Zen Folks
Some are just more authentically themselves - Mindfulness Category?
Here's the challenge of categories: if we try to put people in a handful of fixed categories, it denies the nuance and fluidity of intention and experience.

Every day is different, and the hours and minutes within one day are different. I think we have all had the experience of being one person at dawn, another at second breakfast, a third when the weather goes to heck in the mid-afternoon or when our knees hurt, a fourth in the evening around the table at the albergue...and so on. One day we can be a basket case, and the next day be completely chilled out. Likewise why we think we are walking is a fluid construct.

Often what a Camino is about and why we were walking only reveals itself in retrospect, months or years later. Trying to categorize and put all of that in a box does a disservice to the process. The reason I mentioned and I was annoyed by having words put into my mouth was that I felt that you had ascribed motivations that in fact are not even there as monolithic entities. I can only speak for myself here, but I have more reasons to walk then I can easily describe, and those reasons are constantly changing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
“Will anyone stand up for me?”
This question belongs to a much more serious place than a forum about Caminos to Santiago. I see situations such as this one on this thread, and I think: mind your own business, keep out of it.
This time, though, I do want to say that if I open my mouth, as I am doing now, then yes, I must be ready for a kaleidoscope of responses. So whoever expresses an opinion, rather than asking a question, is bound to get a range of responses. It is not my experience that this is an abusive site. Many years ago, at a union meeting when I was a young teacher, I saw that silence could be taken for consent. So on this question of the forum being abusive, I want to disagree.
 

Paul Wilson

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese April 2019
Frances May 2021
All I was trying to do a to was to make some general comments about the types of people who walk the Camino -- and got obliterated.
I am gone from this abusive site
All forums have opinions and the opinionated that is not a bad thing it leads to debate and usually a general consensus.

personally I like your categorisation and can see places where my journey fits, others will rather remain free spirits with their individuality and that’s no bad thing, as we all move along our camino we all have our stories to share and opinions to give and on our walks this is normally done with a kind tone. So thanks for starting the discussion and don’t worry about strong opinions they normally give food for thought wether you agree with them or not.

Take care 👍
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I think you can certainly have more categories. I perhaps fit in the Adventures one, but as an older person who has been walking all his life, the walking and carrying a pack was not new at all, the experiencing a different culture, architecture, landscape, people certainly was. The journey didn't change me at all spiritually, it broadened my knowledge and experience certainly. Perhaps an 'Experienced Wanderers' category....
Yes I fit in this category as well. I am drawn to the walking part. A Camino offers a good infrastructure, easy possibilities to meet other people, Spanish language and culture. I am not transformed by arriving in Santiago, in fact I stopped my last Camino a few days before Santiago, to avoid the crowds. As far as spirituality is concerned I find that as much as on another long distance trail. It is the "simple" lifestyle that does the trick for me
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
Terry, I like your categorizations. Everybody likes to think that they are unique but in reality 300,000 Caminos a year imply that there are certain generalizations that can be made. Perhaps, as others have pointed out, categories should maybe be restated as attributers or scales that all of us are on. Everybody is an adventurer who has been damaged and is trying to reconcile Zen and faith.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Afterthought: is there difference between Catholic and Christian?
Part of Catholics are Christians or part of Christians are Catholics.
You probably refer to my post where I mentioned in passing that among the people with whom I often talk about our camino memories "some of us are practising Christians and even Catholics".

Test your deliberations with this statement: "Some of us are former pilgrims and even women".
Or: "Some of us are women and even older than 60". 😎

Plus, there is usually a context in which a comment is made. As in that case.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances (July 2016), Primitivo (July 2018), Portuguese (March 2019)
My two pennies worth.

I reckon that most of us who walk do so for all sorts of reasons but the joy that one gets from meeting kindness has to be the most common denominator. In what is often such an unkind world the constant rubbing of shoulders with kind people is refreshment of the fact that not all of life has to be a battle with others. The young Chinese lad who saw my wife and I sitting under the shade of an olive tree and came over to offer us his orange, the little old lady who kept hold of a Scottish friend’s cherished beret while he retraced five km to find it or the Korean chap carrying his close friend’s ashes 800 km to Santiago. It’s the small kindnesses that one meets every day on the Camino that keeps bringing us back.
 

Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés(2008,09 14)
Del Norte (2011)
Portuguese(2015,2017)
Inglés 2015
Fisterre (2015 17)
People always ask me what did I find on the Camino -that is somewhat of a random thing. you never know who you will meet or what enlightenment you might find. Kind of like an Easter egg hunt.

The more reveling question of what were you looking for? What were you seeking?

I found on 100 days on 4 different routes, that these were four general categories of pilgrims.
Of course many fit into multiple categories.

The first category was the adventures. They were people looking for an inexpensive travel diversion who liked making new friends, drinking wine with strangers and hooking up with other pilgrims, occasionally falling in love. The spiritual component of their pilgrimage was secondary to their search for adventure. The younger pilgrims seemed to make up most of this group.

The next category was the damaged. They were looking for healing. Some were recently divorced or widowed, some had lost a family member and others were dealing with sickness, addiction or depression. Some were suffering from PTSD. Men often were war veterans. For them the Camino was a kind of reset button, a chance to do a rewind and start over, a chance for a rebirthing. These people were especially grateful for the kindness and empathy of others. Like in AA, one day at at time, one mile at at time - the healing is incremental.

There was a group I encountered that I call the “New Age Zen-Types” who were authentic in their spiritual search, but that search did not involve the Catholic Church. These were the people who were looking to be fully aware in the present moment – they were in pursuit of mindfulness. Their inner journeys were often a winnowing that pealed away ego, resentments, prejudice and attachment to material possessions.

The last category was the faithful. Usually Catholic, sometimes Christian, but the faithful also included people from all faiths. Every one of these pilgrims believed in God, or at least the possibility of God intersecting with the arc of their lives. They all had a personal relationship with God; they spoke to him, prayed to him and humbly asked him for guidance. For most of the faithful, the Camino pilgrimage was a way to broaden and strengthen that personal relationship.

But all arrived in Santiago transformed.

The Rolling Stones Song
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well, you might find
You get what you need

Good morning,
I prefer to not categorize the folks I meet and interact with on Camino. It has no end result. As a matter of interest or conversation or walking speed or distance, however you look at classification it would seem impossible not to judge or at least assess people to the individuals’ personal standards. My co

Glinda “Are you a good witch or a bad witch”?
Dorothy “ ...I’m not a witch at all”

I can confirm that I arrived in Santiago transformed but only the first time. I was looking to have the same feelings the second time but they eluded me. I had a different set of experiences and a different result. Not better, not worse, only different and not what I was expecting. That is true for the seven other various Camino’s I have completed. I changed by the Camino, by the day, by the distance I was facing, by the people I had met and the people I said good bye to. I changed with the weather or in a church or in a town or city.
All of that contributed to a complexessential difference in the person I was before each Camino and the person I was afterwards.
I should qualify that a lot of the changes melt away over time and like water our person seeks its own level. Hopefully that level becomes a little of what you intend at the outset.
Have a great Saturday everyone. Stay safe and stay healthy.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago 2014
Pamplona to Santiago 2017
Norte. 2018
I think you can certainly have more categories. I perhaps fit in the Adventures one, but as an older person who has been walking all his life, the walking and carrying a pack was not new at all, the experiencing a different culture, architecture, landscape, people certainly was. The journey didn't change me at all spiritually, it broadened my knowledge and experience certainly. Perhaps an 'Experienced Wanderers' category....
And you met such fun Americans😊
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
Great if you can frame your own experience in this way but don't generalise for the hundreds of thousands of others.

When I go to AA meetings , I do not compare my experience.. Oh I am not that guy!

I just try to take what I can. Every one has a unique personal story

We identify --we don't compare--we also learn to drop the rock - those resentments.

But the common thread is that we all struggle with the same problem. If you had taken some of the truths, then you would have identified. The post was about some common threads.

Didn't you relate to anything I said?

We are like woven blankets - some wool, some cotton - but God stitches us in so many different ways.
Thanks for your thoughts - I did RELATE TO SOME OF IT.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
you never know who you will meet or what enlightenment you might find. Kind of like an Easter egg hunt.
I agree with this

In that vein, I categorise myself as the self-indulgent escapee from responsibility claiming to be walking for a higher purpose.
I love this - may have to steal it. 😊
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
Good morning,
I prefer to not categorize the folks I meet and interact with on Camino. It has no end result. As a matter of interest or conversation or walking speed or distance, however you look at classification it would seem impossible not to judge or at least assess people to the individuals’ personal standards. My co

Glinda “Are you a good witch or a bad witch”?
Dorothy “ ...I’m not a witch at all”

I can confirm that I arrived in Santiago transformed but only the first time. I was looking to have the same feelings the second time but they eluded me. I had a different set of experiences and a different result. Not better, not worse, only different and not what I was expecting. That is true for the seven other various Camino’s I have completed. I changed by the Camino, by the day, by the distance I was facing, by the people I had met and the people I said good bye to. I changed with the weather or in a church or in a town or city.
All of that contributed to a complexessential difference in the person I was before each Camino and the person I was afterwards.
I should qualify that a lot of the changes melt away over time and like water our person seeks its own level. Hopefully that level becomes a little of what you intend at the outset.
Have a great Saturday everyone. Stay safe and stay healthy.

Recognizing transformation is sometimes difficult. The first time I walked into Santiago, I was on my own. I stood in the square and had no one to hug. I looked around and didn't see anyone that I recognized from my journey. I was alone with the feeling that this experience had come to an end. I didn't feel transformed but I couldn't tell you what I felt other than it was time to go home.

Shortly after I got home, I started to recognize small, subtle changes in the way I looked at things, me included. Very soon I began to plan for another Camino even though the termination of my last left me, at the time, feeling: "well, done that, what's next". That morphed into "I want to go again". The second time I walked into Santiago, I was also alone. However there were tears in my eyes as the piper started to play as I walked through the tunnel and out into the square. I felt that I was part of something bigger. I hugged a couple of strangers. Scared them no doubt but what the heck that's part of their transformation..no?

I have been back three times since to do favourite parts of the Camino Frances. Each time, I feel a little different when I get home. My wife has no interest in walking a Camino but recognizes something transformative in me after I do. To the point that she periodically says: "you need to go because you are a better person when you come home". Plus, I get to assist in the transformation of a couple of strangers. ;)
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
four general categorie
General Categories - do not include all of the folks!
Definition of the word general:

not limited to one class, field, product, service, etc.
considering or dealing with overall characteristics, universal aspects, or important elements, especially without considering all details or specific aspects:

My post was about a general observations - not indented to offend anyone who does not fit into it.
I would bet you $100 dollars that most people generally fit into one of these categories even if you don't

By the way Baptist and Mormons are not Catholics
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese coastal (2021)
Hi Bumpa!
I don't know the answer as to why you/your wife felt you were better after your caminos! Only you can answer that.
But can i ask whether you think maybe having the freedom and ability to go do it; acts like a detox for all the negative things that build up in daily life.
I understand that camino is physically tiring; but emotionally does it just refresh you enough for the next challenge.
Woody.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
Hi Bumpa!
I don't know the answer as to why you/your wife felt you were better after your caminos! Only you can answer that.
But can i ask whether you think maybe having the freedom and ability to go do it; acts like a detox for all the negative things that build up in daily life.
I understand that camino is physically tiring; but emotionally does it just refresh you enough for the next challenge.
Woody.

Hi Woody. The definition of "better" is a little slippery isn't it? Perhaps what both of us recognize is that we all deal with the trials and tribulations of daily life in different ways. In my case, clearly the opportunity to exercise, meditate and interact with people from a variety of backgrounds resets something in me. It does that because I have the opportunity to examine and evaluate my life, over a prolonged period, without the daily "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune". I find that the physical tiredness and rehashing my thoughts give me the chance to re-examine, change or solidify my outlook on life and my place in it. Hope that doesn't sound too grand.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
Hi Woody. The definition of "better" is a little slippery isn't it? Perhaps what both of us recognize is that we all deal with the trials and tribulations of daily life in different ways. In my case, clearly the opportunity to exercise, meditate and interact with people from a variety of backgrounds resets something in me. It does that because I have the opportunity to examine and evaluate my life, over a prolonged period, without the daily "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune". I find that the physical tiredness and rehashing my thoughts give me the chance to re-examine, change or solidify my outlook on life and my place in it. Hope that doesn't sound too grand.

Also Woody, we cannot lose sight of the fact that her perception of my "betterness" may be different than mine. However, it works for us both. :)
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
IMHO labels are for food containers.
Hi Sabine,
They were not labels - they were classifications.

The entire science of sociology is based on them. --- Poor, rich, homeless, immigrants.
Psychology classifieds neurotic's differently than sociopaths.
Novelists are classified as fiction, non-fiction and children's literature.
Artist are realist, impressionist and surreal.
Musicians are jazz, blues and classical - let's put Food jar labels on their albums?
Are the classifications the FBI uses to track crimes----for food jars?
Why can't someone try to classify the folks on the Camino in these same general terms
These labels are used for critical thinkers
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Why can someone try to classify the folks on the Camino in these same general terms
If we classify, we automatically apply labels. There may be subtle differences in meaning but in practical terms the two are inseparable.

The very classification freezes perception in a way that prevents us from seeing who someone happens to be in the moment (or ourselves, for that matter). Say, today I am grumpy. But that's different from being a grumpy person. One is a momentary experience, the other is an identity.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
If we classify, we automatically apply labels. There may be subtle differences in meaning but in practical terms the two are inseparable.

The very classification freezes perception in a way that prevents us from seeing who someone happens to be in the moment (or ourselves, for that matter). Say, today I am grumpy. But that's different from being a grumpy person. One is a momentary experience, the other is an identity.


Thank you! Material for the undergraduate Logica course at uni!
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Oddly, some of us LOVE to classify. I do - the tagging of posts is fascinating, and I spend an inordinate amount of time pondering the factors.

For some purposes, we do have to classify people in order to administer public services, for example, or to apply some sort of fairness, for example all the 4 years get a headstart in a race over the 6 year olds.

The important thing is to remind ourselves that those classifications of people should not define or limit them, at least beyond whatever good intent we had. This thread could be tagged as any one of: "tags", "pilgrims and pilgrimage", "why the camino", "forum arguments", "moderator un-favourites", etc. (Some of those I have just made up.) All of those would be true but incomplete.

I think it is fun and interesting to classify people as long as we remember the above, do it with kindness, and do not take the labels too seriously. I found the classification in the OP to be a mildly interesting description. I could have argued with some points, but clearly it is as futile to do that, as it is to think any classification can properly define a person.
 
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Pierre Julian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese & Northern. Sections of Portuguese & Mozarabic.
I found on 100 days on 4 different routes, that these were four general categories of pilgrims.

Hi Terry, I like what you wrote. I agree about the general categories from my experience on the Camino. What you said was thoughtful, respectful and insightful.

I'm sorry that some (it's only a few) other members aren't able to express differing opinions in respectful ways.

Maybe you could come up with some categories for some of the regular posters on this forum? From my experience there are two types:

The Helpful: the vast majority who humbly offer great advice, promptly and kindly - with courtesy, friendliness and encouragement.
The Competitive: the substantial minority who have to outdo everyone else, in what they know and have done, usually with a touch of arrogance, dismissing others and without much respect. They usually make lots of generalisations, are very confident about their views, and seem to need to re-educate the rest of us in patronising tones.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Maybe you could come up with some categories for some of the regular posters on this forum?
Oh oh! The idea of categorizing us is tempting, but we will be watching this carefully!

Terry - A word of advice - don't take the bait, it could be hazardous! 😧
 

Marc S.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Since 2012: CF, CdN, CP, Salvador, Aragones, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakobsweg NRW, Jakibspaad.
I'm sorry that some (it's only a few) other members aren't able to express differing opinions in respectful ways.

Maybe I missed something, but in this thread I have not read any opinion expressed in a disrespectful way.

I don't know if this post classifies me as helpful or competitive... :)
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I don't know if this post classifies me as helpful or competitive... :)
I think it classifies you as having an opinion...just like everyone else on this thread...no right or wrong and none really better than the next.😊
EDIT- Just my opinion. 😉
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Oddly, some of us LOVE to classify. I do - the tagging of posts is fascinating, and I spend an inordinate amount of time pondering the factors.

For some purposes, we do have to classify people in order to administer public services, for example, or to apply some sort of fairness, for example all the 4 years get a headstart in a race over the 6 year olds.

The important thing is to remind ourselves that those classifications of people should not define or limit them, at least beyond whatever good intent we had. This post could be tagged as any one of: "tags", "pilgrims and pilgrimage", "why the camino", "forum arguments", "moderator un-favourites", etc. (Some of those I have just made up.) All of those would be true but incomplete.

I think it is fun and interesting to classify people as long as we remember the above, do it with kindness, and do not take the labels too seriously. I found the classification in the OP to be a mildly interesting description. I could have argued with some points, but clearly it is as futile to do that, as it is to think any classification can properly define a person.
As someone whose post-graduate academic education is in librarianship, classification and ontologies is something I tend to take to. And I've been thinking about labels and identities and classifications a lot recently, in other contexts (inclusion and diversity at work).

I was at a work event aimed at greater inclusion of a group of people who had been marginalized. I think it was likely mental health related, but it might easily have been aimed at LGBT+ employees, or Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour employees as well. In any case, there were a number of speakers and two of them, on the stage at the same time, had very different takes on "labels". Both were executives in the organization.

The first was a Black woman who was really anti-label. Her objective was just to get rid of labels and see people for who they are. Growing up, labels had been used as a weapon against her. People had seen her not for herself but based on her colour - and that had affected what they expected from her and what they thought she was capable of. That, in turn, affected the opportunities she had and how hard she had to work (compared to others) to succeed.

The second was a gay man. His experience with the label "gay" was very different. He felt it had allowed him to better understand himself and find a supportive community. For him, "labels" were positive and allowed people to claim identities with pride.

I came out of the event thinking that there is a big difference between applying "labels" to others and applying them to ourselves. When we apply labels to others, we run the risk of stereotyping and simplifying, letting the boundaries of our preconceptions hem in our understanding of who they are and what they have to offer. But when we apply them to ourselves they can be empowering, helping us come to a better understanding of aspects of our identity and find community and support.

So, while my natural bent is to come up with labels and classifications, my approach now is to offer them and not apply them. Not to say "this is who I think you are" but to listen and respect when you tell me "this is who I think that I am".

To bring this back to the discussion at hand, many of us have adopted the label or identity "pilgrim" (and, from the above, if you have, you won't hear me dispute it). We have here someone who is offering other identities, more specific, for certain kinds of pilgrims. If those work for you - pick them up, wear them with pride. More power to you! If they don't, leave them on the table. But I would advise against applying them to others that you meet on the pilgrimage unless and until you hear them claiming them for themselves.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
I read Angela's Ashes a long time ago. Your comment made me look up information about the author, for example in the Guardian's obituary. Frank McCourt had a Bachelor's degree in English. Taught Spakespeare. Taught creative writing. Had his own work published occasionally in small magazines in 1970 (his highly successful book was published a quarter of a century later), spent time with other writers such as his brother who was more successful at the time.

It doesn't sound like he learned a new trick at age 66 but rather, being retired, found the time to use tricks he had acquired throughout his life.

When retired, some write a novel or a memoir, creative or otherwise, and others go on Camino - and a few try to do both when they are retired. 😇. In recent years, both the number of Camino walkers and of books published by Camino walkers about their Camino walking have reached astronomical heights, relatively speaking.

Maybe we should have categories of people 1) Before their Camino; 2) During their Camino; 3) After their Camino; and let's not forget most of us here: 4) Between their Caminos. 😄
Ah yes.....
Angela's Ashes!
Sorry but this is so far off topic I know

Your mention ....and Terry's mention of this book always brings back memories for me
The people of Limerick were very angry when Angela's Ashes was published ..they felt that the book was too harsh on the city ...but that's the way that things were in the 1940s although Frank McCourt did take a bit of poetic licence at times!!
And I should know as I knew the area well
I like his style of writing and so many Irish authors write the way they speak

I was born and raised in Limerick and lived in the area that Frank McCourt wrote about although it had been well cleaned up by the time I was a child

Barrick Hill was the way we took a short cut to school
My sister and I had a double wedding and were married in St Joseph's church and knew the sexton there
The Wolfe Tone pub was at the end of our road
Souths pub was where my Dad used to have a pint ..or three after work
And we were always playing with the kids in Malones pub
O Connell street was the place to go in later years and we would roam the streets until it was time to go home to eat

Although Limerick was never my favourite city, it was never the miserable place depicted in the book
Although family members have either passed on or moved on......
I've been back a few times on a sentimental journey and have seen the progress made there in 50 years and a few long term friends still live there

So now, with a little tear somewhere in my eye, I'll go and have a look at Angela's Ashes!!

Apologies Terry for hijacking your thread
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I have read Angela's Ashes a few years ago and it left a lasting impression on me. I have always enjoyed nonfiction tales of survival and this one captured my attention in a big way. My daughter-in-law ironically is named Angela and is mostly of Irish descent, so I passed my book on to her, and she in turn to her sister...just saying.
That said, I have no idea what the book has to do with the OP's original post. Lol.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
I have read Angela's Ashes a few years ago and it left a lasting impression on me. I have always enjoyed nonfiction tales of survival and this one captured my attention in a big way. My daughter-in-law ironically is named Angela and is mostly of Irish descent, so I passed my book on to her, and she in turn to her sister...just saying.
That said, I have no idea what the book has to do with the OP's original post. Lol.
Hi Chris, none whatsoever to do with the OPs post!!!!
Just that Terry mentioned it in his original post and then Katerina mentioned it and the author
So that set me off on a tangent!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC

David61

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
I can put every single pilgrim, hiker, walker, call them what you will into three categories.
1) Those who walk faster than me (lots)
2) Those who walk slower than me (few)
3) The two Spanish grannies. ( not the same two, any given day). They walk at their pace, chatting endlessly and continue to do so at the same pace up the steepest path. Sometimes I managed to get past to find myself stopped catching my breath as they breezed past still chatting.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Hi Chris, none whatsoever to do with the OPs post!!!!
Just that Terry mentioned it in his original post and then Katerina mentioned it and the author
So that set me off on a tangent!!!
Well, Annette, I enjoyed your first hand account of you as an Irish lassie growing up in Limerick.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
I didn't say it wasn't my friend. A reasonably global forum does that to us
Well it must be a "gin and tonic" or wine time somewhere in the world!!
Ah yes...that would be here where I'm sitting
Cheers/slainte everyone
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I have no idea what the book has to do with the OP's original post
The thread evolved into a few posts about change/transformation, particularly for older people. Frank McCourt was given as an example of someone who produced a very successful book at an age when most people are not expecting big changes in their lives.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
The thread evolved into a few posts about change/transformation, particularly for older people. Frank McCourt was given as an example of someone who produced a very successful book at an age when most people are not expecting big changes in their lives.
Thank you for helping me to see clearly.😊
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I came out of the event thinking that there is a big difference between applying "labels" to others and applying them to ourselves. When we apply labels to others, we run the risk of stereotyping and simplifying, letting the boundaries of our preconceptions hem in our understanding of who they are and what they have to offer. But when we apply them to ourselves they can be empowering, helping us come to a better understanding of aspects of our identity and find community and support.
I would say, from a lifetime of doing it, that applying labels to oneself is extremely dangerous to that self, while applying labels to others has far less power, unless they buy into them. For much of my life, I thought of myself as a failed teacher, because I loved to learn but never had a regular job in the academic world. Only recently have I realized that I am actually a perfectly satisfied scholar, happy to share knowledge with anyone who is interested, but bored by my intervals in trying to teach those who were not really interested. Maybe the camino is one place where we do not know what "professional" labels to apply to others and may even be able to stop applying them to ourselves, and to discover how light we feel when we no longer carry them.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I would say, from a lifetime of doing it, that applying labels to oneself is extremely dangerous to that self, while applying labels to others has far less power, unless they buy into them. For much of my life, I thought of myself as a failed teacher, because I loved to learn but never had a regular job in the academic world. Only recently have I realized that I am actually a perfectly satisfied scholar, happy to share knowledge with anyone who is interested, but bored by my intervals in trying to teach those who were not really interested. Maybe the camino is one place where we do not know what "professional" labels to apply to others and may even be able to stop applying them to ourselves, and to discover how light we feel when we no longer carry them.
An excellent point, Albertagirl! Labels we apply to ourself have a lot of power, for good or for ill. Labels we apply to others have a different kind of power, even if they don't buy into them, if they cause us to see and treat them differently.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
All I was trying to do a to was to make some general comments about the types of people who walk the Camino -- and got obliterated.
I am gone from this abusive site

To quote your quote!

You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need!

A good debate or debacle.

Hang around and enjoy them both.
 
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Lexicos

Jim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
2017
Camino Portuguese 2019
Looking for answers?
There aren’t any.
We have a bunch of universal truths, that’s all. These we learn, slowly, as we get older.
The rest is personal, private and unique to oneself.
.....
 
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Vanozza

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked part of the Camino Frances one and a half times. I ended in Sahagun in April 2019.
People always ask me what did I find on the Camino -that is somewhat of a random thing. you never know who you will meet or what enlightenment you might find. Kind of like an Easter egg hunt.

The more reveling question of what were you looking for? What were you seeking?

I found on 100 days on 4 different routes, that these were four general categories of pilgrims.
Of course many fit into multiple categories.

The first category was the adventures. They were people looking for an inexpensive travel diversion who liked making new friends, drinking wine with strangers and hooking up with other pilgrims, occasionally falling in love. The spiritual component of their pilgrimage was secondary to their search for adventure. The younger pilgrims seemed to make up most of this group.

The next category was the damaged. They were looking for healing. Some were recently divorced or widowed, some had lost a family member and others were dealing with sickness, addiction or depression. Some were suffering from PTSD. Men often were war veterans. For them the Camino was a kind of reset button, a chance to do a rewind and start over, a chance for a rebirthing. These people were especially grateful for the kindness and empathy of others. Like in AA, one day at at time, one mile at at time - the healing is incremental.

There was a group I encountered that I call the “New Age Zen-Types” who were authentic in their spiritual search, but that search did not involve the Catholic Church. These were the people who were looking to be fully aware in the present moment – they were in pursuit of mindfulness. Their inner journeys were often a winnowing that pealed away ego, resentments, prejudice and attachment to material possessions.

The last category was the faithful. Usually Catholic, sometimes Christian, but the faithful also included people from all faiths. Every one of these pilgrims believed in God, or at least the possibility of God intersecting with the arc of their lives. They all had a personal relationship with God; they spoke to him, prayed to him and humbly asked him for guidance. For most of the faithful, the Camino pilgrimage was a way to broaden and strengthen that personal relationship.

But all arrived in Santiago transformed.

The Rolling Stones Song
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well, you might find
You get what you need
Very well put! I like it!
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
I am sorry to have offended anyone. My post was just an exercise in sociology. A science that finds common threads in cultures

Sociology is a science.

It originally came from the Latin word scientia which meant knowledge,.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I was none of those four on my first or second Caminos -- and I'm not sure that many of the repeat Camino multi-timers would fit in them either.

And I think you've neglected those who are more motivated by tourism, health, or sports reasons.

And those who are on some spiritual journey most certainly are not all New Agers !! Some may unwittingly be on a journey towards Catholicism and Christ.

There are some bucket-listers.

And I'm not sure that all the outdoor backpacking hiker types are "adventurers" ... making new friends, drinking wine with strangers and hooking up with other pilgrims is probably not what they are looking for, although they may enjoy these activities ; but then, so do many pilgrims.

Finally, there's a decent % of pilgrims who seem to have no clear idea what they're doing on this thing in the first place, and might be completely mystified by their own decision to go on this long walk in Spain.
 

simply B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
@Terry Callery -

I believe that I read your post within 5 minutes of you writing it. And, as so delicately (and precisely) stated...

I found on 100 days on 4 different routes, that these were four general categories of pilgrims.
Of course many fit into multiple categories.

In no way did I feel "labeled" by your post...and I am hyper-sensitive to that (or thought I was...based upon some of the subsequent posts ? Maybe not so much! :eek:).

You made a generic observation of categories to which no judgement was attached nor any criticism implied. Obliquely, you acknowledged that a wider individuation was in play. At no time time did I access a feeling/context that you were forcing any individual into a specific, constrained, mold or constraining any pilgrim's experience of the Way.

Further, you left pilgrim personal changes between categories open. I detected no affixing of pilgrim to a category over time.

How your attempt to shine some light brought forth so much heat is beyond me.

You have a unique voice, borne of personal experience. (I am not sure that this analogy will work for everyone as it is geographically bounded. I live in the Pacific Northwest desert region.) When I read your posts, they tend often to hit me as a Meadowlark's song in late Winter. Strange, though pleasant, and food for contemplation.

It would be a shame for the Forum to lose that voice. However, go as you will to find your own peace.

Carry on!

B
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
You have a unique voice, borne of personal experience.
Very true. Something we usually recognize on the Camino, but not always when we are sitting at home browsing the Camino online.
sociology. A science that finds common threads in cultures
That is an interesting description.

I'm glad you've stuck with us. This has turned into quite an interesting thread.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I am sorry to have offended anyone.
I as well.
We don't have to agree, but we can still connect.
This has turned into an interesting discussion, so I'm glad you started it, Terry, and are still here.
Finally, there's a decent % of pilgrims who seem to have no clear idea what they're doing on this thing in the first place, and might be completely mystified by their own decision to go on this long walk in Spain.
This jumped out at me in your post, JP, because I suspect a lot of people feel this way— even if we think we know why we're walking. A justification may be on the surface, but under it is often a profound mystery.
 

WalkingJane

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
I was none of those four on my first or second Caminos -- and I'm not sure that many of the repeat Camino multi-timers would fit in them either.

And I think you've neglected those who are more motivated by tourism, health, or sports reasons.

And those who are on some spiritual journey most certainly are not all New Agers !! Some may unwittingly be on a journey towards Catholicism and Christ.

There are some bucket-listers.

And I'm not sure that all the outdoor backpacking hiker types are "adventurers" ... making new friends, drinking wine with strangers and hooking up with other pilgrims is probably not what they are looking for, although they may enjoy these activities ; but then, so do many pilgrims.

Finally, there's a decent % of pilgrims who seem to have no clear idea what they're doing on this thing in the first place, and might be completely mystified by their own decision to go on this long walk in Spain.
That was me first time on Frances. I loved the landscapes, villages, local people, fellow pilgrims, having no particular “goal”....just soaked it all up.
On the Portuguese, it was the above along with being back in Portugal. As I had lived there, it was like a homecoming and experiencing different aspects of the country I love.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I appreciate your comments and also am reticent to open up and share lest the same happens to me.
I am sorry you feel that way, Pilar. No-one should be afraid to post here, and we are normally a very friendly bunch. Ýes. We have opinions, and sometimes robust discussions. But this place is not your usual internet forum where people routinely get chewed up and spat out.
Terry started one of those robust discussions, and it's turned into a thought-provoking thread.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
Looking for answers?
There aren’t any.
My post was not about answers-
It was about the questions we ask.

People always ask me what did I find on the Camino -that is somewhat of a random thing. you never know who you will meet or what enlightenment you might find. Kind of like an Easter egg hunt.

The more reveling question of what were you looking for? What were you seeking?
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
I can put every single pilgrim, hiker, walker, call them what you will into three categories.
1) Those who walk faster than me (lots)
2) Those who walk slower than me (few)
3) The two Spanish grannies. ( not the same two, any given day). They walk at their pace, chatting endlessly and continue to do so at the same pace up the steepest path. Sometimes I managed to get past to find myself stopped catching my breath as they breezed past still chatting.
How about their motivation, their search, their questions--- their psychology---- this was a very shallow post,

There are some very young and fit folks who just amble along. How fast people walk has little to do with the sprit of the Camino. Your categories are not enlightening.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
What were you seeking?
Actually, nothing. I went on the camino the first time (and continue to go) without seeking or needing anything at all. I walk without any expectation at all.

That's why I find the last paragraph of @JabbaPapa's post so interesting. Mysteries reveal themselves that way, and the process has nothing to do with me and my small ideas what this is about.

this was a very shallow post
I think that was @David61's point, a tongue-in-cheek way to point out that categories themselves are shallow. David, if I'm wrong please correct me.
 
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Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
Actually, nothing. I went on the camino the first time (and continue to go) without seeking or needing anything at all. I walk without any expectation at all.
So someone climbs Mount Evert---- just because he has some spare time in his life?

Why not just walk through the woods ----instead of walking on the Camino sacred path?
There is something special that attracted you to do these pilgrimages -----NOTHING???????,

We all walk for a reason - I think you are in denial. Everyone is searching for meaning, love and healing.
 

Lexicos

Jim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
2017
Camino Portuguese 2019
Just to clarify .....,, I’m not being critical of the OP or subsequent posts. Simply expressing my personal view. I fully respect all the views and comments posted above. It’s always a challenge and a risk I guess to express your personal view, as done by Terry in the OP. It’s not easy to do that. Regarding the Camino and people who walk it, in my books, if you walk the Camino and enjoy it you’re streets ahead.
 
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Bristle boy

If not now...when? If not you...who?...........
Camino(s) past & future
2019
I am sorry to have offended anyone. My post was just an exercise in sociology. A science that finds common threads in cultures

Sociology is a science.

It originally came from the Latin word scientia which meant knowledge,.
Sometimes there are a few threads that deserve a few plaudits....yours @Terry Callery is one of them. It made me think and I don't subscribe to the "offended" brigade.
Your generalisations were fairly accurate and reading many posts on this forum they were categories than many have described themselves as fitting into....they were only that, generalisations. For me, there is no need to apologise for anything as your follow up posts were explained well and I got your original post.
You have given four "ordinal points" as categories. There are possibly another 356 to go.
Well done.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
How about their motivation, their search, their questions--- their psychology---- this was a very shallow post,

There are some very young and fit folks who just amble along. How fast people walk has little to do with the sprit of the Camino. Your categories are not enlightening.
Come on now Terry,
I think David61 was just trying to lighten the conversation/ discussion a bit!
It made me smile anyway
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
Hi Terry, I like what you wrote. I agree about the general categories from my experience on the Camino. What you said was thoughtful, respectful and insightful.

I'm sorry that some (it's only a few) other members aren't able to express differing opinions in respectful ways.

Maybe you could come up with some categories for some of the regular posters on this forum? From my experience there are two types:

The Helpful: the vast majority who humbly offer great advice, promptly and kindly - with courtesy, friendliness and encouragement.
The Competitive: the substantial minority who have to outdo everyone else, in what they know and have done, usually with a touch of arrogance, dismissing others and without much respect. They usually make lots of generalisations, are very confident about their views, and seem to need to re-educate the rest of us in patronising tones.

And which of these two types do you count yourself into?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
So someone climbs Mount Evert---- just because he has some spare time in his life?

Why not just walk through the woods ----instead of walking on the Camino sacred path?
There is something special that attracted you to do these pilgrimages -----NOTHING???????,

We all walk for a reason - I think you are in denial. Everyone is searching for meaning, love and healing.
Terry,
Walking the Camino isn't a pilgrimage for everyone

For us, it's a long enjoyable walk,although entering Santiago after that long walk is certainly special for me
We've always done long distance walking...the Camino being just that

And as for searching for something.....I'm not searching for anything and if indeed I was, I'm sure I could find it just sitting in my garden contemplating, or walking in the local forest

Although walking can be a very healing process,one does not need to travel thousands of miles across the globe to find whatever they are looking for

Everyone to their own Terry

Have a look at the thread...."where did you walk locally" by SabineP and you will see the joy that people are experiencing by walking in their own backyards .....you might even like to contribute to the thread yourself
Best wishes
Annette
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
There is something special that attracted you to do these pilgrimages -----NOTHING???????,

We all walk for a reason - I think you are in denial. Everyone is searching for meaning, love and healing.
I haven't read the many replies to this post, but I wanted to get a word in edgewise to answer your question.

And truly no, nothing. A good friend was walking and invited me to come along— and since I like walking and history it sounded like a lark. I had heard about this pilgrimage since childhood because I was interested in medieval history but had never considered walking, nor felt a special need to do so.

You say, "Everyone is searching for meaning, love and healing," and while this may be your experience, it's not mine. My life is full of meaning, faith, love, and rich experience. I did not need the Camino to fulfill those needs. You may imagine I am in denial, but if you knew me and how I have been living the last 25 years you would know how funny that idea is.

What keeps bringing me back is many things, none of which have anything to do with healing or finding meaning and I don't yet have. Certainly it has a lot to do with love, but not looking for it. I feel no lack in that regard because it is our universal true nature.
Wishing you well....
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
They were not labels - they were classifications.
Are the classifications the FBI uses to track crimes----for food jars?
Why can't someone try to classify the folks on the Camino in these same general terms
These labels are used for critical thinkers
Classification: The arrangement of items into non-overlapping classes based on their observed similarities.

Classes and classification can be useful when there is a need to simplify a situation so that it can be easier to understand.

The least useful aspect of classification is that in order for it to work it needs to divide.

The reactions that you are seeing from some people on this forum against your proposed classification is, I think, related to the implied divisions from those classes.

I could say more but I want to try to keep the heat out of this conversation and I am not your teacher.

I invite you to consider that whatever your original intention was for proposing a classification system for Pilgrims and posting it on this forum, it has caused a reaction that you don't seem to have intended.

Perhaps it is time for you to re-evaluate where you want this conversation to go.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
How about their motivation, their search, their questions--- their psychology---- this was a very shallow post,

There are some very young and fit folks who just amble along. How fast people walk has little to do with the sprit of the Camino. Your categories are not enlightening.
Oh boy...keep defending the cave, and ignoring the humorous lifelines thrown your way😂
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I don't think it is denial. People may be searching for different things on the Camino (or elsewhere), or not searching at all. Meaning, love and healing!? Yuck, count me out 😄 !!
@Bad Pilgrim, I, like you, can be counted out of these "big three" because I do not walk for any of them, but I respect those who do.
We all read on this forum many who are searching for those things and have walked for exactly those reasons. I have read so many touching stories of people walking who are looking for meaning and purpose to their lives and by arriving in Santiago have claimed they were transformed. I have read stories of people who were looking for love. Most did not find it, but some did. I recall a thread started some time ago where the man made it know that he was indeed looking for love. Many others have shared openly their struggles with health, cancer, etc and have walked because of those issues. We all want healing in our bodies when our turn comes.
I say kudos to all of these folks who hope to gain something from the camino that is important to them.
BP, I assume you possibly said that facetiously, but I take seriously matters of the heart.
Ok, I'm now ready for the firing squad.😂
 

David61

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
Actually, nothing. I went on the camino the first time (and continue to go) without seeking or needing anything at all. I walk without any expectation at all.

That's why I find the last paragraph of @JabbaPapa's post so interesting. Mysteries reveal themselves that way, and the process has nothing to do with me and my small ideas what this is about.

I think that was @David61's point, a tongue-in-cheek way to point out that categories themselves are shallow. David, if I'm wrong please correct me.
Spot on, thank you.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
@Bad Pilgrim, I, like you, can be counted out of these "big three" because I do not walk for any of them, but I respect those who do.
We all read on this forum many who are searching for those things and have walked for exactly those reasons. I have read so many touching stories of people walking who are looking for meaning and purpose to their lives and by arriving in Santiago have claimed they were transformed. I have read stories of people who were looking for love. Most did not find it, but some did. I recall a thread started some time ago where the man made it know that he was indeed looking for love. Many others have shared openly their struggles with health, cancer, etc and have walked because of those issues. We all want healing in our bodies when our turn comes.
I say kudos to all of these folks who hope to gain something from the camino that is important to them.
BP, I assume you possibly said that facetiously, but I take seriously matters of the heart.
Ok, I'm now ready for the firing squad.😂

I said it very seriously. I never said I didn't respect them. I said I didn't want to be included.
 
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