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Has your camino experience changed who you are as a person?

#1
I'm fascinated to know if people feel real, lasting changes have taken place in their lives after walking the camino. There is so much expectation and reading various blogs, some people seem to arrive with so much enthusiasm, only to give up after a few days and others can't wait to start their next walk after spending weeks on the road.

I'd love to hear how the experience affected you - good or bad!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#2
I used to be normal.
I used to buy holiday clothes - smart new ones for each holiday.
I used to like going on holidays and staying in nice hotels with room service and a cocktail hour and entertainment.
I used to like buying souvenirs from each place I visited.
I used to like trying a different location each time we went away.
Now when I look at clothes I try to assess the weight and whether or not it will fit into my backpack!
I am a camino-addict and yearn for sandy paths, a basic albergue with no electricity or running water.
I dream camino dreams - I am on a 'groot trek' with just a small pack and one change of clothing, sitting on plastic chairs outside a pueblo cafe-bar laughing and speaking "Frangish" (French-German-Spanish-English) to other peregrinos.
 

Anna-Marie

Active Member
#3
Hi Emilene,

That's a really good question, and something I've been thinking a lot, especially since talking to a student who is writing her thesis on a related topic.

The Camino has changed my life in that I want to go back. Any extra money goes into my Camino fund. It's had enough of an effect on my life that I started a Camino blog, partly to process the experience--almost two years after my walk. And I've never been athletic, so it's amazing to know that my body is capable of astounding things like walking 1500km.

But I suspect I'm not particularly more spiritual, or necessarily nicer, or (much) better at dealing with life than I was pre-Camino. When I got home, I wasn't any closer to knowing what I really wanted to do with my life.

But then again walking the Camino has made me look at these things more, and maybe to some extent in a different way. So it continues to affect my life, I suspect often in ways I don't realize. Judging by myself and my Camino friends (although we could be abnormal), a lot of people don't have huge epiphanies on the Camino. But I think the experience can keep working away in our lives if we let it.

Walking the Camino for almost three months was an incredible experience for me. I went through some miserable times, physically and emotionally, but the whole time I had this feeling of rightness--that this was where I was meant to be. But it's hard to bring that back into regular life.

Sorry if this is disjointed. I'm thinking of doing a blog post somewhere along the lines of "Will the Camino Change Your Life?", but I haven't got my thoughts completely sorted yet.

I hope this helps!
Anna-Marie
 

+@^^

Active Member
#4
ah, yes, those pesky expectations......
so, you're lightly to have a different "change" experience if you walked the (1) "last 100 into Santiago" hotel hop with your 10 best buddies in the summer holidays, or (2) if you walked solo from Sevilla in the dead of winter
? did you both do the Camino? - yes
? did you both have "changing" experiences? - probably
? will the depth and intensity and resilience of those experiences be different? - think so
? ahem - is one more spiritual in nature than the other? - anybody??
? will the Pope consider one better than the other? - mmm
both get the same certificate entitling them to a 25% discount off time in hell
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#5
So far this year (and every year since the 1950s) a hefty percentage of pilgrims started walking from Sarria. Why? Probably because they are Spanish and/or Catholic and they wanted to walk to the tomb of their Patron Saint, in a Holy Year; and because the destination is what matters to a good Spanish Catholic (not just the journey), and because they don't have to start in France or anwhere else to get there.
Who does the Pope think is the better pilgrim? Based on what? Distance, difficulty, weather, terrain? Not sure about the Pope - he has just been to Santiago - as a pilgrim - and only walked to the driveway to get into his tour-mobile.
The Pilgrim Office doesn't care if you start in outer Siberia in mid-December and walk
15 000km to Santiago. They don't care if you carried your backpack or had it transported by a stretch Limo. The only criterion is that you walk the last 100km to Santiago.
The Compostela is not a get-out-of-jail card and never was. People confuse it with an indulgence, which only good Catholics get after complying with certain requirements - mass, Holy communion, confession etc etc.
Your Compostela is merely a tourist certificate confirming that you walked the last 100km - with or without your mates, in spring or summer. (It was started in the 1950s but all early records were lost until the late 1970s when only a handful of pilgrims earned the certificate.)
10 million pilgrims each year visit the shrine of Guadalupe in Mexico (2nd most visited Christian shrine after Rome) many only walking a short distance along the outside stations of the Cross. Pilgrims who have been there say that it was a profound and life-changing experience - ditto those who visit Lourdes, Fatima, Jerusalem etc etc.
Ditto those who visit Lumbini, Muktinath, Mecca etc etc.
 

suekenney

A pilgrim in life.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances solo (2001).
Guided Groups Frances (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and plans for 2014.)
Portuguese (2004).
English solo (2005).
Frances el contrario (2010)
#6
Thank you for this great question.

Yes. I only buy what I truly need. I look at everyone in life as a pilgrim or a villager/hospitelera/lero because we all help each other on our life journey. I serve others or they serve me. It's so simple. I wasn't creative before I walked and now I'm a writer/filmaker/storyteller and overall artist in life. I walk everyday. I'm better at discerning judgments of others. I have some level of peace I never had before. I am a pilgrim.

These are the top 8. There are hundreds more!!!
Sue
 
#8
Yes

But I think that was because it was an experience that took me well outside my "normal" life, imposes challenges and involved meeting many people from much different backgrounds. When we stop changing and growing in response to dramtically new situations where are we?

john
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
#9
I would say yes, but I also have to reflect on the fact that the Camino was the beginning of an around the world trip, so I would have to say that the Camino combined with traveling for another three months afterward, was a life-changing experience. I've been home a little over two months and am still processing and having some adjustment issues that are just now starting to manifest themselves.

The Camino changed me in ways I am still discovering. It is probably one of the most important things I have ever done in my life so far. I am already working getting my gear for my next Camino in two years. Got my pack all set, lighter sleeping bag and working on the clothes. I don't think the ones I wore this year will be able to survive another Camino!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#11
Would you prefer instead of flying to Santiago, he went there on a flash mountain bike with 30 gears from Sarria in one day, in order to make it a 'legal' pilgrimage? An easy ride. But, again what is your point?
Welcome back to the Forum brother!!! Still living in Spain? I like your new avatar - shows that you are still a lover of donkeys! I'd recognize your writing style anywhere - and considering that this is your first post (you only joined the forum yesterday) you have jumped right back in where you left off with a somewhat sarcastic post.

Come on 'Platera' - if you had read my compatriot's post you would have seen that I was responding to his comments and, for once, you and I were on the same page in defending pilgrims, pilgrimage, the camino and the Pope!

so, you're lightly to have a different "change" experience if you walked the (1) "last 100 into Santiago" hotel hop with your 10 best buddies in the summer holidays, or (2) if you walked solo from Sevilla in the dead of winter
My point was that distance is not important - intention and devotion is what makes the pilgrim.

? will the Pope consider one better than the other? - mmm
Sorry brother but this was not my question.

Not sure about the Pope - he has just been to Santiago - as a pilgrim - and only walked to the driveway to get into his tour-mobile.
No pot shots here - the emphasis was - as a pilgrim - and my point is that 12 million pilgrims will visit the tomb of the saint this Holy Year, including the Pope, and only a small fraction of those will walk there.
So who are we to judge?
 
#12
Platera,

Sillydoll was replying to Tamtamplin's questions (in the post before hers)--and by my reading she was defending the people who walk 100km against the suggestion that they didn't have as meaningful experience as people who walked farther. She was also pointing out that the question "Who does the Pope think is the better pilgrim?" is open to a lot of interpretations. I really don't think she was taking pot shots against Catholicism in Spain.

Anna-Marie

P.S. Oops--I guess we cross-posted!
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#13
I think the Camino didn't so much change me, as make me more confident about living life in a way that seems right for me. Those 'inklings' about how I wanted to live were there already in my decision to walk. And when I reached the plateau above Le Puy on my first morning, I knew an intense happiness that I might be walking in the countryside like this for weeks and weeks. Now I've finished and have been home for more than two years, I feel much more confident about making choices for simplicity, and being in the outdoors, in my everyday life.

I am planning more long walks- eventually, when I have saved some money!!..... though I am not expecting to walk only 'pilgrim routes'. I have realised that the outdoors rather than a church is a place of prayer for me. (The South West Coast Path in England is one route that has piqued my interest...)

Interestingly, when I broke my arm a few months ago, I became very 'calm'. Largely that was shock I know, but I also think my body slipped back into a "Camino mode", as if I had many kilometres to walk that day, and I just had to take it gently....
Margaret
 
#14
The Holy Father preached the same message in Scotland during his September visit and the Church faces the same problems in Scotland as in Spain.I am sure the last thing he would think about is who is the better pilgrim.God Bless all the the pilgrims irrespective of how they arrive in Santiago or why they went.
Buen Camino
stpatricksbhoy :arrow: :arrow: :arrow: :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (1988)
#15
I'll let folks who knew me before my pilgrimage comment on whether the Camino changed me as a person. I can confidently say that, 22 years after having walked, I still fondly remember the experience as a high point in my life.

PS: May I also suggest that returning posters, as well as new posters, (re)acquaint themselves with the forum rules, with an emphasis on the "stay on topic" rule? There are many places on the internet to post your diatribe or seek out anonymous argument- I like to think that this forum is not one of them.
 

daesdaemar

Camino-holic
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles - twice
#16
Without meaning to sound overly philosophical, the literal sense of the question bothers me. I tend to believe that the experience of the Camino cannot change who you are as a person. I believe it can be a profound experience for some that can change their view of the world and their place within it. Alas, for some it might be just another "vacation."
For me, the lesson of the Camino was that I cannot necessarily plan my interactions with God and my expectations of Him may be totally invalid. Having said that, my experience was incredibly meaningful and worthwhile.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#17
This thread has been edites since it was way off track and on topics that I feel does not belong in this forum.

Please continue on with the "Has your camino experience changed who you are as a person?" question :)

Saludos,
Ivar
 
A

AJ

Guest
#18
daesdaemar said:
I tend to believe that the experience of the Camino cannot change who you are as a person. I believe it can be a profound experience for some that can change their view of the world and their place within it. Alas, for some it might be just another "vacation."
Yes.
 
#20
I am not sure that the steps I took along the way 'changed' who I am as a person (past tense). But I most certainly think that the pilgrimage afforded me the space to realize that I am always already (present continual) changing as a person. Not a day has passed since my days on the Camino that I do not remember this fact.
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#21
emilene said:
real, lasting changes have taken place in their lives after walking the camino
Well, here are a couple of mine:

I became an atheist after walking the Camino, which is kind of ironic given the Way's context...but that's how the walking stick bounces sometimes, I suppose. Perhaps it was the reading I did on the Camino's background, along with meeting so many cool people who lived good lives w/no religious leanings.

I became a serious devotee of Spanish vino, Orujo still haunts my dreams, and I can't wait until Cuban stogies are legal in the States...sigh. :mrgreen:

I still powder my feet every morning, and I'm certainly better at hiking than the average mall-shopper.

I'm kind of an introvert, so I tend to travel alone. But the Camino made me realize how fun a journey can be when others are an integral part of it.

I'd like to believe that I'm less materialistic than I was before I shlepped my way across Spain. Probably wishful thinking, though, being an American and all. :mrgreen:

I haven't really traveled anywhere abroad since my 2007 Camino, in part because the trek and its impact on me was so far beyond what I found on previous vacation trips that I can't figure out how to attain a comparable experience in two weeks (I took a two-month leave of absence from work to do the Way, and that ain't something one can do on an annual basis in my profession).

Whenever I think of returning, I get excited about it all over again (can't say that about too many other places I've been)! Guess that's why I come back to this site time and again, even four years later...:arrow:
 
#22
Hmm, how has the Camino changed my life? Well, I'm sure others can be more poetic than I, but I found out that I am stronger mentally, physically, & spiritually than I thought I was. Whenever I'm faced with a tough situation or with someone trying to make me feel inferior to them, I think "I've walked over the Pyrennees. This is nothing."

I also don't put up with as much BS as I used to. :)

Kelly
 

+@^^

Active Member
#23
i spose changes come in 2 varieties
.
1 the burning bush wtf type where theres instant and permanent transformation
2 the slower incremental imperceptible type where a seed that is planted in your heart shifts an established habit, over time. generally there is an absense of 'head' in these transformations
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#25
I experienced something interesting last year, when I broke my arm, 'nastily'. I know I was in shock, and much of what I felt was due to shock, but in a strange kind of way, it was also as if my body went back into Camino-mode. I became very calm really, as if I had many kilometres to walk that day ahead of me, and I just needed to calmly take the first steps, and the next ones, and the next ones. I was so calm, that I think I was triaged as likely to just be suffering bruising.... and it wasn't until after the x-rays that everyone else knew what I knew from the start- my arm was broken.

So maybe it isn't just in our mind/hearts/souls that we can change after walking the Camino. Maybe our bodies also remember something of that calmness that comes from walking so far every day for so long.
Margaret
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2008/2009, Roncesvalles-Burgos Oct. 2012
#26
It's kind of hard to tell if the camino has changed me or not.

I am writing about it, I am thinking about it constantly, I am longing to go back, I have a deep love about it inside of me. Nice clothing does not mean as much as it used to do. Or spending money on things I don't really need.

I think there's more for me there. And I do believe without quite being able to explain it that the camino still "works" in me, and that I still got more to harvest, even being at home.
 
#27
Thank you for all the really honest answers to this question. One thing that stands out for me is that so many people seem to be drawn back to the camino year after year. I attended a presentation by the Confraternity of St James (South Africa) in Cape Town yesterday and was surprised by how many of the attendees have already walked the camino, some several times. Yet, there they were, attending a presentation that was primarily aimed at people who have never walked! The more I hear and read, the more I know I'm heading towards one of the most special experiences of my life.

Thanks again for sharing so candidly on this site.

:)
 
#28
every experience changes who we are I think,the more intense the experience the more the change,trying not to get too trippy but we are all changing, every day we are to some degree different than the day before-thats the nature of time.
I found the camino's full of experiences that a normal day on this small island England could not provide therefore of course I have changed and for the better, I think not least of which I'm a lot more chilled as a person 8)
maybe another question could be have we changed the Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
2010 Spring, Tours Route and Camino Frances. Tours to Bordeaux then SJPP to Santiago.
2011 Autumn, Voie de Soulac, Tours Route and Camino Frances. Bordeaux to Bayonne then Dax to SJPP to Finisterre
2013 Summer, Camino Frances. O'Cebreiro to Santiago, then part of Portuguese route.
2014 Autumn, Via De La Plata - Merida to Astorga.
2016 Spring GR 10 and Caimno del Norte
#30
Yes. I'm little but know my power now. A small merciful act can change a person and show those who witness it another way. So many helped me on the way, I can continue that help at home.

I know I need so little physically now. I throw things out now or give them away to people who can use them more than me.

That I can do amazing things and other people can too. That human feet are iron. That walking is meditation, that God listens. That the devil hates that.

That my neighbours in my city are in need of help like I was on the way, that they respond when you help them. That you can learn so many languages. I continue to at home, at the Cervantes Institute.

That old pains and abuse can be let go of. That love returns on the way. That the Camino is internal as well as external and it continues forever. That the Camino is always there to go back to. That planning for the next one is uplifting.

It is all a choice. I choose love now and the Camino showed me that light.
 
#31
Did my caminos change me? Well let me think. I am different now to before. We all change anyway, but I think I have changed quicker in the few months since I first decided to walk a camino and started training. I walked the Ingles last September as a "trial". When I reached Santiago I missed the solitude of walking alone (which I did most of the time as there were few other pilgs around) so I continued to Fisterra. Yes during the walk I pondered some aspects of my life and reached some overdue conclusions. In recent years I had already become more at peace with life and more grateful for what I have and have had in my life, but now those feelings seem more intense and I am even more at one with myself.
Sillydoll is right though - I look at clothes in a totally different light now! :) And yes I cannot wait for my next camino. (103 days to flight - not that I'm counting you understand). And when I finish in June it will be one year since I first decided to walk - the first year of my new life.
allan
 

fortview

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances Sept/oct 2012 , Salvador, Primitivo 2013
Cotswold Way July 2014
European Peace Walk August 2014 (John)
#32
Yes. I had lost my confidence due to a highly stressful job, and lost my self in the process. Gradually, that is returning. I would never have dared to write anything on this forum before the camino, now I know I have as much right to express my feelings and opinions as anyone else. It's so liberating !

Also, I walked with my husband of 32 years. It was fantastic , to get to know each other again, in such a different environment. I love him more now than ever :D
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#33
Everything we do, every person we meet changes us as a person. Every traffic light we have to stop at somehow changes our future. It is infinitesimal. The eastern sages knew this. The I Ching (the Book of Changes) is based on this. So is Hinayana Buddhism.
But the Camino now: just THINK of the permutations; the chance encounters, the opportunities for growth, for insight....
There is no question that all of us are "changed" in some way on the Camino. Change is inevitable as we have seen. There certainly is no question that the changes in me were far more "far-reaching" than I ever could have expected: in my work as a writer, even in my place of residence and the people I help to achieve a relatively simple transition when transferring their Camino experiences back into their lives.
Unlike the everyday changes in our lives which are so minute that we are rarely even aware of them, walking the Camino magnifies them by providing challenge and inner (and frequently outer) guidance.
(Just popping in...)
 
#34
I have though most of my life had a self coined expression that I find often helps friends in difficult times - " I am the sum of my experiences and to regret any of them is to not like who I am". This is not meant in a conceited way but rather as an acknowledgement of the journey we follow through life with many life changing junctions helping us to become more aware of ourselves and the circumstances of those around us.
allan
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Oct.( 2012), Pamplona to Santiago Compostela. Camino Finisterre, Oct. (2015)
#35
Yes it has. I have done many things in my life, but the Camino was the grandest adventure of them all. My world is much larger as a result. Relationships were formed that have remained important and dear to me. It is a wonderful cross cultural and cross generational experience that I fully intend to enjoy again very soon.
 
#37
Lovely post John.

I was surprised at how drawn I was to the fellowship of other pilgrims. Meeting and sharing with others often tests my tolerance. This is very good for me and perhaps is at the root of some of the changes I’ve started to make. But I realise this is now a life-long task and so the pilgrimage has to continue.
This rings true to me. Although I see myself more as an introvert than anything else, I find that the Camino pulls me out and allows me to connect with others - so much so that I, at times, do not even recognize myself! Being a hospitalera just enhances this process. And I like it. So for me too, the journey continues.

Un abrazo peregino.
 

indyrem

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June-July (2013) Camino Ingles (2015)
#38
This thread has been edites since it was way off track and on topics that I feel does not belong in this forum.

Please continue on with the "Has your camino experience changed who you are as a person?" question :)

Saludos,
Ivar
I had no expectations when I started my Camino. I just wanted a "me" time to reflect on the events that happened in my life from raising 4 children then losing my eldest & only daughter to colo-rectal cancer. She was a school teacher who loved to reward her middle school students with backpacking & hiking trips. I have always wondered why she loved hiking & backpacking. She told me once " being out there , Mom , is so liberating & so good for the soul". I never understood what she meant since my thinking at the time was it seems to be physical punishment. ( I was born & raised in a big city). My life, as I examined it while walking the Camino, was a big blur ( working, rushing, raising a family, no time to catch my breath). I also had issues with Hazel's passing- though I was born, raised Catholic, I questioned God for taking her when she could have done a lot more good on this world and the guilt that follows that I really cannot accept "God's will". But when I arrived at Cruz de Ferro & laid a stone with her picture & prayer request on that hill, for some inexplicable reason, I felt a big burden was lifted off my shoulders. I said my prayers and thanked God for that glorious feeling . My Camino showed me a different kind of inner peace, it taught me to be humble & to appreciate every thing that God has created from the humble slug trying to cross the path and the spider sitting peacefully in the middle of its web to the beautiful churches & Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It restored my faith & trust in the innate goodness of my fellowmen. Did the Camino change my life? I'd say YES with a big smile. Buen Camino to all pilgrims, past, future & present.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#39
But when I arrived at Cruz de Ferro & laid a stone with her picture & prayer request on that hill, for some inexplicable reason, I felt a big burden was lifted off my shoulders. I said my prayers and thanked God for that glorious feeling . My Camino showed me a different kind of inner peace, it taught me to be humble & to appreciate every thing that God has created from the humble slug trying to cross the path and the spider sitting peacefully in the middle of its web to the beautiful churches & Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It restored my faith & trust in the innate goodness of my fellowmen.
Thank you indyrem, that was a very beautiful and powerful account of something so very personal. What profound healing the Camino brought you in your grief. (And I think many of us become friends with the slugs crossing our paths!)
Margaret
 

pilgrim b

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances 2013
Ingles 2014
Frances 2015
St Cuthbert's Way 2017
Via Francegena 2018
#40
Thank you Indyrem for retelling your Camino experience, it is a powerful message of change, which many of us feel and often find difficult to express. It has been said so many times before ' The Camino is much more than a walk' and many pilgrims experience this for themselves.
Walking the Camino has changed my life .
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF summer-06, SJPP to Burgos Sept-13, Burgos to Astorga Sept-14 (Astorga to Santiago de Compostela sept 15)
#41
Indyrem - thanks for your post. It have me goose bums when you wrote about your moment at Cruz de Ferro.

John, I loved your honest blog post!
 

hans2hike

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino in 2012 & 2013 from The Netherlands -> Vezelay -> Taizé -> Le Puy en Velay -> St Jean -> Camino FR -> Muxia
#43
On my camino from Holland this year I learned to live in the moment, to trust and not to give up on difficult days. Special was both walking for months alone with a lot of internal reflection and later the beautiful time with other pilgrims, some still my friends now. Precious to share experiences now we are all home again.

But the most difficult part is for me walking back into my life, after reaching the end in Spain. An important last part of my Camino. Remember and search how I can learn from this in my daily life. Like how to make good decisions, live in the day and trust again in this more complicated life outside the Camino. What seems to be more difficult.

So I am still busy finding out :)
But this is a very good question and I am very glad and thankful that I could walk this Camino. And sure I will go back one day :)

Hans
http://hans2hike.waarbenjij.nu
 

hans2hike

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino in 2012 & 2013 from The Netherlands -> Vezelay -> Taizé -> Le Puy en Velay -> St Jean -> Camino FR -> Muxia
#45
Thanks !!! Sharing with other pilgrims now, with who I walked helps me a lot :)
 
#46
Emilene,

For one thing, I have stopped buying stuff and am trying to unclutter my home – I now only buy things if I can see a real need. I learned that I only need so little …

Another effect: I think that I am now in the process of being less judgemental/more kind – not a bad process …

Best, annelise
 
Camino(s) past & future
September 2012
#47
I retired from university teaching six years ago and had not really done as much as I thought I might with all that new free time, so the Camino changed my life significantly. A month or so before departing (Sept. 3, 2012), I was drawn to attend a service at the local Unitarian-Universalist fellowship because of a newspaper article forwarded to me by a friend about the newly settled minister. She (the minister) sounded very interesting and, wanting some kind of spiritual (not religious) underpinning to my Camino, I thought the UU experience would be the place to start. It was a good fit. After my return (Oct. 3), I began exploring UUs more, and in November I became a member. Since taking that step, I've (a) joined their amazing women's hiking group and a wonderful discussion group, (b) involved myself in a couple of committees, (c) donated regularly to our local food bank, (d) helped organize and participated in our local CROP walk, (e) become more environmentally conscious, (f) developed new friendships---I could list more, but I'll stop.

Other changes: I became much more confident by the end of my walk. I like WolverineDG's comment above: "Whenever I'm faced with a tough situation or with someone trying to make me feel inferior to them, I think 'I've walked over the Pyrennees. This is nothing.'" I say something similar: "Woman who walk across Pyrenees can do anything."

I can't say that some of the interior changes remain with me as much, and I regret that. Maybe that's what keeps some people returning again and again to the Camino. I mean that sense of pure joy at being in the world - I don't know how else to express that, but I felt on my return that I'd had the happiest month of my life during my walk, despite some really difficult passages. I wanted very much to retain that "Camino feeling," which is what I called it. I'll have to work on that.

This post is longer than I intended, but I have to say one more thing: a couple I walked with occasionally and I became real friends--during the Camino we somehow "clicked." We live miles apart - I in SC and they in Texas, but last May they visited me while they were on a road trip east, and I visited them in September when I went to see family members in Texas. I am grateful for their presence in my life (long-distance though it is).

I'm grateful, too, for this thread - it gave me a chance (or the push I needed) to try to express what the Camino meant to me. There's much more I know now that I can say about it, so some friends who have wanted to know more now will. Hope they don't regret asking. :)
 

freescot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
La Plata (2010) Portuguese from Coimbra(2010) Levante (2011) La Lana (2013) Francés from Roncevalles to Molinasaca then the Camino de Invierno (2014)
#49
" I began walking and, in silence, God was speaking to me. He gave me the grace of compassion and broke down my resistance to saying “sorry” from a place where I can say, “Yes, I destroyed the family I love”. I can say this to myself and to God as well and still live. Moreover, I live in Peace. That is how the Camino, my path of prayer, has changed me………so far."

There is more here: http://www.the-raft-of-corks.com/blog/reconcilation-1/, but that sums it up for me.

It is wonderful to hear so many positive stories.
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
#50
Freescot, I have started reading your blog and just wanted to say what an honest and thought provoking account you give of the changes brought about by pilgrimage - thank you for making it available and I will now get back to it

Warm regards - K
 

freescot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
La Plata (2010) Portuguese from Coimbra(2010) Levante (2011) La Lana (2013) Francés from Roncevalles to Molinasaca then the Camino de Invierno (2014)
#51
Freescot, I have started reading your blog and just wanted to say what an honest and thought provoking account you give of the changes brought about by pilgrimage - thank you for making it available and I will now get back to it

Warm regards - K
Thanks, Kevin. Yes, pilgrimage can be a form of conversion, or better, perhaps, emergence.
 
#52
Yes in so many ways.
I used to be an athiest/agnostic, and now I know there is a higher power whom I talk to daily.
I try not to judge others.
I have learned patience.
I look on the world with eyes of love.
I have reduced the size of my ego by 1/2:)
I can't wait to go again!
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#53
Yes, as everyone above has stated. Except it gets "worse" each day. This forum gives me the means to stay connected to people who "get it" - who understand the profound change a Camino makes to each person. Everyone is affected differently, but EVERYONE is affected.

Once you do the first one, you may start suffering from CAD (Camino Affective Disorder). This is similar to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), where one gets depressed and has intense ennui during the winter season when sunlight is largely absent. The treatment for SAD is to get more natural sunlight, use a broad-spectrum artificial light replacement, take Vitamin D, and sometimes anti-depressants under a doctor's care.

However, the treatment for SAD is easier. Just do another Camino! So, I refer to my current state as "the time between Caminos." Seasons of the year, months, etc. fall into less significance when I have a planned Camino in the offing.

So there you have it. One is temporarily less sane, until their next Camino makes one sane(er) again. I just wonder if the cycle continues indefinitely.;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning August 2015, Portuguese way
#54
I to have posted this question.... I work at a supermarket and a customer told me she had done the French way and 2yrs later did the Portuguese Way. She said you come back a different person, I was hooked. 3yrs ago I wanted to do this and my husband wanted to do Kokoda and he said go. I had never done anything on my own. 12mths ago he left me. You don't realise how much you depend on someone till their gone... So on the 25th august 2015 I will regain my independence and travel and walk on my own (Portuguese Way) I know this will not get him out of my head or heart (who knows maybe) But its a start to becoming the new me.. I am not in the slightest bit nervous or scared( yet) As I am travelling from Australia with 3 stop overs before I get there phew... So heres to the new me....

Regards Deb
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#55
I to have posted this question.... I work at a supermarket and a customer told me she had done the French way and 2yrs later did the Portuguese Way. She said you come back a different person, I was hooked. 3yrs ago I wanted to do this and my husband wanted to do Kokoda and he said go. I had never done anything on my own. 12mths ago he left me. You don't realise how much you depend on someone till their gone... So on the 25th august 2015 I will regain my independence and travel and walk on my own (Portuguese Way) I know this will not get him out of my head or heart (who knows maybe) But its a start to becoming the new me.. I am not in the slightest bit nervous or scared( yet) As I am travelling from Australia with 3 stop overs before I get there phew... So heres to the new me....

Regards Deb
Good for you! Buen camino!
Ivar
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2013 : Leon to Santiago
May 2015 : Porto to Santiago
#56
Yes!

I walked in May 2013 from Leon. It taught me "Go with the flow" and not to worry about tomorrow.

I am walking again this May from Villa do Conde, with hopefully some more lessons!

Buen/Bom Camino,
Johan
 
#57
I walked the French Way in 2013. My main motivation was to do something completely outside of my comfort zone. I felt like i was stuck in life and it was really getting me down to the point of severe depression. I remember trying to get to St Jean Pied de Port and thinking "What the hell am i doing?" I remember the tough hike on the first day to Roncesvalles. I was huffing and puffing and had no idea how i was going to get my overweight self through the day. On that same day, I remember breaking off a branch off a fallen tree, which became my walking stick for the next month. It was the perfect height and shape. Literally God-send. I had to part with it in Muxia and I damn hear cried over a... wooden stick.

The Camino was absolutely life-changing for me. It didn't even dawn on me how much until a month after i got back and the euphoria of adventure on the way started fading. I was 40 pounds lighter and finally got my health back. I was finally OK with life changes and I was no longer afraid of tomorrow because tomorrow is just another adventure. Just like every day on the Camino. All you have is bare essentials in your backpack and yourself. You don't know where you're going to stay or eat. You don't know how far you'll go. You don't know who you're going to meet. You don't know if your feet will last another day of torturous grind. You don't know if you're going to get a bed for tonight, but you're okay sleeping under the stars and you just trust that Camino will always deliver. It's the same with life. All you need to is focus on your essential, immediate needs and just roll with the flow and tackle things as they come and life will always deliver. Living in the now is the ultimate lesson of the Camino. It's OK not to know tomorrow. It's OK to not know The Answer or the Ultimate Truth because we're more happy seeking the truth and exploring for it. That's what life is all about and the Camino is the perfect metaphor for how to live a life.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#58
The camino might be described as another 'boot camp'! As rookies we gain endurance plus tenacity while trusting our personal gear and motivation. Most importantly we learn to re-connect with others as we seek our philosophic and geographic ways. Battered but justly proud of what can be accomplished we hope to join a very special 'band of brothers', fellow pilgrims.

MM
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#59
I'm fascinated to know if people feel real, lasting changes have taken place in their lives after walking the camino. There is so much expectation and reading various blogs, some people seem to arrive with so much enthusiasm, only to give up after a few days and others can't wait to start their next walk after spending weeks on the road.

I'd love to hear how the experience affected you - good or bad!
Maybe. Certainly the "enlighten" felt on the way gets diluted, as have experiences in humanitarian aid etc. for many. But I still show up, 4th year in a row coming up in May. But I will get back to you about this tomorrow (1:30 am, but do not want to miss the conversation, hence the post).
 

Pattii

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#61
Hi Emilene,

That's a really good question, and something I've been thinking a lot, especially since talking to a student who is writing her thesis on a related topic.

The Camino has changed my life in that I want to go back. Any extra money goes into my Camino fund. It's had enough of an effect on my life that I started a Camino blog, partly to process the experience--almost two years after my walk. And I've never been athletic, so it's amazing to know that my body is capable of astounding things like walking 1500km.

But I suspect I'm not particularly more spiritual, or necessarily nicer, or (much) better at dealing with life than I was pre-Camino. When I got home, I wasn't any closer to knowing what I really wanted to do with my life.

But then again walking the Camino has made me look at these things more, and maybe to some extent in a different way. So it continues to affect my life, I suspect often in ways I don't realize. Judging by myself and my Camino friends (although we could be abnormal), a lot of people don't have huge epiphanies on the Camino. But I think the experience can keep working away in our lives if we let it.

Walking the Camino for almost three months was an incredible experience for me. I went through some miserable times, physically and emotionally, but the whole time I had this feeling of rightness--that this was where I was meant to be. But it's hard to bring that back into regular life.

Sorry if this is disjointed. I'm thinking of doing a blog post somewhere along the lines of "Will the Camino Change Your Life?", but I haven't got my thoughts completely sorted yet.

I hope this helps!
Anna-Marie
Where did you start your Camino?
 

Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2008 09 14
Del Norte 2011. Portuguese 2015, 2017Ingles 2015 Fisterre 2015.
#62
Where did you start your Camino?
The very minute I stepped out my front door. It ended at the arrivals gate at the airport where my wife and daughter welcomed me home.
Jim
 

Pattii

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#63
The very minute I stepped out my front door. It ended at the arrivals gate at the airport where my wife and daughter welcomed me home.
Jim
I'm sure...but what I was wondering was where in Europe...your post says you walked 1500km so I was just interested what point you started from on the actual road.
 

Deidre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
5murphy4
#64
This thread has been edites since it was way off track and on topics that I feel does not belong in this forum.

Please continue on with the "Has your camino experience changed who you are as a person?" question :)

Saludos,
Ivar
I would love to hear how the significant others feel when their partners return home? I have felt many emotions which are not good ones. My husband’s 6 week pilgrimage looked more like a vacation.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#65
Walking a Camino or any other long distance hike is a vacation, a break from work, home, neighbors, politics, paying bills etc. Escaping 'real life' has been a reason for walking since pilgrimage first began 2000 years ago. Perhaps it was a pilgrimage to himself! Not long after pilgrims get home to their complicated life they start yearning for the simple life on the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#66
I don't know whether the camino has changed me. In some ways, my pilgrimages were not so different from my usual vacations: walking alone with a pack on my back. But they were a lot more comfortable and a lot more communal. I went because I was called and because I could. I came back from my first two renewed spiritually and intending to walk every year, which was not possible this year. The combination of an inter-personal challenge and the lack of any sense of spiritual renewal on my third camino was discouraging. So will I quit? No. At 70, I hope to be able to walk each year and to carry on the process which began on my first camino: feeling closer to God and hopefully becoming a better person. At my age there is a sense of urgency in the latter. I don't have much time left to become who I was called to be and I still have a long way to go. Fortunately, I love walking.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2018
#67
I used to be normal.
I used to buy holiday clothes - smart new ones for each holiday.
I used to like going on holidays and staying in nice hotels with room service and a cocktail hour and entertainment.
I used to like buying souvenirs from each place I visited.
I used to like trying a different location each time we went away.
Now when I look at clothes I try to assess the weight and whether or not it will fit into my backpack!
I am a camino-addict and yearn for sandy paths, a basic albergue with no electricity or running water.
I dream camino dreams - I am on a 'groot trek' with just a small pack and one change of clothing, sitting on plastic chairs outside a pueblo cafe-bar laughing and speaking "Frangish" (French-German-Spanish-English) to other peregrinos.
hahahahaha best answer and very very true. I can relate!
 

Deidre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
5murphy4
#68
Walking a Camino or any other long distance hike is a vacation, a break from work, home, neighbors, politics, paying bills etc. Escaping 'real life' has been a reason for walking since pilgrimage first began 2000 years ago. Perhaps it was a pilgrimage to himself! Not long after pilgrims get home to their complicated life they start yearning for the simple life on the Camino.
Thank you for your response. Why it didn’t feel good was because I feel six weeks is a long vacation from your wife.
 
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
#69
Thank you for your response. Why it didn’t feel good was because I feel six weeks is a long vacation from your wife.
Are you thinking of him or you? Was he a better man when he returned?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2018
#70
I to have posted this question.... I work at a supermarket and a customer told me she had done the French way and 2yrs later did the Portuguese Way. She said you come back a different person, I was hooked. 3yrs ago I wanted to do this and my husband wanted to do Kokoda and he said go. I had never done anything on my own. 12mths ago he left me. You don't realise how much you depend on someone till their gone... So on the 25th august 2015 I will regain my independence and travel and walk on my own (Portuguese Way) I know this will not get him out of my head or heart (who knows maybe) But its a start to becoming the new me.. I am not in the slightest bit nervous or scared( yet) As I am travelling from Australia with 3 stop overs before I get there phew... So heres to the new me....

Regards Deb
Cheers to the new you! Walk strong and proud!
 

Deidre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
5murphy4
#71
Are you thinking of him or you? Was he a better man when he returned?
That’s an excellent question. I do think he’s softened and time can only tell. Is he a better person because of the Camino or has he been changing for the better because I was so angry once he returned. I may never know.
 
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
#72
That’s an excellent question. I do think he’s softened and time can only tell. Is he a better person because of the Camino or has he been changing for the better because I was so angry once he returned. I may never know.
The Camino has changed him. You will benefit. Give it some time. Let him tell you about his experience, freely.
 

Deidre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
5murphy4
#74
Thank you for your encouraging words. I am getting help to try and process the pain this has caused me.
It has been six weeks since his return and at this point I do not want to hear about what a great experience it was.
 
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
#75
Thank you for your encouraging words. I am getting help to try and process the pain this has caused me.
I changed much during/after my first Camino (for the better, I presume. It feels like it). And each new Camino enforces the change.
 
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
#76
It has been six weeks since his return and at this point I do not want to hear about what a great experience it was.
Are you jealous? Maybe try to walk a (your own) Camino without him? Karma! Revenge! And understanding...:)

This forum is the best way to plan it...!
 

Deidre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
5murphy4
#77
Are you jealous? Maybe try to walk a (your own) Camino without him? Karma! Revenge! And understanding...:)

This forum is the best way to plan it...!
Lol. I never thought of that! Jealous no. My husband traveled weekly for work. He retired in April then took off for the Camino in August. During the Camino he texted daily but did not call. My soul dog died during the Camino he did not call. He did not bring me back a thing. Not even a sea shell. Yet he posted daily on Facebook his adventure.
 
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
#78

Deidre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
5murphy4
#79
Maybe he brought back a new/better man?
Ok. I will try to focus on that since you have brought that point up twice now instead of all my resentments. Thank u. Maybe in time I will be able to. There is a part of me that knows the Camino is forever in our lives. I just want it to go away.
 
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
#80
There is a part of me that knows the Camino is forever in our lives. I just want it to go away.
You can't. Welcome to the club.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#81
Ok. I will try to focus on that since you have brought that point up twice now instead of all my resentments. Thank u. Maybe in time I will be able to. There is a part of me that knows the Camino is forever in our lives. I just want it to go away.
That may never happen. It can be very hard I think for a Partner left behind.

If you asked my wife, was I changed, for the better? She would answer Yes and No.
The +ve? I am calmer, more balanced, more considerate.
The -ve? I'm quieter, more distant perhaps, very comfortable alone. I'm no longer as focused on material things. (not great for a business owner) And I'm always planning my next Camino.

Would she wish I never went? It's probably 60/40 +ve in her mind.

What helped? She came with me on a short 100 km Camino (#2) and really enjoyed it. She 'got it' and wanted to try a longer one. She walked 800 kms this year with me. It wasn't a walk in the park. It tested our relationship a bit! But she's talking about another.........

I don't know what the answer is. I just know that many, maybe most people, do change........ And that can be hard for others to deal with.

For many of us, it's like we've found a 'new religion' or something. And that can't be undone.

I have said many times, that the Camino needs to come with a 'Health Warning'............

I hope things work out OK for you, and thanks for sharing your own experience as the 'one left behind'.
Perhaps it will help others planning to walk a Camino to think through the potential impact, and it's a good reminder for those who have already walked, and continue to do so, that it's not all +ve......
 
Last edited:

Deidre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
5murphy4
#82
That may never happen. It can be very hard I think for a Partner left behind.

If you asked my wife, was I changed, for the better? She would answer Yes and No.
The +ve? I am calmer, more balanced, more considerate.
The -ve? I'm quieter, more distant perhaps, very comfortable alone. I'm no longer as focused on material things. (not great for a business owner) And I'm always planning my next Camino.

Would she wish I never went? It's probably 60/40 +ve in her mind.

What helped? She came with me on a short 100 km Camino (#2) and really enjoyed it. She 'got it' and wanted to try a longer one. She walked 800 kms this year with me. It wasn't a walk in the park. It tested our relationship a bit! But she's talking about another.........

I don't know what the answer is. I just know that many, maybe most people, do change........ And that can be hard for others to deal with.
I will respond to this in a bit. Have to get on a call. Thanks.
 

Deidre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
5murphy4
#84
I will respond to this in a bit. Have to get on a call. Thanks.
Thanks for sharing about your wife’s experience— that helped. Why do you think there was a part of her that didn’t want you to go? I do see a change in my husband for the better since he’s returned. The problem now is for me and trying to get over the fact that he left for six weeks. I’ve been on a spiritual path for a few years now. I wouldn’t think of leaving for six weeks. Like I said seeing his postings on Facebook it looked like a vacation instead of a pilgrimage and a six week vacation apart did not feel good! I would never have been supportive of that. How many men would like to see there wives leave them for six weeks?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#85
Thanks for sharing about your wife’s experience— that helped. Why do you think there was a part of her that didn’t want you to go? I do see a change in my husband for the better since he’s returned. The problem now is for me and trying to get over the fact that he left for six weeks. I’ve been on a spiritual path for a few years now. I wouldn’t think of leaving for six weeks. Like I said seeing his postings on Facebook it looked like a vacation instead of a pilgrimage and a six week vacation apart did not feel good! I would never have been supportive of that. How many men would like to see there wives leave them for six weeks?
I can understand that there could be a feeling of being abandoned. And all relationships are different.

I was married previously to the mother of my children, who had to put up with me being away months at a time in a war zone. She gave birth to one of our children during that, though I managed to get home for 3 days for the birth.

I only mention this, as 'that' relationship had to deal with the demands of my job at the time and we both came to the relationship with open eyes.

My current marriage of 20 years now, is very different. It's cross-cultural and my wife is from a culture whereby the marriage partners are expected to live in each others pockets! It was like being subjected to a Vulcan 'mind meld' at first and felt very claustrophobic! But we have both adapted.

On my first Camino in 2015 my wife was going to come with me, but her heart wasn't really into it and she bailed out of the preparations early. Then her Father got sick. We discussed whether I should still go and agreed I should. Part way through that Camino her Father needed heart surgery! I felt like 'crap' and said I should come home.

No Way she said. You can't help, your're not a Heart Surgeon. Don't give up now. Finish the Camino for Us. And pray for my Father along the way. She had her family around her and coped well. Dad is fine.....

That was really the first time we had been apart for more than a night or two.

Now we are comfortable being apart for a while. Pat will sometimes visit family in Bangkok for 4-6 weeks and leave me at home in Sydney. But we talk daily. I realise she needs that 'space' to reconnect with her culture, language and family. It's her 'Camino' in a way.

Sorry I'm rambling a bit. And I'm certainly No Expert on relationships. Far from it. But I think it comes down to trusting each other, recognising the other partner needs 'space' sometimes, and being able to communicate...... For Us anyway.

Does Pat 'like' me going away for 6 weeks to walk a Camino? No. She would rather have me at home. But she recognises that I lead a very 'driven' life at work, 6-7 days a week, and that I kind of need the Camino to bring me sanity and balance.....

Like I recognise she needs time away too....... I miss her when she is away, but feel good inside that she is having fun and doing all the stuff she enjoys! Like eating great Thai food, catching up with friends and family, shopping!

Bit of a ramble.............sorry.........
 

Deidre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
5murphy4
#86
I can understand that there could be a feeling of being abandoned. And all relationships are different.

I was married previously to the mother of my children, who had to put up with me being away months at a time in a war zone. She gave birth to one of our children during that, though I managed to get home for 3 days for the birth.

I only mention this, as 'that' relationship had to deal with the demands of my job at the time and we both came to the relationship with open eyes.

My current marriage of 20 years now, is very different. It's cross-cultural and my wife is from a culture whereby the marriage partners are expected to live in each others pockets! It was like being subjected to a Vulcan 'mind meld' at first and felt very claustrophobic! But we have both adapted.

On my first Camino in 2015 my wife was going to come with me, but her heart wasn't really into it and she bailed out of the preparations early. Then her Father got sick. We discussed whether I should still go and agreed I should. Part way through that Camino her Father needed heart surgery! I felt like 'crap' and said I should come home.

No Way she said. You can't help, your're not a Heart Surgeon. Don't give up now. Finish the Camino for Us. And pray for my Father along the way. She had her family around her and coped well. Dad is fine.....

That was really the first time we had been apart for more than a night or two.

Now we are comfortable being apart for a while. Pat will sometimes visit family in Bangkok for 4-6 weeks and leave me at home in Sydney. But we talk daily. I realise she needs that 'space' to reconnect with her culture, language and family. It's her 'Camino' in a way.

Sorry I'm rambling a bit. And I'm certainly No Expert on relationships. Far from it. But I think it comes down to trusting each other, recognising the other partner needs 'space' sometimes, and being able to communicate...... For Us anyway.

Does Pat 'like' me going away for 6 weeks to walk a Camino? No. She would rather have me at home. But she recognises that I lead a very 'driven' life at work, 6-7 days a week, and that I kind of need the Camino to bring me sanity and balance.....

Like I recognise she needs time away too....... I miss her when she is away, but feel good inside that she is having fun and doing all the stuff she enjoys! Like eating great Thai food, catching up with friends and family, shopping!

Bit of a ramble.............sorry.........
Thanks for your sharing. For me it would feel a lot different if my husband was visiting family like Pat does. I would be more accepting of that. After he retired then he goes off for six weeks—did/does not feel good. You and Pat have better communication skills—something we are working on as a result of the Camino. I did feel abandoned. I will be working on my abandonment issues. I totally understand time alone especially for personal growth and reflection. I felt his decision to go was unilateral. I would have never agreed to a six week vacation in Europe apart. After he retired we could have celebrated with a trip together. He could have done a shorter version of the Camino. Now he lives with his decision. A very unhappy wife. The way I feel is a lot like someone going thru grief. I do great for awhile then feelings of anger and sadness arise. Thank you for listening. I have only a counselor to talk to about this.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#87
Thank you for your encouraging words. I am getting help to try and process the pain this has caused me.
Deirdre, that's an act of courage and wisdoem.
I hope you can keep the door open both to what you're experiencing and to the possibility that this may have been beneficial for your husband (and I don't mean 'fun,' but just good in deeper sense of the word). And (actually) it may end up being beneficial for you, too, since it has clearly caused you to acknowledge and face whatever is in the heart that is 'unfinished business.'
 

Deidre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
5murphy4
#88
Deirdre, that's an act of courage and wisdoem.
I hope you can keep the door open both to what you're experiencing and to the possibility that this may have been beneficial for your husband (and I don't mean 'fun,' but just good in deeper sense of the word). And (actually) it may end up being beneficial for you, too, since it has clearly caused you to acknowledge and face whatever is in the heart that is 'unfinished business.'
I respect your questions and I will work on them. Of course I have not shared all the issues that we have gone thru for the last 33 years of marriage— issues that were not resolved but certainly got stirred up in me as a result of the Camino so I can’t expect you to totally understand my feelings. I reached out initially to see how other people who did not go on the Camino felt about their partner going and to perhaps better understand the Camino. I don’t see the Camino as an opportunity one deserves. the issue i have trouble with is trust.
 

Kurt5280

Crazy Enough To Try It Again!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: SJPDP to Finisterre & Muxia 9/15 (MTB) - Norte: Bayonne to Muxia & Finisterre 9/18 (MTB)
#90
I thought the Camino was just another religious pilgrimage with a significantly challenging aspect...I really did not understand the Compostela Pilgrims that wrapped there life around the Camino...but tonight I am doing two or three Camino presentations to future Pilgrims...and I am planning my third Camino now...but I still don't understands what keeps drawing me back to the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#91
I thought the Camino was just another religious pilgrimage with a significantly challenging aspect...I really did not understand the Compostela Pilgrims that wrapped there life around the Camino...but tonight I am doing two or three Camino presentations to future Pilgrims...and I am planning my third Camino now...but I still don't understands what keeps drawing me back to the Camino.
Stop telling others about it! It's getting too crowded :eek::eek:
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
#92
I would love to hear how the significant others feel when their partners return home? I have felt many emotions which are not good ones. My husband’s 6 week pilgrimage looked more like a vacation.
I'm pretty sure my wife was happy to have me back and missed me while I was gone after both of my Caminos, a two month Camino in 2016 with my son (leaving her with our daughter and her father) and a three week Camino earlier this year (again leaving her with the same people, as our son was off in college). It is not easy to be a single parent. I am also sure that they both looked like vacations. They were vacations. That they were also pilgrimages doesn't prevent them from being vacations.

That said, unlike the situation you describe in later postings, neither Camino was undertaken without her knowledge and consent.

She knew when she met me that international travel was a passion of mine. I had just come back from a year and a half in Europe and was about to head off to Africa. After I got back from Africa, that passion lay dormant for over twenty years of our relationship. Although we talked about taking trips before we got married and had kids, it never happened. Afterwards, with a family, it seemed too expensive. Our trips were often drives to spend time with friends and relatives rather than the kind of travel that had been my life before I met her. It wasn't until the two of us took a trip to Berlin (staying with a cousin of mine who was charge d'affaires at the Embassy there - still staying with relatives!) for our fifteenth wedding anniversary that the spark of my earlier passion was rekindled.

I had always talked about taking a trip with each of our children when they were sixteen. I figured that was about as late as I could leave it and have them still wanting me around. I guess it was always sort of assumed that it would be just me having this bonding time with them, partially because (at least for the first) someone would need to be home for the rest of the family and partially because she is not as interested in travel as I am. She will regularly take a week or a weekend to spend time with her distant friends, but she travel's to see people not places and anything longer than that she starts being too long for her.

A few years after that trip to Berlin, it was my eldest's turn for his trip and he wanted to walk the Camino with me for his trip. We booked two months for that trip, with some cushioning for unexpected delays on the Camino and/or tourism in Spain afterwards. I can't say she was happy about it. She can't say that she didn't know it was coming and we hadn't talked about it a lot beforehand. I guess the word I would use is "resigned".

As soon as I got back, it was clear to everyone that if I had my druthers this wouldn't be my last Camino. A year or so after that I started talking about looking for cheap flights to Portugal to walk the shorter Camino there. So when I called her from work one day to say that I had found a cheap flight and could I go walk again, she wasn't completely taken by surprise. And again, while she wasn't happy, she did recognize its importance to me and gave permission to book the flights. But if I hadn't got that permission, I wouldn't have bought the plane tickets. On the other hand, I can't imagine anyone who really loved me not giving that permission.

Coming up, she knows I've got a trip planned for 2020 with my daughter. She knows I want to do a lot more travel after I retire (say, a couple of trips a year). She knows that she is welcome to join my on my travels. I'd love to walk a Camino with her! On the other hand, since at the moment she finds it difficult to contemplate ever taking a trip for more than a couple of weeks, I think we both know that a lot of these trips will be without her.

Both you and her could have it a lot worse. Think of poor Sara Dhooma's husband: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1385033795558
 

Deidre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
5murphy4
#93
I'm pretty sure my wife was happy to have me back and missed me while I was gone after both of my Caminos, a two month Camino in 2016 with my son (leaving her with our daughter and her father) and a three week Camino earlier this year (again leaving her with the same people, as our son was off in college). It is not easy to be a single parent. I am also sure that they both looked like vacations. They were vacations. That they were also pilgrimages doesn't prevent them from being vacations.

That said, unlike the situation you describe in later postings, neither Camino was undertaken without her knowledge and consent.

She knew when she met me that international travel was a passion of mine. I had just come back from a year and a half in Europe and was about to head off to Africa. After I got back from Africa, that passion lay dormant for over twenty years of our relationship. Although we talked about taking trips before we got married and had kids, it never happened. Afterwards, with a family, it seemed too expensive. Our trips were often drives to spend time with friends and relatives rather than the kind of travel that had been my life before I met her. It wasn't until the two of us took a trip to Berlin (staying with a cousin of mine who was charge d'affaires at the Embassy there - still staying with relatives!) for our fifteenth wedding anniversary that the spark of my earlier passion was rekindled.

I had always talked about taking a trip with each of our children when they were sixteen. I figured that was about as late as I could leave it and have them still wanting me around. I guess it was always sort of assumed that it would be just me having this bonding time with them, partially because (at least for the first) someone would need to be home for the rest of the family and partially because she is not as interested in travel as I am. She will regularly take a week or a weekend to spend time with her distant friends, but she travel's to see people not places and anything longer than that she starts being too long for her.

A few years after that trip to Berlin, it was my eldest's turn for his trip and he wanted to walk the Camino with me for his trip. We booked two months for that trip, with some cushioning for unexpected delays on the Camino and/or tourism in Spain afterwards. I can't say she was happy about it. She can't say that she didn't know it was coming and we hadn't talked about it a lot beforehand. I guess the word I would use is "resigned".

As soon as I got back, it was clear to everyone that if I had my druthers this wouldn't be my last Camino. A year or so after that I started talking about looking for cheap flights to Portugal to walk the shorter Camino there. So when I called her from work one day to say that I had found a cheap flight and could I go walk again, she wasn't completely taken by surprise. And again, while she wasn't happy, she did recognize its importance to me and gave permission to book the flights. But if I hadn't got that permission, I wouldn't have bought the plane tickets. On the other hand, I can't imagine anyone who really loved me not giving that permission.

Coming up, she knows I've got a trip planned for 2020 with my daughter. She knows I want to do a lot more travel after I retire (say, a couple of trips a year). She knows that she is welcome to join my on my travels. I'd love to walk a Camino with her! On the other hand, since at the moment she finds it difficult to contemplate ever taking a trip for more than a couple of weeks, I think we both know that a lot of these trips will be without her.

Both you and her could have it a lot worse. Think of poor Sara Dhooma's husband: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1385033795558
Thank you for sharing!
 

gersevink

Camino Portugues por la costa 2016
Camino(s) past & future
2013 may en june Camino del Norte, Fisterra and Muxia
2015 Via de la Plata Sevilla Santiago
2016 Camino Portugues por la Costa Porto to Santiago
#94
I'm fascinated to know if people feel real, lasting changes have taken place in their lives after walking the camino. There is so much expectation and reading various blogs, some people seem to arrive with so much enthusiasm, only to give up after a few days and others can't wait to start their next walk after spending weeks on the road.

I'd love to hear how the experience affected you - good or bad!
 

Kurt5280

Crazy Enough To Try It Again!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: SJPDP to Finisterre & Muxia 9/15 (MTB) - Norte: Bayonne to Muxia & Finisterre 9/18 (MTB)
#95
Stop telling others about it! It's getting too crowded :eek::eek:
My speech titles are..."Camino del Norte by Mountain Bike…The Who, What, & Why"...."Camino Muxia & Finisterre by Mountain Bike…The Quick Picture Tour"...&..."So You Don’t Think You Can Do the Camino?...My Personal Experience"...so maybe I can get future Pilgrims to try something other than the Camino Frances.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#96
My speech titles are..."Camino del Norte by Mountain Bike…The Who, What, & Why"...."Camino Muxia & Finisterre by Mountain Bike…The Quick Picture Tour"...&..."So You Don’t Think You Can Do the Camino?...My Personal Experience"...so maybe I can get future Pilgrims to try something other than the Camino Frances.
Get a few of them to walk too ;) OOps. Let;s not go there again :eek: ;););)
 

Kurt5280

Crazy Enough To Try It Again!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: SJPDP to Finisterre & Muxia 9/15 (MTB) - Norte: Bayonne to Muxia & Finisterre 9/18 (MTB)
#97
Get a few of them to walk too ;) OOps.
In 2003 I was riding the RTD Light Rail to work when a woman on a cellphone drove through a red light derailing the train...I spent 5-years in reconstructive orthopedic surgeries...and I was told that I would never walk again without a limp or ride a bike...until the Camino Frances mountain bike from SJPdP to Muxia in 2015...and again the Camino del Norte mountain bike from Bayonne to Finisterre in 2018.

RTD Light Rail 2-25-03.jpg

Cruz de Ferro.JPG
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#98
In 2003 I was riding the RTD Light Rail to work when a woman on a cellphone drove through a red light derailing the train...I spent 5-years in reconstructive orthopedic surgeries...and I was told that I would never walk again without a limp or ride a bike...until the Camino Frances mountain bike from SJPdP to Muxia in 2015...and again the Camino del Norte mountain bike from Bayonne to Finisterre in 2018.

View attachment 49613

View attachment 49614
Awesome !! What a come back....:):):)
 

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