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Is anyone doing the Camino without any specific purpose

2020 Camino Guides

bordatoue

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 09 2020
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
If you don't know why you do it when you started, you'll know when you get there.
Last year some 350,000 compostelas were issued: I'd bet every single one of those finishers had a different reason. Some do it for the daily distance challenge, some for the deeply religious aspect, some for the scenery. Everyone is different. Not everyone - by any means - wants a compostela. Now, I just want the finishing stamp. One compostela is exactly the same as another and when you have one, that's it, I think. But I have friends who have six or seven, with every one sitting in the shelf at home and never looked at.

I'd suggest you treat it as a pleasant walk across Spain, which is a fantastical (sic) country. Try to enjoy the walk and the surroundings rather than the challenge and remember that millions of people - fat, thin, old, young, tall, short, religious, atheist, saintly, murderers, fit, dying - have walked this route and you're as good as any of them.

But the truth is, until you start, you won't know ... get on with it mate
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (2020)
My perspective: the mere fact that you are searching for a reason, and have taken the time to both think about it and frame the problem, makes you a pilgrim. Don't let your own thinking or that of anyone else deter you from that fundamental notion.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sarria to Santiago March 18 , Camino Frances June 18 Camino Frances May 19 ,May 2020
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
Think of it as time out for yourself , to clear your head and live simply for the duration you are on it . After awhile you will be amazed at what comes into your head while walking and you will go home a different person , whether that is spiritual or just wiser I do not know but definitely a changed outlook .
 

Peligro

I walk between cafe breaks
Camino(s) past & future
St. Jean to SdC the slow way (Aug'15, Aug'17, Jan'18, Aug'18, Jan'19, Jul'19) Primitivo (May'20)
After walking with an Englishman for a couple of days he said, "why are you walking?" I had no answer. I still can't really put it into words. I have learned that there are no bad decisions on the Camino. I've tried to put that into practice off the Camino and I've gotten somewhat better at accepting the choices I've made and the things life throws my way. In some ways I keep going back to find out why I'm walking. And I can't think of a more enjoyable way to search.
 

Jscarm

We have cows!
Camino(s) past & future
Walked in May/June 2015.
Plan to walk this year in May/June (2020)
When I first walked I considered it a great way to see Spain and be immersed in the culture of Spain and the Camino, it soon became more than that for me. I think you will find your own reasons when you get on the trail. Loved it so much we are walking again in May/June.
 

zrexer

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
2020 Camino Del Norte
Yup, six times now for no particular reason. And Camino number seven this fall, again for no particular reason other than a love of Camino walking and pretty much everything associated with it. So maybe I do have a reason...and-just-like-ea8212ed3c[1].jpg
 
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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)
It's enough to feel pulled to go...and to go from there without adding anything unnecessarily.

The heart has its own reasons, so never mind trying to explain what they are. You may not be able to. Sometimes people do that, thinking they have explanations about why they walk, but the explanations turn out to be very different from the real reasons.

There's sometimes too much hype and expectation about this being a 'spiritual journey.' For some it is, and for some it's a long walk in Spain. So never mind. Go, and if there is a reason it will find you. If not, you'll have walked, and that's good, too.
 

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
I am a person who walks. The camino walking has become part of my identity. For me, I really like the way life becomes simple when I walk.

As I tend to say to people who haven't walked: There are only two important things on the camino for me: Putting one foot in front of the other, and what's for lunch?
 

nathanael

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Plata,
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
hello, I am religious but have realized that it is not a religious event any longer. This year will be my doing my twelfth Camino. I do the Camino for the peace and tranquility it brings me as I walk this way, somedays I will stay a few days in certain cities simply to enjoy the culture. Do the Camino and just simply walk and enjoy it ciao
 
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JamesVT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
The Camino is a wonderful, beautiful walk across Spain. Plenty of time to look and see a glorious green world as the kilometers drop away behind you. the reasons for being on the Camino reveal themselves day by day. You don‘t have to know them to begin, they will find you.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
Let me just echo what everyone else has said. Just walk. All you have is the step you are taking at the moment. Prepare less and think less. So many of us think way too much, overanalyze way too much, and get lost doing it. I can't tell you why I walk. I just know I have to. I had a purpose the first time and after 5 Caminos I can't even remember clearly what it was. I only know with all the pain, all the hills, all the bad weather, the snorers and everything else that you may perceive as bad, I am never happier than when I am alone. Let your thoughts pass through you and your worries and pain will soon follow. Just walk. Who cares what question you can or cannot answer. If people care that is their judgement and their misunderstanding of what Camino is. There is no answer before you go and their may be no answer when you get back. Just let every moment happen and accept it and accept yourself and your fears and questions. Buen Camino
 

Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to start the Camino Frances from St Jean at the end of May (2020).
When I decided to do the Camino it was because I was on holiday in Northern Spain and you see the Camino signs everywhere. I holiday in Spain a lot. Usually I hire a car and visit out of the way places. The idea of spending weeks travelling through villages appealed to me.
But I realise now that there are deeper reasons. I had cancer in 2016 and my husband died in 2017. This year I decided that I'm ready to move on. I'm only 39 and don't like to identify as a widow. I'm trying to rebuild my life and be myself again.
I'm comfortable in my own company but would like to meet people, but also step back from the world.
A lot of people have complicated reasons.
Whatever your reasons or none it doesn't matter.
 

djmytym

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
My plan is after Retirement, which is in February of 2020, I plan on walking in Sept of 21
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
Hello
I myself, like you are planning my first Camino. As I plan my trip, many of my family and friends have asked me why am doing this? What am I hoping to find/accomplish? I have no answer,or do I need to feel as though, an answer needs to be given. My reason however is simply this. I want to walk the Camino. Not to find myself, not for religious reasons, not to prove to myself or anyone else that I can do this. I just want to go for a walk. Seems like a logical reason to me. Enjoy.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe, BR (01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT (09/2019)
I just want to go for a walk
As good a reason as any but what interests me is that there is a choice and out of other walks you decided to walk in Spain, assuming its Camino de Santiago Francè. At the end when collecting your Compestela at the pilgrim office when asked the question what was your reason I'm going to guess you'll say maybe spiritual! 🤠
 

djmytym

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
My plan is after Retirement, which is in February of 2020, I plan on walking in Sept of 21
As good a reason as any but what interests me is that there is a choice and out of other walks you decided to walk in Spain, assuming its Camino de Santiago Francè. At the end when collecting your Compestela at the pilgrim office when asked the question what was your reason I'm going to guess you'll say maybe spiritual! 🤠
As to answer that specific question, my hope is when I complete the Camino, I will have an answer, and it’s not a Whity reply. I have been reading forums that are specific to reasons for taking this pilgrimage, I find the reason vary from person to person, which is obvious. I’m not a religious person, but maybe after my experience of walking, I will be.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe, BR (01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT (09/2019)
As to answer that specific question, my hope is when I complete the Camino, I will have an answer, and it’s not a Whity reply. I have been reading forums that are specific to reasons for taking this pilgrimage, I find the reason vary from person to person, which is obvious. I’m not a religious person, but maybe after my experience of walking, I will be.
Maybe the answer will be more questions but simply highlighting that if you or other first timers, like I once was all those months ago remain open, leave behind expectations, collect your sellos in your fiercely guarded pilgrim passport and at the Pilgrim office you may or may not visit to collect your certificate or Compestela. You may have to decide between being a religious/spiritual pilgrim or take your chances with other. I havn't seen the other certificate presented to pilgrims but all I've met on my three Caminos admit to spiritual even though it could be other to secure the corresponding Compestela, its just a piece of paper or is it, I wish you a buen enlightened camino pilgrim 🤠
 
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julia-t

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015-17
Kumano Kodo March 2018
Camino Portuguese Valenca-SdC April 2018
I walked the Frances in stages over 2 years. I still don't know WHY I was compelled to do so. To keep returning until I 'finished' (haha, the Camino is never over!).

I thought the reason would become glaringly clear and obvious. It didnt't.

But I discovered I did enjoy (mostly) the walking from one place to another, and just being there, doing something I never thought I'd do, and having the time and space to just BE. Spending time in peace and quiet, listening to the wind soughing in the trees, watching it make patterns of fields of green wheat, hearing birds sing, watching clouds whisper across the sky.

To be totally in the NOW, without external pressures, stress melted away, I felt like ME again. I needed that.

I've since walked the Kumano Kodo in Japan (a real challenge) and the Portuguese camino from Valenca (which was a very strange experience due to several unexpected events happening back at home which I didn't know how to process/deal with at the time. And it took me months afterwards, but that is a different and personal story.)

But there is something about walking which is so cleansing, relaxing, calming. Something about the slow routine of sleep, walk eat, that is healing, calming.

Do you really need a reason to walk the Camino?

EDIT: I'm going back to Spain in mid-March to join a friend for a few days from Estella to Belorado. And apart from spending time with my friend (and we can chat on whatsapp) I don't really know why I'm going when I could go anywhere else in Europe for a few days, sight see in some new city, revisit an old favourite city, hell, I could even go skiing, or I could sit at home by the fire and catch up on netflix box sets. But no, I am going to cart a backpack for 20+km a day, sleep in a horrid little sack, wear heavy boots, probably get really cold and wet, trudge up hills, ..... and wonder WHY THE HELL AM I HERE?
Can someone tell me??? Please!
 
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JamesVT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
Personally I call it 'mental exfoliation'.

Like everyone said, you don't need any reason worked out in advance. You don't need to explain to people why. Trust the process. It will all become apparent.
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
I was walking the Camino for a few kilometers with a young Korean pilgrim. I remarked at one point that the Camino gives one lots of time to think. My companion immediately replied, “Yes, and plenty of time not to think.” I’ve remembered that observation of his ever since. Such wisdom, such truth!
 

Silencio Por Favor

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ingles 2018
For me the is Camino has a vibe of simply going back in time, pre intranet if you like? Sure we use apps and this forum etc, but the act itself self of simply just walking, talking and absorbing history, nature, culture really feels like switching off from this fast paced world and go back to the simpler times, almost like childhood??
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
My first camino was the same. Somewhere along the road, things changed, hopefully you too will have a Damascus moment
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe, BR (01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT (09/2019)
My companion immediately replied, “Yes, and plenty of time not to think.” I’ve remembered that observation of his ever since. Such wisdom, such truth!
A great lesson, in philosophy it's the awareness of the difference between being and becoming. A listening post for the Universe 🤠
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
the difference between being and becoming
Semantically, I think I understand this. However, I am trying to figure out what this difference really means in a personal sense. A bit of elementary googling tells me that this is an important question that has bothered philosophers for ages.

I don't think I will let it bother me. I have enough trouble just being, let alone becoming. Ooops, no, wait - I think I identify more with becoming than being. What does this mean?
 

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 I identify more with becoming than being. What does this mean?
Only you can answer that, @C clearly ....
;)😇

But here's my take...
Being is resting back in the here and now.
Becoming is leaning out of that into an imagined and unknowable future.
Some people plan every last thing, even in the middle of actually doing it. That's becoming.
 
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c0484

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
No one walks the Camino for no reason. You will figure it out as you go. For me it is always for religious reasons and for the people you meet along the way. Others walk it for the challenge, others because they have seen the movie and think it will be fun, others for health reasons, etc.
 

djmytym

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
My plan is after Retirement, which is in February of 2020, I plan on walking in Sept of 21
I walked the Frances in stages over 2 years. I still don't know WHY I was compelled to do so. To keep returning until I 'finished' (haha, the Camino is never over!).

I thought the reason would become glaringly clear and obvious. It didnt't.

But I discovered I did enjoy (mostly) the walking from one place to another, and just being there, doing something I never thought I'd do, and having the time and space to just BE. Spending time in peace and quiet, listening to the wind soughing in the trees, watching it make patterns of fields of green wheat, hearing birds sing, watching clouds whisper across the sky.

To be totally in the NOW, without external pressures, stress melted away, I felt like ME again. I needed that.

I've since walked the Kumano Kodo in Japan (a real challenge) and the Portuguese camino from Valenca (which was a very strange experience due to several unexpected events happening back at home which I didn't know how to process/deal with at the time. And it took me months afterwards, but that is a different and personal story.)

But there is something about walking which is so cleansing, relaxing, calming. Something about the slow routine of sleep, walk eat, that is healing, calming.

Do you really need a reason to walk the Camino?

EDIT: I'm going back to Spain in mid-March to join a friend for a few days from Estella to Belorado. And apart from spending time with my friend (and we can chat on whatsapp) I don't really know why I'm going when I could go anywhere else in Europe for a few days, sight see in some new city, revisit an old favourite city, hell, I could even go skiing, or I could sit at home by the fire and catch up on netflix box sets. But no, I am going to cart a backpack for 20+km a day, sleep in a horrid little sack, wear heavy boots, probably get really cold and wet, trudge up hills, ..... and wonder WHY THE HELL AM I HERE?
Can someone tell me??? Please!
Well said. Does anyone need a real reason to walk the Camino? My thought exactly, at some point along my journey, I will ask myself the same question. Will I have an answer? Not likely. Maybe instead of asking why? The question should be why not?
 

rayvarey

New Member
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
Nike stole this slogan/motto from me some years ago. "Just Do It!" One foot in front of the other. Talk to people when you want to, meander on your own when you will. Enjoy the countryside. Help others in need. Smile. And if you're lucky when you get to the cathedreal in Santiago they'll swing that magnificent smoking botafumerio for you...now that makes it all worth while.
 

Harland2019

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April/May "2019"
I walked the Camino Frances last year for no other reason than I enjoy walking. So no specific purpose, I am not religious in any way - I just thought that I would walk (hopefully) somewhere warmer than usual. Had a wonderful time, didn't think at any time why I was doing it - just looked out for others, as they did for me, I had met along the way for a drink or two, a chat and see you along the way somewhere and enjoy the scenery. I am not a complicated soul!
 

hollyw

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugués in 2020
I like walking long distance trails. For me, that's all the reason I need. I think the fact that the Camino is calling to you is reason enough. I'm sure you'll understand more once you're on the trail...or in the months after you return.
 

Casserole

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 - Solo, SJPdP to Finisterre
2018 - Daughter (2) and Hubby, Sarria to SdC
I went because it sounded fun. I'm not religious or had any thing I was looking for answers. But I found what I didn't know I was searching for.

Though there are some physically difficult parts of The Camino, it's almost all mental. Long, long days on the meseta with just you and your thoughts. But then, when you are ready, you meet some of the best people you will ever meet.
 

JanelMcB

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
You might find the terrain to be a challenge. You really cannot train for it. Watch where you are going or go where you are watching. If you come down the natural path into Roncesvalles, be mindful of your footing. Easy to get hurt in that area. Paved road is safer but longer. As to your question, sometimes I wonder why I did it and why am I going to do it again. Going to help out on a limited mobility Camino in June with Patrick and Justin of "I'll Push You". After that, I'll work my way back to SJPdP and start my second CF.
 

Tony Lenton

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2018)
Camino Frances ( from Ponferrada 2019)
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
I’m the same as you. This March will be my third Camino and this time I plan to walk from SJPdP to Santiago with my mate from Canada. I have no religious belief but love northern Spain, food, drink and nature. I love being outdoors, walking and meeting people. I love the history of the Camino and since hearing of Santiago de Compostela in 1965 I’ve been fascinated by the place.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016), Norte (2017), Portuges (2018), Mozarabe (2019), Primitivo (2019), Via de La Plata (2
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
I went to walk 10 days of the Camino Frances in 2016 from Pamplona to Burgos. I live in Spain, I am a history freak and in no way religious. The whole point was that a friend of mine from Scotland ( a serious agnostic ) had decided to walk the Frances alone from SJPDP for as far as he could and my wife was outraged that I could leave him unaccompanied for the whole walk and so I decided to chum him for a bit. As I said I am a history freak so the prospect of encountering so many places that I had only read about was intoxicating. When I met my friend in Pamplona he had already acquired a group of like-minded peregrinos and it was very easy to fit in with their vibe. As we walked we met seminarians, monks and nuns on the Camino which concentrated the spirituality and we also met Korean Buddhists sharing the spirituality but from a different base.. I was particularly touched by the individual spirituality of the volunteers sitting in their Ermitas in the middle of nowhere stamping credenciales and handing out advice and support as required. I remember one day in particular - Estella to Logrono - when my friend and I ended up walking with a South African Trauma Surgeon. As ever we told our stories to him and he told us his - particularly about his teenage daughter who had contracted bone cancer in an arm. They removed the bone and replaced it with a titanium bone and she made a complete recovery. As he finished his story we walked into a tiny village with a 1000 years old church with an amazing mozarabe font. We stopped to admire both and the doctor said that we should walk on and he stayed in the church. My friend asked if I thought that we had offended him with something we had said. For me though it had suddenly struck our friend how much he had to be thankful for and just wanted to take a few moments say thank you. For me that was the Camino.
 

ISABEL linares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances,camino del norte,camino frances
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
You don't need a purpose.Just start doing the Camino meet with the peregrinos and you will see what happen.
Buen Camino.
 

ISABEL linares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances,camino del norte,camino frances
I went to walk 10 days of the Camino Frances in 2016 from Pamplona to Burgos. I live in Spain, I am a history freak and in no way religious. The whole point was that a friend of mine from Scotland ( a serious agnostic ) had decided to walk the Frances alone from SJPDP for as far as he could and my wife was outraged that I could leave him unaccompanied for the whole walk and so I decided to chum him for a bit. As I said I am a history freak so the prospect of encountering so many places that I had only read about was intoxicating. When I met my friend in Pamplona he had already acquired a group of like-minded peregrinos and it was very easy to fit in with their vibe. As we walked we met seminarians, monks and nuns on the Camino which concentrated the spirituality and we also met Korean Buddhists sharing the spirituality but from a different base.. I was particularly touched by the individual spirituality of the volunteers sitting in their Ermitas in the middle of nowhere stamping credenciales and handing out advice and support as required. I remember one day in particular - Estella to Logrono - when my friend and I ended up walking with a South African Trauma Surgeon. As ever we told our stories to him and he told us his - particularly about his teenage daughter who had contracted bone cancer in an arm. They removed the bone and replaced it with a titanium bone and she made a complete recovery. As he finished his story we walked into a tiny village with a 1000 years old church with an amazing mozarabe font. We stopped to admire both and the doctor said that we should walk on and he stayed in the church. My friend asked if I thought that we had offended him with something we had said. For me though it had suddenly struck our friend how much he had to be thankful for and just wanted to take a few moments say thank you. For me that was the Camino.
That is what happen when you do the Camino,Really nice history
 

Island

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues 2019
Pilgrims' Way 2020
Via Francigena 2020
California Mission Trail 2020
I was convinced I knew why I was walking the Camino before I left. By the time I arrived, I realized I had been mistaken. The reason that was revealed to me changed my life.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago, St Jean to Santuago, 2015
Camino Portuguese, 2018
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
It is a lovely stroll through beautiful countryside, an opportunity to visit small villages, to meet local people if one takes time, to experience another culture....
 

Rover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Fall 2016
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
Hello Jane. A few years ago, I read about the Camino and decided I would walk/hike it, not for any religious purpose but for the challenge. I went solo, starting September 19th and finishing 6 weeks later on November 4th. At the beginning, everyone asked the question, "why are you walking the Camino?" The response varied all over the map, no consensus. Weeks later, as I approached Santiago, the question became, "what are you going to say to friends and family when they ask you about your journey." I was tongue tied, for me, there was no simple, singular answer. How do you describe meeting people of all ages and background from all over the world, sharing a glass of wine or meal together? Nursing your tired and aching feet or dressing your blisters? The friendships, however brief; the loneliness and the challenges never anticipated? And the list goes on. When I reached Santiago and stood in front of the cathedral, I was not overcome with elation as I expected, rather, to my surprise, I felt let down - - for I realized that I had reached the end of my journey, there was no more. On the way to the airport in my taxi, I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion; it was then I understood what happened over the six weeks. It was not a divine or religious moment but rather a spiritual experience that was transformative in so many sways. To this day, I am deeply touched when I share my experience with friends, I hope you pursue you plan to walk the Camino. Don't ask too many questions or set your expectations too high; just go, take it all in and experience what I feel you too will find and that is a profound journey. Good luck.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
I think you'll fit right in. There's lots of different reasons (and non-reasons) for pilgrims to walk. The only real requirement (and even that's too strong a word) is to respect the reasons of others. A loose community forms readily among even those walking for wildly different reasons.

The great test of my charity are the ones who walk for reasons of a cheap, moving party. Usually, this crowd is loud in the albergues when others are trying to rest, self-absorbed, disrespectful of others, and often boisterously drunk. Thankfully, they tend to be isolated in frequency and can often be easily avoided.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2019, 2020)
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
I had no purpose. I could not tell you why I was going. I just knew I HAD to go. I figured I'd learn what I was doing out there as I walked. I walked SJPP to Santiago in the fall of 2019. I'll walk the Portuguese in May, 2020 and will be back on the Frances in Sept 2020. Nope. I don't know why I'll be going, but I know I will have some lessons I didn't even know I needed.
 

ggtree

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis June 2018
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
I will be starting my third Camino this summer a gift I give myself every year. I did not know I would be doing this my first year. The experience, journey, people, lessons, cannot be understood until you have walked a Camino. I think that is great to not have a purpose. Also, don’t have any plans or expectations. You are about to give yourself a most wonderful gift. Open it and enjoy.
 

gypsy9

Active Member
Hi Borda

Here is what you wrote:

I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino

A sincere desire. great!
No clarity. great!

One certainly does not need a set vision, in fact, a lack of clarity can allow for flexibility and the unexpected...

Walking the Camino is one of my life's greatest delights.
 

anthikes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP > SdC
2018 Porto > SdC
2019 Sevilla > SdC
I think there are many motivations why I walk caminos but some are probably more quirky than others. My typical ones are for fitness, improve my Spanish, love of hiking, meet new folks etc. but I also live on a small budget and as a perpetual traveller, caminos actually save me money.

Probably seems a weird reason to many, but I'm trying to illustrate that the reasons are inconsequential, particularly if you are having to explain to others why you walk.
 

Dilbin

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Irun to Santander del Norte
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share
If you are fortunate enough some morning to be high above San Sebastian as the sun rises then you will know why you are there.
 

The Kolbist

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
past: Frances, inland Portuguese, Fatima
future: Del Norte, coastal Porugues, Englis
i'm gonna go on a totally different route here. Anybody who asks me about doing the Camino, I told them that the first thing to do is to ask themselves "why are you doing the camino?" you must have a reason. Whether you are searching for a reason when you get to the Camino or to honor someone, for a charity or some sort of a retreat. I believe it is very important to answer the most fundamental purpose of your camino even if the definitive answer is not very clear to you at the moment but at least you have the desire to seek an answer of the "Why?".
 
D

Deleted member 73892

Guest
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
Hi bordatoue
I think the majority of replies from experienced pilgrims will be pretty much on the lines of 'go for it', and that you will find/realise the purpose or purposes and your motivation at some surprising and remarkable point along the way. So many wonderful things happen, and even the bad things that befall us, occassionally, turn out to have meaning.
 

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)
No one walks the Camino for no reason.
you must have a reason.
Respectfully disputing these categorical statements.
Sure there are, and no you don't.

There are plenty of people who walk multiple caminos without a clear purpose.

If you're unclear about why you're called to walk but there's a reason outside of conscious awareness, the camino will likely reveal it. But that doesn't happen to everyone. At least not right away.
Later, maybe.
Go without an agenda...and see what happens~
Buen (reasonless) camino!
 

ShaneyBoy265

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino De Santiago Francés - May 15 2020
Camino Portugues- September/October 2020
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
You will find out why on route to Santiago! I’m doing it in May and will find what i am looking for along with many other Pilgrims I’m sure.

Buen Camino for April! 🙏🏼
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
One frequent piece of advice you will see on these forums is to shed your expectations when embarking on a Camino. It seems to me that walking without a clear objective is fully in line with that advice. It is a thin line between walking for a specific purpose and expecting to achieve that purpose. The Camino doesn't always give us what we are looking for when we set out. By embarking without a clear purpose, perhaps you are making yourself more open to what the Camino will actually offer.
 

jmaltais

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2020)
I was in northern Spain, (mostly Galicia) 20 years ago and I was so touched by the region that I knew I would need to come back. It is to see this country again and feel its earth under my feet. I am going in September and don't need a compostela but will begin with a Camino from Leon to O Cebreiro. I suspect it will be the first rather than the only.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
I walked the Frances in stages over 2 years. I still don't know WHY I was compelled to do so. To keep returning until I 'finished' (haha, the Camino is never over!).

I thought the reason would become glaringly clear and obvious. It didnt't.

But I discovered I did enjoy (mostly) the walking from one place to another, and just being there, doing something I never thought I'd do, and having the time and space to just BE. Spending time in peace and quiet, listening to the wind soughing in the trees, watching it make patterns of fields of green wheat, hearing birds sing, watching clouds whisper across the sky.

To be totally in the NOW, without external pressures, stress melted away, I felt like ME again. I needed that.

I've since walked the Kumano Kodo in Japan (a real challenge) and the Portuguese camino from Valenca (which was a very strange experience due to several unexpected events happening back at home which I didn't know how to process/deal with at the time. And it took me months afterwards, but that is a different and personal story.)

But there is something about walking which is so cleansing, relaxing, calming. Something about the slow routine of sleep, walk eat, that is healing, calming.

Do you really need a reason to walk the Camino?

EDIT: I'm going back to Spain in mid-March to join a friend for a few days from Estella to Belorado. And apart from spending time with my friend (and we can chat on whatsapp) I don't really know why I'm going when I could go anywhere else in Europe for a few days, sight see in some new city, revisit an old favourite city, hell, I could even go skiing, or I could sit at home by the fire and catch up on netflix box sets. But no, I am going to cart a backpack for 20+km a day, sleep in a horrid little sack, wear heavy boots, probably get really cold and wet, trudge up hills, ..... and wonder WHY THE HELL AM I HERE?
Can someone tell me??? Please!
You know the answer already! 😉 See your paragraph 4 - "To be totally in the NOW, without external pressures, stress melted away, I felt like ME again. I needed that."
Buen Camino!
 

4 Eyes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
Only you can answer that, @C clearly ....
;)😇

But here's my take...
Being is resting back in the here and now.
Becoming is leaning out of that into an imagined and unknowable future.
Some people plan every last thing, even in the middle of actually doing it. That's becoming.
Is one old or is one becoming old?
 

4 Eyes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
No reason. Before my first people asked me why. I gave a non responsive true answer: because I have always wanted to. Subsequent times people asked. I gave a meaningless true answer: because I am addicted.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
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
I went because it sounded fun. I'm not religious or had any thing I was looking for answers. But I found what I didn't know I was searching for.
There lies the answer. Just accept the call on you from the Camino.
The Camino will give you what you need; not neccessarily what you want.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Porto to Santiago (2013); Seville to Salamanca (2014); Granada to Salamanca (2015)
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
I've done six now and still haven't got a "reason". Nor do I feel the need for one. I do them for sheer pleasure. I'm a lazy hedonist. I love the walking in lonely countryside, the occasional stops for cafe con leche, the beers after a long trek, the occasional good company along the way. But mostly the walking. It's a kind of purposeful aimlessness. Purposeful in that every day gives you a place to aim for, aimless in that it doesn't really matter whether you get there or not. It's the going that matters. If there is a reason for you to do it, then it will probably reveal itself to you along the way. Actively looking for a reason, I imagine, would be like grasping a handful of smoke. Just enjoy the walk. It's magical. Buen Camino!
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
As a leaner to the religious /spiritual side, I don't believe we're privy to the master plan. I do believe NOTHING is random. You are called to go. So was I. And I went, with absolutely no idea why I was going. And I wasn't exactly happy walking my first walk, faced many challenges, met many very difficult people and situations. In the final few days I was inventing swears because I was so frustrated and could not find any reason for having completed 6 weeks of torment. I returned home feeling rather broken and somehow betrayed because I think I had expectations for something big for myself. I couldn't make peace with why that camino had called me, why I went, and why I felt lost/neglected, even foolish.....
....and then it occurred to me....
I had, in my small way contributed to those I had met along the way...I fixed hundreds ( literally ) of blisters, debried ulcers, pulled a tooth, massaged legs, handed out simple meds, removed a bee from an eye, listened to stories of grief & loss & guilt & pain...I am licensed as both a registered nurse and mental health therapist and I carried both supplies and skills well beyond what I would have ever needed ( again, compelled to over pack these things ) ...I found peace in believing that my first camino wasn't mine at all. I was simply meant to be there ...to assist those who were struggling while walking their camino... Their stories will stay with me forever.
I've returned 5 times since and am planning my seventh camino for this July. Everyone you meet is a blessing or a lesson...and so you shall be to someone else.
The reason will come to you in time.
Buen Camino...Walk with joy
 

Rako

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 2018
I didn't know why I was on the camino either. I'd tell people who asked: "Because I decided to". I did not have any religious, athletic, adventure, romantic or other intention. However, in retrospect, I discovered "Camino Magic".
 

Rover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Fall 2016
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
Make up your mind, friend! If you want to walk the Camino but don't know why . . . then bag it and move on to another project. Frankly, you're all over the map . . . decide what you want and either do it or move on to another project.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Frances from Saria
2018 Finnisterre & Ingles
2019 Portuguese from Valenca
2020 Assisi(cancel.)
Hello,
I'm planning to do my first Camino this April 09 starting from SJDP; I really don't know why I'm doing this .
I don't think I have prepared for the Camino mentally; Currently I see my Camino going to be a long walks for few weeks than a pilgrimage.
I'm not a religious person, hence wondering if I could prepare mentally and spiritually for the Camino in some other way?. I'm used to doing endurance activities, however I don't see Camino as a challenging event. I do have the sincere desire to do Camino but I have no clarity on why I'm doing the Camino. If anyone else has come across this situation pls share your thoughts.
No reason is a great reason to go. You’ll find purpose and meet yourself, and you may be surprised at the person you meet.
 

aussie62

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
planning to walk 2017
As a leaner to the religious /spiritual side, I don't believe we're privy to the master plan. I do believe NOTHING is random. You are called to go. So was I. And I went, with absolutely no idea why I was going. And I wasn't exactly happy walking my first walk, faced many challenges, met many very difficult people and situations. In the final few days I was inventing swears because I was so frustrated and could not find any reason for having completed 6 weeks of torment. I returned home feeling rather broken and somehow betrayed because I think I had expectations for something big for myself. I couldn't make peace with why that camino had called me, why I went, and why I felt lost/neglected, even foolish.....
....and then it occurred to me....
I had, in my small way contributed to those I had met along the way...I fixed hundreds ( literally ) of blisters, debried ulcers, pulled a tooth, massaged legs, handed out simple meds, removed a bee from an eye, listened to stories of grief & loss & guilt & pain...I am licensed as both a registered nurse and mental health therapist and I carried both supplies and skills well beyond what I would have ever needed ( again, compelled to over pack these things ) ...I found peace in believing that my first camino wasn't mine at all. I was simply meant to be there ...to assist those who were struggling while walking their camino... Their stories will stay with me forever.
I've returned 5 times since and am planning my seventh camino for this July. Everyone you meet is a blessing or a lesson...and so you shall be to someone else.
The reason will come to you in time.
Buen Camino...Walk with joy
i think you under estimated yourself .. there is a time and place ... there called angels
 

agu

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
It's not always black and white.
Then you are already thinking to go, just go for it. I am absolutely sure, then already on the way, you will find out, why you are doing this!
Buen Camino!
 

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