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My pilgrimage in a word: extraordinary! Yours?

Time of past OR future Camino
Camino de Frances April 2022
I walked the Camino Frances from SJPDP to Santiago, April 11 to May 15 of 2022. So that I could fully live in the moment, prior to leaving I shut off all email and social media, and only recently I have returned to this forum to encourage and engage my fellow pilgrims. In all of life’s dimensions—spiritual, emotional, intellectual, creative, social, and physical—it was extraordinary. Joy, pain, laughter, discomfort, exhilaration, sadness, and delight. The journey’s experiences will feed my soul to the end of my days on this earth. For me it was a once in a life time journey. I will be sharing a few of my stories and some thoughts on albergues and equipment in future posts. I do not plan to return. Would love to hear the thoughts of others who have finished and reflected.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
2021 - Serenity (after dealing with COVID as a nurse and the COVID guru for my work for over a year - I needed Serenity and that is what I got). It was a summer of recovery for me.

2022 - Amazing

2023 - (To be determined)
 
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
My one word would definitely be 'Transformative'. The Camino changed me, for the better. I even caught the moment it all hit home on video at Cruz de Ferro. One minute I was just happily walking along the trail, the next I could not stop crying for hours. Happily I can honestly say that that day, and that transformation has stuck with me since coming home. If you would like to see the video click the link below.
 
Prepare for your next Camino on California's Santa Catalina Island, Oct 27 to Nov 2
I walked the Camino Frances from SJPDP to Santiago, April 11 to May 15 of 2022. So that I could fully live in the moment, prior to leaving I shut off all email and social media, and only recently I have returned to this forum to encourage and engage my fellow pilgrims. In all of life’s dimensions—spiritual, emotional, intellectual, creative, social, and physical—it was extraordinary. Joy, pain, laughter, discomfort, exhilaration, sadness, and delight. The journey’s experiences will feed my soul to the end of my days on this earth. For me it was a once in a life time journey. I will be sharing a few of my stories and some thoughts on albergues and equipment in future posts. I do not plan to return. Would love to hear the thoughts of others who have finished and reflected.
I did 220 miles in 2001 (kind of afterthought at the end of a year living in Spain anyway -- I was just curious about what it would be like). Did Roncesvalles to Pamplona, then took a sidetrip to San Sebastian for a couple days just because it's close and I've always wondered what that region is like (and for its famous food!), then bus to Leon and walked to Santiago from there. I chose the route based on scenery pics in the guidebooks and how much time I had. I thought it would be just an interesting adventure, but it ended up being truly transformative and it has impacted my life in profound ways since then.

I considered that a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and it took me years even to integrate it all into my life and process it. I don't think it would have had that impact if I'd done it again too soon, or if I'd made it an annual or frequent thing. Instead of pondering it and letting it seep in, I would have immediately started all the Camino planning all over again. I think that would have been a way to allow myself to avoid really letting it all sink in. I don't really understand how all these frequent repeaters do it.

But now I AM planning to do it again, and this time take more time so I'm not rushed. Last time, I had to be back home in Madrid to meet a friend who was coming to visit and travel. So this Camino is actually going to be much longer than the other one. Even though I never expected to be doing this again, I am in the midst of several major transitions and have a lot of processing and pondering to do. The Camino was calling. So off I go again. The same might happen to you, but I truly get that thought that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Don't rush to do it again. Let it sink in and transform you first.
 
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Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
LIFESAVING
It did not save MY life but I (might possibly have) saved a man's life on my last day walk into
Santiago de Compostela. (It was a very close call, so if i had not intervened he perhaps would have lived anyway. Who's to know.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I wish that I could do WITHOUT connections to Internet and emails but Family considerations with a 99 year old aunt who is not altogether with it makes all necessary. If necessary, I can redo the hiking. I need reflection and contemplations at my crusty old age. :rolleyes:
 
I walked the Camino Frances from SJPDP to Santiago, April 11 to May 15 of 2022. So that I could fully live in the moment, prior to leaving I shut off all email and social media, and only recently I have returned to this forum to encourage and engage my fellow pilgrims. In all of life’s dimensions—spiritual, emotional, intellectual, creative, social, and physical—it was extraordinary. Joy, pain, laughter, discomfort, exhilaration, sadness, and delight. The journey’s experiences will feed my soul to the end of my days on this earth. For me it was a once in a life time journey. I will be sharing a few of my stories and some thoughts on albergues and equipment in future posts. I do not plan to return. Would love to hear the thoughts of others who have finished and reflected.
For me the one word would be "ineffable".

I never have understood the sentiment that the experience is so wonderful it should never be returned to. When you hear beautiful music are you determined never to hear it again? When you eat wonderful food are you determined never to taste the dish again? Why ensure it is once in a lifetime experience if it was a good one?

After reflection, I decided I wanted to return. I wasn't sorry for the decision.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
For me the one word would be "ineffable".

I never have understood the sentiment that the experience is so wonderful it should never be returned to. When you hear beautiful music are you determined never to hear it again? When you eat wonderful food are you determined never to taste the dish again? Why ensure it is once in a lifetime experience if it was a good one?

After reflection, I decided I wanted to return. I wasn't sorry for the decision.
For me, I just assumed that it was going to be unlikely I'd ever have the opportunity again, at least until retirement, which was a long way off. It takes a significant amount of time and money to do it, and I understood it to be a unique opportunity I wouldn't have again. But I think on a spiritual and psychological side, one could say that not doing it again is one of the ways to integrate the Camino into your life. During the Camino, I was sometimes wishing I could stay in a town for a while, but you have to keep going. Because the albergues kick you out, but also because that's the nature of the Camino. To me, it's totally plausible that someone takes that as a primary lesson learned from the Camino (that you can't linger or cling to experiences -- you have to savor and enjoy them, and then let them go) and decides not to do it again as a way of living that. I also think there's something to be said for people who've already had the experience to not repeat it (at least often) so that others can have the experience -- without the amount of traffic/crowds on the Camino getting too heavy. And a couple people I've met have sworn off all air travel, just as a personal commitment to not accelerating climate change. I think someone could leave the Camino with a heightened appreciation for nature and feel moved to make that decision, too. I do find myself these days, as I contemplate my own upcoming flight to do the Camino again, a little uncomfortable about all the thousands of flights that the pilgrims will be making to get there. (Mind you, I'm still doing it. But I can see someone deciding they won't just to live a lighter footprint on the world.)
 
And a couple people I've met have sworn off all air travel, just as a personal commitment to not accelerating climate change. I think someone could leave the Camino with a heightened appreciation for nature and feel moved to make that decision, too. I do find myself these days, as I contemplate my own upcoming flight to do the Camino again, a little uncomfortable about all the thousands of flights that the pilgrims will be making to get there. (Mind you, I'm still doing it. But I can see someone deciding they won't just to live a lighter footprint on the world.)
I'm looking into carbon offsets for my next Camino flight. I understand the impact of the offsets are in the future and the impact of the flight is in the present, but I think multiplying the offset may adjust for that somewhat.
 
I walked the Camino Frances from SJPDP to Santiago, April 11 to May 15 of 2022. So that I could fully live in the moment, prior to leaving I shut off all email and social media, and only recently I have returned to this forum to encourage and engage my fellow pilgrims. In all of life’s dimensions—spiritual, emotional, intellectual, creative, social, and physical—it was extraordinary. Joy, pain, laughter, discomfort, exhilaration, sadness, and delight. The journey’s experiences will feed my soul to the end of my days on this earth. For me it was a once in a life time journey. I will be sharing a few of my stories and some thoughts on albergues and equipment in future posts. I do not plan to return. Would love to hear the thoughts of others who have finished and reflected.
Too many adjectives to choose from, and no two experiences are the same. We weren't sure about doing even one, and thought early on everyone who touted the camino had to have a screw or two loose. But when we finished, we felt like you did. 7 caminos later, we discovered that each camino path produces experiences and memories that are priceless...and so unique to each path.

I'm willing to bet that while you say you won't do another, you likely will at some point in the future feel the camino beckon to you. It has a way of doing that...and has never disappointed us.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
For me, I just assumed that it was going to be unlikely I'd ever have the opportunity again, at least until retirement, which was a long way off. It takes a significant amount of time and money to do it, and I understood it to be a unique opportunity I wouldn't have again. But I think on a spiritual and psychological side, one could say that not doing it again is one of the ways to integrate the Camino into your life. During the Camino, I was sometimes wishing I could stay in a town for a while, but you have to keep going. Because the albergues kick you out, but also because that's the nature of the Camino. To me, it's totally plausible that someone takes that as a primary lesson learned from the Camino (that you can't linger or cling to experiences -- you have to savor and enjoy them, and then let them go) and decides not to do it again as a way of living that. I also think there's something to be said for people who've already had the experience to not repeat it (at least often) so that others can have the experience -- without the amount of traffic/crowds on the Camino getting too heavy. And a couple people I've met have sworn off all air travel, just as a personal commitment to not accelerating climate change. I think someone could leave the Camino with a heightened appreciation for nature and feel moved to make that decision, too. I do find myself these days, as I contemplate my own upcoming flight to do the Camino again, a little uncomfortable about all the thousands of flights that the pilgrims will be making to get there. (Mind you, I'm still doing it. But I can see someone deciding they won't just to live a lighter footprint on the world.)
I appreciate your point about not repeating THE Camino...namely the Frances. We have walked many others, with only one, the Portugues, with many peregrinos. There are so many camino paths with low or moderate numbers of peregrinos, providing the opportunity to have the beauty of nature all to oneself while walking, but also the fellowship in an albergue with others who arrive at different times. And the camino that we cherished for a unique experience was the Camino Madrid. That camino was all about being embraced by the villagers as peregrinos were few and far between.
 
Never say never but I also have no plans to return. I had an amazing time but there are far too many places that I have yet to see, new challenges and experiences that are waiting,
For me, walking or biking almost anywhere (other than busy city streets) is a treat. So as much as I enjoyed the Camino, it doesn't "call" me any more than any other place. If I go to Spain again (very likely), I'll surely spend some time on the Camino. But I also "have no plans to return."
 
In the same sense, that journey never left me.
I agree for my first Camino which I did alone. No so much for the others where I walked with so called friends. I really want to do the next one alone, but had just been diagnosed with vertigo so alone is probably not wise. :(
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
Never say never but I also have no plans to return. I had an amazing time but there are far too many places that I have yet to see, new challenges and experiences that are waiting,
My thoughts exactly when I finished my first Camino in 2017. But I was back a year later and every year since except 2020. My Caminos are now the standard by which I measure the spirituality, relevance and pleasure of all other trips. I’ll never complete my “bucket list” or even all the Caminos I desire, but that’s what keeps me coming back.
 

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