Search 58,412 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop

Religious, Spiritual or...Travel?

Initially, I included this question in a "welcome" note to new pilgrims on the Forum.

In doing so, I thought that if I slightly reworded it...I could open it up to the Forum at large.

As many of you know, the Forum is experiencing a record number of "hits" these last few months.

There are many influences as to the "why" pilgrims walk the Way: some religious, spiritual or travel and it's well covered in other threads.

That said, if you are included among any of those broad categories I, and I'm sure others on the Forum, would be interested in how Your Camino changed that original focus. Here are some questions. You can expand them as you will.

If the original reason was religious...did the Camino deepen your belief?

If spiritual...did you feel uplifted and more in touch with yourself, others and/or your surroundings?

If travel, did you get what you expected...or more/less?

Buen Camino,

Arn
 
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little, most of them by the end of 2021. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 2nd Edition. In English, Spanish, German and Korean

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
I like Arn's questions, so I thought I would reply.
The first time I walked, from Pamplona, I had rarely walked more than five miles in my life, and never with a backpack. To this day I don't know what made me decide to do it: it wasn't really any of Arn's categories. It was more a magnet. I still don't know where I first thought of the Camino - was it seeing the festivities on television? Was it reading Michener's Iberia? These are the only two links I can recall. I told everyone I knew that I was going so that I could not back out.
I have always been interested in spirituality - from a theoretical point of view (I majored, and Mastered, in Eastern religions, existentialism, environmental ethics; lots of very useful things), but I had never really practiced a religion except for a short time as a (non-member, though I was the church administrator!) Unitarian Universalist. The Camino brought something out in me; it and I recognised one another in some way, I think, and although I have never had an experience as deep as I had on my first with my subsequent Caminos, that connectiuon has stayed: I like pilgrims and pilgrim thought. So much so that I have moved to Galicia to be close to them and maybe offer something back with my "sanctuary".
That "Camino Feeling" is powerful, and too important to be lost. Going home is hard. Why? Perhaps because we have learned to do without, to let our guard down to strangers, to feel something for old stones and old churches, and shells. Perhaps because in some fundamental and profound way we have changed from the person we once were.
If that qualifies as a "spiritual" conversion, then I accept.
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 

PILGRIMSPLAZA

Active Member
Religious, Spiritual or...Travel? or... just human?

Priscillian said:
Going home is hard. Why?
Perhaps because we feel deep inside that somehow we've reached our final destination?

In pre-christian times it was simply our human urge to go west, where the sun sets, where symbolically life ends; to our final destination, behind the horizon, at the costa da morte…

For new pilgrims: search for Charpentier on this forum.

More on this forum from 2009:
Georgiana's Gems #6 Santiago as guide of souls:
- miscellaneous-topics/topic4662.html#p26044
Georgiana's Gems #9 Iria Flavia (Padr6n):
- santiago-to-finisterre-and-muxia/topic5804.html#p33917

Enjoy!
Geerт
 

JansCamino

New Member
Past OR future Camino
May 7 (2013)
I have not walked yet, but begin my Camino on May 7, 2013 in SJPP.
To answer your question though, here is a thought from my blog: caminodesantiagoblog.com

November 6, 2012

Why? That’s the question I get asked most often when I share my plans. Why would anyone want to walk the Camino? 500 miles in 30+ days; there must be some explanation. Quite honestly, I don’t yet know. I just know I must. I don’t think of myself as religious. I am not doing it for the exercise, and it isn’t a vacation. It is a mission. Perhaps it is because I can’t quite put my finger on the ‘why’ that I am doing it. If I had to come up with a reason at this point, I would wrinkle my forehead and say vaguely, “To regain my faith.” What I mean by faith is still up for grabs, what caused its loss is troubling, and getting it back may not be the point at all. Maybe I need a new perspective on, well, everything. The old rules don’t seem to work anymore. Perhaps this is what I hope to discover. We will see.
 

julie

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
JansCamino said:
Why? That’s the question I get asked most often when I share my plans. Why would anyone want to walk the Camino? 500 miles in 30+ days; there must be some explanation. Quite honestly, I don’t yet know. I just know I must.
This was how I felt when I first set out. In the end I was pleased because it meant I went without expectations. What happened was the most amazing spiritual experience of my life and I realised along the way that I was there to learn a number of difficult lessons and to find the answers to questions I didn't even know were within me.

It was the start of many changes in my life but St James has not finished with me yet and, when I'm ready for the next step, he calls me back.
 
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little, most of them by the end of 2021. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store

robertt

Active Member
Nice pics, louts. That's why I walk too.

Actually, I like to think someone else is in charge of purpose, reason etc, and we just walk. I've reached an age where I don't believe there are any "deep" people. There are just people.

The Camino is for an elite set called "people". And possibly dogs, horses, donkeys.
 

SuziB

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2013
I am booked and ready to do walk the Camino, actually that statement is rubbish! I am booked but who knows what I am ready for? Change? I don't know, but all I do know is that I am doing this to escape my world, my busy days and nights, my continuous ringing cellphone. I need time for quiet, for reflection.... And even truth. Simple days of waking up, finding something to eat, find somewhere to sleep and just walking! That to me is the most appealing aspect of my journey I am about to embark on!
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
SuziB said:
I am booked and ready to do walk the Camino, actually that statement is rubbish! I am booked but who knows what I am ready for? Change? I don't know, but all I do know is that I am doing this to escape my world, my busy days and nights, my continuous ringing cellphone. I need time for quiet, for reflection.... And even truth. Simple days of waking up, finding something to eat, find somewhere to sleep and just walking! That to me is the most appealing aspect of my journey I am about to embark on!
Hola SuziB,
Welcome to the forum. Your plan sounds great, hope ypur camino goes brilliantly.
You might consider "dropping in" and posting in the Members Only Pilgrim Introductions thread so others can get to meet you.
Buen Camino
Colin
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Camino walkers love this gripping, intriguing, mystery with history novel.

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I have NO IDEA what my original (deeper) motivations were in 1993, though the shallower ones were to be with some friends who were going to Santiago, and because I had become rather enamoured of hiking following an intensive weight-loss programme that I made for myself in Paris, and was keen to see what exactly I was capable of on an actual hiking trail.

By the time I reached Santiago, whilst I still did not (and still do not) understand those deeper motivations, I nevertheless felt happy ticking the "cultural", "travel", and "spiritual" boxes on the form as it existed in those days, because something in the back of my mind was telling me those were the honest answers.

In 1994 and since then, I'd say "religious", "spiritual", "cultural", "sport", "travel", and "health".

As to what changed ?

I can't really properly answer the intimacy of that question in such a public forum as this, but I was an agnostic on the Camino in 1993 ; I converted from agnosticism to Christianity on the Camino in 1994 ; and I walked the Camino in 2005 almost immediately after having been Baptised and Confirmed into the Catholic Church.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Priscillian said:
That "Camino Feeling" is powerful, and too important to be lost. Going home is hard. Why?

hmmmm, many pilgrims seem to get themselves as it were "stuck" on the Camino.

The advice that I've always seen to avoid such an occurrence, and it's the advice I always give myself, is that the true destination of the Camino is home, and oneself.

Indeed, until the invention of quick modern public transport routes from the 18th century onwards, 19th and 20th centuries especially, the final physical destination of anyone's Camino was also home, because if you walked there, you often had no choice but to walk back, and the Camino would only end on the day that you caught sight again of Home.

This is the main thing that's so often lost on the modern Camino compared to the Mediaeval.
 

fostersail1

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012), Camino del Norte (2013), Camion Frances (2014)
Suzi,
Welcome. Your thoughts are not far from any pilgrim's upon the Camino. Change is inevitable and the Camino will surely provide a number of paths for you to choose. Have faith, be open and relax along The Way. As JabbaPapa can attest, as well as with my on personal journey, the experience will transform you.
Buen Camino!
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Wrapping up an eighty day Camino trip, I was in the company of short term walkers last night at dinner. When I asked what went through their minds while walking, the majority said that the sheer physicality of walking was all they thought about; the next step, the pain, how hard it was, where to do the next foot plant. They barely felt they had the ability to look up and see the scenery, much less reflect on life or be spiritual. I suspect they were exaggerating, but I believed that they found the walk hard, harder than they imagined. Their goal of discovery was obscured by the physical task. Reflection may clear their fog.
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
Well Falcon in reply to the above post- perhaps nothing is achieved sooo much in the short term... I am sure YOU can attest to that ..

Annie
 
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

PILGRIMSPLAZA

Active Member
falcon269 said:
Wrapping up an eighty day Camino trip, I was in the company of short term walkers last night at dinner. When I asked what went through their minds while walking, the majority said that the sheer physicality of walking was all they thought about; the next step, the pain, how hard it was, where to do the next foot plant. They barely felt they had the ability to look up and see the scenery, much less reflect on life or be spiritual. I suspect they were exaggerating, but I believed that they found the walk hard, harder than they imagined. Their goal of discovery was obscured by the physical task. Reflection may clear their fog.
Hi Falcon, your report here nicely supports what was said in the Pagan takeover thread on the missing link between gravity and pilgrims. [ miscellaneous-topics/topic19101-100.html#p143138 ]

Could it be that gravity is meant to be our reminder that we can ignore many other factors by for instance blocking out the sun with hats and glasses, but that -at the end of the day- there is one power issue to humble us. This feeds the thought that religion is the best way for understanding.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
So far, I've walked four times, each year a longer walk, and so this year's was nearly five weeks. In the beginning, it was a curiosity (both about locale and about my physical capabilities), a looking for adventure, and some quiet calling that had been with me for the year since I first learned of the modern Camino.

Since that time, I have come to realize that for me, spiritual growth comes from spiritual vulnerability, and spiritual vulnerability comes from physical vulnerability. When one is walking alone for days and weeks on end in Central Europe, either not speaking the language at all (Czech Republic) or understanding only a little (Germany), that sense of physical vulnerability really sinks in. I am a professional person who revels in responsibility (if not control) - these pilgrimage experiences are the only times in my life when I am able to set that mantle aside and be vulnerable.

Since my return home this year, I seem to be on a fifth pilgrimage. My partner of many years suffered a stroke the day after my return. All those walks have prepared me somewhat for the "one day at a time", "you are not in control here", "no one knows the destination", "just keep going" aspects of this new journey. And once again I find that spiritual growth comes from spiritual vulnerability, and spiritual vulnerability comes from physical vulnerability. Amazing!
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
Kitsambler I totally understand what you are saying....

Best wishes for this new journey with your partner... as you say.... one day at a time... dealing with one obstcale at a time

Best wishes
Annie
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
I think the ones who head out for spiritual reasons are missing what goes on with many of the "tourists". In the end, they can't help but find some spiritual element of the trip. Making the pious ever pious is no miracle, but opening the others minds to the wonder of this ancient trip is.
 
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery

waveprof

Enthusiast
Past OR future Camino
May-June 2013, Camino Frances
Religious, spiritual, or travel?

Yes, yes, and yes.

In some way shape or form, I think most successful caminos embrace all three (regardless of whether or not you are actually religious).
 

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 101 ratings
Downloads
15,224
Updated
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Downloads
7,894
Updated
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
Downloads
7,698
Updated

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

Top