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So why am I addicted to the Camino?

Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
Ok, I've walked a bunch over the last 17 years... let's see... 7 x Frances, 2 x Primitivo, 3 x Norte, 1 x Vdlp... plus 2 x San Salvador. I don't count the Muxia/Fisterre ones. There is always someone who knows more, there is always someone who walks faster, there is always someone who has taken the trip more often than me.

Why do I keep coming back? It's a question I am asked every time. Here are my answers:

1) it's the people - I have said it often here, but it takes a unique individual to walk like 800 km on their vacation. Cool people.

2) the exercise - I lose like 5-10 kilos every time. I come back feeling fit as heck.

3) the Spanish - so friendly and laid back and they love to hear about you how much I love their lifestyle and country.

4) the routine: wake, eat, walk, eat, walk, find a place to stay, meet friends, eat, sleep, repeat. I mean it might seem stressful to the less initiated, but it's so easy compared to Corporate BS or "keeping up with the Jones's"

5) related to "the people", lasting relationships. I have met and am still in contact from like minded friends from literally all over the world.

Why do you keep coming back? Or want to now that you've tried it?
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francais 2017
Camino Norte 2022
Ok, I've walked a bunch over the last 17 years... let's see... 7 x Frances, 2 x Primitivo, 3 x Norte, 1 x Vdlp... plus 2 x San Salvador. I don't count the Muxia/Fisterre ones. There is always someone who knows more, there is always someone who walks faster, there is always someone who has taken the trip more often than me.

Why do I keep coming back? It's a question I am asked every time. Here are my answers:

1) it's the people - I have said it often here, but it takes a unique individual to walk like 800 km on their vacation. Cool people.

2) the exercise - I lose like 5-10 kilos every time. I come back feeling fit as heck.

3) the Spanish - so friendly and laid back and they love to hear about you how much I love their lifestyle and country.

4) the routine: wake, eat, walk, eat, walk, find a place to stay, meet friends, eat, sleep, repeat. I mean it might seem stressful to the less initiated, but it's so easy compared to Corporate BS or "keeping up with the Jones's"

5) related to "the people", lasting relationships. I have met and am still in contact from like minded friends from literally all over the world.

Why do you keep coming back? Or want to now that you've tried it?
I was asked once "what was the best thing you experienced on the Camino". My best (3 Caminos so far) is the first step I take in the morning to greet the day and be open to the path.
 

Chris Day

Hesed Walker
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances-14/15/16 Part-17/18/19/20
VdlP/Sanab/Finist 16
Port/Ingles 17
Norte 18 Le Puy&Prim 19
I met someone who walked every year for a few weeks and referred to the Camino as a “reset” - an opportunity to step away from a hectic life, and to appreciate simple things.
Well said Auburnfive and others above.
I once heard it similarly expressed in a way that I liked and that personally resonated with me as “…. the discovery of the divine grace gift of simple things”.
I’ve walked a similar selection of Caminos to Damien over the past nine years and - for me - each one is like a “peeling away” of the layers of an onion, discovering something possibly closer to a “core” perhaps of what pilgrimage is. I started as a walker in 2014 and had been repeatedly drawn back to explore more of what Camino Pilgrimage might be. It has changed me.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Ok, I've walked a bunch over the last 17 years... let's see... 7 x Frances, 2 x Primitivo, 3 x Norte, 1 x Vdlp... plus 2 x San Salvador. I don't count the Muxia/Fisterre ones. There is always someone who knows more, there is always someone who walks faster, there is always someone who has taken the trip more often than me.

Why do I keep coming back? It's a question I am asked every time. Here are my answers:

1) it's the people - I have said it often here, but it takes a unique individual to walk like 800 km on their vacation. Cool people.

2) the exercise - I lose like 5-10 kilos every time. I come back feeling fit as heck.

3) the Spanish - so friendly and laid back and they love to hear about you how much I love their lifestyle and country.

4) the routine: wake, eat, walk, eat, walk, find a place to stay, meet friends, eat, sleep, repeat. I mean it might seem stressful to the less initiated, but it's so easy compared to Corporate BS or "keeping up with the Jones's"

5) related to "the people", lasting relationships. I have met and am still in contact from like minded friends from literally all over the world.

Why do you keep coming back? Or want to now that you've tried it?
The Camino is home. It is simple.
Loving the warmth of local people you meet on the way you are doing yourself a disservice by not walking and meeting the wonderful people of Portugal.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
I can only speak for me in this, so;

1) It is a change of scenery, and, as you are walking, the scenery only changes at a reasonable pace.

2) It is a change of lifestyle, schedule, just about everything that your life contains, at home, is turned on its ear.

3) People, people, people...with plenty of solace in between.

4) FOOD!!! Just about everything available is different from home. This is also a good thing.

5) We just do not have churches / cathedrals at home like they have on just about all the Caminos.

This is my initial list.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Because..

The beer never tastes better than after a 30k day.

The bed is never softer than on a rest day

The friends are never more friendly than when they are as sore as you are

The rain --- well nothing good here but it seems easier to take

The routine - sleep, eat, walk, cafe, walk, eat, cafe, cafe, walk, eat sleep repeat

The knowledge that for all your expertise in what you do you only have to listen to your feet

The joy of looking down and NOT seeing any blisters

The realization that you can walk away from the world for just a bit without doing harm
 
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norfolk-keith

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I've ben walking the Camino since 2015 and I had planned to walk this year but unfortunately I'm waiting on surgery for my shoulder and elbow from an accident sustained from my last Camino but I am definitely walking it again next year all the way to Finisterre.
Why do we do it again and again even after even after so much pain and discomfort. For me it's quite simple, I love the freedom of leaving home and arriving in SJPP and straight into the Camino the following morning. Where can you walk out every day and meet and chat to pilgrims from all over the world and share our lives, we all have the same thing in common regardless of why we are there the fact is we are there and we all experience the same conditions, weather, pain and laughter, you could never find so much on a 2 week holiday at the beach why wouldn't you want to enjoy that again and again.
Buen Camino Keith from Norfolk
 

Fr Scott

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Starting El Camino Norte in Irun June 3, 2015
Ok, I've walked a bunch over the last 17 years... let's see... 7 x Frances, 2 x Primitivo, 3 x Norte, 1 x Vdlp... plus 2 x San Salvador. I don't count the Muxia/Fisterre ones. There is always someone who knows more, there is always someone who walks faster, there is always someone who has taken the trip more often than me.

Why do I keep coming back? It's a question I am asked every time. Here are my answers:

1) it's the people - I have said it often here, but it takes a unique individual to walk like 800 km on their vacation. Cool people.

2) the exercise - I lose like 5-10 kilos every time. I come back feeling fit as heck.

3) the Spanish - so friendly and laid back and they love to hear about you how much I love their lifestyle and country.

4) the routine: wake, eat, walk, eat, walk, find a place to stay, meet friends, eat, sleep, repeat. I mean it might seem stressful to the less initiated, but it's so easy compared to Corporate BS or "keeping up with the Jones's"

5) related to "the people", lasting relationships. I have met and am still in contact from like minded friends from literally all over the world.

Why do you keep coming back? Or want to now that you've tried it?
I can eat as much chocolate as I want and not worry about gaining weight. 😊
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
There are some great videos including drone footage, Efron Gonzales has a whole series, and I'm seen a few others on this forum as well - there was a good one by a young guy who went with an older friend.
Most of them offer a mix of speaking direct to camera, wider drone footage and other shots. None of them breach privacy that I'm aware of, I'm sure they could offer advice.
Here's one Efron made of the Norte which is enhanced by his drone footage.

Chrissy for those of us who have the luxury of choosing when we can walk, I think any time between Late May and mid October is now pretty unthinkable. At least for my heat tolerance for walking under halfway pleasant conditions. As I said in another post, I only think things are going to get worse.

4) the routine: wake, eat, walk, eat, walk, find a place to stay, meet friends, eat, sleep, repeat. I mean it might seem stressful to the less initiated, but it's so easy compared to Corporate BS or "keeping up with the Jones's"
I have been walking since 2011 and I make a point to wash my clothes and take a shower at least once a day. I won't be walking down wind from you!!!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
The Camino is home. It is simple.
Loving the warmth of local people you meet on the way you are doing yourself a disservice by not walking and meeting the wonderful people of Portugal.
Yah. I'm obviously a creature of habit. When having a convo with experienced pilgrims, they have almost always done the Portuguese, and I always say... yah, I've never tried it.

Mostly fear I guess. I know Spain. I mostly sorta can speak the language and know the routine. So the thought of another country is scary, a little, or I am lazy.

Yes. It's in the future for sure... ok now that I said it... ok.
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Yah. I'm obviously a creature of habit. When having a convo with experienced pilgrims, they have almost always done the Portuguese, and I always say... yah, I've never tried it.

Mostly fear I guess. I know Spain. I mostly sorta can speak the language and know the routine. So the thought of another country is scary, a little, or I am lazy.

Yes. It's in the future for sure... ok now that I said it... ok.
Hey, when you reach my spry age of 78, why not get trained to volunteer as a hospitalero. That's what I am doing for my Camino fix.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
CF (2021), planned VdlP (Spring 2023)
My favorite times on the CF were walking mid- to late afternoon, weary but in total walking rhythm. Most other pilgrims have stopped for the day, and the pressing thoughts and prayers for that day have already been processed. You're just an empty vessel - open to the world around you and to yourself. In those moments, I felt uniquely alive and present.
 

Dave2525

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2014
I guess I’ll be the contrarian. I have done the CF and I feel no need to do it again or any other for that matter.

Never say never but there are too many places I haven’t been to for the first time. New friends to make, new cultures to experience, new foods to try, etc.

Perhaps when I’ve visited all the places still left unexplored I’ll change my mind.

till then… Buen camino
 

sharonmonty

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese 2022
Ok, I've walked a bunch over the last 17 years... let's see... 7 x Frances, 2 x Primitivo, 3 x Norte, 1 x Vdlp... plus 2 x San Salvador. I don't count the Muxia/Fisterre ones. There is always someone who knows more, there is always someone who walks faster, there is always someone who has taken the trip more often than me.

Why do I keep coming back? It's a question I am asked every time. Here are my answers:

1) it's the people - I have said it often here, but it takes a unique individual to walk like 800 km on their vacation. Cool people.

2) the exercise - I lose like 5-10 kilos every time. I come back feeling fit as heck.

3) the Spanish - so friendly and laid back and they love to hear about you how much I love their lifestyle and country.

4) the routine: wake, eat, walk, eat, walk, find a place to stay, meet friends, eat, sleep, repeat. I mean it might seem stressful to the less initiated, but it's so easy compared to Corporate BS or "keeping up with the Jones's"

5) related to "the people", lasting relationships. I have met and am still in contact from like minded friends from literally all over the world.

Why do you keep coming back? Or want to now that you've tried it?
I’ve only done my first this year from Valenca. Can’t stay off the forum. Have just bought a Brierley CF guide book, this morning I went back over all my walking maps of my trip. I’m obsessed. I have enjoyed everything about it from the prep to this forum to views about poles and bags. The Way was as good as I expected but I need more and I want to do on my own this time.
 
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TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
I’ve only done my first this year from Valenca. Can’t stay off the forum. Have just bought a Brierley CF guide book, this morning I went back over all my walking maps of my trip. I’m obsessed. I have enjoyed everything about it from the prep to this forum to views about poles and bags. The Way was as good as I expected but I need more and I want to do on my own this time.
I like it (though not addicted) for a number of reasons when compared to other treks, walks. Important to know I speak as European based, averagely fit middle age person! Mine are more practical than spiritual!

It’s accessible is the key one along a number of dimensions. It’s pretty cheap, with relatively little up front cost and investment and the daily costs are low. It’s relatively easy! Bits of up and downs but no altitude issues, and very doable by the vast majority of people. An important one for me is that very little preparation is required. I literally decided to do it a couple of days priors, booked a bus, bought a small rucksack and shirts and shorts and off I went. Great food and wine.. whilst I am walking it feels like a gastronomic tour too. Chance to switch off and relax!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Yah. I'm obviously a creature of habit. When having a convo with experienced pilgrims, they have almost always done the Portuguese, and I always say... yah, I've never tried it.

Mostly fear I guess. I know Spain. I mostly sorta can speak the language and know the routine. So the thought of another country is scary, a little, or I am lazy.

Yes. It's in the future for sure... ok now that I said it... ok.
Have no fear about the language. Far more people speak English in Portugal than in Spain in my observation. Even when people can't speak English their warmth and generosity way more than make up for it.
3 quick stories to give you confidence. (Very abbreviated versions)
1. My friend and I could not find a cafe. A man who had to be at the youngest in his eighties and did speak some English was sitting in front of his home and insisted he take us to the cafe. He took my arm and we slowly walked. We got to a really steep hill and I said please no and he again insisted. We walked up that steep hill and smiling he pointed to the cafe. He refused our offer for a pastel and a coffee.
2 Went to a truck stop in some village that had no pilgrim services. It was crowded and full of truckers.
A man sat down and said he was the mayor and asked if we were experienced pilgrims. I said I was.
We talked for a long time about what the town could do to make it a stop for pilgrims. Most of the truckers listened and translated to each other. After about 20 minutes the owner brought my friend and I a great homemade lunch he prepared himself. When we were done the mayor thanked us a hundred times and the owner refused our money.
One day I took a wrong turn and went down a very long and very steep hill. I got to a road and I was am sure I had a look of confusion as I realized I had made a huge mistake. A taxi driver pulled up and asked me if I was ok. I told him what happened. About a minute later two ladies were driving by and he flagged them down. They talked about where the best place to get back on the camino was (I assume as it was all in Portugues language). It was starting to rain and the driver literally took my pack off and put it in his cab and insisted that he drive me about a kilometer away so I could get back on the Camino. He said it was too dangerous with those rocks to walk back up. Of course he refused any money I offered him.
I am sure you will have memorable experiences also!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Ok, I've walked a bunch over the last 17 years... let's see... 7 x Frances, 2 x Primitivo, 3 x Norte, 1 x Vdlp... plus 2 x San Salvador. I don't count the Muxia/Fisterre ones. There is always someone who knows more, there is always someone who walks faster, there is always someone who has taken the trip more often than me.

Why do I keep coming back? It's a question I am asked every time. Here are my answers:

1) it's the people - I have said it often here, but it takes a unique individual to walk like 800 km on their vacation. Cool people.

2) the exercise - I lose like 5-10 kilos every time. I come back feeling fit as heck.

3) the Spanish - so friendly and laid back and they love to hear about you how much I love their lifestyle and country.

4) the routine: wake, eat, walk, eat, walk, find a place to stay, meet friends, eat, sleep, repeat. I mean it might seem stressful to the less initiated, but it's so easy compared to Corporate BS or "keeping up with the Jones's"

5) related to "the people", lasting relationships. I have met and am still in contact from like minded friends from literally all over the world.

Why do you keep coming back? Or want to now that you've tried it?
You've accomplished a great deal Damien. Your numbers 2, 3, and 4 resonate. Especially # 3 which may explain why I have travelled to Spain more than any other country beginning in 1970 and continuing to this day. My journal keeping on the Camino recounted each day as it unfolded, but also reminiscences from the dozens of previous adventures in this beautiful country. Happy to learn you feel similarly.
 
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Adelina

Adelina
Time of past OR future Camino
'18 Astor-Stgo '19 St Jean-Carrion '22 Porto-Stgo
As a woman who loves backpacking, but afraid to do it alone, I love:
-walking safely on my own from village to village
-the independence knowing I can carry everything I need on my back
-walking and observing the beauty around me - both natural and human-made
-seeing people once or time and again
-the affordability of it!

The more I do it, the more grateful I am for my feet that get me to incredible places!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
As a woman who loves backpacking, but afraid to do it alone, I love:
-walking safely on my own from village to village
-the independence knowing I can carry everything I need on my back
-walking and observing the beauty around me - both natural and human-made
-seeing people once or time and again
-the affordability of it!

The more I do it, the more grateful I am for my feet that get me to incredible places!
Beautifully expressed, Adelina.
 

Canche

Volcano Climber
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte/Frances 2016, San Salvador & Primitivo 2021
Ok, I've walked a bunch over the last 17 years... let's see... 7 x Frances, 2 x Primitivo, 3 x Norte, 1 x Vdlp... plus 2 x San Salvador. I don't count the Muxia/Fisterre ones. There is always someone who knows more, there is always someone who walks faster, there is always someone who has taken the trip more often than me.

Why do I keep coming back? It's a question I am asked every time. Here are my answers:

1) it's the people - I have said it often here, but it takes a unique individual to walk like 800 km on their vacation. Cool people.

2) the exercise - I lose like 5-10 kilos every time. I come back feeling fit as heck.

3) the Spanish - so friendly and laid back and they love to hear about you how much I love their lifestyle and country.

4) the routine: wake, eat, walk, eat, walk, find a place to stay, meet friends, eat, sleep, repeat. I mean it might seem stressful to the less initiated, but it's so easy compared to Corporate BS or "keeping up with the Jones's"

5) related to "the people", lasting relationships. I have met and am still in contact from like minded friends from literally all over the world.

Why do you keep coming back? Or want to now that you've tried it?
I kept coming back ,but #2 doesn't work for me. I always gain weight on the Camino. It sucks. :)
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I posted these words of mine about a year ago, and they still hold true for me...
"Why do pilgrims carry on"...
"I keep going because I love walking each step and seeing the landscape and ancient villages unfold slowly before me...on a hill it slowly becomes larger as I approach, and after I leave, turning around I see it diminish in the distance, which is very satisfying.
Being in another land makes me feel like an adventurer and capable of persevering through some hardships. In a nutshell, it makes me still feel young...although I am not young!" 😊


Another reason why I've walked different Caminos five times ...
I walk the Camino for the "safe" adventure that it is, and because I can. I enjoy meeting people from different countries and cultures, the beautiful architecture of ancient cathedrals, the food and terrain.
Do I consider myself a pilgrim? Not really. Although religious, I am not Catholic, but I absolutely love the many churches along the way; they make me feel humbled, safe, and awed inspired.🙂
 
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Roland49

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
I am very sorry to hear about the heart attack! Hope you are recovering
Thanks for your kind words.
Yeah, nothing is like before. It was good to see, that the rescue-chain was working to perfection, it was 10mins. to cardiac arrest for me. I'm glad to be alive.
But I had a rehab and I am training for the CP in fall. Short steps and short stages for me this time ;) .

Buen Camino or better: Bom Caminho :)
Roland
 

Sus1

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019 Camino Frances SJPDP to Burgos
Well said Auburnfive and others above.
I once heard it similarly expressed in a way that I liked and that personally resonated with me as “…. the discovery of the divine grace gift of simple things”.
I’ve walked a similar selection of Caminos to Damien over the past nine years and - for me - each one is like a “peeling away” of the layers of an onion, discovering something possibly closer to a “core” perhaps of what pilgrimage is. I started as a walker in 2014 and had been repeatedly drawn back to explore more of what Camino Pilgrimage might be. It has changed me.
Interesting perspective about the peeling of the layers of an onion, I like that. My thought about the camino is that it is like gradually unravelling a knot - it allows you to untangle the mess of ordinary life and allows you to reflect & prioritise on what is important
 
Time of past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
Thanks for your kind words.
Yeah, nothing is like before. It was good to see, that the rescue-chain was working to perfection, it was 10mins. to cardiac arrest for me. I'm glad to be alive.
But I had a rehab and I am training for the CP in fall. Short steps and short stages for me this time ;) .

Buen Camino or better: Bom Caminho :)
Roland
Roland, just really seeing this about your health. I wish you the best for your recovery and your next camino.
 
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