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Tying to understand my addiction to the camino


New Member
Hello, This is my first time in the forum. I've travelled the CF every summer for the last 5 years. 3 of those visits I travelled the entire route. Last year I thought I was done with the camino. Now, as summer approaches, I find myself thinking about it more and more. I am actually considering returning yet again. Can anyone relate to this?
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2006)
Last May 2006 I finished my Camino from SJPP to Santiago. During the walk I was decided that it will be my first and last time to walk the Camino Frances, and I believed that a significant number of the people crowding the CF were repeat pilgrims. I was willing to make the sacrifice of not walking it again so that new pilgrims will not encounter so much crowding. I was thinking "Let's leave the path to those who have not had the chance to experience it the way we did". Then again our experiences are different anyway.

Don't get me wrong, given the chance, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I'd feel a little guilty though.



I have just done a short stretch, for the first time - and yes, there is something undoubtedly unique about the experience. The specifically spiritual aspect of the journey - whether one has faith or not, separates it from other hikes, other journeys sharing the road, accomodation and companionship with others. It gives us permission to explicitly incorporate in the journey a search for something within ourselves, and (if one wants) to share that with others.

That is not always the easiest thing to undertake in any other circumstance, and I am reminded of Steinbeck's 'Cannery Row' - when the character Doc, finds that if you don't want to raise suspicions when doing something outside of mainstream experience, then it is easiest to come up with a facile motive. He ends up telling people that he is walking across the country not from the wish to experience it intimately, but because he has been bet $100. Instead of suspicion and hostility, he is then greeted with help and goodwill.

Perhaps with the mainstream marketing of New Age spiritual quests, there is not such a sense of discomfort about such motives now (but I can't imagine anything more toe-curling than having my chakras fiddled with by some failed middle manager). But undoubtedly, the Camino is a perceived legitimate reason to shed the trappings of our lives, and to embark on a spiritual journey, as well as a demanding physical one. Combined with the experience itself, that is a very powerful draw.

I walked the Camino Frances last year and now I'm planning to walk the Camino Portugues. I know it will be different - but just as worthwhile. That's the beauty of the Camino - you can walk one of the less well used routes and still be part of this amazing experience.



Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
The camino can be addictive. After my camino frances last year, I did the camino primitivo this year and already I am planning for my next.

Maybe ja2063, after 5 trips you should also give the other camino route a try too. They may be different but the spirit is the same, and less crowded too.

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