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What makes you walk

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Terry W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
April 2018
April 2019
I know this has been visited before but. I have been asked by a local paper in my country to tell them what makes people go back and walk the Camino again and again,,,,,,,,,,,and again. You know I dont' know if I can tell them. Help anyone. I don't think the answer is that simple.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Addiction, desperation, need? I don't know either. I walk to the end-of-the-world and the sundering sea. First time because I'd promised my Gran, second time because I wanted to do it a second time. Third time? Because I could - I'm affluent enough and free enough and local enough that I can.

I think that just as everyone walks Camino for themselves those who return again, and again, do it for themselves. Their reasons will be as myriad as the stars and as distinct and different from each other. I also think that your newspaper might be contented by images of "camaraderie" and "fun" and (safe) "adventure"; tales of cheap meals and free wine; images of Albergues full of snoring and farting humanity, and a Cathedral at the end with a great swinging censer saturating even the stench of the sweaty pilgrims with holy incense.

Some of which may be among the motivations of the serial pilgrim but will not ever explain the phenomenon.
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
Avoid winter in oz...challenge, holiday...etc
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I also think that your newspaper might be contented by images of "camaraderie" and "fun" and (safe) "adventure"; tales of cheap meals and free wine; images of Albergues full of snoring and farting humanity, and a Cathedral at the end with a great swinging censer saturating even the stench of the sweaty pilgrims with holy incense.
@Tinkatinker
This reads like a tourist advertisement for a low-budget camino for the uncivilized. Are you sure that you want to do that?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes/Burgos/SdeC 77; Frances 12,15,17; Finisterre 17; Lourdes/Aragones 18; Meseta 19.
I first visited SdeC as a train-ridin' backpackin' US student/tourist in 1977 because I was curious about it, having studied a fair amount of ancient and medieval European history. I didn’t walk to SdeC, of course. It never even occurred to me to walk there. Nobody was walking the Camino in 1977! …. But SdeC and the idea of walking there impressed me deeply …

When the Sheen film came out in 2011 I discovered with delight that people were walking the Camino once more! I knew immediately that I had to walk it…. And I made that walk a pilgrimage, with the very conscious special intention of giving thanks to God for my ordination.

Well, that first walk was life-changing. I discovered that on the Camino I could free myself, even if just for a few short days, from the unending pressure of my clerical responsibilities. And that’s really why I keep going back. On the Camino I can be free to focus therapeutically on the basics. For a few short days it’s just me, and the trail, and the sky – and God. ... And I’ll go back every chance I get - until either God, the Bishop, or my aging back, says “No mas!”

Oh -- and the chorizo al vino. ;)
 
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Felipe

Veteran Member
A very needed parenthesis in the hassle and constant urgencies of everyday life.
Moments to think about the relativity of success and failures, and the real priorities of life.
And magic days, where normal routines dissolve into a distant haze...
No other path or hiking trail can give me that.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I walk the various routes of the camino de santiago as annual retreat time. At the beginning, I felt very strongly called to it. After my first camino, the Frances, I understood that this was a better way for me to move into interior silence and remain open to God than spending time in a retreat house. I was unable to go last year, but am looking forward eagerly to this year's camino.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
My son started long distance backpacking in the US seven years ago; 1000 miles of the AT, the John Muir trail and the Colorado trail. I was impressed with his accomplishments and had wishful thinking of how great it would be to embrace a similar trek, but no way could I carry a tent, cooking supplies and a weeks worth of food...in addition to having a bear phobia!
Then along comes the movie "The Way" and I thought, bingo...maybe I could handle walking the Camino after I retire! So I retired early and have been going every year since 2015, choosing various routes. Although a Christian, I do not walk for religious reasons. I thought it a bucket list thing, "one and done", but after returning home the first time, I yearned to go again. I love the adventure, the old world European cities and culture, meeting people from other countries, the food, but above all it makes me "feel" like I am still young. I love the slowly changing landscapes as I walk, seeing a village on a hilltop from far away, then eventually arriving, only later to look behind and see it melt into the distance. I marvel at how far my feet can take me by my own power. I enjoy the architecture of the many churches and cathedrals and feel safe as I walk.
I have had many other varied, beautiful and interesting vacations, but the Caminos are in a special category all their own. I hope my good health continues for a long time so I can keep planning the next one. I enjoy the preliminary research which keeps my mind occupied in the dull winter months as I'm not quite ready for armchair travel yet! And I enjoy being on this forum in the interim as the members' advise and comments help keep my Camino dreams alive.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances(15,16,18)CheminduPuy(16) Portuguese(16 VDLP(17)Primitivo(17)Ireland-3000K(18) Norte18Vasco17
My son started long distance backpacking in the US seven years ago. I was impressed with his accomplishments and had wishful thinking of how great it would be to embrace a similar trek, but no way could I carry a tent, cooking supplies and a weeks worth of food...in addition to having a bear phobia!
Then along comes the movie "The Way" and I thought, bingo...maybe I could handle walking the Camino after I retire! So I have been going every year since 2015, choosing various routes. Although a Christian, I do not walk for religious reasons. I thought it a bucket list thing, "one and done", but after returning home the first time, I yearned to go again. I love the adventure, the old world European cities and culture, meeting people from other countries, the food, but above all it makes me "feel" like I am still young. I love the slowly changing landscapes as I walk, seeing a village on a hilltop from far away, then eventually arriving, only later to look behind and see it melt into the distance. I marvel at how far my feet can take me by my own power. I enjoy the architecture of the many churches and cathedrals and feel safe as I walk.
I have had many other varied, beautiful and interesting vacations, but the Caminos are in a special category all their own. I hope my good health continues for a long time so I can keep planning the next one. I enjoy the preliminary research which keeps my mind occupied in the dull winter months as I'm not quite ready for armchair travel yet! And I enjoy being on this forum in the interim as the members' advise and comments help keep my Camino dreams alive.
Nice....ultreia!
 

Frank Wortley

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Caminos - April/May 2013, March/April 2017 and (Sept/Oct 2018)
I identify with Albertagirl and some of Camino Chrissy. I go withour expectations and never cease to be amazed and what I learn about myself and the next steps to take in my life. I am available to the Divine and not dissappointed. I have walked the French Camino 3 times and I see and learned very different things on each. I plan a 4th Oct/Nov next year. It's a long way from Australia.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature
I walked the Camino francés the first time because my forebears had done it.... I grew up with the stories of Roland at Roncevaux then later at University I learnt about the pilgrims going to Santiago etc etc I wanted to experience even fleetingly what it was like but it was only many years later that I was free to do it. It was always going to be a one-off.

Then I was lucky enough to be able to walk to Jerusalem, to me the mother of all pilgrimages. (I am a Christian...)

If I could, that is where I would walk to over and over again but it isn’t so easy. So instead, I choose to walk again to Santiago and to Rome, a bit closer to home.
 

Roland49

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 June/July/August
Initially it was a promise to myself to walk a european long-distance hike until my son come of age and I'll turn 50. Now it will be a retreat from a disturbing and hustling work.

At first I chose the Rennsteig, a 170km long hike in the Thuringian Forest. After a book and a film themed the Camino francès by the famous german comedian Hape Kerkeling I switched to the Camino francès.
I'm heading out to Biarritz on 30th June.

Buen Camino
Roland
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Initially it was a promise to myself to walk a european long-distance hike until my son come of age and I'll turn 50. Now it will be a retreat from a disturbing and hustling work.

At first I chose the Rennsteig, a 170km long hike in the Thuringian Forest. After a book and a film themed the Camino francès by the famous german comedian Hape Kerkeling I switched to the Camino francès.
I'm heading out to Biarritz on 30th June.

Buen Camino
Roland
How exciting for you, Roland, to look forward to your very first Camino coming up so soon! Good luck to you and a very Buen Camino! I hope it is all you hope it to be and more!
 

RedRuby

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept 2017)
Le Puy to SJPP (Sept 2019)
Initially I was compelled to do the CF and for me it was like a long distance walking meditation. The rhythmic motion of putting one foot in front of the other over long distances I think allows time for my subconscious to 'unpack and process'. It is truly enlightening, furthermore it has had a continuing positive impact in my life since. When something is so genuinely good and truly beneficial, why wouldn't I want to do another? Walking and hiking is woven into my everyday life but it's the long distances that are very special.
 

Nick B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - May/June 2018
Portugese - (2019)
Norte - (2020)
Escapism from the mundane of everyday life to see people interact the way God and Jesus intended assuming the teachings of Jesus are accurate.

As a bonus beautiful scenery, history and all the while keeping the highest level of fitness for the year and without TV.
 

Aesklepius

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: St Jean Pied-de-Port to Santiago, on to Fisterra, Muxia and back to Santiago. (April-June 2016)
@Tinkatinker
This reads like a tourist advertisement for a low-budget camino for the uncivilized. Are you sure that you want to do that?
Aha! That’s exactly what my Camino was - low budget and, well....what is “civilized” anyway? It was grand to be away from what passes as “civil” at home, and to enjoy the simple civility of the Chemin. I loved it!

Perhaps you will stand in some of the same places as the Roland of legend, or drink from the fuente that bears his name. Create your own legend, and walk on.... . Buen camino!
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I love all the responses on this thread. They are personal, heartfelt, and all introspective. Each person is unique and yet there is a common 'denominator' if you will, running through them all.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
My only bit of advice is to walk as a pilgrim and as a pilgrimage. I don't know what it means for you but for me it means respect the steps you take and walk simply and with humility. It is not a vacation for me. it is not sitting by the pool with a margaritas, sleeping in Paradors or eating $100 dinners. Walk and be thankful that you are learning that all you have is the step you are taking and all you need is what you can carry.
The first year I walked I didn't know why but I knew I wanted to be a better dad to my girls. Since then I didn't know why I walked but I did This year I don't know why don't know why I walk but I do know I just turned 65 and I am more than a little afraid of getting old. I know when I walk I talk to my father and I miss him every day. I don't know why I walk, I just know I have to.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Over the last 10 years, I have had the benefit of meeting many Pilgrims on numerous Caminos. Some of the reasons, expressed to me, were religious, because it was there, physical challenge, bucket list and number one because they were in some sort of transition period in their life.

I personally keep walking because I find the annual journey introspective. An opportunity for me to spend some time in my own head without life's normal daily distractions (nature excluded). A self examination journey where I look for opportunities to make small changes in my life that help me become a better husband, father, grandfather, friend, neighbor and human being. Not to say there are not major changes I could make but I have found the smaller ones easier to implement.

Based on my current growth rate, another millennia of walking and I might be close to fixing most things. The discovery of the Camino has been a gift to me.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
What started as an adventure of exploration and curiosity has become an annual retreat-on-the-move and re-immersion in a transformative experience. Thanks to the OP for the opportunity to recall my original motivation; I have been pondering whether to walk in Spain once I finish the missing link between Prague and SJPP this year.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Yes, Joe, a wonderful gift to all of us who love the Caminos!
 

Aesklepius

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: St Jean Pied-de-Port to Santiago, on to Fisterra, Muxia and back to Santiago. (April-June 2016)
My only bit of advice is to walk as a pilgrim and as a pilgrimage. I don't know what it means for you but for me it means respect the steps you take and walk simply and with humility. It is not a vacation for me. it is not sitting by the pool with a margaritas, sleeping in Paradors or eating $100 dinners. Walk and be thankful that you are learning that all you have is the step you are taking and all you need is what you can carry.
The first year I walked I didn't know why but I knew I wanted to be a better dad to my girls. Since then I didn't know why I walked but I did This year I don't know why don't know why I walk but I do know I just turned 65 and I am more than a little afraid of getting old. I know when I walk I talk to my father and I miss him every day. I don't know why I walk, I just know I have to.
🙏🏼
 

Pruden

Pilgrim of life
Camino(s) past & future
October 2012 Camino Francés Sarria /Santiago.
November 2013 Camino Francés
León to Sarria
June 2014 Camino Francés San Juan Pie de Port to Logroño.
November 2016 Camino Frances ,Logroño to León.
I walked the first Camino because I wanted to path what millions had made before since ancient times.
Now I walk because I have the urge to do it, because I get containment and happiness making it ( even it’s a big effort to walk it sometimes).
I do Caminos because I’m in love with it ( and usually we don’t choose to whom we are going to love ❤)!
The reason??
Maybe no reason, unreasonable love 💕 , that’s !
Buen Camino to where we belong!
 

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 2007 Frances
2016 Leon to Santiago
I walked my first Camino as a consolation prize for having to cancel a long-planned Pacific Crest Trail trek-- my companion needed to take all the time he had saved for successful healing of unexpected open-heart surgery. I dearly loved the experience and it had a strong 'spiritual' element--consequence of nearing retirement and post some family and co-worker deaths..
All of the walks since have been primarily because my body and soul so love the walking with its simple lifestyle. Being a 'repeat offender' on the CF is mostly a factor that the infrastructure is so phenomenal--safe and easy to walk along largely unplanned.
But each Camino is differently motivated.
 

WalkingJane

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
Oh yes! It's my good fortune to currently live not so far from John Muir territory in the PNW. And, to be about half a block from a beautifully designed park where I can saunter every day and be reminded that all the earth is "sacred ground". Would love to return to either the Frances or Portuguese - not sure that will be possible so in the meantime will walk where I can.
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, '14 '17 Finisterre, '14 '17 '18 Primitivo, '15 '18 Portuguese, '17, '18 San Salvador, '18
In addition to the many reasons that others have mentioned, I love to connect with my best friend on the Camino - my husband. At times we walk and talk and walk and talk and are able to discover more answers to question in our lives and more meaning in those answers.

On the same theme, I love connecting to other pilgrims. I am astounded how easy it is to meet and create bonds from people all over the world! From our many Caminos, I now have friends from around the world, with whom I continue to stay connected. Where else could you do this??
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Nice addition to the thread, Elle...and so true! I have a "bestie" I met in 2015 on my first Camino and we still plan outings together at least once a year. I also walked the Le Puy with her in 2018. The Camino friends we make while walking "get us", whereas others in our lives sometimes do not!
 
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BeatriceKarjalainen

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: Nothing planned
Silence in my head. Leaving all "must" at home it is just me and the daily routine. Time to be just me, discover my self and discuss with my self where I stand in my religion.

Meet people and to see a country by foot gives so much more than traveling by car, train etc. You meet people and see places you would never visit in other circumstances.

Plenty of time to photograph.
 

lizlane

Small Town Girl, Small Town World
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
First, to discover the question "What makes us walk" and second to answer the question.

Rinse. Repeat.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(15,16,18)CheminduPuy(16) Portuguese(16 VDLP(17)Primitivo(17)Ireland-3000K(18) Norte18Vasco17
..." because it´s there ! "

Sir Edmund Hillary
Not that it’s a big deal who said it first as it is a great line, but fyi George Mallory who died 800 feet from the Everest Summit in 1924 gets credit for that one. Although there are debates as to whether he said it as well.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Initially it was a promise to myself to walk a european long-distance hike until my son come of age and I'll turn 50. Now it will be a retreat from a disturbing and hustling work.

At first I chose the Rennsteig, a 170km long hike in the Thuringian Forest. After a book and a film themed the Camino francès by the famous german comedian Hape Kerkeling I switched to the Camino francès.
I'm heading out to Biarritz on 30th June.

Buen Camino
Roland
Hape: the best read for me about the experience on the camino! I leave the Serious stuff to those who can pay attention to detail. I had maybe three copies of that book, all given away!. I just remember how I loved his approach to life, and his enjoyment of the camino.
 

Terry W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
April 2018
April 2019
A very needed parenthesis in the hassle and constant urgencies of everyday life.
Moments to think about the relativity of success and failures, and the real priorities of life.
And magic days, where normal routines dissolve into a distant haze...
No other path or hiking trail can give me that.
Thankyou Felipe .Yes I get a little flack from the hikers where I live in New Zealand. We have many wonderful tracks here to walk. I just pass there comments off by saying yes I could walk the NZ tracks but there is no cafe every four or five kilometers. But the real reason is exactly what you have said I could not see any other place giving me what the camino gives me . I do wonder if the fact that over the years possible 2,000,000 people each carrying a large level or reverence have walked the very track we are walking. I wonder.
 

Terry W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
April 2018
April 2019
While I am in the forum can I tell you of a film/doco. that is just opening . I have been involved in it . I am not telling you of this for any financial return as this film will never make a fortune for anybody especially me as It actually cost me alto of money to be part of it. Any way the film is called Camino skie's the trailer is on utube. It is challenging to watch I have chosen that word deliberately.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
While I am in the forum can I tell you of a film/doco. that is just opening . I have been involved in it . I am not telling you of this for any financial return as this film will never make a fortune for anybody especially me as It actually cost me alto of money to be part of it. Any way the film is called Camino skie's the trailer is on utube. It is challenging to watch I have chosen that word deliberately.
From the film's website:

Camino Skies is the debut feature documentary from emerging Australian/NZ filmmaking team Noel Smyth and Fergus Grady.

Independently shot over 42 days, the film follows the journey of six strangers as they embark on the historic ‘Camino de Santiago’ - an historic 800km pilgrimage that starts in France and works its way through Spain before arriving in the city of Santiago de Compostela.

Each of the characters have their own reasons for walking but ultimately come together to work through heartbreak and defy their physical ability.

Dealing with themes of loss and hope, the film is an uplifting look at what it means to live with grief.
Premiering at the 2019 Newport Beach Film Festival, the film went on to make its Australasian premiere at Doc Edge Film Festival where it received awards for ‘Best NZ Director’ and ‘Best NZ Emerging Filmmaker’ citing that "The Directors ability to capture intimate, poignant moments with subtlety and restraint while carefully crafting a narrative was both engaging and genuinely moving."

The film will have its New Zealand and Australian theatrical release in July / August 2019 with rest of the world releases set for late 2019.
 

K Turner

One step at a time
Camino(s) past & future
14 August 2019 (SJPdP 16 August)
My first Camino begins 14 August. I have various reasons for the journey, although I think more will be revealed once there.

I was a teacher (12-14 year olds) until I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. It was missed initially and thus multiple brain and spinal cord surgeries were done incorrectly. Being unaware of a serious heart issue from the EDS, I was resuscitated twice at 27 and had a long fight back after being on a ventilator. After learning how to walk, talk, and write again, I was told I wouldn't make it to 30. Then, to 40.

I am 42 now. I still am unable to work, but I try to take something positive from each day. I am married and have two amazing kids, ages 18 and 17. Though I've lived with the complications of this illness for many years now, I still struggle with letting go. I used to need to plan for each day, have a spotless home, etc. Now, there is little in my control, but I'm not sure I ever had it to begin with?

Another reason is my best friend's illness. She is 44 and diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer more than three years ago. Her 15 year old son took his life less than two years ago. She also has a devoted husband and daughter (now age 14).

I know I will be taking great risks, but it is something I must do. I hope my Camino will be a journey of learning acceptance and trust.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014), Camino Mozarabe, (3-days then aborted (2016), Via de la Plata/Sanabres (2018)
I too was compelled to walk the Camino after the influence of the Emilio Estevez film. Having been raised Catholic, and who for several years have "fallen away" from the faith, I learned or knew nothing about Pilgrimage. Though my reasons for walking are not spiritually based, I felt nostalgia for my Catholic upbringing because of the many great memories of the Catholic community I was a part of as a child.

I'm grateful for a profession that allows me to adequately train for, to afford(though an extremely economical endeavor), and be away weeks at a time.

I return as often as possible because of the feeling I get when completely immersed in an activity that is completely out of my daily & cultural experience. I feel so "alive", which is so difficult to describe to another except those who have "been there, and done that".

Buen Camino
 

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