‘Why am I a pilgrim? Stepping into the shoes of a pilgrim reconnects me with a profound place within me that silently longs for simplicity in my life.
I wake up in the morning, pack my backpack, and off I go. While still waking up, I notice the repetitive rhythm offered through the cracking gravel underneath my shoes, which composes a meditative rhythm with every step I take. I sink into a state of wonder and gratitude to be a witness to the rising of a new dawn. The road ahead spreads its blanket of silence around me. While the early morning sun is greeting me with her warming, pink, yellow, and orangey rays, painting all over the surrounding landscape with big strokes. Birds are chirping, enchanting my soul with their melodies. Their tunes are so sweet that they put me in touch with what I miss most in my “normal” daily life; sacredness.
There is something sacred in simplicity, like observing nature with all her cycles, seasons, and currents. From nature, I learn how to nourish myself and tend to my needs. She teaches me when to move, become active or when it’s time to slow down, to let my body become still and rest.
Walking in nature is my remedy to overstimulation in my everyday life. It clears my being from the uncanny mind chatter and activates my human senses in marvelous ways. It silences the cluttering noises that keep me from hearing my heart’s voice. It makes my bodily vessel come alive and surrender to the naturalness of being human.
The specific reason for walking my first Camino was the ending of a big chapter in my life. I decided to let go of my commitments, relationships, home, car, and lifestyle I had created until this point. The Camino was my choice, to intentionally create space and time to let go, to grief, and feel all the feelings that wanted to surface when closing this chapter. My go-to phrase on the camino was, “just walk it out.” Walking the Camino nurtured my soul so profoundly because I could sense and get a glimpse of what life is really about.
“I will never arrive” was one of my greatest epiphanies on the Camino. If you are someone, who walked the camino, you know this is true. What a gift.
I would like to share a poem I wrote called, ‘I will never arrive…’
If you walk it, you will know… YOU, Pilgrim, will put your steps intimately on its unwritten path. He has summoned you long before you realize it. Inviting you to take on its journey that will change your life forever. You will walk through its changing landscapes and themes; he will listen while you share your pain, guiding you through the shattering of layers that left your heart bleeding and untouched. Encouraging you to empty that backpack you have been carrying for way too long and gift it all to him. Holding you while you let go of everything, calming your unsettling heart. Listen, can you hear it?
It’s your soul’s whisper… You will fight, you will cry, you will scream and curse, and you will want to give up. Until you taste the sweetness of surrender…
Tears of joy will color your memory when you dwell on the exquisity of the gifts you’ve been offered and bestowed upon. Walking stripped naked, tender, vulnerable, and open through the valleys of your own shadow. Blessed by an angel’s encounter, lifting that burden with an unassuming smile.
Time is not present. Nothing can dictate if you surrender to the stream of the teacher’s current. Synchronicity is the daily orchestration, spoken in the same language without words. And you will walk, although you will never arrive…
And your heart will be fuller than ever before. –
We are always looking for new camino stories. If you would like to share your story to inspire others or know someone with a great story, please send a DM or send an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerald (57): ‘A hug on the Camino changed my life’
Aparecida Campos (47, Portugal): ‘On the camino I embraced my inner-child’
Ozi (Switserland): ‘I learned to solve problems by distancing myself from them.’
Paul (60, The Netherlands) – ‘The camino taught me how to live again’
Carla (36, The Netherlands): Recovering from burnout while walking the camino
Sofia’s (54, Brazil) camino story: ‘At Cruz de Ferro came the sadness’
Nagela Alexa’s Camino Story: ‘The Camino changes your life if you allow it.’
Fabrice (38, France): ‘I realized that walking the camino itself was self-imposed pressure’
Andre’s story (58, Belgium): ‘On the camino, I had to face the hard fact of how horribly I treat myself.’
Emma’s story: ‘I learned to say goodbye on the camino (and in life)’
Maarten’s story: The power of vulnerability
Agne-Henrik’s story: ‘The camino changed my life’