By Canadian writer John Meyer, author of ‘Shadows, Shells and Spain’ inspired by his Camino experience.
Why you should walk the Camino
I can put this rather simply: walking the Camino will test your body, open your mind, and stir your spirit. And in my opinion, all of these are potentially life-changing things!
When I walked the Camino, each and every person I met had their own personal reason for leaving their comfortable and familiar world behind to trek 800 kilometers across northern Spain towards Santiago de Compostela. Some had just quit their jobs. Some had just quit their marriages. Some just needed to unplug from their stressful lives back home. Whatever their reason they were all united in their belief that walking across Spain would help them heal from their hurts or stimulate their minds to live their lives better when they returned.
It seemed to work. You could see it in their exhausted outside the Pilgrim’s Office in Santiago. Emerging from the administrative center, with their compostela diplomas in their hands, many exhausted pilgrims shrieked. Some wept. Some looked around for somebody to embrace: a relative, a friend, a stranger—it didn’t matter. Some just stared wild-eyed in joyous relief.
Having completed this arduous journey myself, I can confirm that marching along these (sometimes) lonely roads really does inspire you and gives you plenty of time to contemplate your life while you meet many other friendly, like-minded, searching souls.
And yes, you can probably contemplate your life while safely staying at home as well, but only by leaving all the distractions in your life… can you really experience some form of proper introspection which can lead to some form of positive growth.
It certainly affected me back home as well. After my own 22 day walk across Spain, I wasn’t ready to give up the nomadic life so quickly! Before my trip, I had moved out of my downtown condo, sold much of my furniture, and had placed all my remaining possessions into a large storage unit. I just assumed I would look for a new place to live upon my return.
But that didn’t happen…
After living for a month with everything I needed on my back, the last thing I wanted to do was buy new furniture again. So I continued my nomadic life… for 2.5 more years! I just signed up for local Airbnb rental. Over the course of the next two years, I stayed in over 30 houses, apartments, condos, and basement suites (and even saved money)! I guess the nomadic life was truly inspiring to me and I didn’t want to give it up…
So I hope you seriously contemplate your own Camino journey. You will be richer for the experience. It will change your life. Plus… you’re probably going to lose a lot of weight!
To read more about John Meyer and his humorous fictional travel memoirs books, including his Camino book Shadows, Shells and Spain, visit his website: John Meyer Books
If you’d like to walk the Camino and would like to receive more information on the Camino de Santiago routes, contact our travel specialists