Everyone has their own reasons for walking the Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of St. James. It is a popular pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostelo in Galicia Spain where the sacred remains of the Apostle St James (the Greater) are purported to be buried. The earliest visits to the shrine for St James are recorded in the 9th century and non-stop over the ages the pilgrims kept coming and their origins expanded to include many countries around the world. Today over 100,000 pilgrims annually walk the Way of St James, varying in their distances walked and their reasons for walking.
Some pilgrims walk for purely religious reasons, others for historical or cultural interests. Some walk for the physical challenge or to celebrate a personal milestone such as beating cancer, or a significant birthday. I am walking for varying degrees of each of the reasons listed above. As a lapsed Catholic the opportunity to visit the sacred remains of an Apostle which is a relic of such spiritual consequence it cannot be ignored as a factor for walking the Way of St James. I am turning 60 in 2014 and will walk the Camino to celebrate my landmark birthday fulfilling the requisite physical, mental and spiritual challenges. The main Camino trail in Galicia follows an older Roman trade route and the towns and cities along the Way have a rich culture and history which is another driver for me to walk.
I am actively preparing and training for my Camino trip in June 2014 and will be blogging on the following 10 Key Guidelines for completing the journey to Santiago de Compostela. The blogs will be based on my personal experiences and research:
- Physical Training including the Planning, Doing and Tracking
- Mental Conditioning to Shape your Way for The Way
- Planning the route with Maps and Apps to Find your Way on The Way
- Keeping Connected and Informed while you are Away on The Way
- Outfitting for the Way
- Experiencing the history and culture along the Way
- Emergency, First Aid and Weather Planning on the Way
- Food, Drink and Play on the Way
- Checklists, and what Others have to Say about the Way
- The Aftermath: What lessons did I learn along the Way and what’s next?
The Camino has the Milky Way overhead outlining and illuminating the route and Compostelo itself means “field of stars”. In 2014 I will have the freedom for 40 days to follow a field of stars walking in the footprints of great figures in history such as Charlemagne, Roldan, St Francis of Assisi, and the Knights Templar who patrolled the route keeping pilgrims safe. I have 11 months to plan, train and prepare my way to experience the Way. Why am I driven to chronicle the pilgrimage? The reasons while mine are timeless and common with thousands of other pilgrims throughout the world, both past and present.
I look forward to connecting with you and welcome your comments and feedback. Please feel free to leave a link back to your own blog too via the commentluv feature here on the site.