Here are a few statements I have gathered from women who have walked Camino de Santiago. These words will give you an idea of the impact that walking a Camino has had on them, and the profound impact walking a Camino can have on you.
For me personally walking Camino de Santiago changed my life totally you can read my story here to see how profoundly it impacted my life
What other women said
I personally gained a lot from the Camino. It’s hard to put into words, there is so much to say. The whole thing fundamentally changed who I was as a person, and how I saw the world and opened me up to a new way of experiencing life. The way people connected on a level where nothing was expected of each other. We walked lonely roads with nothing but yellow arrows guiding our way, and I learned to trust. I experienced humanity in such a raw form that I wanted to know more about people. I wasn’t scared of the unknown anymore. In my opinion, the nature of the Camino is that you entirely commit yourself to live in the present and take things as they come. The more I think about it, the more I understand how it has built me as a person. With the changes (mentally and physically) I have made to now live the life I am happily living. At the time it can feel like nothing is changing outright, but deep down things are shifting.
-Hannah Burnell, UK
Walking the Camino is a wonderful way to let go of all the shoulds and shouldn’ts in life. You can wake up every morning and recreate yourself. There’s just you, the path and all these beautiful souls you have never met before all willing to look for something new in their lives. Walking through vineyards, chestnut orchards, the Meseta, and ancient forests. Walking past remarkable Cathedrals, following the Camino signs and allowing the rhythm of the day to guide your thoughts and feelings. The Camino provides you with the opportunity for change. We are what we think so you can be your most amazing, fantastic version of yourself.
I tell everyone to do the Camino. I tell them to go with an open mind and heart and give people a chance because you never know what others have experienced and what impact they can have on you and vice versa. I also encourage people to spend time walking alone because (for me) it really allowed me to be vulnerable and open up in a way that I wouldn’t have if I had someone with me. I needed that freedom to be able to set my schedule/pace, go with my gut and determine who I spent my time with.
I’ve always been a huuuuge sceptic of “everything happens for a reason, signs from the universe, etc.” UNTIL the Camino. It was bizarre. I didn’t go in with expectations for it to “be life-changing” like I had heard some others describe it. But it really was. I think about it every day. I was in a huge slump when I got home and I tried to escape everything about my life here (marriage, city, job, career, etc.). Some shit did hit the fan, but I still wouldn’t change anything about my experience. It’s taken almost a year, but I’m finaaaaaally out of a pretty dark place and feeling happy and like I’m where I’m supposed to be.
The road to Compostela was a milestone in my life, it marked me deeply. Along the way I was able to analyse and resolve many internal things of my being. I met many people with the same goal in common: to walk. One of these people was the wonderful Jennifer, with whom I crossed paths with on the last day in Finisterre. By chance, we shared the bus trip back from Finisterre to Santiago, where we opened up to each other and her vision allowed me to understand many things in my life. I loved walking the Camino, I feel very fortunate to have been able to do it and I strongly recommend it to anyone, beyond their religion. I recommend taking the minimum necessary and opening up to the experience. When I arrived in Santiago, I felt that everything that had happened in my life, all the stones of my life were worth it to reach that sublime moment in which you arrive at Santiago de Compostela.
Buen Camino Peregrinos!
-Florencia, 35, Uruguay.
I actually don’t remember how I found out about Camino. I suppose it just appeared on my bucket list from some long-ago conversation or I read about it somewhere, anyway, I did it! 750ish km of blisters, sweat and tears. Oh yeah and don’t forget the laughter, joy, connections and triumphs. A common question on the Camino is why? Why are you walking over the Pyrenees and across the top of Spain? Initially, I said, “for the physical challenge” but of course now with hindsight, the Camino proved to be so much more. I can now say the Camino changed my life, a big call I know but hey it did. I found friendships that I know will last a lifetime, an inner strength that I always knew I had, but never had the opportunity to prove and as crazy as it may sound I found love when I least expected it. Hey, it didn’t last but wow what a blast. On reflection, I would say the experiences and connections I made however fleeting changed me. Of course, I was still me but my attitude towards my life changed. It was like the planets aligned and allowed me to open up to new, crazy and wonderful possibilities that are still resonating with me years later. If you’re thinking about the Camino my advice is to stop thinking and do it!!!! No regrets.