Keith, USA

“I literally think about the Camino every day. It was easily the most crazy and adventurous thing I’ve ever done by myself. But the word “myself” is misleading – you’re never alone on the Camino.”

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“I literally think about the Camino every day. It was easily the most crazy and adventurous thing I’ve ever done by myself. But the word “myself” is misleading – you’re never alone on the Camino.

Even on my first night at the Spanish-French border in Irun, thousands of miles from home, I found myself enjoying dinner with three French men whom I met at my albergue. The common bond I shared with them on that first night and with everyone else I met along the way was the challenge of the 500+ mile journey that lay ahead of us. That bond helped transform my solo experiment into an amazing social experience full of companionship, every step of the way. 

Shortly after leaving Bilbao – where I still remember the aches and pains of descending more than 300 stairs into the city – I wound up in Portugalete. The next morning I woke up to a miserably cold, cloudy, and rainy day and none of us pilgrims wanted to leave our warm, comfortable hostel that morning. But that day turned out to be a great turning point for me. I started the day walking alone and ended it having joined up with with Joe from Ireland, Katharina from Austria, Wooju from Korea, David from Austin, and Nilanj from Washington DC. Not a bad haul for one day!

The six of us became great friends for the rest of the trip and added many new friends along the way. I was in bliss as we spent days and days walking along the rugged Northern Spain coastline. It wasn’t easy all the time but it was always so beautiful. I felt free, alive, and sleeping in a different place each night was a change from being in a comfortable house – but I also felt rich with friendship, and I was discovering an inner peace and joy that really validated my decision to become a pilgrim for a summer. I guess it wasn’t that crazy an idea after all, and now it’s one of the greatest stories I share with old and new friends alike.”

-Keith, USA

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David, USA (2017)

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