“A few years ago, I arrived in Sevilla to begin a year of study in Spain. One night around the beginning of my stay, I unknowingly stayed in a pilgrim albergue on the ancient Via de la Plata, one of the many roads of the Camino. That was when I first legitimately considered making the pilgrimage.
The first thing I sought from the Camino was adventure and challenge. I had doubts I could physically make the journey, and I wanted to prove to myself that I could reach Santiago, even if I had to crawl there! The second thing was religious. Religion has always been a part of my life, but I felt that I had let it slide in recent years. The chance of a true pilgrimage excited me. In addition, before I left I was constantly stressing about my upcoming transition from college to my first job in a new city, and all the challenges that would arise from that. The idea of getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, career, the rat race, to something purer like Santiago – that really appealed to me.
During the 31 days I spent on the Camino, I learned so much about myself and the awesome people I walked with. Whether it was a short conversation with fellow peregrinos at a café, friends who I walked with for hours or days on end, or those who live along the Way, they all helped me get through the Camino and taught me something as well. The people I met along the way will always have a place close to my heart.
I not only found that I achieved my two goals – and then some – but that the Camino helped me come to peace with the decisions I made and prepared me for the future in ways I didn’t expect. It was an incredible experience and one I will never forget.”