Many of us spend our lives from one meeting to another, trapped in strict schedules, meeting deadlines and when we get home, we end up sheltering between screens. If that is your case, the Camino de Santiago can be your medicine for a few days; a place of perfect retreat in which to put the head in order and appreciate the best of what surrounds us.
2018 ended as an authentic year of records for the Camino de Santiago, with more than 325,000 pilgrims arriving in the capital of Compostela in 365 days.
However, if we leave aside the figures and focus on the quantitative data, we will always arrive at the same question: what leads so many walkers to join the adventure of the Camino each season?
Although the reasons can be very diverse (knowing new places, spiritual reasons, doing sports, etc.), almost all pilgrims agree on something: the Camino de Santiago manages to transport you to another place and helps you to disconnect from the insistent routine.
The Camino de Santiago marks a turning point in many pilgrims who are looking for something different in their lives; the Jacobean route can bring us many benefits and today we are going to talk to you about four of them:
We only need to briefly observe those around us (and ourselves) to realize the tremendous dependence we have acquired from the screens and electronic devices in recent years. It is not that before we were free of them -we've all grown up we hit the TV-, but the arrival of smartphones and tablets marks a before and after.
You can ask any pilgrim, the Camino de Santiago is a truly therapeutic environment to dispense with the technology and leave the mobile completely separated for several days. Walking you will meet other pilgrims, engage in conversation, play sports, discover landscapes that you would not know otherwise ... Who wants to lose all this stuck to the mobile screen? In just a few hours the Camino will show you that you can survive perfectly away from the screens for a few days.
Make no mistake, most of us are not used to walking 15 to 20 kilometers a day, neither by sport nor by obligation. Neither to engage in minimally deep conversations with strangers or open our hearts to anyone. The Camino de Santiago is perfect to disconnect from the routine and show us a little more human towards others, more as we would like to be and probably more as we really are.
The Camino is also a perfect framework to overcome our own physical and mental limits and gain self-esteem, demonstrating that we are capable of achieving much more than we imagine. It also moves us to draw from within that generosity and empathy with others (even if they are unknown) that we seldom show on a daily basis, hostages of a lifestyle where competitiveness is essential to succeed.
Disconnecting is not just rest physically and mentally of the demanding routine, it is also taking off the mask that we carry every day and that makes us interpret the role that is expected of us. Let's face it, sometimes it's hard to recognize ourselves after keeping up appearances for a long time so we do not get out of line.
The Camino de Santiago will help you get out of character and reconcile with you again, stop disappointing yourself for being too predictable and give up choosing the easiest option. Becoming a pilgrim is not always the most comfortable thing in the world, but sacrifice can open the doors of an adventure full of great memories that we will always remember and that we will later share with pride with others.
The Camino de Santiago is very interesting, but the best part is that, no matter how many times you have traveled, there is always more to discover. At the beginning, the normal thing is to choose the busiest routes and get away from the most lonely ones because of their difficulty and lesser amount of services. However, once we enter the wheel of the Camino de Santiago we will discover a great variety of stages to discover and worth knowing, each time taking our limits a little further.
© Copyright LA VOZ DE GALICIA S.A. Polígono de Sabón, Arteixo, A CORUÑA (ESPAÑA) Inscrita en el Registro Mercantil de A Coruña en el Tomo 2438 del Archivo, Sección General, a los folios 91 y siguientes, hoja C-2141. CIF: A-15000649