My First Camino Spain 2011
Living a Camino Way of Life, Paris
Hi, I'm Rob
You May Ask:
“What’s so special about walking a Camino?"
There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled.
You feel it, don’t you?
The fact you are here and have this question is like
“There IS a candle in your heart,
ready to be kindled.”
“There IS a void in your soul, ready
to be filled.”
‘Something’ drew you here,
and not for no reason.
Kate and I, walked our first Caminos alone (later the Camino would bring us together). Our candles were kindled and we started asking questions. The experience put us on a journey of exploration. On the Camino, we discovered a wholly different and free way of living. One we’d never experienced back home. It was truly liberating and we began asking, what is and does it mean to live a “Camino Way of Life and how, despite all the pressures, to bring it home into our daily lives?"
This Website, the Camino Way of Life Facebook group, and Camino Way of Life Instagram are dedicated to discovering and learning how we can free ourselves to live a Camino Way of Life, not just on the Camino, but back home too. We invite you to join us in this exploration and discover together a way to fill that void.
Walking a Camino -there are many ways to Santiago de Compostela, Spain- is one of the greatest and most direct ways to go on a journey of personal discovery. Like many folks, who have walked a Camino attest, the experience can quite literally change your life.
We recognize that for many would-be pilgrims setting out on a 30+ day, 500 mile, 780 km, walk across Spain is not, or is not yet possible. In the ten years since walking my first Camino and living with Kate, who walked her first Camino in 2015, we have come to believe:
“You don’t even need to walk a Camino to live a Camino Way of Life.”
Here’s part of my “Camino Story”. Which, I hasten to add, is not that unusual.
The first time -sometime in 2009- I heard of the Camino, was through a book. A book that for unknown reasons 😀 I was drawn to read. One day, in Barnes & Noble, this book, as they sometimes do, jumped off the shelf. I bought it immediately.
The book, “Travels with My Donkey”, was subtitled “one man and his ass on a pilgrimage to Santiago”. There was even a map of the route right on the cover. Inside there was another, more detailed map too! Despite all the hints the Camino and the idea of the Camino completely passed me by.
I never even finished the book. I forgot about it immediately and carried on with my not so great, soon to be unraveling, life.
Flash forward to 2011. Despite being recently divorced and my life in turmoil, I still managed to get a feeling “I’ve been set free!” and “there’s a new world out there just waiting for me.” I was realizing hope and at age 59 I began to see, that may be:
"It's never too late!" And, "Life can get better!"
Indeed, sometime later, just before walking my first Camino, I had an experience standing in a church. Suddenly, out of the blue, I got this sensation that a huge weight had just flown right off my shoulders and up into the rafters and beyond. It was wild. My temperature went up and tears quietly flowed down my cheeks. Tears of relief and a sense of being free.
At the time, of course, I went into complete denial.
In November 2010, under very strange circumstances, too long to relate here, synchronicity had me as a co-author, writing a book, a thriller. My co-author, a Russian woman, lived in Dubai, and we conducted business, online, using a real-time editing system.
In the book, the character I created, needed a back-story. For inspiration, I looked to the life of a distant cousin. It turns out my cousin, his name Seán MacBride, was, among many things, interested in pan-Celticism. I'd never heard of pan-Celticism. Intrigued, I investigated. Eventually, my researches brought me to the mystical, and ancient Celtic-region of Galicia, Spain. The regional-Capital is Santiago de Compostela.
There, at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of St James (Santiago) are preserved, is the beautiful end-point, the lode-star, that beckons pilgrims inexorably onward on their Caminos.
This second time, I was primed and ready, there was no ignoring the call of the Camino!
I knew without even a moment of doubt:
“I’m going to walk a Camino and ASAP!
My candle was kindled! I was waking up to my soul. My Camino began right then. I was on my way to discovering a Camino Way of Life.
Two months later I walked out of the cathedral in Le Puy-en-Velay, France,
and on my 60 day, 1,250 mile, 1,600km Camino
Walking a Camino can really change your life
If you feel called or would like to understand more
We are here to help
How we Help
1. Keeping the Camino Alive: For you who have already walked a Camino
To bring the Camino home and live more in alignment with the discoveries made walking a Camino.
To Live a Camino Way of Life but still be in the world we inhabited before the Camino
2. Information, Planning, and Mentoring: For you who want to walk or know more about
the Camino de Santiago
To learn about the Camino, its history, routes, and what you can expect...
To Plan your Camino
Pre-and-post Camino mentoring on ways to get the most out of your pilgrimage
3. For you who want to discover more about
the spiritual power of walking an Organic Camino
Learn to let go and trust by walking with no plan or guides
Contact and Donativo
I walked my first in 2011, organically with no plan and no guides
I've walked four, separate 30+ day Caminos
I've walked most of, or finished 8 Camino routes, in France, Spain, and Portugal
In total, I've hiked 5,000+ km or 3,100+ miles on Camino
My longest Camino was 115 days, 2,150 km or 1,340 miles, in 2019
For help with all topics Camino -information, planning, and pre- and post -Camino mentoring click the button
The DONATIVO TRADITION
On the Camino there is a wonderful tradition of 'DONATIVO',
where in Albergues/Gites (hostels) there is no fixed charge for the night and sometimes also the evening meal.
Instead, we are encouraged to DONATE an amount each according to our means.
Here we rely on DONATIONS to help support
ourselves and would greatly appreciate
any support you might wish to offer.
Thank you, ULTREÏA, and BUEN CAMINO PEREGRINO!