YOUR BEST PSYCHOLOGIST.
Many people walk the Camino de Santiago for different reasons: faith, culture, sport, hobby, a way of getting rid of your daily routine … but the truth is that something as simple as picking up your backpack and leaving for a few days to get away from the world, can help you to forget about your problems and hiking the Camino de Santiago can become your best psychologist.
You will see that it can change your life completely, because it is a unique experience of overcoming and constant challenges. Once you have walked your fist camino, you get addicted to it and you will not be able to let it go. That’s why there is a popular saying on the Camino : “pilgrim once, pilgrim forever ”
Walking the Camino for a Loved One
There are thousands of stories on the Camino that tell about love and health stories. Parents who walk because of their ill children, children who walk because of their ill parents, relatives who walk a devoting Camino because they believe that “faith moves mountains”. Those are the most emotional and valuable experiences that a pilgrim can experience. There are amazing stories that talk about human relationship, and we can see similar stories in films, such as The Way, one of the most famous films of the Camino de Santiago, in which a father loses his son after passing away during the route. So the father decides to travel from the US to finish his son´s Camino.
Doing the Camino de Santiago changes you inwardly
One of the great truths is that the Camino de Santiago changes you inwardly. Everyone at some point in their life goes through bad times and serious problems. No one is safe from an unexpected accident, an illness, stressful situations of daily life, moments of instability, broken couples… that is the right moment for a change, to reorganize your mind and your life, a moment to stop your current life for a while and look inside yourself. This is the perfect moment to set out on an outdoor adventure in another country, and exploring by foot, it is one of the most incredible and intimate ways to experience not only a sense of place, but a discovery of self. Or if you simply enjoy hiking, eating great food and meeting people from all walks of life and cultures, then the Camino de Santiago is amazing.
The Camino de Santiago is capable of bringing many benefits to people. There are always those who decide to do it alone or accompanied. When you travel alone, there is no one with you who knows you and therefore no one to remind you of who you are “supposed” to be. That doesn’t mean you can invent an alter-ego for the trip, but it simply means you can let go of all those expectations of what people think of you and be yourself and open yourself up to meeting new people. Solo travel truly tests your limits, puts you in situations that you ordinarily you wouldn’t encounter if travelling with a partner, and pushes you to realize your potential in many ways.
What has the Camino de Santiago that changes our lives?
We could say that the magic of the Camino is a mystery, which you do not know until you live it. But whoever proves it cannot help coming back and returning year after year. That eagerness to overcome, to help others, these experiences with your fellow pilgrims, the dinners all together, the shelters, the disconnection of everything during the trip … are moments that change everything, moments that linger in our retinas forever.
That is why we believe that walking the Camino de Santiago is the best psychologist. It makes you see everything from another perspective, changes you inwardly, makes you a better person and, contrary to everybody thinks, heals your wounds.
Article by caminotravelcenter Recommended by Hostal Gau Txori, a place where you can rest, eat and sleep while enjoying a beautiful landscape. Image: Pexels