Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime. (Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad / Roughing It)
The Road to Santiago is much more interesting then Santiago itself.
Take a year to prepare your journey to Santiago. The day you decide to make this trip is the day your travels start. It’s fun to think about all you need to turn this journey into a walk or ride into the Mystic. Because that is what your plan is all about. It will make you discover things about yourself you never knew. It will make you discover things about The World you never knew.
Approach this plan as if you were starting to write a book.
In fact start writing this book the day you decide to make this journey. While doing this you will also turn this experience into the best learning experience you ever had. Sharing is Caring. You will help others with your writing, lessons and experiences too.
If you want to read my book, just send a request to email@example.com and I will send it right away.
Think of a Thousand Reasons to not make this trip.
Think of a Thousand Reasons to do it.
In this year of preparing for the trip I could think of a thousand reasons to cancel it. Bad knees. COVID-19. No time. No money. My family can’t do without me. A two month blank in my CV. Bad weather. Flat tires. Shitty bike. Bad timing. I am to weak. No time to prepare anything. Fear for the unknown. Too many people that are making the same trip. To crowdy roads.
The thing is: any reason you can think of for not making the trip is walking or biking away from yourself.
Embrace uncertainty and flow, because you will experience both. You might need it to become a more whole person.
Start your Camino from the threshold of your home.
And create so-called markers on your route. +2400 kilometers (that was how long my trail was) is a long distance. Cut your route into pieces. It will give you the certainty of meeting friends along the road and have some time to replenish and recover. Starting in Amsterdam, I had stops in Montfoort, Bergen op Zoom, Brussels, Vézelay, La Roche Canillac, Villeneuve sur Lot and Poo de Llanes. I did not plan anything in between those cities and villages. My agenda was open. I was ready for any new experience.
By the way, you might consider to plan your voyage early in the season.
I started on the 1st of June. I was alone for most of my 35 days. It was a trip inside. I loved it. The inspiration to write, to think, to contemplate, to bike and think nothing, to talk to strangers and to change my plans was abundant.
Make it a solo trip.
There are people who will ask you to travel together. Refuse politely. The Camino is something you do on your own. Your reward will be overwhelming and abundant. Travel alone and become a World Citizen. An individual that feels OK in any kind of culture. In connection with people and surroundings. You will become the person that embodies someone who works on a World that works for Everybody.
Do it for charity.
Make your network, friends, family, boss, relatives and spouse, sponsor your pilgrimage and every single kilometer. When back home, give the money to a good cause, to charity. People that need that money much more than you do. If you can find the time and resources to plan and make this journey, you allready have everything you need in this world. Share your abundance with others. Sharing is Caring. A World that Works for Everybody.
Create a website or a special page on your own website.
People that donate to your noble cause want to make this trip with you while staying at home. They love to hear your stories and updates. They become your co-travelers. You think you are making this trip on your own? You are, but with online support whenever you need it. We are living in difficult times. Times in which prejudice is becoming a common attitude. There are people out there that need support, that need your philosophy, your wisdom. Share it. Be a role model and example of what a world citizen is and can be. Check my page. Rokus 35 days Inclusion Pilgrimage to Santiago.
Choose your equipment with the utmost care.
I left some of my equipment/gear in almost every city and village I made a stop. You don’t need a lot of gear to end this Adventure successfully. Make sure you only bring along what’s necessary. Avoid extra weight. Reduce all that noice in your life and head. It will bring you back to the essence of what you are and need. You and other people.
If you need more specific details on equipment, please drop me a line and I will tell you all I know.
Thank you for reading this.
To be honest, I could write an extra 130 pages and 200 reasons why it will help you to do what I did. For me the Camino did not end. It will linger on for years. I am planning new Camino’s for the coming years.
Let me end with this poem by David Whyte, my favorite Irish poet.
I added some pictures to it to underline his beautiful words.
Thanks again and I wish you a Buen Camino.