I posted the following to the boards yesterday:
Mike wrote: "The camino starts, as some wise person said, when you leave home."
Mine started July 4, 2004 when I picked up the book "Singular Pilgrim" in a bookstore in Seattle while waiting to meet up with friends. I leave home in 14 days to complete the last 800 km.
For those who think you only can dream about it - keep dreaming - it will come to you as it did to me.
And the following responses have been posted - I LOVE IT:!
Now there's an interesting thread. "Where did the Camino start for you?" As with Teri's, mine started with picking up a book by chance off a remainder table in a bookstore. "Nice cover. What's the title? The Pilgrim Route to Compostela. The what Route to where?....."
A couple weeks back, I talked to a guy who said he walked into his living room, saw the botafumeiro on his tv (his wife was watching an education channel), and said, "I don't know what that is or where it is, but before I die I'm going to go there." He's been three times now.
So where did it start for you?
My Camino, like many started with a very "random" occurrence. In my case a picture taken of the Somport pass area, that mentioned the Camino. Now after walking the Camino, I am much less willing to believe that things are always "random". Sometimes in life we are given chances, opportunities, windows, that allow us to expand on a personal level. Sometimes we miss these window, I will be ever grateful that I was given the chance to open the Camino window.
In the late 1990’s I read an article in the Travel section of the New York Times about a man who walked the Camino in memory of his recently deceased brother. The minute I saw that article, I was compelled to do it. I finally got there in 2002. Then I went back and walked LePuy in 2006 and again in 2007.
The people I met the earliest in the experience have remained in my life the longest.
I saw a TV program about the Camino. I asked my best buddy, sitting beside me, if he wanted to do this. He said "no". I knew in my heart when I saw that program that I would walk the Camino. I was so sure of this that it surprised me that my friend did not want to do it too.
It started for me on Christmas Day 2000.
I was visiting my brother and I was looking at his photographs of his tourist
trip to Spain. He had a photograph of half a dozen "backpackers" standing outside an old doorway. They were holding some sort of certificate in their hands. They were travel-stained, weary, dusty and worn-looking. But they all had grins from ear-to-ear. The intensity of their smiles was arresting. I asked him what was the photograph about....... and he uttered the maguc words, "They're pilgrims and they've just walked seven hundred and fifty kilometres across Spain to Santiago de Compostela."
At that moment I knew, with absolute certainty, that I would one day stand there and have my photograph taken with that same look and that same certificate in my hand. Been there twice so far and twice to Nidaros.
Bill wrote: (He'll be on the Camino at the same time I will be.)
It is nice to think now where the Camino started for me since I will be leaving in just 20 days for Camino Francis. Mine started a week after I began a 1000 mile trek up the Appalachian Trail in April 2003. I met and traveled with a couple from Holland who told me about a pilgrimage walk they completed the year before in Spain. I grew up in a spanish speaking area of Calif and over the next months on the AT the thought of going to Spain on an ancient spiritual pilgrimage stayed with me.
When I returned to the "real world" I was caught up in stuff again.....until now. If I walk my walk and it is meant to be, I will turn 60 the day I reach Santiago. That seems to me like a good way to start a new stage in life journey.
I hope to see some of you on the Camino beginning 07 Sept.
He added later, in response to Siliva's post: It is hard to imagine walking the Appalachian Trail more than once. To survive once is enough for most. I see people walking the Camino many times. There is obviously something very special. I hope I will understand it when I travel the St James Way next week. I am looking forward to the forests of Roncesvalles
Silvia wrote: (She'll be on the Camino at the same time I will be.)
I think my camino will only start next week when I take the first few
steps into the forest from Roncesvalles. Even though I have walked it
before (2002, 2004) I have learned so much more about Spain and about
the history, folklore, architecture etc of the camino that I want it to
be like walking it for the first time. This is also a new season for me
so I am looking forward to new landscapes, harvests and experiences.
(And, the backpack is 3kg lighter!) Only four more sleeps!
I am an avid reader of the type who will read the phone book when nothingelse is available.I came upon the books of Coelho and McClain about the Camino.I didn't get the message from either of these strange books, but figuredthat there must be something extremely attractive about this pilgrimage andthe more I searched, the more I was interested and needed more answers. Iwent last summer, alone, and completed the French route at the end of August2006. I got more answers than I needed. I will walk it again as soon as Ican make enough time. There is a lot of magic about the Camino. I walkedit all in one month without being afraid...without getting a single blistereven with my new shoes....with an energy that out-of-shape me never hadbefore, without a backache, although carrying 8 kilos every day (I have abackache now, and I'm not carrying anything). I am now yearning to leavefrom my front door here in Switzerland....The Camino is drawing me like apowerful magnet.
My camino started in August of 2000, when I turned on the TV to get the last few seconds of a travel program about the camino.. really only the presenter standing at Finisterre as the credits rolled. It was just enough for me to google it and find a diary of a cyclist. I was very quickly absolutely besotted with the idea of walking the camino.. a very bizzare idea as I had never travelled alone, never really walked far, never in 25 years of marriage been away from my husband for more than a few nights and was very unfit. My family and friends all thought that I was completely mad and even I wondered occasionally about my mental health but there were so many strange camino related coincidences in that year that I felt that I had no choice but to follow my heart.
My camino was even more wonderful than I had imagined it to be and since then I have walked again with my husband (2003), my parents who are in their seventies walked in 2002, my daughter in 2005 and in a few weeks time my son Tom hopes to walk (watch out for a tall, slim, red headed, 24 yr old New Zealander!). I am so thankful for the advice from this group and that I took the chance to do something that seemed so bizarre at the time!
I live in Silverdale, WA and will be flying out of Seattle on Aug.31, joining up with four other "wild wimmin" in Leon to walk theCamino. Keep an eye open for us....we'll be wearing red t-shirts. I've met "Seattelites" all over the world....we' re a traveling bunch!Good luck, happy travels!
Isn't it amazing how it has all come together for all of us? One fleeting moment in time set it all in motion. Beautiful!