The Camino de Santiago

If you are here because the Camino called you, then I’m honored to be part of your first steps toward a life-changing journey. There are many routes on the Camino, there are many ways to walk those routes, and there are countless reasons for walking. No route is bad, no way is wrong, and no reason needs justification.

There is one thing, though, that I can guarantee with certainty: walking the Camino de Santiago will forever change you.

The Camino de Santiago Calls You

“The Camino calls you.” That’s what I heard the first time the word Camino entered my world.

I had no idea that the Camino de Santiago was a pilgrimage to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. I didn’t know that Santiago was the capital of Galicia in Spain, or that the cathedral is said to hold the remains of Saint James. I didn’t know that pilgrims have set out for Santiago since the Middle Ages, carving well-worn paths into the Earth, into history, and into the hearts of all those who walk the Camino.

Since I am not Catholic and, at the time, I didn’t even own a backpack, I was sure pretty sure that the Camino wasn’t going to call me.

And then it did.

A Resource for Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago

Please consider these pages a resource for your pilgrimage. I am constantly adding to this as I receive questions from prospective pilgrims and tips from veterans of the trail. If you have a question, any question at all, please contact me or comment on one of my Camino posts.

A Little Bit About My Journey on the Camino de Santiago

They say your pilgrimage begins at your doorstep. If that’s the case, then my pilgrimage began on the doorstep of Northwestern Hospital in Chicago on June 4, 2018. My fiancé died there that day at the age of 40.

I changed everything about my life. I quit my job and set out to travel the world because I had seen firsthand that life is too short to delay dreams.

Somewhere in the midst of my travels, the Camino called me. Around the same time, my friend Lizz asked if she could travel with me for a while. I said: “Sure, Lizz, but I think I’m going to walk across Spain. Do you want to join me?”

Lizz didn’t know what the Camino was, but she didn’t hesitate for a second before saying yes.

We set out on the Camino del Norte – the Northern Route – on Aug. 16, 2019, and we arrived in Santiago de Compostela 35 days later. Forever changed.

Here is what that last day looked like:

For a Day-by-Day Account on the Camino del Norte, Start Here:

Each of the 35 days we spent on the Camino del Norte is outlined in 35 posts that start here with Day One. Each post includes a video, lessons learned, and tips from a post-Camino perspective.

Reading the posts and watching the videos will give you a very good idea of what to expect on your pilgrimage, even if you choose a different route.

The Post-Camino Perspective: A Narrative

Lizz and I also sat down during COVID-19 to talk about our pilgrimage and provide a post-Camino perspective. Lizz taped from Scotland and I taped from the United States, but we were still able to get in some pretty good laughs.

Camino Vlog
Start here if you want to know what it’s really like to walk the Camino de Santiago!

Favorite Stories from a Pilgrimage on the Camino del Norte

Sometimes my favorite stories are from great days, like the one when we went to a carnival. Some stories are from terrible days, like the one where I walked with food poisoning and threw up in a town called Poo (oh, the irony).

Some stories are fun like the day when our walking sticks were stolen and we launched on an epic, Nancy-Drew-style investigation to get our sticks back. Other days are a little scarier like the one where Lizz had a very unpleasant encounter in an albergue, the pilgrim hostels where you will stay along the route.

Here is a collection of favorite stories:

This Camino de Santiago video series is shot from a post-Camino perspective. My walking partner and I cover every aspect of walking the Camino from our…

The day we completed our pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago was surreal. We couldn’t believe we were heading out on the last day, the 35th…

Walking Away, Coming Home My fiancé was diagnosed with cancer on Valentine’s Day of 2018. I still think of the day as “Diagnosis Day.” A day…

The Day When it All Began: We were all anticipation as we set out for our first day of walking the Camino del Norte. Two utter…

The Day with the Detour: It was raining as we set out on the Camino del Norte from the Pitis Hostel but it didn’t phase us…

The Day We Went to a Carnival: We woke up on Day Five of walking the Camino del Norte feeling well-rested and relaxed. Because we were…

The Day We Hit 100 Miles Walked: We hit a major milestone on day eight of walking the Camino del Norte. Just as we reached our…

The Day We Followed a Sign & Walked Right Into…Masturbate-Gate: Yeah, you read that right. I was finally able to put my hiking boots back on…

The Day That Involved Barbed Wire, Stinging Nettle & Railroad Tracks: We set out on Day 15 of walking the Camino del Norte prepared to walk…

The Day When We Learned How to Drink Cider in Asturias: Part of the fun and the challenge of walking the Camino de Santiago in the…

The Day We Hit 200 Miles…and the Day I Threw Up at a Church: Most days on the Camino de Santiago come with challenges wrapped up…

The Day When We Almost Lost Our Walking Sticks: This could also read as the day when we almost lost our shit because when Lizz and…

Bloopers from the Camino del Norte

No journey is complete without the bloopers!

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