Motivations and learnings of a true pilgrim
A pilgrim, a Camino and one very clear idea: “To complete the first section of the Camino Frances to Santiago with the intention of continuing it in the months that follow.” This was part of the message that Isidre, a fully-fledged pilgrim, wrote in his first contact with Santiago Ways through the web.
That’s what he wanted, and that’s what he did. According to his needs and his free time, he completed all the sections of the Camino Frances over just over 2 years, on 6 different trips, so that he could travel at his pace, from start to finish, the Camino Frances to Santiago.
The Camino Frances at his pace
His main motivation was his family and friends who, after his retirement, constantly suggested him to do the Camino de Santiago making him see how much he would like it. Today he is glad that he had that seed sown in his mind which has enabled him to reap the fruits of a harvest in personal satisfaction and lessons learned from pilgrims from all over the world.
Of so many conversations that took place during the Camino, it is particularly noteworthy to have travelled a few kilometres with a pilgrim of German origin who gave him a reflection that he wanted to share and that we found more than adequate to define what it means, At the end of it all, live this experience: “Don’t ask anything from the Camino, the Camino will give you what you need”.
It had never been among his plans, but those who love and know him the most knew that the Camino would perfectly match his taste for walking, travel and to get to know countries, their people and culture, as he tells us. Different activities that, together with tourism and photography, has been able to fully enjoy during his Camino.
“Now I’m happy that they did,” Says Isidre, referring to the insistence of his family and friends. And he says it proudly, after having finished, on September 23rd, 2019, the last stage of his Camino, which began on August 6th, 2017.
From his first stage from St. Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona, until the last one from Sarria to Santiago, Isidre placed all his trust in Santiago Ways so that, as he himself let us know, we could adapt the trip to what he needed.
And with this, he points to one of several tips that he considers relevant to novice pilgrims: “I would tell you that you have nothing to worry about. The Camino (the stages, weight to carry, etc) can be customized to the maximum according to your desires or your needs (…) This is what I did with the help of Santiago Ways.”
Respect for each other and for yourself along the Camino
‘You’ll never walk alone’ was the phrase that Isidre made his motto for the Camino. As he went on, he discovered with fascination that many of the pilgrims he greeted in the morning with a ‘Buen Camino’, later he saw them again and with the previous exchange of words, this allowed them to engage in more extensive conversations.
Having traveled the entire Camino Frances, he has discovered that he would love to continue to know other pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. “I have thought of doing certain stretches of 100 or 150 kms of the Camino Portugues Coastal route or the Camino del Norte”, he said when we spoke with him to thank him for giving us the opportunity to organize all sections of his Camino Frances to Santiago.
Among other topics he has learned as a pilgrim, such as the need to bring adequate clothing and footwear and rain-resistant, for example, Isidre comments on some other aspects that encourage novice pilgrims to consider.
The first, what has meant to him to learn to “Appreciate the need for respect for beliefs, conditions and origins of others”, after being in contact, every day, directly and indirectly, with dozens of people from very different cultures.
The second, also very important, the magic of walking each stage at your own pace when you go with friends or family. “You will meet later and no-one will get lost because the Camino is always perfectly signposted. It’s the same with stopping to eat or drink something, do this when you want or need it,” he stresses.
His greatest satisfaction was to have completed the challenge that he set himself; ours, which with authentic and dedicated pilgrims to the experience of the Camino like Isidre, we confirm every day that our daily work makes more sense whenever we can add value and be part of the Camino de Santiago for thousands of pilgrims from all over the world who, like him, have become part of the Santiago Ways family.