A pilgrim’s story of friendships along the Camino

Hi my name is Emily and I’m from the United States. One of the things I love the most about the Camino de Santiago is the people that you walk with. When I first started the Camino I said hi to a few people but generally kept to myself. I had told myself that I was here to get in touch with my spirituality and that I wanted just a lot of alone time to find that inner peace and to find God.


Every now and then I would say “Buen Camino” as a I would pass someone or as they would pass me but I found it especially difficult to talk to people because they were mostly Spanish. After a couple of days I kept seeing the same faces and kept saying the same greeting to each one of them. I soon realized that these people would be with me for the next several weeks. I started keeping track of certain people because that’s what my mind did while I was walking. I would look at their clothes and remember what they wore or I would keep a mental note of where they were if I passed them. All of this solitude made me want to actually talk to them and so I did. I found that a lot of them were doing the hike for the same reasons as me, others had their own reasons. But we were all similar and connected in the fact that we all are walking this path and on this day.

What I eventually realized was that meeting these people was the first step in finding what I was looking for. I was looking for that companionship that you get from God but what I also found was the friendship and the comradery you get from doing a difficult task with other people. We all bonded throughout the hike and walked together for weeks until Santiago de Compostela. This is my favourite memory of the trip because it is the people who will definitely help you get through the hike and make it the great experience I’m sure you’re all looking for.

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3 Responses

  1. william ware 22. Aug, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    its always nice to hear someone say buen camino as they pass you

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  2. Greg R 01. Mar, 2012 at 12:50 am #

    Thx, emily,
    I am trying to put together my first camino. I enjoyed reading your entry here, im not sure I want to hike the camino other than maybe enlightenment. And to see the Spanish countryside. But im hoping I can find a few trusting souls to chum with..lol
    could you write back and give us more of your experiences?
    Thx, Greg from Arkansas

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  3. Jennifer+Rick 03. Mar, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    Thank you for sharing your experience, Emily. My husband and I are planning our Camino and have been devouring as much as possible regarding it.

    I would like to ask, did you still encounter language barriers? One thing I have discovered in my travel is the importance of learning as much language as possible, which seems more difficult for those raised in the States, since languages are not introduced at the optimum age. I just wondered, with the friendships you formed, were you able to get past this easily?

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