Need reasons to do the Camino de Santiago in 2023? In this article, we give you 6! Read to the end to get inspired. After all, from Porto to your destination there are 260 kilometers, if you don’t make a mistake along the way. So, you have the motivation and commitment to the mission ahead. Let’s go?
There is no shortage of reasons to do the Way to Santiago in 2023, even though it is a challenge for many pilgrims. Before the journey begins they realize that they have to prepare for some situations such as packing their backpacks, buying transport tickets, and sometimes reserving the lodgings where they will stay beforehand.
All these little obstacles can take away a little of the will of future walkers. So, here are 6 reasons to do the Camino de Santiago in 2023. Read them in the most difficult moments, after the journey and even during the journey and you will see that the process becomes easier!
1. It is a physical and mental challenge.
Who doesn’t like a challenge? Like a game, on the Camino de Santiago, you’re always reaching new goals and trying to get further. However, whatever your physical condition, a walk of this size is tough. Not only do you have to walk several kilometers a day (some people even do 50 a day), but you often have to do it with a blazing sun above you and blisters on your feet.
The best advice is: The journey adapts to you. Yiy can go the whole way on foot, on bicycle , or even running – or even a combination of all three. Imagine someone who rides a bicycle poorly, decides to make the journey with this mode of transportation. It is a new adventure, one that forces you to be better every day.
The important thing is to be committed to your purpose and never exceed your limits. Be they physical or mental.
2. It is a religious moment, for many pilgrims.
Not all pilgrims are religious people, but the Way to Santiago has a historical aspect linked to Christianity. You can read our article about the history of the route here. Even agnostics and atheists, when walking the Way, say they feel something inside. Whether it’s the journey, the company, or the feeling of mission accomplished, arriving in the Capital of Galicia and the destinations that takes you there impresses anyone. It is a place for self-discovery, of your limits and your ambitions, and it is only natural to feel so many emotions along the way. A kind of magic that leaves you fond of the route.
3. An outdoor gym and much cheaper.
Some of us, including myself, spend many hours sitting at a desk in front of one or more computer screens. In this way, the Way to Santiago is a way to escape the routine and, in the process, achieve the much-needed 10,000 recommended steps (don’t worry, you’ll do many more every day).
Walking, biking, or running 25 kilometers per leg is exercise that will get anyone going. If the goal is to lose weight, then you’re on the right track, that one day of walking leads to losing enough calories so you do not have to worry about that heavier lunch.
4. To do the Way to Santiago is a new way of doing tourism.
In 2023, there is a lot of tourism. There are people who prefer to spend a few days at the beach to rest, others going to the Swiss Alps (or to Serra da Estrela) to have fun in the snow. The pilgrims bring together the best of the planet and combine cultural/rural/religious tourism in a sports and adventure package filled with wonderful landscapes along the way.
You will learn to revisit how, in ancient times, travel was done and get to know thousands of places you would never in your life think of visiting. Small villages in a remote and hidden Portugal, or a little church in the middle of a village that grew up around it. It’s memories like these that make the Way to Santiago so special.
5. You will meet many new people.
Good for the shy to work on their social skills and great for the extroverts, as the Way to Santiago is full of people. Whether in cities, towns, cafes, or even on the route, it is true when we are told: “You never walk the Way alone”.
There are cases of friendships forged on the way that last a lifetime, and there will certainly be cases of love built along the way. The spirit of the Camino, the sense of belonging to a community, facilitates bonds between pilgrims. Like a nation, the bonds created here are hard to break, as they are nurtured by a common achievement.
6. You will have moments of reflection doing the Way to Santiago.
Finally, the warning: the road can be lonely. There are those who do it in silence, even, and it is a time to put our priorities in order, to think about the future. What you want for your life and, above all, what you don’t want.
This process of self-knowledge is only possible for many pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. It is the place and space in which you can disconnect from the world, away from the hustle and bustle of cities and, in a way, the responsibilities of the “real”. This is a privilege that brings you back into society as new, with clear goals and an energy ready for action.
So, what are the reasons to walk the Way to Santiago in 2023?
It is a unique experience. Whatever the main motivation is, all are valid. Whether it’s the religious journey or just a desire to sleep in hostels, what’s important is the memories that the journey leaves for any pilgrim.