The online Plaza Mayor for those who love Spain, and those who blog about it.

Wisdom from the Camino

May 5, 2013 by Luann Edwards


In the last blog post, we looked at the Camino de Santiago from the perspective of modern-day pilgrims in anticipation of the journey. Today, we turn our attention to the wisdom shared by those pilgrims – peregrinos – who have completed the pilgrimage.  There is a wealth of beautiful writing by those who have been transformed by the journey.

In her blog, girlsontheway.com, Patricia Herr shares “The Ten Truths of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.” My favorite truth is the first, “You are stronger than you think you are.” Here’s what she says:

“There will be days when your feet feel like someone went at them with a hammer. There will be times when the rain pelts you for hours on end. There will be moments when your back aches and your shoulders hurt and your neck wants to fall off. During each and every one of those times, you’ll go deep within yourself and you’ll find the strength to keep going. Every time you tough it out makes the next difficult time that much easier.” 

My second favorite – although perhaps it is a tie with the first – is the final truth, number 10, “Ultreia.”

“This is a peregrina’s mantra; it means Onward. Forward. Ahead. You can’t go back. “Ultreia” applies to every aspect of my life. Whatever has happened in the past, it doesn’t matter. I can only take action in the here-and-now and I can only look ahead to the future. Keep moving. Keep growing as a person. Keep trimming the unwanted fat (in terms of both diet and negative people) from my life. Keep doing the best I can, keep learning, keep celebrating the moment and keep cherishing my loved ones. Keep hiking, keep planning for the future, keep true to myself and my family.”

If each of us came out of an experience with just these two lessons, the world would be a better place.

Each blog post is filled with uplifting anecdotes of experiences on the road. On richardtullochwriter.com, Tulloch described a “miracle” during his camino:

“Miracles happen along the Camino. Somewhere between 13.7 and 15.1 kilometres into the trek my GPS computer broke free of its moorings on my wrist and was lost. I retraced my steps and searched the ground fruitlessly, until a Spanish angel appeared on a mountain bike and produced it from his backpack.”

An in aviatrixkim.com, Kim Green’s blog, she shares wisdom from her day of departure:

“1. You can never get everything done.

2. When you don’t get it all done, the world doesn’t end.

3. Worrying doesn’t help.”


And for all those who wish to find The Way, are about to set out on The Way, or have already found their version of The Way, iblogspain.com wishes you buen camino!



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3 Responses to “Wisdom from the Camino”

  1. jacey says:

    Thanks for this lovely post, Luann.

    Ever since I heard about the Camino de Santiago, I have
    thought about making that journey. Right now, what it makes me think about is what Cheryl Strayed, who wrote the book, WILD, said about her trek along the Pacific Crest Trail. She said, at the beginning, she did it to find a way out of her life, but actually, at the end when she finally finished, she realized that what she was really looking for was the way in. Just another insight about life, journeys, and discovery.

  2. Luann Edwards says:

    Jacey, thanks for your comment. That’s an interesting connection. I have Cheryl Strayed’s book on my Kindle; I am looking forward to reading it. Also, wouldn’t it be great to get the Segovia sisters together to walk the Camino? Ever since I started to look at it more closely, it’s becoming more and more appealing.

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