In the Spring of 2022, I set out to walk the Camino Portuguese from Porto to Santiago de Compostela. Unfortunately, I struggled greatly on my pilgrimage. I ended up only walking a few days and ended my Camino early. It took me some time to process everything, but I wanted to update you on what happened and why I quit my walk. It could be helpful for others to learn from my mistakes. Or maybe people can relate?!
The reasons why I ended my pilgrimage prematurely are layered & complex. I cover all the bases in the video and in my blog. Generally, I suppose the factors can be categorized as “internal” vs. “external” factors.
Internally, because of the highly transformative nature of my first Camino (the Camino Frances), I set the bar HIGH for what my pilgrimage had to “look” and feel like. I had this myopic vision of how I had to experience the walk psychologically. As someone who deals with depression and anxiety, I always look for ways to cope with both. The Camino and all it represents swiftly became my one size fits all bandage for my mental health struggles. I started this Camino with some baggage, and when it wasn’t giving me the “high” I expected, I became super hopeless. My “magic pill” lost its magic!
External, I was not prepared for the Camino Portuguese. If only I could do things different! For one, I was out of shape and needed to adequately research the differences in this route with the Camino Frances. While in Portugal, I constantly compared the routes. In my head (& heart), it was a game of Camino Frances vs. Camino Portuguese. This isn’t fair because the routes are SO different, but I couldn’t stop! Granted, I only walked a few days leaving from Porto, along the coast, then cut to the Central route. However, in those few days, I was disappointed by the lack of nature and wooded footpaths.
There is much more to say, but I will leave that to this video I put together!
Please be mindful that these are my personal experiences. Most people have a wonderful time walking from Porto to Santiago. My journey was different, and that’s okay, too.
Thanks for watching xx