Psssssh there is so much junk out there telling young single females they can’t do things, which is completely absurd. I am writing this guide as I decided to walk El Camino after an 11-½ year breakup to give myself some much needed mental space. I did it alone as a single female traveller and I choose to do it in September 2015 after first travelling around Europe for three months. As I had so much travel to plan, I actually did very little research on the El Camino, and to be honest, the research I did do was super confusing! Then there was this lameo article that ranks super high in Google that hates on the whole walk – My response? Not everyone is a mega-hiking-wilderness-beast okay?! Sometimes a trek or hike is about more than just fitness.. ^__^
The truth is.. The Camino isn’t that difficult or as scary as you might think and you don’t need to know a lot to start – it is probably better to not know too much anyway as the Camino is magic and half the fun is not knowing what it going to happen each day. Just show up and walk, and trust in the unknown :).
Word of Warning: be careful, the Camino does crazy things to you. It makes you all open, and shiiiiit. It will work it’s charm on you and make you want to change your life, resolve unresolvables, appreciate life, realize how much privilege you have, give you humility and want to find true love – but remember, NO BOYS ON TOUR! I made a pact to myself for my walk to be a spiritual quest, as I had a lot of soul searching to do and that would have been compromised if my focus were on another.
I got a lot out of the walk. It really makes you rethink what’s important in life. And as much as people will want to party and have fun, and that’s ok too, I also recommend walking by yourself for a bit. I walked by myself for about two weeks, which was both challenging but amazing. I should also note.. You are never really alone on the Camino, you pass people, stay with people in Albergues and obviously can connect on social media – but it is nice to be able to control all of that.
Oh.. And the whole trail follows the Milky Way – how sick is that? Trust me, as I said, the whole walk is like magic – things feel broken then they fix and everything works out in the end. The Camino has good spirits along it if you believe that sort of thing. Everyone is on the Camino for a reason so you hear some great stories, so welcome in the chaotic crazy journey that is the Camino – I am so excited for you!
This is not a comprehensive guide on every nth degree.. There are MILLIONS of them out there.. This is the basic, fundamental no stress way to get started. Everyone told me I couldn’t walk the Camino by myself, as a girl, in sneakers in only 25 days.. But I did it.. Here’s how!
A brief guide to how to get started walking the Camino, where to get a Pilgrim’s Passport, what is that weird shell, the religious background as well as some cheeky ways to use the term “Bien Camino!”
Why I walked 56km in one day and why you don’t have to, how to manage your health and body while walking the Camino, why a guided tour is a stupid idea and also all about the crazy characters you meet such as the man who told me my heart and vagina were closed.
Because donation based albergues and sleeping in Teepees are awesome. Find out why you need to eat everything you see and why you need to leave the hair straightener at home. Includes a handy printable packing list!