Camino de Santiago

The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela
The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela

At this moment pilgrims are walking to Santiago de Compostela. The story is over a thousand years old, being told many times. Santiago seems to become a more popular destination. What is this camino and how does it affect  you? How is it to return back home picking up the life you left behind? Or maybe that is not possible.


When you listen to the stories of pilgrims, they say they have made a choice because of a heartfelt wish or dream, something they have read years ago and that kept following them. On the moment of making a choice to decide walking the camino they are listening to their heart. The camino connects them with the deeper meaning of life. For me personally it meant that I could become the person I always was, without masks, until now hiding inside of me.


Walking the camino means leaving everything behind you. Your partner, children, work, home, and friends. You are starting a journey, all alone.  A journey of weeks or even some months. Looking for clarity, looking for an answer, looking for a new beginning, looking for yourself.


One thing all these pilgrims have in common, they are walking to Santiago de Compostela. With pilgrims from all over the world it is a mixed company on its way. Pilgrims walk like a human chain on St. James’ Way. Walking silently, talking or praying. Alone, together or in a group. Everybody tells his story and listens to the story of the others. By meeting all these pilgrims on the road, it becomes a meeting with yourself.


I was afraid that they wouldn’t recognize me anymore at home. My old ‘me’ had slipped off like an old coat. Connecting with other pilgrims made me take off layer after layer. Until I was naked. Who have I become? Or had I always been this person, but never had the courage to show? Every step on my way gave me confidence and made me open up to life as it showed. 


These are fragments from my book  A pilgrimage to Santiago. The book contains the story of my winter camino and 33 short life changing stories of pilgrims from all over the world. I published the book myself and you can order it here. The price is €15,95 (excluding postage). Send me an email with your details if you wish to order the book.


CONTACT Gert-Jan for a talk about the camino or when you need a guide/coach on the camino.

+31 (0)6 46 26 66 22

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." ~Gandhi