When you pray, move your feet

The Camino de Santiago, which is also known by the names The Way of Saint James, and St. James’s Way, Saint James’s Path, and the Road to Santiago, describes a network of Christian pilgrimage routes with different starting points around Europe, but all with the same destination, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain. It’s said that the remains of the saint are buried there. Today I’m setting off on the Caminho Português de Santiago, which a well known 230km section of the entire Camino de Santiago network originating in Porto, Portugal. In fact, my 4 hour bus trip to the starting point at the Cathedral in Porto leaves in a few hours at 5.45am. Yep, that’s right, I’m writing a Medium post at just after 3 in the morning! Anyway, the Portuguese Way (note: the full 616km route actually starts in Lisbon) originates from the Middle Ages, and is said to have been built on old Roman trade routes.

Photo credit: Joost de Raeymaeker

But why do it? In addition to Christian pilgrims, many other people from all backgrounds and belief systems complete the camino for many different reasons, but probably the most common general reason to complete the journey is for one’s spiritual growth. I’ve myself decided to undertake the Caminho Português de Santiago pilgrimage for three main reasons.

  • to walk off as much emotional stress, which resulted from finally facing a range of personal matters that I’d kept on ice for many, many years, and which had all recently totally blown up in my face
  • to learn about other people’s lives, including the challenges they’ve had, how they’ve overcome them and, most importantly, what makes then happy
  • to strengthen my personal resolve and commitment to leading a good and satisfying life, and to (hopefully) inspire others to take charge of their own lives and find the courage to follow their dreams

​As a coach, I (literally) need to walk my talk. In other words, I have to be prepared to be a leading example of what I’m trying to help others achieve. It’s really that simple. ​I hope that you’ll (virtually speaking) join me as I document the journey enroute. You can access all the connected social media links via this portal page. I look forward to your company, including the exchange of thoughts and the answering of any questions you may have, whether it be related to this particular journey, or life in general. And if you can share this post with others who may be interested, that would be great too. Anyway, a few more coffees (and maybe nervous cacas) and then it’ll be time to move my feet.

Bom caminho!

P.S. If you already have a craving for an instant camino image fix, here’s the direct link to the Life on the Run Instagram page.