Walking the Camino

By The Beacon | April 15, 2015 5:25pm

By Kimmy Kavanaugh |


The Camino de Santiago, also referred to as the Way of St. James, is a pilgrimage that winds through nearly 500 miles of the northern Spanish countryside. A pilgrimage is a spiritual journey to a sacred place. Individuals most commonly undertake such a journey in order to seek a greater connection with God.

In the case of the Camino de Santiago, pilgrims from all over the world travel to Spain to walk this ancient route every year for various reasons. Many decide to partake in this long walk to forge a deeper relationship with God, others to seek inner peace and some do it for the pure adventure and challenge the Camino provides.

However, despite the various stories that bring the pilgrims to walk the Camino de Santiago, we all share one common goal: to arrive at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela where it is believed the remains of Saint James the Apostle are held.

Preparing for the Camino de Santiago requires more than just physical training. It also is very important to be spiritually prepared.

We will be walking twelve to eighteen miles a day while carrying, roughly, a twenty-five pound backpack. Preparation for the physical component of this pilgrimage includes long hikes through forest park to break in my hiking boots and prepare my body for the extensive mileage we will be walking while en route.

For me, spiritually preparation for this pilgrimage is essential. To ready myself for the spiritual trials and highs I may find on the Camino, I actively seek peace in my daily life despite the various stressors I encounter as a college student.

Walking the Camino de Santiago has been a dream of mine for a long time. Ultimately, I desire to further enhance my relationship with God and become more connected with myself and the individual I strive to be through God.

Furthermore, I love to be outside and to witness the beauty of God hidden within the natural landscape. The overwhelming magnificence from God’s creation and the serenity I find in geography further contributed in my decision to walk the Camino.

Ultimately, I believe that I can always work on enhancing my relationship with God. And I truly believe that walking the Camino de Santiago will provide me with a life-enhancing experience that will forever enrich my love for God and for myself.

Kimmy Kavanaugh is a junior nursing major and a member of Army ROTC. She can be reached at kavanaug16@up.edu.