Sunrises to Santiago: Searching for Purpose on the Camino de Santiago
By Gabriel Schirm
A fresh new voice is on the Camino book scene, and it can now be heard via Audible, narrated by the author himself. Sunrises to Santiago is a journey of a young couple who walked the 500 miles of the Camino Frances in 30 days, an ambitious feat. Gabriel and his wife Amy lived in Spain for three years prior to their Camino and have a great appreciation for Spanish cuisine and lifestyle.
He leads with a solid introduction on the history and background of the Camino. Along the way they encounter a few of the unpleasant aspects of the Camino such as bedbugs, snoring and blisters. But the author reveals so much more along his journey, including heartfelt stories of the people they meet along the way, and questions about his true purpose in life. I could relate to both Gabriel and Amy on so many different levels. Whenever Gabriel veers into cynicism or self-doubt, Amy drops some words of wisdom on the meaning of life. She is a guru! I loved hearing that she planned to start yoga teacher training after their Camino. This is my plan after my Camino as well.
One of my favorite passages of the book is Gabriel’s description of life on the Camino.
We continue on and throughout the day meet a virtual traveling United Nations. We meet people from South Korea, Poland, Australia, England, Ireland, and more. Each person here for a unique reason. I continue to be pleasantly surprised by what an international experience this is. You truly are walking with the world. The human experience and the struggles people come here to work through and walk through have a very common thread. Money problems, loss, anxiety, relationship difficulties, religion, life crisis, all answers to the most common question on the Camino de Santiago, “Why are you here?”
Kudos to Gabriel for narrating his own story for Audible! There aren’t many audio versions of Camino books. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Sunrises to Santiago during my training hikes. Hearing their story made it so much more authentic, like I was walking the Camino with them. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Camino. If you prefer Kindle or paperback books, I’m sure these versions are real page-turners as well. All formats available on Amazon.
Gabriel Schirm is a writer based in Denver, Colorado. He has been featured on the Travel Channel, USA Today, and as a contributor to TravelChannel.com.