Camino in the Clouds

Have you ever seen those word clouds made up of a variety of words, some small, some large, some even larger? I had a brainstorm one night and thought it would be fun to make a Camino word cloud. I asked a question of the Camigas on Facebook (a group for women to share tips about the Camino). My question was, “What single word describes what the Camino provided for you?” The first eighty responses resulted in the heart-shaped word cloud below, in which larger words are the most used.

the Camino Provides all of these for Women

I loved so much how this experiment turned out that I made the blue heart my Facebook page cover photo for the month of February. As soon as I shared this graphic on the Camigas post, more responses kept pouring in! So I made another. The pink text bubble results are from 130 replies.

Camino Provides for Women

This one was just as striking, but perhaps a little too busy as there are so many words to process. It does not surprise me that the most frequently used words are Peace, Confidence, Joy, Freedom and Love. Amen, Camigas! My word was Courage, but I had all of those other feelings at different times during my Camino. I was really glad that Vino and Food made the cut, as those were very memorable (and tasty!) aspects of the pilgrimage.

Then I thought, what would men answer to the same question? There is no equivalent Camigos group just for men, so I posted the question to a large group of Camino enthusiasts from around the world. The Camino de Santiago closed group currently has 15,426 members. Since there are both women and men in the group, I asked that only men respond. Naturally, a few women could not resist chiming in. 🙂 The responses were fast, but with a group this active, my post was soon buried down the timeline. When I eventually got sixty words from men, I decided to call it and make this word cloud in the shape of a Camino arrow.

Camino Provides for Men

Clearly, the men really appreciate the freedom of the Camino! Among men’s other revealing words were Blisters, Brotherhood, Adventure, and No Sex (I had to merge this response into a single word.) Remember from a recent post on Camino Statistics, that men outnumber women on the Camino 52% to 48% (and the gap is narrowing), but men appear to be less expressive about it. No surprise there. ¡Así es la vida!

I have been fascinated with the phrase, “The Camino Provides.” It is fun to see how a random sampling of people responded to the question. What started out as a simple curiosity turned out to be a fun experiment, showing men’s and women’s different perspectives on the Camino.

What single word describes what the Camino provided for you?

If you would like to contribute to a new word cloud, write your response in the comments below. Keep the responses coming. The more the merrier!

¡Buen Camino!

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