Gratitude for the Camino

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope this message finds you well wherever you are.  I asked pilgrims what they are grateful for and received some beautiful statements of gratitude for the Camino. Below are some of the stories that were shared. Enjoy!

Hans Buijsrogge

“I have been following the Camino shells on two Caminos (2017 and 2018) wearing  ‘The Camino Provides’ shell on my backpack.  The Camino for me is people from all over the world, talking together about their lives, in total world peace! We should send all our politicians on a Camino, maybe the could learn something.
My cardiologist told me I couldn’t go on a camino anymore in this life (my heart only functions 34%), but I will prove him wrong.  Camino is a way of life, a good life and very good for your body and mind!”
Hans received his patches and shared this photo and message: “Hi Laurie,
Thank you very much for the beautiful patches, I will stitch the 2019 patch on my backpack and the other one on an orange cap and that will be my inspiration and reminder that I will be going on a Camino someday. Wish you all the best”

Ann Marie Edmondson

Ann Marie

Gratitude 2020…on the Camino of Life

There will be a moment when doubt creeps in.
There will be a moment when fear hovers.
There will be a moment when discouragement surfaces.
There will be a moment when perseverance is required.
There will be a moment when determination kicks in.
There will be a moment when resilience is embraced.
There will be a moment when friendships are born.
There will be a moment when camaraderie is relished.
There will be a moment when exhilaration bursts forth.
There will be a moment when confidence prevails.
There will be a moment when kindness is no longer unexpected.
There will be a moment of gratitude that embraces it all.
The Camino provides.

Ken Anderson

I am grateful for my heart because I feel it beating every day.  I have the breath in my lungs to carry me through the day.  My two legs can take me to places where I have never been.  When I am in conversations with others it makes me think and come up with simple solutions on everyday issues.  People from other countries can teach you so much about their ways and customs. Love is the most grateful trait for it unites everyone together and having the passion for dreams to come true.

Meliea Lane

Steve and Meleia Lane
Amidst this pandemic, I find myself grateful for my life. There has come some clarity and joy in each simple day. I’ve learned to be patient, accepting, and often more insightful. I look back on my Camino experiences and realize how it has prepared me for this time in my life. I am grateful for my loving husband, family/ friends, and Camino community. It is all part of the journey and may we remember we are all here for each other.

Pablo Haker

Tengo muchas razones para estar agradecido al Camino. Una razón es porque me permitió conocer y entender España de otra manera cuando subí montañas y caminé por los pueblos pequeños y las fincas y granjas. Otra razón es porque me permitió ver el otro lado de las personas que no veía antes. Una tercera razón es que me conocí y mi propia fortaleza porque tenía que superarme a mí mismo y mis debilidades. El Camino es un viaje increíble, y tengo ilusión de volver a hacer otro Camino después de Covid. Agradezco tener recuerdos tan buenos del Camino
English translation:
Setmeravelles, Bilbao, Euskal Herria - Gravatar ProfileI am so grateful for the Camino for many reasons. One, it allowed me to get to know and understand Spain on a whole new level as I climbed mountains and walked through small villages and farms. Two, it allowed me to see a different side of people. Three, it allowed me to get to know myself and my own strength (and also allowed me to overcome some of my own weakness.) The Camino is an incredible journey, and I can’t wait to set out on a new Camino post-Covid. I’m so thankful to have the memories of it. 
-Pablo (Setmeravelles

Ana Mercadal- Macias

Ana Mercadal- Macias, M.S.
What a wonderful and thoughtful idea on your part to create this gratitude confessional!!  I am so grateful for the 40-day walk of the Camino that I was fortunate to complete in July of last year.  I did the whole thing by myself at 57 except for the French part.  I had every detail planned beforehand, including all of the hotels, hostels, etc.  So many miraculous things happened to me every step of the way.  One thing is for sure, God was everywhere!!!!  
I had dreamed about doing the Camino over 25 years ago and promised myself that I would do it when I had completed 35 years of teaching; I left the day after school of my 35th year.  The Camino is a part of me forever and I cannot wait to return.  It was such a magical adventure!!  I could not be more grateful to have been able to do experience the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in my lifetime.
Always a pilgrim,

Ana Mercadal- Macias, M.S.
Western High School, English Teacher

Lorie Florence

Lorie Florence
Walking among the trees, under an autumn sun, the breeze brings me the sound of laughter, cheerful voices, pilgrims spending time together doing what they love. Walking, relating, being. The ground is soft here, my heart is light, my legs are strong. I am ever grateful for the joys that being a pilgrim bring me, and the journey that started with an idea, a hope, and continues whenever I step out of my comfort zone and onto a trail. Love to you. Buen Camino!

Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

Fran received her patch on her birthday!

Fran received her patch on her birthday!

There are so many things that I am grateful for, especially as I reflect on my journey four years ago right at this time.

The Camino, which I dreamed of doing beginning in 1992, which I finally did in 2016 was a both a fulfillment and a preparation. I do not believe that I would be navigating life in the same way today if I had not walked all those steps, both with my feet and my heart. I met so many incredible humans along the way, and continue to be nurtured by their friendship. I received so many blessings of resilience and endurance, along with a more powerful ability to surrender when needed. And I’m grateful for knowing you online, for walking with my 2016 patch – and for meeting someone in 2020 who knows you and your family personally. Perhaps I’m most grateful for realizing the delicate, yet powerful web woven by the power of pilgrimage! It supports us all.

Fran Rossi Szpylczyn
Writer, Speaker, Retreat Leader
Social Media Consultant for Clear Faith Publishing

PS – here is my pack, taken the day before I left on my 2016 Camino Frances complete with my Camino Provides patch. I will forever laugh that in my haste to sew the arrow patch I have on the side, I sewed it to the side that pointed backwards! Haha!

Tom Miller

My Camino in 2019 was the first adventure in my retirement. I loved every minute on the Francés and Portuguese Caminos and I will cherish the memories and photos for years. Joining the Nor Cal Peregrinos is an unexpected surprise benefit.

I am most grateful to become a brother in the worldwide community of Camino Pilgrims. We share an experience that most of the people in the world cannot even imagine.

The adventures will continue too. Next year my brother and I will canoe from Pittsburgh to New Orleans. I hope to spend a year in Europe as a jump-off point for many visits over there. The Via Francigena might be in the future. There will be many adventures in the USA in my camper coming up. I will always be grateful that my Camino adventure was the beginning.

Tom Miller

Darlene McKee

I am so grateful for the blessings of the Camino. I first walked in 2007 and have been back 5 times since. In 2016 I was able to walk with my daughter and 9-year-old grandson. What an adventure that was. The same year in Santiago I met Irene when I needed a friend, and we have stayed connected since. Since 2012 I have been leading twice weekly hikes with other pilgrims. The Camino spirit enriches my life wherever I go.

Darlene McKee

Thanks to everyone who shared their Camino gratitude stories!  Others are welcome to write theirs in the comments below as well. Share the love!

Camino Provides patchesHelp support this blog by ordering patches for $4 each and save 20% with code OMG2020 or use link below:


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