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Author ORCID Identifier

0000-0002-6796-9081

Abstract

The Camino de Santiago is an ancient network of pilgrimage routes that lead to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. This qualitative study was conducted to explore contemporary pilgrims’ experiences on the route. I walked the route for 14 days, interviewing other pilgrims about their reasons for taking the journey and their experiences while on it. The methodology thus involved gaining wisdom on two levels: the researcher’s level and the participants’ level. Nineteen people from various counties and of different ages consented to an interview. The participants expressed an interesting mix of biopsychosocial experiences. They mentioned self contemplation and spiritual experiences. The physicality and historical significance of their journey seemed to affect their decision making and their ability to cope. The analysis revealed three inter-related themes: social wellbeing, contemplation through the body, and spiritual wellbeing. Most were walking a historically religious path for secular reasons, but all sensed a connection between body and soul, spirituality and nature, fostered by the rhythms of the physical journey.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

DOI

0000-0002-6796-9081

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