I first heard about ‘Camino de Santiago’ from a friend of mine at the cafe where I worked in 2016. In the movie he watched, two friends walked 790 kms with the motivation to quit smoking and at the end of the movie they smoked a cigarette towards the ocean with the happiness of reaching their goal. Since that day, a question has kept swirling in my mind: ‘Why does a person need to walk 790 kilometers to quit smoking? ‘
In August 2022, I started my trip to Santiago that I had been thinking about for a long time. During the first kilometers of my walk I met Zalan, who accompanied me for the next two weeks. He told me that he was about to graduate from medical school, but still didn’t know what field he would specialize in and that he came here from Romania to think about it along the way. When he asked me if I had any motivation for doing this road, I realized that I had nothing to think about while walking. Also, another question was running through my mind: ‘How could walking have anything to do with deciding what career you will do for the rest of your life?’
My journey took 18 days, from Irun to Piñeres with a 14kg bag, I covered 412.43km with 668,522 steps. My knees hurt more with each step, so I dressed new blisters every night. I swam in the ocean, slept on the beach.
However I had enough time to think about the questions.