Both walking solo and in a tour group are perfect choices to do your Camino de Santiago but which one is the best for you? Before you decide what to do, it´s important to wonder about:
What´s your walking style? Would you prefer solitude and contemplation or stopping to take lots of photos to record your journey? Or do you usually walk quickly with frequent, short stops? Would you rather arrive early in the day so that you have time for siesta and sightseeing or you like walk the entire day?
We are going to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of both options to help you to make up your mind.
- Walking on your own doesn´t mean you are getting lonely. On the contrary, you may make new friends on the route and you might also have the gift of independence to walk at your own pace or stop whenever you want. You won´t feel the pressure from your mates to negotiate every unexpected event or change.
- When you walk alone you do not fail to experience the peace and beauty of the Camino. Walking in group means getting a little distracted of this experience since you spend most of your time chatting with your pilgrim mates. Imagine surrounded by an impressive landscape, singing birds in the bushes and filling the hot air with their song. Are you sure that you would not miss it walking with a noisy group of pilgrims?
- Of course, occasionally it does get lonely when you feel the necessity to speak to somebody. Yet, if you are not too introverted, making friends is really easy because the spirit of the Camino makes everybody friendly and helpful. During the day, chatting with strangers in cafés and restaurants or having a little chat with any hiker is just a matter of being a bit outgoing.
- Walking solo is the type of Camino that you are looking for if you really want a more spiritual experience. Your body easily gets adjusted to a nomadic routine of walking day after day and your mind finds the perfect time for your own thoughts.
Walking in a tour group
- Walking with a group means companion and support. You will have somebody there when you feel sick, exhausted or sad. This is very important for some pilgrims, overall when they walk their first Camino. Once they get experienced and more confident , they usually want to experience a solo walking.
- Another advantage of walking in group or in a pair is security. It seems that many pilgrims feel safer being accompanied. Yet, the Camino sees very little serious crimes so this really should not be a significant concern.
- Walking in group requires patience and tolerance. You need to be open-minded and show certain communication skills so if you are not keen on compromise then a tour group is not likely to be style of Camino.
Buen Camino, amigos!
Photo 2 and photo 3 http://www.mediotejo.net/medio-tejo-peregrinar-ate-compostela-com-