The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, is a pilgrimage path that starts in Southern France and goes all the way to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. There are several different routes that you can take, but the one above is most consistent with the route I walked (the Camino Frances). I started my pilgrimage in Sarria and walked for five days to reach the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Inside the cathedral lie the remains of St. James and once you finish at least 100 kilometers of the pilgrimage path, you receive absolution from all your sins (I even have a certificate in Latin that says this!). It is easy to find pilgrims on the path because each one carries a scallop shell with the cross of St. James engraved on it. One day I will go back to walk the entire route and try to enjoy the more introspective aspects of the journey.
The Camino de Santiago was one of the most life-changing experiences I have ever had, and I encourage you to challenge yourself with this pilgrimage even if you aren’t religious! Click here for a helpful beginner’s guide to walking the Camino.