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Welcome to Walking the Camino

July 10, 2010

First, a little about me and why I started this blog:

In a four-month span in 2009, I was laid off from my job, underwent knee surgery, and lost my father. Needing time to heal both emotionally and physically I escaped to Spain, embarking on a 500-mile pilgrimage known as El Camino de Santiago – walking the entire route (almost) barefoot.

But that’s merely what led me to the Camino. This blog is more about you.

Walking the Camino‘s goal is threefold:

1) Spread the word about the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. The Camino is an unparalleled traveling opportunity: safe yet adventurous, thrifty yet fulfilling, foreign yet accessible. So why didn’t I hear about it until I was 25 years old? It’s practically a crime how few Americans know about this amazing pilgrimage. There are many great Camino resources out there (caminodesantiago.me.uk, santiago-compostela.net, caminodesantiago.me/board), and I hope to put my own unique spin on the experience.

2) Provide helpful information on how to make your pilgrimage both easier, and more experimental. This will include everything from packing lists to more experimental suggestions such as, you guessed it, walking as close to barefoot as possible.

3) Shamelessly promote my Camino memoir/guidebook Walking: It’s Like Riding A Bike. Okay, so this part of the blog is more about me. My book will contain everything this blog hopes to offer as well as a more personal look at my day-to-day adventures along the Camino. Through my experiences I hope you will gain the confidence to know that you too can walk across an entire country, and that it’ll be ridiculously fun and rewarding to do so. I’m currently about halfway done with the first draft of the book, and frantically looking for unsuspecting agents/publishers to pounce on and harangue until they fall in love with my book proposal.


NEXT POST: The Camino goes Hollywood

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2010 11:44 am

    Hello Dylan,
    Your journey sounds amazing!
    Last year, of the 145 000 pilgrims who got the compostela, 5 500 were from North America and
    3 300 from South America. El Camino isn’t really a secret anymore!
    I have reviewed a dozen or so pilgrim books in the last few years. Between June 2008 and July 2009 over 400 new titles were published in Spain alone, 98% about the camino Frances.
    Bookshops are anticipating an avalanche of new books this year. With so many being written about the same route, they are becoming a bit formulaic – like a well known play, on the same stage, with the same sets and scenes, the same story, the same experiences, just different main characters. I have read a few that were original – one pilgrim walked in winter, the other with his elderly father; another walked with a donkey.
    May I suggest that for your book to have an edge over the dozens of others that will come out this year (many self-published) you will need to have an original focus or angle.
    You walked barefoot? That IS different! If youthere is anything that you are passionate about, weave it into the narrative. Food perhaps, or wines, or birds – anything that might help set it apart from all the others.
    I look forward to seeing your name in print one day! You can check out a few camino titles here:
    http://amawalker.blogspot.com/2009/09/books-on-camino.html
    un abrazo,
    Sil

  2. Dylan Romero permalink*
    July 29, 2010 11:57 am

    Thanks for the advice and the book list Sil!

    I agree that a good angle is necessary, and that the Camino is a pretty well served in most of the world. I still feel, considering the huge market, that the U.S. is a little undeserved. I’d never heard of the Camino until my girlfriend brought it to my attention. Likewise, almost all of my friends and family were unaware of its existence until I walked the pilgrimage.

    I’ll definitely try to stand out in the avalanche though!

  3. August 2, 2010 11:29 am

    I have been waiting for ever for a happy camino story to come my way.
    We don’t need another angst ridden, rite of passage memoir full of past demons, pride and prejudice. El Camino deserves a magical story, full of joy and wonder, light and music, gratitude, positive, uplifting, courageous, heart warming and ridiculously fun!! Write a story like that and I’ll help you to promote it!
    buena suerte!
    Sil

  4. Dylan Romero permalink*
    August 2, 2010 11:35 am

    Well, I had a tough year leading up to the Camino, but I try to remain positive no matter what happens in life. Walking the Camino was an awesome and joyous experience, so hopefully that shines through.

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