Walking the Camino with Kids - The Pilgrim Family

Walking the Camino with Kids - The Pilgrim Family

It’s no joke – our surname really is Pilgrim, and we recently walked the Camino De Santiago with our children.

With a name like that, what other choice did we have when it came to choosing a holiday destination? Well actually, a lot: Disneyland, a cruise, an all-inclusive package destination. All these options have their place, and merits, but we wanted something else. In a world that is increasingly focused on being plugged in and online, we were searching for a more authentic way to connect as a family. We wanted conversations, not computers. Giggles, not gadgets. Meaning, not Minecraft.

With our early child rearing years behind us, we realized we could now consider a more challenging holiday; a trip that we could tick off the adult holiday adult bucket list that had been put on hold for 13 years. Walking the Way of St James was one of our dreams. Even if we couldn’t find the time to walk all 799 kilometres, why not at least attempt a part of the Pilgrimage?

We chose Wandering the World, as it offered a tailor-made solution to our needs. If we were to succeed on what is arguably a very adult journey we needed an itinerary that suited school holidays, and set achievable distances for our 13 and 10-year-old children.

Our 120km 6-day walk commenced in Sarria, and finished in Santiago. Pre-booked, half board accommodation and luggage transfers took the sting out of the day-to-day hassle of finding where to sleep and eat. Sometimes we enjoyed family rooms, but mostly we had adjacent rooms which were perfect – allowing all of us to enjoy some down time after 6-8 hours of walking (yes, there was some TV watching and the accessing of WiFi in the evenings – we never said we were perfect!)

Day 1 started with a 23km hike. A big surprise was our children used their headphones for an hour or so, and then never brought them out again for the rest of the trip. Day two offered us a 25km challenge. Whilst there may have been some trepidation prior to the trip on whether we could handle such distances, these concerns were quickly dispelled. We soon realized the question ‘but what about the kids?’ had held us back from taking risks with our holiday choices. The children were fine, and soon adapted to their new routine of walking great distances through stunning countryside.

A sense of companionship and comradery developed, not just amongst ourselves, but with the other Pilgrims we encountered along The Way, many whom kindly praised our children’s efforts and made them feel supported. We walked, we talked, we laughed. As a family, we gave voices to animals and scripted scenes worthy of a sitcom as we traversed our way through farm, village, paddock. Sharing increased, with the simple act of holding something for someone whilst they adjusted a shoe, stopped for a drink or enjoyed an energy snack bringing us all closer together.

Menus were deciphered and shared, with choices that would normally challenge child eating habits at home being accepted. By the end of it we were a well-oiled machine that could pack, stack and wrack our gear quickly and focus on walking 20km through rolling Spanish countryside. The days when we only had to walk 15km began to feel like a walk in the park!

On our final day, with Santiago in our sights, we could sense we were coming to the end of a truly special experience. As we entered the town, we were filled with excitement that we had accomplished our goal. Arriving at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela was made even more enjoyable by the woops of congratulations from fellow Australian travelers who we’d met earlier on the walk, and who saw us as we approached.

They say that travel broadens the mind and nourishes the soul. As a family, walking the Camino De Santiago certainly achieved this. Many thanks to Glenyce Johnson and the team at Wandering the World for helping us to form stronger bonds, and create memories that will last us a lifetime. 


PHONE: +61 402 910 552

EMAIL: Glenyce Johnson glenycej@wanderingtheworld.com.au

VISIT: www.wanderingtheworld.com.au

Full booking conditions and payment details available on request.

Wandering the World specialises in creating and tailoring exceptional walking, trekking and touring holidays in some of the most beautiful places on earth. This includes both escorted small group and self-guided trips, as well as individually tailored itineraries for privately organised trips.

We are passionate about sharing the places we love and offer our expertise to ensure our travellers enjoy rich and authentic travelling experiences. Wandering the World select authentic and comfortable accommodation and our itineraries are focused on immersing travellers in the local culture and uncovering the hidden gems of a destination. We are committed to ensuring our travellers have a trip of a lifetime.

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