We are all humans: on the magic of pilgrimage – by David Wen

David Wen

At the end of May David Wen and Robert Spieker organize a group pilgrimage on the Walk of Wisdom. David Wen describes how the magic of the Camino pilgrimage inspires him to do this work.

Many don’t understand why I walk 100 kilometers on vacations… But from my experience, pilgrimage is the most transformative classroom for personal growth. Let me tell you a few stories on the Camino de Santiago…

I walked with a Canadian woman—bedridden for 2 years from burnout—who walked 800km to challenge herself and heal. A Dutch lawyer—let go due to disability—who walked to rediscover meaning. And many corporate professionals who walked and decided to change their careers.

As for myself, walking helped me grieve. Let go of what didn’t serve me. And become more of my true self. A place where CEOs dine with beggars—there are no labels. We are one.

Walkers from opposing sides—war, politics, religion—settle their differences. We are humans. Research has shown that pilgrimages, like the Camino, have big, lasting impacts on well-being and life satisfaction.

Not surprised. It’s also group therapy, coaching, mentoring, and reflection in the most psychologically safe classroom…Throw in some Galician-style octopus, Spanish red wine, and a few proud blisters…

It’s the best metaphor I’ve seen for what makes a good life. And it’s quite simple. Walking. Talking. Connecting.
David Wen

Photo By Robert Spieker

More on David Wen

David Wen and Robert Spieker organize a Walk of Wisdom group pilgrimage at the end of May. More: link.