The road to Santiago - Part 1

The road to Santiago - Part 1

It takes a lot to willingly pack your bags and leave the comfortable situation at home to go on a trip packed with challenges, sore feet and hundreds of kilometers of distance to cover. But that is exactly what the brothers, Mads and Mikal, are doing when they leave home to walk the Camino. Their route starts in Saint Jean Pied and ends in Santiago, Spain. You can follow their journey on the Instagram profile.

Mads & Mikal 

The two brothers grew up in Nyborg, Denmark. Actually, they have a third brother, but he is busy with work and school and is not so interested in getting sore feet. 

Mads (to the left), is 23 years old and works in sales. In the summer of 2021, he decided to make some changes in his life, to find out what his dream for the future is. It ended with a great desire to walk the Camino - at first on his own. The trip was planned, and he had quit his job. After half a year of weight loss and training, he was 19 kg lighter and ready to take on the challenge.

Mikal (to the right) is 30 years old, lives in Copenhagen, and works in the creative industry as a director - especially within the musical genre. He has a background in the military, so his experience with heavy backpacks and sore feet is significantly bigger than his brother's. However, this will be his first hike in a foreign country - but definitely not the last. The brothers have already planned the next one, which will take place in Scotland next year.

Another thing the brothers have in common is that they are both in committed relationships.   The emotional challenge of being away from home for such a long time will probably be as big a factor as the physical. Therefore, the brothers are happy to have each other to share the experience. 

The motivation behind the trip

For Mads, the trip is a break from his everyday life - a social one with challenges and a lot of impressions to react to. At the same time, it is an opportunity to let his thoughts flow freely and think about the future and past. 

For Mikal, the trip is also a much-needed break from the busy freelancer life, and he sees this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get away from it all, and at the same time spend quality time with his brother. Mikal has just turned 30 years old, which for him calls for a status update on his past, present, and future.

The preparation

Mads is an active person, and his 10.000 steps a day comes naturally. But in order to be 100% ready for the trip he sought professional help in the fall of 2021. The focus was to build a healthier lifestyle and get in shape, which is important to walk the Camino. They also needed to find the right equipment and test it around the town. It is important to know what equipment works and is right for your needs - before you leave the country. 

Mikal already has a lot of equipment, but naturally, he needed to upgrade a couple of places. He spent a lot of time researching what the Camino calls for in terms of equipment. He has upgraded his wardrobe, where merino wool plays an important role. In his words, it is the only thing that works, when you need to pack light and be away for so long. So, with a backpack filled with equipment, the brothers are starting to feel more and more ready to take on the challenge.

The route 

Another thing you need to do before leaving for the Camino is to choose your route. There are a lot of different distances and ways to do it, but the choice landed on the route “Camino Francés”. This is the classic route, at approximately 780 km, which will take around 35-40 days. The route is known for its beauty, and its high amount of different impressions, challenges, and experiences - so you can get the full Camino experience.

The brothers are very laissez-faire about the trip. Actually, there isn't a big plan at all. The route is marked clearly and there are plenty of housing opportunities along the way. The plan is to just live in the different hostels they come across. 

They have set aside 5 weeks for the walk, which means that they on average need to walk 25 km per day. They also want to have time for the unknown and let the adventure unfold day by day. When you research the Camino walk, there are two things that they have come across on several occasions: 

  1. Don't overthink it - just go!
  2. Don't worry - the Camino will provide! 

So, even though the equipment and route are under control, the overall belief is that everything will be fine as long as they have each other. And generally - less is more, everything will sort itself out along the way. 

When they return, daily life continues but the next adventure is always right around the corner..