I woke up this morning to discover that it’s International Women’s Day, the day when we honor the movement for women’s rights around the world and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.
Of course, for me there’s no more noteworthy achievement than a pilgrimage. And no group of international women I want to celebrate more than the dozens I’ve met on the Way of Saint James.
Today, I’m celebrating the community of international women (including many not pictured here) who came together on a thousand-year-old pilgrimage trail and changed my life.
We came from at least a dozen countries and spanned at least 6 decades of age. We walked miles together, scrubbed underwear in sinks together, slept in the same rooms, shared bottles (and bottles) of wine, and most important, we told our stories. My world is bigger because of these strong, powerful women.
Speaking of Women on the Camino, did you know…
- 51% of the pilgrims who arrived in Santiago de Compostela last year were women.
- Camigas, the closed Facebook group that helps women walking the Camino find each other (for companionship and safety) has almost 7,000 members, and post almost 200 messages per day.
- Most experienced pilgrims agree that women can safely hike the Camino de Santiago alone (Is the Camino safe for women?).
- Women who set out to walk the Camino alone (including a lot of the women in the photo above) are rock stars and heroes.