By the time you read this I will be out walking along the Camino again! Walking along the Camino to Santiago de Compostela is for me always a time for reflection. It is “me time”! 

Even though this is my seventh Camino trip, that doesn’t mean that I can just “do” the walk. Like every journey, the Camino requires proper preparation and planning. So in June I started my planning by looking into the time I could allocate in my schedule, deciding which routes to walk (did you know that there are 281 Camino routes listed across Europe?), and subsequently where to start as well as how to get there.

I’ve planned to cover 550 km through Northern Spain. This first week I will walk from Santander to Oviedo along the Camino Del Norte. That route follows more or less the coastal line of the Cantabrian Sea. In Oviedo, my son Laurens will join me and together we’ll continue for two weeks along the Camino Primitivo, which crosses the mountains into Galicia and goes all the way to Santiago de Compostela. 

Although proper planning is very helpful, there’s bound to be some challenges that we’ll have to face along the journey and decide our actions accordingly. For instance, along the route of the Camino Primitivo there is a stretch over the mountains called “Ruta de los Hospitales”. It seems to be one of the most beautiful parts, with 10 kilometres of walking at altitudes over 1000 metres and high up in the mountains. It is strongly recommended not to walk this section during bad weather. As such, when we get there, the weather will be the determining factor of whether we can walk this part of the Camino or should follow the alternative route, at lower altitudes.

Often I draw the parallel of undergoing a journey like the Camino and establishing alliances. In alliances we also need proper preparation and planning before we get started and there will always be elements that we can only decide on the moment we face them. Alliance preparation starts with strategy and partner selection, which is one of the most essential elements to establish a foundation for successful strategic alliances and partnerships. 

For my Camino planning I use (along with my own experience), the Camino walking guides that are available. For alliance partner selection I have written a partner selection guide that will support you in your experience and will lead you through the whole partner-selection process. You can obtain your copy through this link.