My name is Cesare Deserto and I am a journalist and radio speaker, or at least I was before that July 2021 when I decided to quit my job, give up my old life and leave alone for the Camino de Santiago.
931,9 km traveled on foot, alone and without a phone;
From the Pyrenees to the Atlantic Ocean in search of absolute freedom …
You know very well that something is wrong and you lead a life different from the one you dreamed of as a teenager. You wait for years for the moment when you will make a revolution, making your dreams come true, but that moment never comes … Life goes on without surprises, without great emotions, or big news. Time passes, the seasons change, but your life remains the same. With a few more years, a good dose of stress and a few less dreams in the drawer. You surrender to the idea that your existence is that, that you have to stop fantasizing, you are no longer fifteen and you should be ashamed to complain: out there is a world in shambles, and you are in good health, you have a steady job, a nice car, designer clothes and a full refrigerator. You constantly tell yourself that you are lucky, but in your heart, you know very well that you are simply satisfied. Who knows what you may be thinking, my dear reader, as you read these words. I would like to ask you a question, hoping that you will answer sincerely: “How many times do you look up to admire the starry sky and the moon? How many times have you done this in recent years? “. One evening, returning from one of the many VIP parties I was attending, on the way home I stopped and looked up. Then I saw one of the most beautiful things in the world: the firmament full of stars, accompanied by a bright and wonderful moon. Motionless, I wondered about that scenario that was available to me every evening, while I completely ignored it. At the end of the working day, and after spending more than an hour in traffic, I would lock myself within four walls to drown in other displays and immerse myself in the virtual sea of ”technological” relationships. Something was wrong!
The question I asked myself was: Is this the life I want? Spending ten hours at work, another nine in Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, play station, TV, internet, women, acquaintances, and sleeping for the remaining five? Working three hundred and forty days a year, to deserve a week’s vacation at Christmas and two in the summer, living the same way every day? Years pass and time inexorably passes, reminding me that I once had a drawer full of dreams, replaced by a stupid and expensive Rolex. No! This is not the life I want. I know well that these thoughts have crossed the minds of many of you and the idea of saying enough, giving up everything and leaving for distant destinations is recurring. You have only two choices, then:
1) convince yourself that these thoughts are just nonsense, that the false Monday morning smiles of your co-workers are reassuring, just as Friday evenings are exciting, delicious Saturday pizza and interesting the stupid TV shows you try to choke on the anxiety of Sunday evening; convince yourself that your life is not that bad after all;
2) change and start from scratch!
I know, choosing option number two is scary. But I did it. I quit my job, left home, sold my car, motorcycle, clothes, watches, and most of the material things I owned, to find the answers my life needed. Looking for them through a path that is not only a physical, real, but also deeply intimate journey: the Camino de Santiago. Furthermore, I did not bring any telephone or technological tools with me but only my camera to document everything.
In the section “All the stages of my journey”, you will find the videos of all the stages faced in this spectacular experience available with subtitles of the major languages spoken in the world: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Dutch, Russian, Portuguese, Urdu. Symple click on the subtitles section and choose your language.
I left alone and arrived at my destination alone, unlike most people who have had the same experience as me. I walked every single meter, I never skipped a stop by bus or taxi, I never entrusted my backpack to the shuttles. In every kilometer there is all my sweat and my determination.
If you have decided to take the Camino de Santiago or if you dream of wanting to do it sooner or later, reading my book you will discover why every year, 300,000 people from all over the world decide to tackle the most famous Way in the world. If you too, like me, have always dreamed of giving up everything, aware that the life you lead is not the one you dreamed of as a boy, perhaps my experience could give you the courage that I lacked for 36 years …
Inside the book you will discover:
- the history of the journey (historical notes, symbols and legends) and symbolic places;
- suitable clothing and shoes, which backpack to buy and above all what to put inside;
- duration and distance of the journey, how many days it takes to complete it and where to start based on the days available;
- how to train before leaving and the necessary physical preparation;
- how much does it cost to walk the path, where to eat and sleep along the path;
- whether walking the path alone can be dangerous for a woman and whether there is a possibility of getting lost;
- the answer to many questions and concerns (which were also mine) posed by many aspiring pilgrims and the possibility of contacting me to dispel all your doubts / hesitations;
- finally, I will tell you why a journalist and radio host gave up his whole life of comfort and materiality, to travel more than 900 km on foot from the Pyrenees to the Atlantic Ocean, alone and without a telephone, sleeping over that in the various hostels also on the street, in a stable, in a tent, in an abandoned monastery and living two days in a hippie community.
…. “I gave up everything, I left home, sold my car, motorcycle, clothes, my rolex and most of the material things I owned to follow that almost nagging, suffocating, undeterred feeling that once known does not make you find peace: SANTIAGO, the Camino de Santiago. My life needed answers that only a journey in complete solitude could give me “….
Below is a trailer of my entire journey. Good vision and… Buen Camino!