Walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela was life-changing!! Nature is so amazingly beautiful. I learned a lot about myself physically, emotionally and spiritually. I also learned a lot about community, pilgrimage, bonding, belonging and simple life from all the wonderful people I encountered on my Camino de Santiago de Compostela. My adventures were challenging sometimes but so awesome.
Being on my own on this 40-day journey was like a rite of passage for me. It made me so much stronger. The length of the Camino taught me how to trust myself in making decisions and to choose, time and again, my own path. It also clarified for me how important my family is to me.
I thought I would be sharing stories during my Camino walk, thinking that I would be in some kind of meditative grounded state, but soon I realized that it wasn’t going to happen. This was mostly because I was too physically tired at the end of the day.
There is a huge difference between just going for a walk and going on a pilgrimage with a clear intention. In setting an intention, I became much more aware of the amazing things happening all around me. But I also needed time to process my experiences, just like any rite of passage in which you are changed in some way. The experiences ended when I arrived in Santiago de Compostela, but my journey is not finished; My stories and learning are just beginning.
What I can share with you now is that I had an absolute awesome time walking the Camino Frances from Saint Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Going over the Pyrenees was so amazing, walking in the clouds, watching the horses running around, seeing the green meadows and the wonderful views over the mountains when the clouds opened up. It was mystical. The rainbows, the sun shining over the meadows and yellow fields, simply amazing. I was in awe most of the time.
On my fifth day, as I am admiring the view at the pilgrim’s monument at Alto de Perdon, I actually thought of going back to Saint-Jean and starting over. Why? Because I couldn’t imagine that the next 35 days of the Camino’s nature would be as stunning. Guess what? All of the Camino is just breath-taking. The flowers kept on smiling to me and the birds kept on singing and travelling with me. I have never felt so alive. In total I walked joyfully (well 90% of the time) 839 km. This is bit longer than just the Camino, because I did some detours like the “Camino Duro”; walked part of it back, and I walked part of Camino Aragonés? I am excited to share the stories of those adventures with you later.
Many pilgrims embraced me right from the start which was so heart-warming. It was therefore harder to stay with my intention to walk the Camino on my own. And often, I enjoyed the company of my pilgrim friends. Ultimately it became one of the most valuable lessons of the Camino, to time and again choose my own path.
Soon I will be sharing my stories via this blog on my website but also via different activities in nature, and campfire & cooking events at my coaching center. This is very exciting. My hope is that it will be an exchange of stories, not only from me. It is my intention to also hear your stories. You might have been travelling or going through a change which you could also consider as a form of pilgrimage or a rite of passage.
Any time you spend away from home whether it is vacationing in Europe, attending summer camp, going on honeymoon or my 40-days on the Camino, it will change things for you. It will bring new perspectives; shine a different light that will make you feel different in some way.
If you have had your own pilgrimage, you too can ask yourself questions upon returning. How did this event or trip affect me? What did I learn? Am I seeing things differently now? Is there something I would like to change in my life? As you answer these questions, you might discover something very valuable. Applaud yourself for taking the time to process. If you like to share your discovery here online, I would love to hear from you. You can share your comments below.
For now you will see me in nature, hiking and journaling to process my Camino adventures.