First post-Camino post

Sharing the long road

Home Again

It’s been a month now since we got home from Spain and I am still processing what the experience meant to me.

I wasn’t able to ease back into my regular life. Instead I went straight back to work. Then the kids both came home for a visit the following week and I was caught up with their activities. We couldn’t even really unpack because of the threat of bringing bedbugs into the house (we rotated batches of our gear into the freezer for 3-day stints to kill any possible tag-a-longs). So, it took a while for life to seem to settle.

Still, as I start to process the experience I find myself thinking about the Camino and missing aspects of it.

  • I really appreciate how simple and yet unique each day was. I am envious of the uncomplicated days. Our concerns and chores were so few: wake up, pack, walk, find a bed, eat, shower, wash our clothes and read up in the guide book for the next day. This could have been monotonous, but, of course it wasn’t because each day brought new sights, diverse geography, different towns and new people.
  • I find myself resenting that I can’t walk more in my daily life. I miss the feeling of accomplishment and strength that came from walking all those miles everyday. I miss being able to eat whatever I want because I know I’ve burned enough calories!
  • I am restless because I don’t know what my next goal is. The goals on the Camino were so immediate – make it to the next town…finish the stage…reach Santiago. What am I working towards every day?
  • Strangely, I miss carrying my life in a pack. I miss the minimalist life of having the totality of my belongings on my back — the only things I needed to keep track of and take care of were in my 46 liter Osprey back pack.
  • I feel like I don’t have enough time. After a day with my thoughts on work, I feel like I don’t have time or energy for contemplation. Walking the Camino provides lots of time for processing whatever is going on in your head.
  • I’m too connected to the news and other distractions. It was healthier to be somewhat disconnected from politics and the internet.

Would I walk the Camino again?
Definitely! I would do it, especially the first third of it. Rich says he feels no need to do it again. I feel like I would be able to be more mindful of my surroundings and feelings if I did it again because I would know what to expect and know the routine. I hope I would be more prepared for a spiritual journey, knowing what the physical journey would be like. And I would love to share the adventure again with someone.

Contemplating the Camino brings me back to thinking about the reason I started this blog in the first place – that desire for a simpler existence. Work takes up too much of our life. Our belongings and commitments constantly need our time and money. Relationships are perhaps too self-serving. I feel like briefly, as a Pilgrim, I was leading a life that was a step in the right direction.

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