I’m off to walk along the Camino de Santiago!
When I was 17 or so, I read a Paolo Coelho book about the Camino and since then I’ve had the desire to walk the Saint James way (as it is called in English). Since then the idea kept popping up every time I would write my dream list. Over the years, I did a bit of research about it here and there and once in a while I would browse the book my parents bought me about the Camino del Norte. Every time I heard someone saying they had walked the Camino, I would feel a little tug in my heart and say “That’s on my dream list, I want to do it too!”, but never got around to actually organising it.
So why now, 16 years later?
I’ve been wanting to take a sabbatical for a long time and this year the timing was good. I’ve been working hard for 10 years, with no more than a few weeks between jobs, so I felt like giving myself this gift of some freedom in the form of unpaid leave, which I decided to use to explore the Camino. I also feel like time is always flying by so fast, so I’m glad to take time off from day-to-day routine to take a step back and reflect.
I’ll be gone for about 5 weeks, I’m starting in Bayonne and will walk along the Northern coast of Spain. I probably will not reach Santiago de Compostela and that’s fine. Firstly because I don’t want to rush, I want to make this trip about the journey not the destination (I know… such a cliché). This means if I feel like staying longer in a place I like or want to chill on the beach for some time, I can:) Secondly because if there is a bit of the Camino left to walk I will have the chance to come back another time to finish it:)
I am really looking forward to walking every day. I’ve noticed that walking helps me move through problems, get fresh ideas, find solutions to issues, get creative, feel more grounded…
I have no idea what to expect, but these are some things that come to mind as I am preparing my trip:
-I crave take time out from my routine,
-I want to spend time alone,
-to finally have time to process what goes on in my busy life,
-to take time to grieve the people in my life who passed away and
-to travel slowly to enjoy discovering a part of the world I’ve never been to.
I’m trying not to have too many expectations and let the Camino surprise me. I’m really excited to see how it goes!