What motivated you to walk the Virtual Camino? What have you enjoyed? Did the COVID outbreak have an impact on your commitment?
Wanted to help out. I walk most days, so why not.
When did you start using the Camino for Good app? How many miles do you average in a day?
I have done the Francés, Norte, Finesterra, and finishing Portuguese now. Average five (8km) miles per day(?)
What are some other challenges you face while walking?
Usually doesn’t matter. I live in Northern California.
What has walking done for you spiritually? Mentally? Physically?
What was most enjoyable about the Camino for Good experience?
Seeing where I’ve been on Camino and where I plan to walk next.
How I Found My Art on the Camino de Santiago
The Meseta, July 2015. Was it hot, you might ask? Well, yes it was. But what does that have to do with art? Soon enough, my friends. I started that first Camino in St. Jean Pied de Port, which was also my first trek in Europe. What better place to start? I had recently retired, was an amateur ultra-distance athlete, and had read the books and seen the movies that draw us to the Camino de Santiago.
I’m an average American male. I’m of average height, build, and education. I’m fair skinned, only moderately athletic, and, well, plain old average. I don’t want to be average. I’m also an introvert by nature. And I was an engineer. Writing bored me to tears, was painful, and often put off.
After retiring, I started traveling the globe for one adventure after another. I’ve been to Tibet and the North face of Mt Everest, kayaked in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, mountain bike raced in South Africa, and run across the Sahara Desert.
But the one path that truly changed my life’s direction was, of course, the Camino. The Meseta in July can be hot, horribly hot. But if you’re conditioned properly it’s not so bad. Yet, that wasn’t enough of a challenge. To meet other commitments that summer, I had to walk from St. Jean to Santiago in twenty (20) days. That’s about twenty-five (25) miles per day.
But what does this have to do with art? In a moment. The thing I love about challenging myself in this way is how it breaks down the shield I usually hold up when around other people. On Camino, I talked with people, becoming life-long friends with some, and I learn from them. Through those people and the challenge of walking the Camino Francés in summer months, I found that energy we love so much. I think of it as a flow left behind by the millions of pilgrims who walked before me, like glitter that clings to you when you follow a fairy. In that flow, all is possible.
As I said, I didn’t like writing during my work-life. But somewhere, during a hot, forty-eight-kilometer day on the Meseta my art came to me. It said “Write about your experience. Write about the Camino.” And I have been writing since returning home to California that summer. That is the art I found on the Camino de Santiago, my art.