Lindsay completed two Caminos in 2018.
He is also a veteran of many of Australia’s iconic long distance walking trails. Notably these include:
- the Larapinta Trail (275km) in the Central Australian desert,
- The Great South West Walk (250km) – (twice) in Victoria,
- The Great North Walk (250km) in New South Wales
- Bibbulmun Track (1000km) (4 times) in Western Australia.
When I arrived in Santiago for the second time in June 2018 I didn’t want to go home.
I had walked the 780 or so kilometres of the Camino Frances from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela. After my first arrival, I caught the train back to meet my son in Astorga. Another 250km had me back in Santiago.
Two pilgrims passports, two Compostela certificates.
Since the loss of family members years ago I have learned to be happy in my own company. It helped me to survive the compounded grief. Quite often though it just felt like loneliness.
I had become a mere passive observer of life. Inside I had a deep longing to be it’s vibrant participant.
They say ‘The Camino Provides’.
The Camino gifted me a new family. We were a bunch of lone pilgrims cobbling together along the way, sharing life’s stories of grief, loss and confusion, releasing our pain, anger and sadness.
Beyond the therapeutic benefits, there started a deep, deep stirring within my soul.
We descended the last stairs before the Cathedral with linked arms. Mixing joy, sadness, grief, exhilaration and pride, we were celebrating the forming of life long friendships. That was the moment for me when the Camino had ceased to be a long distance walk and had become my life long purpose.
I was a pilgrim for good.
A pilgrim travels with few belongings and is often dependent on the kindness of others. A pilgrim may be called upon to pay that back – or forward. I came away believing I got so much more than I gave.
The only thing I have left to give is my gratitude.
Joining with members of my Camino family to help create this virtual experience supporting all those people and places that provide beds, food, shelter, warm showers, comfort, hugs and welcoming smiles, has re-invigorated me.
Future pilgrims are relying on their hospitality to survive the economic impact of the pandemic.
The Camino For Good initiative is our gratitude to them. Please join us.
Lindsay is an IT consultant and database developer. His time as surveyor during earlier military service led to his interest in the physical and mental health benefits of extended immersion in nature.
Lindsay’s curiosity in the complexities of the human condition has prompted studies in various healing arts including Transpersonal Psychotherapy, Kinesiology, Aikido, Outdoor Recreation, SoulCollage® and Tarot reading (to name a few). He was founding president of the New England Ecotourism Society with a mission to create a 600km walking track in the New England Region of New South Wales.