Hello everyone! This is my first time posting here. I wanted to share an important realization that I had while walking my virtual Camino de Santiago in my hometown of Oliver BC.
First, to give you my back story, I walked my first Camino in late September and most of October of 2013. It was life-changing. I walked alone most of the time but met wonderful people along the way who shared wisdom when I needed it, including my “Camino Buddy” who I walked with for a week. I experienced challenges from getting lost in the dark to dealing with a shin splint which thankfully forced me to slow down…both important lessons. There was a lot of growth along the way.
I went as a blank page upon which I would write my own Camino story so to speak. The key to that journey was that there were no expectations.
The journey became about “letting go”, of many things both physical and emotional. The journey was also a microcosm, a mini life span within my much larger one. It began with my Camino birth in St. Jean Pied de Port and then meandered through my Camino youth when everything was fun, my Camino adolescence when tough decisions needed to be made, through my own mid-life crisis along the Meseta when I was forced to slow down and go inward, all the way through to my Camino death (or more like rebirth) after reaching Santiago.
Returning home was hard. My life felt colourless and flat compared to the vibrant and multi-dimensional Camino. It was a place of synchronicity, magic even, challenges, and growth. I grieved daily for months. It inspired great change in my life to the point I gave up most of my things, my home, my job, and then ventured off on a different life adventure which has morphed and continued even seven years later.
Ever since I returned home, I wanted to return to the Camino, to recapture that magic I once felt. I did return but it was different — I had expectations — and…of course, it was different. There’s a reason why the saying exists, “You can’t dip your toe into the same river twice”, right?
While living life here in BC, the Camino always felt like a world away, like a dream world or past life that I can remember so clearly.
I was never able to connect “home” with the Camino until perhaps now. I think maybe it’s why I’ve moved around so much since 2014.
This virtual Camino, for me, has been a bridge to the one I left in 2013. It has brought the Camino home in many ways. I have been contemplating a lot as I walk, brainstorming, and figuring things out here at home while I walk virtually also in Spain. I am starting to see home a little differently now. It feels good.
I am virtually near Logroño now as I balance work and life while walking here at home in Oliver. This has been a blessing and we’re just beginning! How exciting! So, take your time, contemplate life, and enjoy the journey.
My deep-felt appreciation goes out to the five hikers who made their vision a reality and shared it with all of us. Thank you!
Ultreia and Buen Camino to All!