The Camino de Santiago: Personal Reflections

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I am 4k from Santiago, relishing my last evening on The Camino and thinking about all of the amazing lessons I have learned in the past 2 weeks, so I thought I would share. I will still post LOTS of photos once I get home as well as a post on more practical tips/thoughts on The Camino if you are thinking of walking it yourself (which you should!), but for right now I am more focused on the esoteric of it all. The past 2 weeks have been more amazing and more difficult than I could have ever imagined. While I intended to walk the entire Camino, due to unforeseen (but good) circumstances at home I had to cut my trip short, but regardless I feel like I have accomplished one of my life’s goals and did something amazing. I walked approximately 275k, which for those of you in the Pacific NW that would be like walking from Portland to Bend or Portland to Seattle. It was much harder in someways and much easier in others than I ever though it would be and most certainly one of the highlights of my life.

I came here to do something difficult and learn about myself and I feel quite certain I did both. The following are a few of the things (in no particular order) that I learned or gained a deeper understanding of while here. They are perhaps a bit cliche, but are truly the things that were the most meaningful to me and what I hope to keep with me when I return to my “normal” life at home.

Enjoy~

Lessons from The Camino:

Judging others and ourselves is the root of most unhappiness

I don’t like too much choice-simplicity makes me more happy than complexity

I don’t like excessive heat-unless doing nothing is involved 🙂

I love walking

I am happiest when I am working to make the world a better place by building something, not tearing something down

Wherever you go there you are (I think this is my mantra)

Even profound experiences don’t change us quickly, change comes slowly and is often unexpected

I love my body

Being ourselves leaves us open and vulnerable, but it’s the only way we can ever experience life authentically

I want to love someone who loves me back. I want to be with someone who is as excited about me as I am about them and is as invested in my happiness and dreams as I am in theirs. I will no longer accept less.

A smile can get you a very long way

Everything in life is a reflection of yourself

How we imagine something will be is rarely how it is

Don’t take to heart people who tell you that your experience is invalid or less than theirs just because you do it differently

The belief that you are right is more dangerous than whatever it is you may believe

It is never about the destination, always the journey, but sometimes having a destination helps you get going in the first place

I am attracted to and value kindness above most else

Unsolicited advice is rarely well received

Flexibility (the mental/emotional kind) makes for more enjoyable travels

I love this world and all the people in it, even when at times I feel like I don’t

12 thoughts on “The Camino de Santiago: Personal Reflections

  1. gardner310

    Well thought out. I commend you on your journey and the fact you come home having learned some very valuable things makes it all worthwhile. You are now an even traveler than before and I see you contributing much to those you will meet in the future. Congrats.

    Reply
  2. Les Petits Pas de Juls

    Good job! both on the trail and out! I’m not the “religious” type who would take the hike, but because of your pictures and your tales, I’m attracted to doing it some day anyway! Sounds like you found something rare and precious, there; hold on to it as our dreams are our best leaders.
    Take care and have a safe trip back home for good and pleasant moments with your friends and loved ones.
    Cheers!
    Jul’

    Reply
    1. The Perpetual Vagabond Post author

      Hey! So I am not religious either. I mostly decided to do it for the challenge and some introspection and found the experience amazing. There are many kinds of people there for many different reasons, so if you have any interest I would encourage you to think about going! It’s quite the journey 🙂

      Reply
  3. viviennemackie

    I’ve always been fascinated with this pilgrimage walk, so have followed your journey with great interest and pleasure. Maybe I can get to do at least a part of it, if not all, one day. Great job!

    Reply

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