Tag Archives: Spain

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

The Camino de Santiago: Roncesvalles to Zubiri

These photos are from my second day walking the Camino de Santiago. I was pretty exhausted, so I didn’t take as many photos as the first day, but it was again an amazing place with endless beauty. They are more or less in order of the day and the last one is where I slept that night, Which was the floor of a gym at the Municipal Hostel, as by the time I arrived in town all beds were full. But it didn’t matter, I was so tired I slept beautifully.

Enjoy~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Camino de Santiago: St. Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles

Here are a few photos from my first day on The Camino de Santiago. They are more or less in order of the day, which was 27 kilometers, 1200 meters of elevation gain, and for me 10 hours of walking. I have hiked in many parts of the world, but this was one of the most challenging and beautiful things I have ever done! I am currently on day 4 of The Camino, resting in Pamplona, Spain. I have many more photos to share once I can get to them. Enjoy~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Sebastian, Spain

I have been wanting to go to San Sebastian ever since I heard about its reputation for amazing food over 6 years ago. Unfortunately, I think I picked the wrong day to visit (or so I thought at first)…today as I came through the Northern Spanish mountains by bus it begin to rain, and rain, and rain. By the time I arrived in town, the streets were empty, the shoppes all closed (it’s also unfortunately a Sunday), and the rain continued to fall. To be honest it was a nice reprieve from the heat of Madrid, but this supposedly lively beach town was, as far as I could tell, all indoors.

The hostel was a 20 minute, wet, lonely walk from the bus station and possibly one of the most over-priced, messy and cramped hostels I have ever stayed in. But that’s ok, it’s just a place to sleep really.

After a few hours in town the rain let up with just enough time to go for a walk to see the town and take some photos. And to my pleasure, San Sebastian is one of the most stunningly beautiful towns I have ever seen! And the weather made it all the more so…sometimes the silver lining in the cloud are the clouds themselves, so here’s a little taste of this incredible place!

~Enjoy~

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Madrid: First Impressions

I have only been in Madrid for about half a day now and while I’m hot, tired and still in a daze from the flights, I am finding the city to be quite charming. Although it seems that it’s charm may come from the fact that the city is practically empty, I’m guessing from people being on summer vacation, but that is making it remarkably quite and un-hurried, something I love.

Here are a few of the photos I took during a small walk I went on around the neighborhood of the hostel where I’m staying. A few things that caught my eye was this small group of people protesting the government’s proposed spending cuts, the large amount of graffiti in the city and the lovely street signs on the side of buildings.

Once I get my wits about me and get a full nights sleep I will update with more photos and information….until then, enjoy!

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Hey Spain! I’m Coming for You!

I leave for Spain in the morning and I have to say that I’m pretty excited, but I’m also secretly nervous. I’ve never done anything quite like this before…my first completely independent trip abroad and one in which I will be pushing my physical comfort zone pretty significantly. I keep thinking about what it will feel like to walk 650 miles. I love walking, but will I love walking that much? Will I be constantly exhausted and sore, or will I feel energized and inspired? Is my pack too heavy? Did I forget anything important? I know that ultimately none of these questions matter, but while I wait to leave I can’t help but think about what’s to come.

But, in just a day and a half and two flights later I will be in Madrid and it will be pushing 100 degrees. I’m going to be hot and tired and excited, but a few days after that I will be at the start of the Camino and my journey will begin whether I am ready or not! And I guess the truth is that my journey began the moment I decided to do this trip, so ready or not here I come!

Cheers!

Hey Spain! I’m Coming for You!

I leave for Spain in the morning and I have to say that I’m pretty excited, but I’m also secretly nervous. I’ve never done anything quite like this before…my first completely independent trip abroad and one in which I will be pushing my physical comfort zone pretty significantly. I keep thinking about what it will feel like to walk 650 miles. I love walking, but will I love walking that much? Will I be constantly exhausted and sore, or will I feel energized and inspired? Is my pack too heavy? Did I forget anything important? I know that ultimately none of these questions matter, but while I wait to leave I can’t help but think about what’s to come.

But, in just a day and a half and two flights later I will be in Madrid and it will be pushing 100 degrees. I’m going to be hot and tired and excited, but a few days after that I will be at the start of the Camino and my journey will begin whether I am ready or not! And I guess the truth is that my journey began the moment I decided to do this trip, so ready or not here I come!

Cheers!