In just a couple days I’ll be wandering across Spain. I suppose wandering isn’t the correct term as there is a specific goal in mind, however the travel will be slow going. As mentioned earlier I’ll be taking part in the Camino de Santiago* pilgrimage, walking from Irun to Camino de Santiago, Spain. Sure walking 20+km/ day, sleeping on rock hard beds, and questionable food, for 5 weeks doesn’t seem like everyone’s idea of a great summer holiday. But I can’t think of any other way I’d like to spend my last month in Europe. Although this pilgrimage is originally a Catholic journey, I have a variety of reasons other than the dogmatic motivation.
In the last three years abroad I have had an incredible time meeting a variety people and having once in a lifetime experiences, but I also feel that my priorities have gone off course. I am looking forward to these next 5 weeks of walking to take value in simplicity. I will be looking to get more from less. Less stuff. I’ll be walking with a pack that’s less than 15lbs and far smaller than a carry-on suitcase, filled with 2 changes of clothes, a sleeping bag, water, and a few other essentials. I hope to adjust to having and needing only the essential items rather than comfort and social status. In a more abstract term I’m also looking forward to being less connected. Internet service is not gaurenteed throughout the Camino, but I’m also choosing to only check my email and refrain from facebook during the journey. Like many other people I have become far too dependent on social media for communication and entertainment. While facebook does serve a great purpose to keep people connected, I find myself spending far too much time looking at people I hardly know, or pages just wasting time. I want to work on focusing on the world at hand, the people, sights, smells, sounds and experiences rather than the latest banter about television dramas. In that case if you would like to reach me my email: firstname.lastname@example.org will be the best way to reach me.
I’m also hoping to meet a variety of people, who have things and wisdom to share. I’m leaving my heart open to the adventures and characters I’ll meet along the way. On that note, I’ll catch ya in 5 weeks, and 500 miles, on the other side of Spain.
*Primer on the Camino courtesy of Wikipedia: “Today tens of thousands of Christian pilgrims and many other travellers set out each year from their front doorstep, or popular starting points across Europe, to make their way to Santiago de Compostela. Most travel by foot, some by bicycle, and a few travel as some of their medieval counterparts did, on horseback or by donkey (for example, the British author and humourist Tim Moore). In addition to people undertaking a religious pilgrimage, the majority are travellers and hikers who walk the route for non-religious reasons: travel, sport, or simply the challenge of weeks of walking in a foreign land. Also, many consider the experience a spiritual adventure to remove themselves from the bustle of modern life. It serves as a retreat for many modern “pilgrims”.