In less than two months time, ‘god willing’, I will be in Galicia, starting the walk of my life, a 120 kilometre hike of penitence and self discovery (or so I’m led to believe) along the ‘Camino de Santiago’, St. James’ Way.
It’s only recently that I’ve started to mention in conversation that I’m going to do this final tranche of this mighty pilgrimage and it’s been interesting to hear what people have to say. For some the response is a little bit of a cliché – the notion of a painful, arduous walk, in search of truth and enlightenment.
Am I really going to be a pilgrim?
One of the questions I was asked was what does the Camino mean to me?
Wow; that really is the 64,000 dollar question isn’t it?
I am already asking myself what are my expectations, my hopes for this time of contemplation. Yet the truth is, right now I don’t have many expectations.
I’d welcome greater clarity and direction in life, who wouldn’t? But I’m not embarking on this journey in search of anything; or with hope to find greater meaning or purpose in life. I am just eager to enjoy some time in nature and with a great walking companion.
To be honest I feel I’ve already done plenty of soul searching when I moved to Spain from the UK nearly a decade ago, and broke away from some of the business commitments and conventional thinking I was wrapped up in. I think I am now already some way along the road less travelled.
When I came to Spain it was a significant shift in my life at the time – so I was ready for change.
I feel that my move to Spain was the start of my own Camino. A journey, that has been penitent and arduous at times, and one that has obliged me to face some of my demons; to seek clarity; and to discover greater purpose.
For starters I realised that before on the road more travelled, like many before me, I worked hard for professional recognition, and then reward. But now I realise I enjoy living with greater purpose and passion – spending my days doing what I love, although the recognition and financial reward my at times seems more subtle!
My journey so far has challenged me physically and psychologically, and I hope I have taken advantage of these challenges and moved forward.
So, for me what does the Camino mean for me?
Right now I just want to share great time with my walking companion discovering more of one of my favourite Spanish provinces.
Is that okay do you think? Do I need approval for this simple approach?
No, I don’t think so, as surely the Camino is all things to all people.
Either way I look forward to discovering more of what the Camino means and sharing it with you in future posts. Who knows, it may even be a breakthrough moment!