It’s been almost a year since I walked my first Camino in Spain. It was an old project and only in 2018 I had the time and money to do it. I believe the right things come at the right moment, therefore, I decided with no hesitation to book a one-way flight to Pamplona. I arrived in Pamplona around noon, I went to Hostel Casa Paderborn for my Pilgrim Passport and soon after I started the adventure. I was soooo excited and I felt very happy to have the opportunity to be there.
1. How everything started
Last year in June I quit my job after months of feeling unhappy in the company I was working for. I was stressed but above all, the environment was my main issue. I like to work and do my job as good as I can but before everything else, I choose my health. I don’t care about paychecks, I care about being calm, relaxed and to be able to enjoy my everyday life. If I stay awake at 4 am in the morning feeling stressed and anxious about getting back to work the next day, in an environment where I don’t feel myself anymore, then it’s time to make a change no matter how hard or how scary is the road ahead. What I’ve learned is to always believe in yourself, stay positive, confident and choose your path carefully.
2. Walking on the Camino Frances
I love Spain, it’s the only country I have visited three years in a row. The most important love story of my life started in Barcelona and ended in Barcelona. I run my first half marathon in Spain and I did my first Camino there.
I’ve decided to walk the Camino Frances route, I started from Pamplona and finished in Santiago de Compostela in exact 21 days. I walked 730 km in total without any rest day. At the end of my journey, I felt tired, obviously, very hungry and sleepy for a week. It was a great adventure who changed something in me. It moved me profoundly and only after months of my return I was able to understand why.
There was a feeling of genuine happiness, relaxation and state of calm I felt during my walks. My body and my mind were in harmony, an equilibrium I’ve never experienced before. Spain gave me more than I deserved it and that was because I had lessons to learn about myself, about my life.
One of the most important things I’ve learned was to live in the present moment, here and now. To be grateful and thankful for the little things in life which most of the time we take for granted. A smile of another pilgrim, an orange juice for breakfast, a juicy apple in the afternoon after walking 8 hours in the heat. And even a bunk bed in a room with another 30 people could be a blessing.
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My adventure on the Camino is ending..today I arrived in Santiago de Compostela. The official distance from my Pilgrim Certificate is 729km (726 on my Garmin watch). I walked 21 days, started from Pamplona and arrived in Santiago. The experience itself gave me more that I asked for and I am deeply grateful for what I have received. #caminodesantiago #caminofrances #santiagodecompostela #walkingonthecamino #spain?? #pilgrimcertificate
3. Life after my first pilgrim journey
I didn’t believe it will happen to me and I didn’t take this option into consideration. Soon after my return, I started to feel depressed. When I left, my life had a color and after my return, things looked quite different. But, you know, everything in life happens with a reason. My journey didn’t end in Santiago de Compostela, it was just the first phase. The second phase was waiting for me home, soon after my return.
Life is beautiful, it’s just a matter of perspective. And after I got back, mine was a bit grey and sometimes painful. It was the right timing to face my new reality. Things were changing month after month and only after a year I’ve understood what was all about. And that’s because I had the courage to take decisions, to make changes, to look at myself with honesty. In the end, it was me who was changing, who was growing as a person, who was healing as a woman, who had more understanding as a daughter and who was more mature as a sister.
See, every place and every experience is giving you the opportunity to reflect and see yourself with more clarity. Stay open because change is the only way to personal growth. After a year I realize that Camino was just another stage of my development and it was a very sunny and beautiful one. If you have Camino de Santiago route on your bucket list, my advice for you is to pack a few things and go out there without any worry or hesitation. When I left I even didn’t know how to find the trail. An old man from Germany I met at the hostel in Pamplona, with a Santa Claus look, explained to me how to find the route. I also received biscuits and lemon water. Always remember, life is beautiful, it’s just a matter of perspective.