Back home! At my parents, getting ready for Chicago. Three days before I leave and still a few things to accomplish. Looking forward to three exciting month with my girlfriend and her kids! Even though Chicago winters are nothing to long for, I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun and a new exciting experience.
I returned from Spain about 4 days ago. So let’s look at what are my take aways from walking the Camino through Spain.
I started off very motivated, actually without a good preparation, in Saint Jean Pie de Port/France on October 7th with a rough idea to finish the walk in about 30 to 32 days.
I learnt that’s a pretty tough goal to walk 800 km, as I presumes a certain walking distance a day of 27 to 30 km, not considering any break days. I did 600 km including 3 break days within 24 days and reached Santiago on Monday October 31st.
I learnt that proper shoes are key, shoes which are broken in already. Not like mine, which were new, I got really bad blisters and was forced to walk in crocs for two weeks and eventually stuck with them and walked 95% of the distance in those. I got the name from other pilgrims “the crazy German”.
Every kilo on your back counts. I started with 14 kg and arrived with 8 kg of my backpack. I learnt and adjusted as I walked along the way.
Listen to your body, it will tell you every moment of the way, what it’s going to sign up for and what not. I had days where I walked 40 km and days where I walked 8 km a day, because I needed a rest. I also learnt not to stick too much to the daily goal and rather see where you end up at the end of a day and just flow…
I loved starting to walk in the dawn every morning and watch the world and nature waking up, I loved to walk alone and walk without any plan, agenda or whatsoever of another person. I really enjoyed the small things along the way, flowers, animals, people or the food. This was one of the best experiences I had, to learn about myself, other people, another country and another culture. Who knows, I would not be surprised, if I return at some point, as so many other people did, who I met along the way.
Am I illuminated after the walk? No, I am not, but I am more clear about my life, what’s important to me and what’s not. I also enjoyed the walk to slow me down and stay present, instead of plan, and be already in the future and miss out on what’s happening now in the moment. It also helped me to see things in perspective and lead me to the conclusion that there is nothing I can complain about in my life.
It was an unbelievable feeling and experience as I reached Santiago on the main plaza in front of the cathedral, hard to put words to it, but worth experiencing it.
I met very interesting and inspiring people and I know with the one or the other there will be a lifelong connection.
There would be so much more to share, but I have you rather look at some pictures and moments from the walk and of course if you get a chance to do it, even a few days only, go for it, a valuable experience.
See you guys soon!