I was sitting reading a magazine having a pedicure. I generally do this, when I want to avoid opening a discussion with others. I am an introvert you see. I can’t remember the name of the magazine, but I came across an article describing the Camino de Santiago, and how this pilgrimage had changed the author’s life. I was intrigued!
It took me some three years to go on my first Camino, after reading that article. In fact, I had a pilgrimage planned but postponed it, having to have my second hip replaced. I now have two ‘bionic’ hips. In any event, when I eventually went on pilgrimage, on my first attempt I turned out really disliking it. I injured myself and had to return home to recover. Since I had all the time in the world though, I had resigned my job, I decided to return to Spain after some recovery time and finish this thing called the Camino.
There was something that happened on my return to Spain. I flew into Madrid and was waiting for my train to take me to my starting point, and it sounds like a cliché, but I had this warmth inside me, and I suddenly had this all-encompassing feeling of peace. I have lived an awesome life, but this feeling was so new – I had never felt this before. Here I was, back in Spain to finish something that I had dreamed of for such a long time, and I had such faith that this time I was going to be ok.
You see, it was initially about getting what all pilgrims know as the “Compostela” This is a certificate of completion for the distance you have walked on the Camino. To qualify for the Compostela, a pilgrim needs to walk at least the last 100km, which is verified in the Pilgrim’s Office in Santiago de Compostela. This time around, I didn’t have that on my mind – it was all about dealing with this dream of mine, to see the world, to live with freedom and mostly about trying to live a more purposeful life. I’ve traveled a lot, but this trip was very different – it really was a pilgrimage. And in the end, I discovered that it really was a journey to me, back to myself, and everything I ever needed, I had already