Something that is often overlooked when talking of the Camino is what happens when you get home? While the answer to that for a normal holiday is you tell your family and friends about it, show them some pictures, and then quickly get caught up in your daily life again, letting your memories quickly fade. But the Camino is no ordinary holiday.
Depending on your reasons for walking in the first place, the Camino has a way of showing you what you needed to see, teaching you what you needed to learn. Spiritual, emotional and physical breakthroughs are commonplace for pilgrims. So how do you hold onto those lessons when faced with the reality of everyday life again and all that that entails? Here are some suggestions to help with this dilemma.
A good way to hold onto your Camino experience is to write about it. This can also help during your Camino as well as after. The more you write the clearer those memories stay. Be especially specific about those lessons you learned and those a-ha moments you experienced on your walk. By writing it down it also helps you process your experience and it’s not uncommon for the breakthroughs and lessons to keep coming long after you’re back because of this. You might want to get some inspiration from those who have written books of their Camino experience.
As you start to attempt to portray your amazing experience to friends and family, don’t be surprised to see their eyes glazing over. It’s hard to convey such a life changing experience to someone who hasn’t gone through something similar. For this reason, a good way to hold onto the Camino feeling is to find like minded people who had been through what you have.
Many people have faced a similar dilemma upon returning from their Camino and decided to do something about it themselves. There are many Camino communities who might gather monthly or have scheduled events designed to keep the Camino spirit alive. Similarly, there are Camino forums that can help keep those memories alive.
Much of the appeal of the Camino and the source of those “Camino moments” comes from the walking itself. You may not be able to walk 20 kms every day once you return home, but you can still get out in nature occasionally to remind you of those heady Camino days.
If you really want to keep that Camino spirit alive, Raw Travel has a number of Camino style walks right here in Australia. This is a great way to connect with like minded people and share an experience similar to that found on the actual Camino.
SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
One of the real appeals of walking the Camino is its simplicity. Stripping life back to nothing but having to decide where to stop for lunch allows you to have room to concentrate on your surroundings and what you’re experiencing. Why not take this lesson home with you?
Take time out each day for yourself to go within. Learn to say no occasionally to give you the time you need to do this. Declutter your house and get rid of those things you’ve held onto forever but never use. Put the phone and laptop away occasionally. By doing these things and more you create the space for the unexpected to enter your life and keeps you open to new opportunities and breakthroughs.
Why not? Every Camino is different and there’s plenty more to learn and experience.