Vida's Camino Adventure 2016-10-16 21:53:46

So it’s been a little while.

Here I am in Santa Monica, starting a new adventure. True, this one is much shorter, and involves much less walking, and I’m not going to talk much about it on this blog. But now that I’m back in a hostel, it feels right to give this blog another post. Probably the last one to be honest, but I don’t know. I’m not gonna promise anything here.

The camino was an amazing experience. I don’t know if I can sum it up, but I’ll try.

Before we left, my classmates and I received the advice of warning our friends and family that we will be different people when we return from the camino. And I did that. But the thing is, I didn’t become a different person. I’m still me, and I will always be me. I’ve become more me though. I’ve grown into myself. I became more confident, more daring, I was reminded that I love who I am. Perhaps other people grow into new people, but I have always been me. Heck, I started writing elaborate Lord of the Rings fanfiction while on the camino, so if that’s not proof, I don’t know what is.

Right now, I feel pulls in different directions. I want to travel. Being in Spain awoke the travel bug. I want to explore the US, I want to get back to Europe, I want to be on adventures and on the move. At the same time, this summer I was working doing carpentry, and along with the camino that was one of the happiest times of my life. I felt things falling into place. I had a routine, and had stability. For the first time, things weren’t going to change in ten weeks. I could do what I was doing for years upon years. Of course, that job disappeared, but I want to seek that out. I want to settle and I want to wander. So life is pretty confusing right now, but also good.

I’m excited for what tomorrow will bring! (In both the literal and metaphorical sense.)

 

Thoughts on Returning Home

Thoughts on Returning Home

I have had many mixed emotions upon returning home, and it’s not as I imagined it would be. I had fantasized about coming home refreshed, at peace within myself, and motivated to live a better, more conscious life, excited to share my stories with my friends and family.

But I’m not as enthusiastic as I thought I would be. I’m actually quite melancholy.

Tears rolled down my cheeks as my plane landed in the Sacramento California Airport on Monday. I was excited to see my family who waited for me at the gate, but I was also experiencing a deep sense of remorse that had began to bubble up from inside my core. Along my journey home, I slowly began to succumb to culture shock to life outside of the Camino.

Thoughts on Returning HomeIn the security line at the airport, I noticed a man’s sweater sleeve had been dragging on the conveyer belt behind my backpack. As soon as I picked it up and began to put it back into its respective tray, the man said firmly, “Excuse me, that’s mine.

For some reason, this shook me. I wanted to cry.

I had been living on the Camino for three months where everything was shared: sleeping spaces, food, clothing, first aid supplies, cups of coffee, conversation, friendships… I was not looking forward to returning to a society of separation and hostility.

Another wave of culture shock hit me as I received my first parking ticket, the novelty of being a person who drives again, and carries a small purse rather than a 20 pound backpack. I do, however, have a new appreciation for all that I do have here at home. The simple things I took for granted before are now so luxurious.

But I can’t shake this inescapable feeling of isolation and remorse. I made some decisions along my Camino that have negatively influenced my personal life back home and hurt people that I care about. I feel as though my homecoming is not exactly a celebration, but a process of cleaning up the fallout of my actions while I was away, and trying to set things right again. I have faith in this healing process, and I know that soon I can look back and fully appreciate all that I’ve learned on my journey, the good and the bad. Thoughts on Returning Home

In the meantime, I am really thankful for all that the Camino has taught me. I learned how outgoing, independent, and adventurous I could be, though some of my actions revealed very ugly parts of me that I never knew or wanted to know existed. I think one of the biggest lessons I am still learning is that the only thing limiting myself is me, and my own doubts and worries (this lesson is even harder to implement into practice when now surrounded by old environments and habits). Another lesson I learned is to always always always remember to be kind with my words and my actions, to live from my heart, and to be direct and honest with how I’m feeling- qualities I want to embody within myself and in my life.

What I am learning now is how to be gentle with myself: sleeping more, eating nourishing foods, nursing a small stress injury in my left foot, trying to think positive thoughts and let go of negativity that isn’t serving me. Thoughts on Returning Home

Though the present moment is difficult and bittersweet, I know everything will get better with time. I know that just because one journey has passed, nothing has ended- the next opportunity for adventure can manifest itself at any given moment. One day I will return to Europe, and I’ll walk the Camino to Santiago again.

Thank you to all who have been reading and listening.

xoxoxo

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Back home

Back home

18 hours of traveling and I am back at my home in Washington. I am already missing Europe tremendously. It is strange trying to find my place back here after traveling for so long. I am so, so happy to see my family again though. I really missed them.

I am really glad that I was required to keep up this blog; it definitely made it a more unique and memorable experience to have physical documentation. Maybe I’ll start blogging again one day…

Thank you to those who followed this and commented. Knowing that people were right there with me made this big vast world seem a little bit smaller.

Until next time, Europe. Thanks for treating me so well.

Amber – Sunday

Amber – SundayAmber – SundayAmber – Sunday

Spent the day in Lucerne, Switzerland and it was beautiful. All of the buildings are covered in intricate artwork and the Swiss alps are surrounding this little lake town. I am back in Stuttgart now, but am fully prepared to return to Switzerland one day. Only 4 more days until I leave this wonderful continent….

Back Stateside

Having recently returned stateside I’m now reflecting on the full experience of el Camino and the search for my roots in the UK. I have an ambitious list of 14 specific things I have learned in the pursuit of greater Love and figuring what a good life is and how I might live it. In service to those 14+ ideas there is yet work to be done. I am constructing a beast of blog to cap things off, a piece that will take me some time to write. Maybe I’ll have it done in a week or two, maybe not. At the moment it is sitting somewhere around 8 pages and still has a long way to go. So! I’ll keep writing.

Mostly I just want to give a deeply apprective thank you to. You have made this journey remarkable for me simply by reading. I apologize for not responding to every comment. I have read them all and each one boosted my spirit. What I would LOVE to do is meet up with anyone who want so to hang out and we can chat about anything, camino included.

Back Stateside
Back Stateside
Back Stateside
Back Stateside
Back Stateside
Back Stateside
Back Stateside
Back Stateside