I’ve learned a lot having talked to my podcast guests over the last number of months. First of all, it has been a pleasure to re-walk their Camino with them during this challenging time. Secondly, it gives me an outlet to give back – something that I have been doing for three years and I look forward to continue doing so when some kind of normality returns. It is encouraging to see people from all over the world listening in and I am grateful for that. I am not sure how long I can continue creating podcasts but if pilgrims wish to share their story with me, I will keep going. I had a great chat with Adam, a English pilgrim I met in 2017. We shared many memories and it was fun to talk after so long. Being part of a Camino family really helps your Camino experience in my opinion and we talked about that.
Prior to that, I spoke to Samantha from Thunder Bay, Canada. She walked the Camino Francés last May. She left her home with a question “Who really am I?” and returned with a different outlook on life. Following her Camino, she left her job as a financial consultant and once normality returns, Samantha will guide women on pilgrimages and retreats. She has a website www.shewalksthewalk.com where you can find all her details. The Camino has the ability to change you, only if you let it.
For me, change has been tiny but noticeable. The most obvious change is the call to give back to the Camino, both in written form on my blog and as a volunteer. I have been writing for years and many other pilgrims have been doing the same for far longer. I started to volunteer three years ago in Dublin. Secondly, I like to think that I have a more positive outlook. Yes, this pandemic is far from ideal but it will go away and we will be walking in Spain again. I am sure of it. And finally, and I suppose this relates to personal items, since 2012/2013 my hoarding days are over. Anything, that I do not need I usually give away. I live by how I walked on the Camino. I walk 2-3 weeks most years with bare essentials in a backpack and I am carrying on that idea.
So how has the Camino de Santiago changed you?