Thursday, March 21, 2019

Camino - Final Reflections

"Use the waymarkers to lead you to Santiago,
but use the lessons you learned to find the Way."
-Pilgrim Quote

"I think the most important thing the Camino has taught me is how important it is to sometimes just turn off your mind and trust your body. When it gets hard to keep going your mind gives up first, but if you trust yourself, you'll always be able to push through to the other side."

"They say that the destination is the journey. However, surrendering the constant "are we there yet?" and accepting the moment can be challenging. 
Going into the trip, I expected to be uncomfortable with slowing down and not having a task to occupy my time. I'm not going to lie -- it was pretty hard, and not just for the first day. Overcoming my urge to plan out tasks was one of my hardest trials of the trip.
Thankfully, walking with such amazing people helped me lean into the discomfort. Taking time not only to joke, but also to have deep conversations with intermittent periods of silence and reflection forced my brain to quiet. I see this in many instances throughout the trip -- talking with Abbie about the challenges and tribulations of being female, joking about German words (Ausgang for life!) with Thomas, watching Patty carefully chronicle our trip, our far too many shots of espresso — helped me to focus in on the moment I was living. The Camino de Santiago is not only a physical journey, it is a destination. A destination in every minute and conversation. A destination that I am grateful to have had. "

"My favorite part of El Camino was passing each pedestal and watching our remaining distance tick down. I enjoyed every second of walking and being able to see our progress kept me pushing each day. I think that remembering this trip will give me the motivation to face new challenges."

"This was the first trip I've ever taken outside of the U.S. I've been wanting to come to Europe for some time now, and for my wishes to be fulfilled I am incredibly grateful. I am also grateful to have some of my closest friends along with others I've gotten to know on this trip here to share this experience with me.  Thank you so much Ms. Geiger and Dr. Singer for putting up with us for a full week, I really don't know how you guys did it. This was truly an unforgettable experience that I'll hold with me forever."

"The Camino was more of a challenge than I expected. At the same time, every step was worth it and I'm so glad I came on the trip."

"I think the Camino really shows the sense of achievement. There are so many points on the trip where you think that you can't keep going, and that blister hurts too much, or I don't think I can walk in a straight line anymore. Yet, you keep going until you find a hostel and some food, only to continue the same routine the next day. But you complete something. Not only can I now say that I've walked 18 miles in a day, I've also completed a religious pilgrimage. The pilgrimage isn't about the end, it's about the rolling hills, the farm land, and the countless animals that you come across along the way."

"During the Camino I learned to always be open to meeting new people, especially when it is uncomfortable at first. When we saw other peregrinos we were reluctant to talk to them, but slowly we began to make friends. By the end we were talking (with somewhat of a language barrier) about our homes, cultures, and lives. From now on I will always try to talk to people from other places to learn about their lives and how they are different from mine."

"It was a good week in Spain. I rediscovered my love for nature on the long walks and learned a lot about Spanish culture from the locals and Spanish students doing the walk alongside us. I will definitely do the Camino again when I’m ready to start a new stage in my life. 
-William C

"I think that my favorite part of the Camino involved all the animals that we got to see. The smell wasn’t always pleasant, but the amount of joy that stray dogs and cats brought me outweighed it by far. William Robinson and I saw a green lizard that was the size of a normal Virginian one(about 5 inches) and then a giant 2 foot long version of it not one hour later."

This is William Robinson with my concluding thoughts on the El Camino and friends. This was beyond a fantastic trip. Everything from walking to talking to hanging out, it was great. I enjoyed walking through the Spanish countryside with a great group of friends. I will be excited to get back and see my family, but I’ll be sad that I’m leaving my Spanish one.
Mucho Gusto y Muchas Gracias,
Your Camino boy William Robinson" 

No comments: