Another beginning…….Planning for the Camino de Santiago!

The decision has been made! Regardless of my apprehension, anticipation, fear, curiosity….I simply can’t NOT go! So now I wonder, what is drawing me to this over 500 mile pilgramage – Camino de Santiago de Compostela.

It’s a physical challenge of course. Even in typing that sentence, I’m confused about why I’m heading towards this and not away from it!! I’m certainly not the type to run (or walk, or crawl) to a physical endeavor! And yet, I am mesmorized by the idea of walking this path. But 500 miles of walking? It’s so not ME!!

It’s a mental challenge. Again, why am I feeling compelled to challenge myself like this? How will I cope with taking one step after another every day for weeks? What will I think about during all of that time? When I do my walking now, my thoughts are about how soon will I be done so I can get in the car and move on to my next “thing” for the day. How will I handle just doing nothing but walking, walking, walking. And so much of the walking will most likely be alone!

I love to plan and prepare. Is that why I feel the need to do this? I will spend the next several months physically and mentally preparing my body. What will I take? Are my boots broken in enough? Do I have the right guidebook? What kind of backpack should I use? I could go on and on forever like this.

But the truth is, I honestly don’t know why I feel this incredible need to do this. From all the reading I’m doing, it seems many people are drawn to the pilgramage to find God. Others are searching for the meaning of life or even their purpose in life. This is what I do know – the more I read, the more intrigued I am. The destination is Santiago de Compostela which I have read and heard is a wonderfully spiritual place. But, as my friend Trisha from South Africa wrote to me, ” at the beginning I thought my aim would be to reach Santiago,  but in retrospect this is not the case, as the journey is the distance you travel in mind, spirit body and soul that is all that matters at the end of the day”.

I truly don’t know if I will have the type of experience that so many others seem to have on this journey. So, I will work on my plans, continue to walk each day to keep breaking in the hiking boots, make a selection for a backpack, and do all the logistical work I can before I go. Whatever happens after that will be a surprise. And quite frankly, I think THAT might just be the reason I am so drawn to this!

Buen Camino! Fitting that it’s November and I’ve chosen to be a pilgram!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deborah Cooper-Asberry
    Nov 02, 2011 @ 08:31:57

    Congratulations on making the decision!! I remember you having said that the choice of where to go next was a daunting one, so I’m happy to see that you’re following your heart’s leanings!
    I’m tempted to mimic your journey by doing a ‘mini-pilgrimage’ here in my own backyard (Cleveland, Ohio)! I really believe that the mental conditioning is at least equal to the surroundings when you make this sort of commitment to a journey of any kind. Best wishes as you make the preparations for what I’m sure will be a positive life-changing excursion… regardless of the exact outcome!

    Reply

    • cheriarnold
      Nov 02, 2011 @ 21:50:54

      Oh Debroah! Thank you so much for the encouragement! Trust me, I need all the positive reinforcement I can get!!!! I hope that you too are following your heart’s leanings! Please keep in touch and share YOUR good news! 🙂

      Cheri 🙂

      Reply

  2. grumpygrannyg
    Nov 13, 2011 @ 10:28:55

    You will never regret it!! When do you plan to leave? I walked in September/October and found it to be nearly perfect weather. Buen Camino to you!!

    GG

    Reply

    • cheriarnold
      Nov 13, 2011 @ 10:38:37

      I’m thinking May/June. However, I’m also considering April in Thailand for the Songkren festival but honestly, I’m scared to death to try Thailand! In September I travelled to Europe for the first time by myself and found it was wonderful travelling solo! But I’m not sure if I have the big girl panties on for a country so different as Thailand. I KNOW I will not do India…it’s just to scary for me! Do you have any suggestions for travel?

      Reply

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