Camino Roundup

Santiago! Wow. So here we are back at home, and how it is to be home again. I cant write enough about our last couple of days on the Camino. It was an amazing and bittersweet ending to the trip. We spent our last days with the Camino family and managed to stick together to walk into the cathedral square in Santiago together all holding hands. Some were crying, the rest smiling and laughing, and myself just kind of in an awestruck stupor. Its hard to describe my feelings when we walked into the square. I was partly elated and ecstatic, partly sad, and kind of numb just trying to comprehend what it meant to be done.

Cathedral of St. James

Just before getting to the cathedral

Making the ending even more amazing was that our German friend Marius appeared before us out of the crowd of hundreds of pilgrims in the square. He was supposed to have finished four days before us, and we had just been talking about how the only thing missing from our walking into the square was Marius being there with us. It was like a real miracle of St. James. (I also have to point out another miracle of St. James, or perhaps it was just due to always wearing two pairs of socks (polypropelene and wool), and my awesome AKU boots, I walked 500 miles without getting ONE SINGLE BLISTER. I love my feet!)

Killing some hierbas on the Monte de GozoThe elation of finishing the walk continued on to the pilgrims office where we received our Compostela (which, being all in Latin, I still need to figure out what it says) and on through the night, eating and drinking like we had just walked 500 miles. It was the next morning when we attended our final pilgrims' mass in the cathedral that the idea of our Camino coming to an end really took hold. It was quite depressing to realize that we weren't going to be walking, talking, and laughing with all of our new friends the next day.

It was really this point when I realized what the Camino is all about: people. I think before the Camino, I had really started to become very cynical about the world. Especially with the nonstop election year bullshit going on with all of the negativity being thrown around for nothing. I really came to realize on the Camino how important other people are in our lives. There were many times along the way that I don't think that I would have continued by myself. Of course, Lauren was always there to help me (and Lauren sitting here reading this as I write would like to point out that she also could not have done the Camino without me), and even beyond that, we always had a huge support group of people going through the same thing as us. I'm really going to miss that, but I come home knowing that we have so many family members and friends here at home that will always be there for us. It gives me great pride to call all of you my friends and family.

Beyond that, I come back home with a new perspective on other things. Since I studied abroad for a year in Germany, I've always loved the quote from Nelson Mandela's book A Long Walk to Freedom, "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." The title of that book never seemed more appropriate either, come to think of it. I come back from our long walk even more excited to downsize our lives over the next year. I look around at all of the things we have and think back about how great and free it felt to have everything on my back, just walking all day. That, and its so much easier to see what's important in life. Its not about acquiring things or wealth. So many people think that they must seem richer to other people through the show of wealth. That's no way to live a life. You should impress people with your generosity, kindness, and love. With less things in our lives, we will have so much more time to devote to this. I've never been more excited about the future!

Although some things are just so nice to have. For one, a shower with consistent temperature and pressure is awesome. Also, regular internet service is a bonus. Which is why we'll soon be uploading all of our pictures (well, not ALL of them, there's like 3000 somehow...), and our videos from the Camino. Stay tuned! (Also, since we haven't really gone through our pictures yet, I stole these pictures from Andy MacDonald on Facebook. Thanks in advance, Andy!)


  1. Could you please talk about me specifically in your blog from time to time as I really like the attention....


    Camino dad

  2. And I would like it to be known that I only lost ONE pair of undies out of three and NEVER went commando. Kathmandu in London have fixed that issue too...
    Oh, yes. Feel free to use any pictures.. :)