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Coming home: Help for the heartbroken

Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#1
I just finished my first Camino and today is two weeks back home.

Camino homesickness is hitting hard, which is arguably why I've been participating in so many forum conversations in the last couple of days. I did not expect that - I thought once I'd finished, I wouldn't need the forum so much. In fact, it is the opposite. I need / want it much more.

Summing it up, it feels like I've changed, but nothing else has. In picking up my backpack, I'd gotten rid of a lot of baggage. Coming home, I have to pick it all up again. My life is pretty amazing and I have a lot to be thankful for - but right now I have to keep reminding myself of that an awful lot. As I reread that last sentence, I realize I just gave myself the reminder that I need (reciting all the things I was thankful for in the moment was how I kept going sometimes. I will have to restart that practice!)

I saw a thread a few days ago about a book on coming home, and I will read it soon. But I must believe I am not alone in the post-Camino blues. Anyone willing to share what they felt, and how they coped?

Many thanks

Northern Laurie (otherwise known as Laureen, the Canadian in a long skirt and flower hat on the Camino del Norte, the slow lady, and who knows what other nicknames).
 

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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#2
Laurie, you are right: you are not alone. Perhaps past of the reason there are so many Camino addicts here.

I remember coming back home from C1 (1st Camino) ten years ago. I thought I had seen the light. I can be happy for very little, simplicity is great, aren’t people wonderful, you name it.

Then I remembered some reverse culture shock training from biz school for students returning from a semester abroad.

I also realised that if I was able to enjoy my Camino it was because of the rat race I participate in here at home. No good income = no vacation time, no cross puddle flights, no cafes con leches in the morning or vermud solera in the evening. And then my outlook on people had not changed, I had just been in a mix of like minded people whole walking.

So little by little the Camino blues disappeared. And then I walked again in 2012 and every year after that. No more « Camino magic » just beautiful, inexpensive long distance walks in the country where my family is from and in usually excellent company.

I think the biggest change in my life is the amount of Merino Tshirts I now buy (Costco has some new long sleeved ones for women in grey, navy, black and rd for 20$, and much better quality than the brand they used to carry), and the fact that when not at work I now tend to wear my Camino trousers and horror of horrors Hoka One Ones. My poor Spanish grandmother would be horrified.

Enjoy what you have come back with in your heart, cherish it, don’t expect others to get it, and start planning your C2.
 
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CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#4
Laurie--I have felt like that on return also. Not this time!

I typically will get ill once on a walk. My first walk in 2015, I had a virus that set me back for a few days.

On my second Camino in Spain, the night before I flew back, I ate some food that really disagreed with me, and was exceptionally ill all night.

But that stuff is minimal, and just a bit of a byproduct of traveling.

THIS trip though--and I just got back nine days ago--I got extremely ill. Ill to the point of high fever, and difficulties breathing. I am still coughing a lot at night, and sleeping on the couch so as not to bother husband. It's now been twenty-four days.

The virus I got in Spain followed me throughout the trip like a shadow. I was ill, weak, and not walking as far as I usually do. After two and a half days in bed, I started walking, but I was weak.

The entire trip was a hotel experience, except for a few nights. I made a good friend ill, apparently.

Be glad your time in Spain was wonderful. It in itself is a blessing, and not to be taken for granted.

Be glad you are back, and start planning for next year's journey. As the song says, "Love the One You're With". Be there now, but keep an eye on the next journey, and relish what you've learned about minimalism, Spanish cuisine, and travel! Take some long, long walks and just realize that while your trip was amazing, it was amazing for the grace of "you know who" and also some great luck.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#6
In my yoga class, at the beginning of each class the teacher asks if there is anything new that we have noticed as the result of our yoga practice. Yesterday, one woman said that she feels calm and happy in class because she feels "present". Her thoughts are only on what is happening in that moment. I realized that that is how I feel on the Camino. Present.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#7
Hi Laureen,
I had daydreamed about the possibility of walking the Camino Frances for a full year after seeing the movie "The Way" before I finally was able to do it in April 2015. It was amazing, but I thought it would be "one and done"...off the bucket list of exciting things to experience and places to see as I'd traveled to many beautiful places over the years. BUT, after I returned home I started missing the feel of wearing my backpack, the simplicity of the lifestyle, meeting so many interesting people, and being part of an adventure. I became somewhat melancholy and sort of sad, although nothing was really wrong in my life. I had just retired before that first Camino. Maybe the extra time on my hands left me wondering what would give me the wonderful sense of purpose that I had in the planning, the focusing on the preparations, and the anticipation of going on that journey. I felt sort of empty and as though my husband, family and friends didn't really understand or relate to the joy I had in just "walking".

I had met two fellow pilgrims my first night over the communal meal in the albergue. We walked a few days together, exchanged emails, and when I returned home, one of them suggested we all meet for a "mini reunion" four months later as we all were from the midwest USA. It was a wonderful time reconnecting over a long weekend. We did some local hikes, brought Rioja wine ;) and prepared a tapas meal to emulate our pilgrimage. These new Camino friends are still part of my life; we have turned our mini reunion into an annual event and have met up on a couple of other occasions. I think these connections with others who "get it" definately helped with my feelings of loss after returning home that first time.

I have planned one Camino each year since my first; the Norte/Primitivo, and this past spring a repeat of the Frances route. I have new plans to walk the LePuy route in France next June with two of these friends and the upcoming winter months of planning will get me through those long cold months. Thankfully my husband has accepted the fact that this has become a passion of mine and has allowed me the luxury, (yes, it's a luxury) to continue. Like so many of us on the forum have said...planning another one helps keep those Camino blues away.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra May/ June 2017
Le Puy en Velay - Ales May 2018
#8
I think about the Camino every day , I still wake at five am and wonder where my pack is , I still find myself estimating how far I will walk today and wonder whom I may meet . Sometimes I even reach for my non existent poles .
I thought it would pass but the end of July is months ago and these feelings grow stronger . I thought at first that I might retrace my steps , albeit a little slower this time but feet of clay prevail and I don't want to risk such good memories with possible bad ones .
So I have decided to do another , but different , something that I won't immediately compare with the Frances . The end of May next year all willing will see me walk the GR70 / Stevenson's Way .
After that , well, there are always the Five thousand plus Kilometres of the Australian ' Bicentennial Trail , something that can be done in stages and won't involve jet lag .
http://www.bicentennialnationaltrail.com.au/about/
 

amorfati1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014_Caminho Portuguese (Lisboa to Santiago_4 weeks in May)
#11
I just finished my first Camino and today is two weeks back home.

Camino homesickness is hitting hard, which is arguably why I've been participating in so many forum conversations in the last couple of days. I did not expect that - I thought once I'd finished, I wouldn't need the forum so much. In fact, it is the opposite. I need / want it much more.

Summing it up, it feels like I've changed, but nothing else has. In picking up my backpack, I'd gotten rid of a lot of baggage. Coming home, I have to pick it all up again. My life is pretty amazing and I have a lot to be thankful for - but right now I have to keep reminding myself of that an awful lot. As I reread that last sentence, I realize I just gave myself the reminder that I need (reciting all the things I was thankful for in the moment was how I kept going sometimes. I will have to restart that practice!)

I saw a thread a few days ago about a book on coming home, and I will read it soon. But I must believe I am not alone in the post-Camino blues. Anyone willing to share what they felt, and how they coped?

Many thanks

Northern Laurie (otherwise known as Laureen, the Canadian in a long skirt and flower hat on the Camino del Norte, the slow lady, and who knows what other nicknames).
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/going-home.28506/#post-236527
and there are plenty of other posts/threads along those lines...

it's what i call: sweet grief.
and it is really a curious gift - and a testimony of another gift: that you allowed yourself to be touch in some ways one does not even need to understand. even though one might wish to be able to understand it.

if you can, be gentle with yourself - takes time to integrate all that what have been given , have experienced.
and, if i may offer another prism of the crystal of 'life on camino' - you said: "...Coming home, I have to pick it all up again...."
if you can, consider this: no, you don't need to pick it all up again.
certain things maybe still apply - as for e.g. the need to continue to work. or to wash the dishes, to pay bills on time, etc.
but there are plenty of ways to shift your perception and actions on daily life.... to continue with a certain simplicity that maybe was aquired during the camino. for eg ... asking oneself: do i really need to read this article in a paper? view another 'must see TV'? attend this invitation even though i'd rather stay at home to sort through my camino photos or whatever else nourishes me truly? ...
well, i hope i can convey what i mean. you have changed, and you can mold life accordingly.
maybe the sun will still rise in the east and set in the west and rain will be still wet... but now / here is the grand opportunity to take stock, to review ... and to modify your life that fits and suits the new you.
one maybe still needs to pick up the kids from ZXY place - but does one really need to be held up to chat by a very gossipy person who does not really contribute anything to uplift?
you don't need to pick it all up again.

that you have much to be grateful for and that you feel this heartbroken-ness is not mutually exclusive. both is real - they don't cancel each other out.
your feet can stand in ice-water and your finger can still get burnt by a flame/fire.
one does not negate the other.

and if you can, you can honour both states ... the gratefulness of what you have in your life ... and also this sweet grief and longing.
it's ok not to have it all figured out right now how to proceed ... just do the next step. a step at a time ...
very best wishes -
claudia
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#12
Hi Laureen, you post echoes how many of us felt/feel, especially after a first Camino. There are lots of similar threads on this forum - you're definitely not alone. As many of us have found, the post -Camino blues are less intense after subsequent walks, but they are very real and there's no quick fix.

I've only started to read the book that you mentioned in your post - but I really like it so far. The writer (forum member @NadineK) makes an interesting point about reverse culture shock, as does @Anemone del Camino. I think this is a big contributor to how we can feel after a Camino. For me, getting outdoors as much as possible and doing 'grounding' activities like gardening or cooking (and of course walking!) really help me to settle back into 'normal' life, while still processing and feeling all of that flux. I also try to do some of my usual activities at a slower pace, e.g. walking or taking a train rather than driving. I've learned not to over-think the experience, or the lessons that it may or may not have brought. I just roll with it, knowing that everything settles in time.

Wishing you well as you work through this - you've already got some great advice from very wise members. Of course there's only one guaranteed cure ........ Camino no.2!
 
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Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#13
I too go into a deep post-Camino funk each time I return. The fact that I am a depressed person does not help. But, one adapts and overcomes.

My annual Camino usually is done by mid-. However, I then have to get prepared to return to Santiago to work for a month as a voluntario at the Pilgrim Office from mid-July through mid-August. My hope and intention is to continue to volunteer do that until they no longer want me back, or until old age argues against it... But, I will go down fighting to participate in the Camino, even if only vicariously.

As others have correctly stated above, I find my best way to deal with my late August to next spring Camino funk is three part:

(1) I participate daily in this forum, sharing helpful advice and suggestions when and where I can. I find helping others to be the best balm for my depression....and I learn something new nearly every day...

(2) I plan my next Camino. I use all resources at hand to research, assess, plan, and even map my planned next Camino. While no such plan survives the first day's walking, it nonetheless keeps me sane in the off-time...and

(3) I am an APOC member and participate in monthly activities staged by my local chapter. This keeps me around others who share the affinity for the Camino de Santiago. You can learn more and join at http://www.americanpilgrims.org/

I hope this helps.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#14
I too go into a deep post-Camino funk each time I return. The fact that I am a depressed person does not helps. But, one adapts and overcomes.

My annual Camino usually is done by mid June. However, I then have to get prepared to return to Santiago to work for a month as a voluntario at the Pilgrim Office rom mid-July through mid-August. My hope and intention is to continue to volunteer do that until they no longer want me back, or until old age argues against it... But, I will go down fighting to participate in the Camino, even if only vicariously.

As others have correctly stated above, I find my best way to deal with my late August to next spring Camino funk is three part:

(1) I participate daily in this forum, sharing helpful advice and suggestions when and where I can. I find helping others to be the best balm for my depression....and I learn something new nearly every day...

(2) I plan my next Camino. I use all resources at hand to research, assess, plan, and even map my planned next Camino. While no such plan survives the first day's walking, it nonetheless keeps me sane in the off-time...and

(3) I am an APOC member and participate in monthly activities staged by my local chapter. This keeps me around others who share the affinity for the Camino de Santiago. You can learn more and join at http://www.americanpilgrims.org/

I hope this helps.
Wonderfully stated comments (as were everyone's)! That said, I wish I had an APOC chapter near me, but I'd have a 90 mile drive into Chicago, which is the closest chapter and a crazy city to navigate for someone like me...I don't even like to use the cruise control on my car!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#16
Thank you all for your kind words!

Not surprisingly, I am already mulling over another Camino at some point in the future. I have very itchy feet right now! But it took me 7 years to get to Spain this time, so it will be a few years until the next time.

@t2andreo I can empathize with depression. Add in a generous dollop of anxiety. The anxiety mostly disappeared while walking, and I am still feeling more balanced than I have in years. I am more honest with myself and with people around me. More connected and present. But it also makes me less tolerant of the things in life that contribute to that painful way of being. Which means some sort of change. Which is where I was before I started walking.

I had hoped that walking would give me some "wisdom to know the difference" between the things I can and cannot change. And I honestly thought I had come across some solutions while walking. Now that I am back, I feel no more wise and no more able to decide. I can feel the same sense of being stuck I had before I'd left.

There was definitely the strange moment I realized I was a tourist and not a pilgrim. It was bittersweet. I did have a chance to honour the journey I just finished, so the transition was definitely more celebratory than sad. (Something I would really encourage all pilgrims to do is to find some personal and meaningful ritual at the end to "close out" the journey.)

I loved the joy, the time to watch and listen while walking. I still do this - and I did manage to make a small change that is changing my morning routine so I can walk more at home. I will plan my next Camino - but maybe it will be here at home. Pilgrimage doesn't need to be in Spain, but having albergues every few kilometers does make the backpack lighter!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#19
Laurie--I have felt like that on return also. Not this time!

I typically will get ill once on a walk. My first walk in 2015, I had a virus that set me back for a few days.

On my second Camino in Spain, the night before I flew back, I ate some food that really disagreed with me, and was exceptionally ill all night.

But that stuff is minimal, and just a bit of a byproduct of traveling.

THIS trip though--and I just got back nine days ago--I got extremely ill. Ill to the point of high fever, and difficulties breathing. I am still coughing a lot at night, and sleeping on the couch so as not to bother husband. It's now been twenty-four days.

The virus I got in Spain followed me throughout the trip like a shadow. I was ill, weak, and not walking as far as I usually do. After two and a half days in bed, I started walking, but I was weak.

The entire trip was a hotel experience, except for a few nights. I made a good friend ill, apparently.

Be glad your time in Spain was wonderful. It in itself is a blessing, and not to be taken for granted.

Be glad you are back, and start planning for next year's journey. As the song says, "Love the One You're With". Be there now, but keep an eye on the next journey, and relish what you've learned about minimalism, Spanish cuisine, and travel! Take some long, long walks and just realize that while your trip was amazing, it was amazing for the grace of "you know who" and also some great luck.
I have been sick for up to two full weeks on each of my 3 Caminos. Not with stomach issues thankfully, but with some of the worst sore throats and thick phlegm in all of my (many) years on the planet. I figure I caught these nasty little infections either on the plane coming over, or in the albergues in close proximity to other cougher/hackers. Not fun, but I was able to march on each and every day. Glad my issues were not related to my stomach...had that on an Italy trip and that's a whole different story! :confused:
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#20
As a retired "homeless by choice," I don't completely comprehend the longing for a particular place. I've enjoyed every place I've been. But if I had to "grade" them, I think the Camino would be where I seem to fit best.

Yet, I must leave Spain on Hallowe'en for at least ninety days, and I am feeling it a little bit.
 
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Magnara

Maggie Ramsay
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago de Compostela (2005) Via Francigena (2010) Le Puy to St Jean (2014)
#21
I just finished my first Camino and today is two weeks back home.

Camino homesickness is hitting hard, which is arguably why I've been participating in so many forum conversations in the last couple of days. I did not expect that - I thought once I'd finished, I wouldn't need the forum so much. In fact, it is the opposite. I need / want it much more.

Summing it up, it feels like I've changed, but nothing else has. In picking up my backpack, I'd gotten rid of a lot of baggage. Coming home, I have to pick it all up again. My life is pretty amazing and I have a lot to be thankful for - but right now I have to keep reminding myself of that an awful lot. As I reread that last sentence, I realize I just gave myself the reminder that I need (reciting all the things I was thankful for in the moment was how I kept going sometimes. I will have to restart that practice!)

I saw a thread a few days ago about a book on coming home, and I will read it soon. But I must believe I am not alone in the post-Camino blues. Anyone willing to share what they felt, and how they coped?

Many thanks

Northern Laurie (otherwise known as Laureen, the Canadian in a long skirt and flower hat on the Camino del Norte, the slow lady, and who knows what other nicknames).
A very wise forum friend who has walked many caminos - Sillydoll - once commented on a similar thread, "Who would have thought you would miss your backpack?" So true, first comes the thrill of finishing, then the sigh of realising that you have finished. It certainly makes for an addiction, but one that is good for body and soul.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#23
There was definitely the strange moment I realized I was a tourist and not a pilgrim. It was bittersweet.
Amiga, if you feel that you can I would be grateful if you would expand on that. If not then let it be.
I'm another of those who walk camino for a thousand reasons but not to the bones of Santiago.
I remember the first time I walked in to Santiago and made my way to the cathedral and joined the hundreds assembled for mass. I went out of curiosity but with respect in my heart for those I had walked with and who were gathered there. But it was not for me.
My pilgrimage was, is, and always will be to the end-of-the-world and the sundering seas but my camino is the journey, the road, the path, the 'way'.

I wish you well on your journey peregrina.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#24
I too go into a deep post-Camino funk each time I return. The fact that I am a depressed person does not helps. But, one adapts and overcomes.

My annual Camino usually is done by mid June. However, I then have to get prepared to return to Santiago to work for a month as a voluntario at the Pilgrim Office rom mid-July through mid-August. My hope and intention is to continue to volunteer do that until they no longer want me back, or until old age argues against it... But, I will go down fighting to participate in the Camino, even if only vicariously.

As others have correctly stated above, I find my best way to deal with my late August to next spring Camino funk is three part:

(1) I participate daily in this forum, sharing helpful advice and suggestions when and where I can. I find helping others to be the best balm for my depression....and I learn something new nearly every day...

(2) I plan my next Camino. I use all resources at hand to research, assess, plan, and even map my planned next Camino. While no such plan survives the first day's walking, it nonetheless keeps me sane in the off-time...and

(3) I am an APOC member and participate in monthly activities staged by my local chapter. This keeps me around others who share the affinity for the Camino de Santiago. You can learn more and join at http://www.americanpilgrims.org/

I hope this helps.
My favorite cure at the end of any Camino is to find T2a... outside the Pilgrim Office and scream to anyone who can hear me, "This man is a fraud!" just like the movie.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
#25
I just finished my first Camino and today is two weeks back home.

Camino homesickness is hitting hard, which is arguably why I've been participating in so many forum conversations in the last couple of days. I did not expect that - I thought once I'd finished, I wouldn't need the forum so much. In fact, it is the opposite. I need / want it much more.

Summing it up, it feels like I've changed, but nothing else has. In picking up my backpack, I'd gotten rid of a lot of baggage. Coming home, I have to pick it all up again. My life is pretty amazing and I have a lot to be thankful for - but right now I have to keep reminding myself of that an awful lot. As I reread that last sentence, I realize I just gave myself the reminder that I need (reciting all the things I was thankful for in the moment was how I kept going sometimes. I will have to restart that practice!)

I saw a thread a few days ago about a book on coming home, and I will read it soon. But I must believe I am not alone in the post-Camino blues. Anyone willing to share what they felt, and how they coped?

Many thanks

Northern Laurie (otherwise known as Laureen, the Canadian in a long skirt and flower hat on the Camino del Norte, the slow lady, and who knows what other nicknames).
I suffer from this affliction, as do many I am sure. It took me weeks to really get back into my world. Although I was at work, my mind was not there and I still think about another Camino frequently. I stay in touch with Camino friends and plot my return... haven't found a cure and it has been 5 months.
You are not alone
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino St James Apr 2017
#26
I just finished my first Camino and today is two weeks back home.

Camino homesickness is hitting hard, which is arguably why I've been participating in so many forum conversations in the last couple of days. I did not expect that - I thought once I'd finished, I wouldn't need the forum so much. In fact, it is the opposite. I need / want it much more.

Summing it up, it feels like I've changed, but nothing else has. In picking up my backpack, I'd gotten rid of a lot of baggage. Coming home, I have to pick it all up again. My life is pretty amazing and I have a lot to be thankful for - but right now I have to keep reminding myself of that an awful lot. As I reread that last sentence, I realize I just gave myself the reminder that I need (reciting all the things I was thankful for in the moment was how I kept going sometimes. I will have to restart that practice!)

I saw a thread a few days ago about a book on coming home, and I will read it soon. But I must believe I am not alone in the post-Camino blues. Anyone willing to share what they felt, and how they coped?

Many thanks

Northern Laurie (otherwise known as Laureen, the Canadian in a long skirt and flower hat on the Camino del Norte, the slow lady, and who knows what other nicknames).
Hi Laurie it’s quite difficult when one gets back home. What I did was kept walking small walks, chat with positive people and I planned for next year. Walking Camino del Norte next year. So my advice is plan something for next year.

Buen Camino Jim
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sep/Oct 2017: Camino Frances.
April 2018: Camino de SdC to Fisterra
#27
Thanks everyone so much for this thread. I am suffering badly, 3 weeks after arriving in SdC, after what certainly feels like one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced in my life (and I am over 50!). It feels like lovesickness! It is so good to know that this seems to happen to many others, so I am 'normal'. I shall be kind to myself, and meditate on the lessons learnt on the Camino Frances (my first camino). I had planned to take them in the Camino of life, and see where I can start. One step at a time. And I will plan my next Camino!!!!
 

Rinspin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
English June 21 2017
#28
I just finished my first Camino and today is two weeks back home.

Camino homesickness is hitting hard, which is arguably why I've been participating in so many forum conversations in the last couple of days. I did not expect that - I thought once I'd finished, I wouldn't need the forum so much. In fact, it is the opposite. I need / want it much more.

Summing it up, it feels like I've changed, but nothing else has. In picking up my backpack, I'd gotten rid of a lot of baggage. Coming home, I have to pick it all up again. My life is pretty amazing and I have a lot to be thankful for - but right now I have to keep reminding myself of that an awful lot. As I reread that last sentence, I realize I just gave myself the reminder that I need (reciting all the things I was thankful for in the moment was how I kept going sometimes. I will have to restart that practice!)

I saw a thread a few days ago about a book on coming home, and I will read it soon. But I must believe I am not alone in the post-Camino blues. Anyone willing to share what they felt, and how they coped?

Many thanks

Northern Laurie (otherwise known as Laureen, the Canadian in a long skirt and flower hat on the Camino del Norte, the slow lady, and who knows what other nicknames).
Oh my. Same here! We arrived home September 26 and I am constantly looking at videos and reading the posts here. As soon as we hit home, we started to plan next years journey! The first week back was all about sharing the experience with my friends and family. After that, downhill with work and humdrum life. The thing that keeps me in good spirits is planning for next year! Hang in! Keep walking!
 

easygoing

Walking the Camino with my 15 year old self
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 5 times, twice in 2017. (May 2018 and September 2018)
#29
Laurie you are not alone. We miss the simple life of the Camino and the easy friendship. Also the people at home do not understand how the rhythm of the Camino day brings peace and creativity to the day. Life is good on the Camino for me because I am more open to change but also because the people I meet understand the call of the Camino. There is a sisterhood of the Camino that has inspired me to plan the walk alone sans husband. The best advice I ever read for coming home shock was on this site. Yes you miss the life. Just start planning your next Camino. I am just finishing my fifth Camino and write from Santiago
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014)
#30
I walked the Camino Frances in 2014 and I am still getting my camino fix by hanging out in these forums... I am dreaming of a camino #2 in future but since my return home I've had a child and I can't see myself walking with my toddler or leaving him for an extended period of time just yet. So, I'm trying to determine how old he needs to be before I feel like I can leave him... and any younger siblings who might show up. I'm jealous of those who have the time and money and stage of life to do an annual Camino, especially those Europeans who don't need to spend $800+ on flights just to get there and back!

On the plus side I walked the camino with a few family members so every now and then we reminisce, which I'm sure is annoying for the rest of the family who didn't come along :p. We've also taken on a 'camino' a little closer to home - the Bruce trail in Ontario which amazingly is longer than the CF but doesn't have cheap lodgings (or cafe con leches) along the way. We've been walking on weekends with the little one on my partner's back. We estimated that at the rate we're going it'll take us 10+ years to finish! BUT - it gets us out walking and gives us a goal to look forward to.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
#31
Hi Laurie it’s quite difficult when one gets back home. What I did was kept walking small walks, chat with positive people and I planned for next year. Walking Camino del Norte next year. So my advice is plan something for next year.

Buen Camino Jim
Zipped right by your id, after liking your post. Anyway, good to see you here as well as FB, Jim!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino St James Apr 2017
#32
Zipped right by your id, after liking your post. Anyway, good to see you here as well as FB, Jim!
Hi my friend , yah have been forum member for a while....this is an interesting post nice to read fellow pilgrims thoughts....good news just got my Camino del Norte guide and passport in post today...after I come back from Seville will.start planning for next year...sorry to hear you’ve been struggling always here if you need a chat..your friend Jim
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#33
Wonderfully stated comments (as were everyone's)! That said, I wish I had an APOC chapter near me, but I'd have a 90 mile drive into Chicago, which is the closest chapter and a crazy city to navigate for someone like me...I don't even like to use the cruise control on my car!
I must drive about 50 miles towards Miami to participate in all my local APOC chapter activities. So, I understand where you are coming from. But, I am willing to bet that there are others in the same situation, and closer to you.

I suggest that you join APOC, contact them, and inquire about starting a local chapter. They can assist with identifying people who live in selected states or postal codes. Perhaps they might even help by sending an all members e-mail to announce formation of a new IL chapter. Given the downstate location of Chicago in Illinois, you might pull people from northern IN, and southern WI as well...if my geography serves me right...

I have thought about doing the same thing along the Florida Atlantic coast from Palm Beach north. Our nearest chapters are in Miami (an hour away) and Orlando, or Jacksonville. The latter two chapters are 3-4 hours away.

My reason for not doing so is that, while I know I would be good at organizing and standing up a local chapter, but I am unsure whether I want to devote that much ongoing time to administration. Anything that gets in the way of my current Camino activities is a no-go for the present time. This said, if you live along the mid-Atlantic coast of Florida, drop me a PM...who knows...

I hope this helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#34
I must drive about 50 miles towards Miami to participate in all my local APOC chapter activities. So, I understand where you are coming from. But, I am willing to bet that there are others in the same situation, and closer to you.

I suggest that you join APOC, contact them, and inquire about starting a local chapter. They can assist with identifying people who live in selected states or postal codes. Perhaps they might even help by sending an all members e-mail to announce formation of a new IL chapter. Given the downstate location of Chicago in Illinois, you might pull people from northern IN, and southern WI as well...if my geography serves me right...

I have thought about doing the same thing along the Florida Atlantic coast from Palm Beach north. Our nearest chapters are in Miami (an hour away) and Orlando, or Jacksonville. The latter two chapters are 3-4 hours away.

My reason for not doing so is that, while I know I would be good at organizing and standing up a local chapter, but I am unsure whether I want to devote that much ongoing time to administration. Anything that gets in the way or my current Camino activities is a no-go for the present time. This said, if you live along the mid-Atlantic coast of Florida, drop me a PM...who knows...

I hope this helps.
Thank you for the good suggestion, however, my personality falls into being a follower more than a leader, so I probably would not be very comfortable organizing a new chapter in my area. I do visit my sister in law every March who lives in a condo in Pompano Beach. If you live near there maybe we could meet up for lunch and "talk Camino".:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#35
Thank you for the good suggestion, however, my personality falls into being a follower more than a leader, so I probably would not be very comfortable organizing a new chapter in my area. I do visit my sister in law every March who lives in a condo in Pompano Beach. If you live near there maybe we could meet up for lunch and "talk Camino".:)
I do live about 30 minutes from Pompano Beach, to the north. When the time for you to visit your sister comes closer, or if you get tired of cold northern winters sooner, drop me a PM and we can share contact information. I would be thrilled to meet.

Another idea about forming a new APOC chapter is to just do the preliminary work to identify others, then contact the group via e-mail and in short order find someone from that group to take the lead. That is what I would do in your situation.

In fact, having just read what I wrote, I may do it anyway here in Florida...hmmm....:confused:

I hope this helps.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#36
I do live about 30 minutes from Pompano Beach, to the north. When the time for you to visit your sister comes closer, or if you get tired of cold northern winters sooner, drop me a PM and we can share contact information. I would be thrilled to meet.

Another idea about forming a new APOC chapter is to just do the preliminary work to identify others, then tact the group via e-mail and in short order find someone from that group to take the lead. That is what I would do in your situation.

In fact, having just read what I wrote, I may do it anyway here in Florida...hmmm....:confused:

I hope this helps.
Another good suggestion to give some thought. Thanks. My husband and I go to Gulf Shores AL for January/February (we get away from snow), but I will definately try to let you know when in March we visit her. We fly so I will not have a car. I will PM you for future contacts.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
#37
Hi my friend , yah have been forum member for a while....this is an interesting post nice to read fellow pilgrims thoughts....good news just got my Camino del Norte guide and passport in post today...after I come back from Seville will.start planning for next year...sorry to hear you’ve been struggling always here if you need a chat..your friend Jim
Oh, I'm fine...but it take awhile to get back on the horse. Good to hear from you
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#38
My favorite cure at the end of any Camino is to find T2a... outside the Pilgrim Office and scream to anyone who can hear me, "This man is a fraud!" just like the movie.
Of course, and Don will be the first to tell you that this is just part of his "schtick." We do clown around together...

As you will recall, this is what "Tom" in "that movie" hurls at "Jack" the Irish author who does a good imitation of the scarecrow character from the classic film, "The Wizard of Oz." In this scene, we find our intrepid group of pilgrims are sitting around a table getting drunk, and Tom ends up in the local jail overnight to sober up... Context is everything my friends...
 
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Sailor

Donante Vitalicio
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Infinito
#39
Camino homesickness. At home, don't stop walking. To keep my Black Dog at bay I continue to do my daily workouts, carrying all my camino gear during my workouts. Everything that I used during my camino is now clean and properly packed in my backpack, including the good ole' roll of TP--ready to hit the camino on a minute notice. My recommendation to all caminantes is to don't stop walking, don't stop planning, and don't stop dreaming. Que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
#40
I just finished my first Camino and today is two weeks back home.

Camino homesickness is hitting hard, which is arguably why I've been participating in so many forum conversations in the last couple of days. I did not expect that - I thought once I'd finished, I wouldn't need the forum so much. In fact, it is the opposite. I need / want it much more.

Summing it up, it feels like I've changed, but nothing else has. In picking up my backpack, I'd gotten rid of a lot of baggage. Coming home, I have to pick it all up again. My life is pretty amazing and I have a lot to be thankful for - but right now I have to keep reminding myself of that an awful lot. As I reread that last sentence, I realize I just gave myself the reminder that I need (reciting all the things I was thankful for in the moment was how I kept going sometimes. I will have to restart that practice!)

I saw a thread a few days ago about a book on coming home, and I will read it soon. But I must believe I am not alone in the post-Camino blues. Anyone willing to share what they felt, and how they coped?

Many thanks

Northern Laurie (otherwise known as Laureen, the Canadian in a long skirt and flower hat on the Camino del Norte, the slow lady, and who knows what other nicknames).
I've found what has helped me was to join a local camino group. We meet up each month and have dinner followed next day by a walk. The camino fellowship helps with the 'coming down' off the camino.
We also have an AusCamino festival in February in Australia celebrating all things Camino which is another way to touch base with other Camino tragics.
And lastly we devised a 5-day walk up the Blue Mountains in NSW in Australia which is not a bushwalk or hike but more a Camino style walk, passing through villages and staying in hostel or albergue style accommodation. It does have routes off road wherever we could put them in plus alternative 'green' routes for the more adventurous. Then we tested it. It was great - a lot like the Camino and a great training walk for the next Camino. Helped me loose my Camino blues.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017
#41
i finished my 1 st Camino in July 2017 and Camino homesickness is hitting hard
. When I finished I said I will never do it again, but as they say never say never. I look at my photos and the memories come back the good and the hard all make up the Camino and I cannot wait to do it again. While I might not do the whole Camino again I want to do parts of the Camino again especially from Estella to Leon but first my feet have to recover. But looking back one wonders why you want to go back and I think the words that sum up the Camino is friendship you make for life, the memories, the fun, the laughs, what really is important in life and also realising what you need in life the Camino simplifies your life and you realise what is important and how strong you are. But until then, I will read the posts, watch the The Way, go to websites to what is new in hiking gear and plan my next trip. Because once you have done the Camino it becomes part of your DNA and I will keep on walking as it is part of the new me
 
#42
Cudos and Many Thanks to Ivar and all Volunteers here for keeping thie Forum going. It has been a source of balance and a resource of knowledge for me over the last few years, through planning, going, coming home too early and the year it has been since coming home and preparing to return next year.

One way or another, I will complete my Pilgrimage.

Stats have been telling us that only 25% of all registered Peregrinos / Peregrinas finish so I fully understand the feelings of those who, like me, have a sense of incompleteness.

Laureen, Camino Blues have different shades, as can be realized, based on individual experience. But I look upon it as a good thing. Why? Perhaps the deeper the Camino Blues experienced proves the depth and effect of the Camino on our soul. I see it as a benefit.

I am a different person, a better person for the experience. And if we look upon it in this way, who would not want more of the same?

Too bad you are in BC and I am in Ontario. A coffee sometime would have been wonderful.
 

Gromit

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Did Camino Frances from August to October 2017
#43
I just finished my first Camino and today is two weeks back home.

Camino homesickness is hitting hard, which is arguably why I've been participating in so many forum conversations in the last couple of days. I did not expect that - I thought once I'd finished, I wouldn't need the forum so much. In fact, it is the opposite. I need / want it much more.

Summing it up, it feels like I've changed, but nothing else has. In picking up my backpack, I'd gotten rid of a lot of baggage. Coming home, I have to pick it all up again. My life is pretty amazing and I have a lot to be thankful for - but right now I have to keep reminding myself of that an awful lot. As I reread that last sentence, I realize I just gave myself the reminder that I need (reciting all the things I was thankful for in the moment was how I kept going sometimes. I will have to restart that practice!)

I saw a thread a few days ago about a book on coming home, and I will read it soon. But I must believe I am not alone in the post-Camino blues. Anyone willing to share what they felt, and how they coped?

Many thanks

Northern Laurie (otherwise known as Laureen, the Canadian in a long skirt and flower hat on the Camino del Norte, the slow lady, and who knows what other nicknames).
Northern Laurie, I know exactly how you feel. Your post brought tears to my eyes. My husband and I finished the Camino Frances on Monday, 16 October after spending 51 days on the trail from St Jean Pied de Port. We found the daily ritual addictive and felt cloistered from the world’s issues, but now that we are home, not only does the television and newspaper tell us about the mess the world is in and the inhumanity of people to each other, we have to do housework, pay bills, plan and prepare meals, etc and it all feels a bit overwhelming. I long to be on the trail again.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#44
I walked the Camino Frances in 2014 and I am still getting my camino fix by hanging out in these forums... I am dreaming of a camino #2 in future but since my return home I've had a child and I can't see myself walking with my toddler or leaving him for an extended period of time just yet.
@followtheyellowarrows for quite a few years between caminos I had a similar situation - dearly loved ones at home needed me more than I needed to go on Camino. What worked for me was to realise that I gladly, happily, was making the choice to stay, and that the Camino would always be there and waiting for me when the time was right to go back. And it was.

I still try to put into practice that fundamental Camino lesson - live in the moment. So planning is good, but I don't like to squander the joys of "now". Which means enjoying being at home. And with those special people - especially children who grow and change so quickly.

I often think of the song line: "Freedom's just another word, for nothing left to lose".

I am eternally grateful for the loved ones who restrict my "freedom"!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#45
My pilgrim friends from Bonita and I are going to see "I'll Push You" at special screening to raise awareness for MDA in Ft. Myers on Thursday night. I believe this is nationwide event.
 
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#47
Hi Again Laureen,

I just received a digital book from a Peregrina Angel. Here is a link to her recent post and how to get a copy for yourself;

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...w-question-after-the-camino-a-resource.51391/

Of course, I am certain that this book is available to any and all.

Reading it has given me new thoughts on how to cope with the Camino Blues.

Still, I await the moment when, again, I can set foot on my Pilgrimage toward Heaven on Earth. No wonder we are not happy when not on the Pilgrimage.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#48
Camino homesickness. At home, don't stop walking. To keep my Black Dog at bay I continue to do my daily workouts, carrying all my camino gear during my workouts. Everything that I used during my camino is now clean and properly packed in my backpack, including the good ole' roll of TP--ready to hit the camino on a minute notice. My recommendation to all caminantes is to don't stop walking, don't stop planning, and don't stop dreaming. Que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
@Sailor I love the idea of repacking the pack! Thank you
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#49
Amiga, if you feel that you can I would be grateful if you would expand on that. If not then let it be.
I'm another of those who walk camino for a thousand reasons but not to the bones of Santiago.
I remember the first time I walked in to Santiago and made my way to the cathedral and joined the hundreds assembled for mass. I went out of curiosity but with respect in my heart for those I had walked with and who were gathered there. But it was not for me.
My pilgrimage was, is, and always will be to the end-of-the-world and the sundering seas but my camino is the journey, the road, the path, the 'way'.

I wish you well on your journey peregrina.
I went to Finisterra by bus - but I had promised myself I would go even if I didn't have time to walk. I stayed overnight, and walked from the village to the lighthouse just before sunset. Along the way, I recited a meditation of thanksgiving I had written - all the things I was thankful for along the Camino - while holding my shell to keep me grounded. Once I arrived, I found a rock and performed a little ceremony before watching the sunset. These things helped me "close out" the pilgrimage, and feel like I had finished.

Walking back to the village in the dark, I felt incredibly light, and also like I was no longer a pilgrim. I wasn't seeking any more, I wasn't walking anymore, I was a visitor in a foreign country, about to start doing some sight seeing. I could sleep in! This was in no way a bad thing. It was sweet because the experience I'd just had was profound and complete but really hard at times. I was tired and ready to be done. But bitter because I was ending such an amazing experience, one that I do not know if I will be able to do again.

In other news, I've been invited to give a sermon on the experience, and the process of writing out stories and organizing the things I'd learned into a format I can share with a large group of people is wonderful.
 

Martin64

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2nd 2017
#51
I just finished my first Camino and today is two weeks back home.

Camino homesickness is hitting hard, which is arguably why I've been participating in so many forum conversations in the last couple of days. I did not expect that - I thought once I'd finished, I wouldn't need the forum so much. In fact, it is the opposite. I need / want it much more.

Summing it up, it feels like I've changed, but nothing else has. In picking up my backpack, I'd gotten rid of a lot of baggage. Coming home, I have to pick it all up again. My life is pretty amazing and I have a lot to be thankful for - but right now I have to keep reminding myself of that an awful lot. As I reread that last sentence, I realize I just gave myself the reminder that I need (reciting all the things I was thankful for in the moment was how I kept going sometimes. I will have to restart that practice!)

I saw a thread a few days ago about a book on coming home, and I will read it soon. But I must believe I am not alone in the post-Camino blues. Anyone willing to share what they felt, and how they coped?

Many thanks

Northern Laurie (otherwise known as Laureen, the Canadian in a long skirt and flower hat on the Camino del Norte, the slow lady, and who knows what other nicknames).[/QUOTE

I finished my pilgrims back in June and sort of felt the same. The Camino has nudged my life in a different direction which is less about work and more about experience and how I feel.

Bottom line is that I go to Poto next May and walk another Camino which will finish in Fisterra.

Guess what....No more Camino blues as I work to save money for my next trip.

Maybe you should go again if it’s still in your system.

All the best

Martin
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#52
Laurie, maybe your heart's not been broken, it's just been opened.
There are so many lovely replies here.
The only other thing I know that's similarly addictive are meditation retreats. And for a similar reason - simplicity, contentment, connection, and presence are one of the most wonderful things we can experience.
So the pilgrimage of life is about figuring out how to integrate what the heart knows now with life as it is. Simplifying if it's possible, cultivating contentment where it's not, and always connecting. It's not so easy, but then neither is the first week of the Camino. Different hard, but definitely worth it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 29th to July 4th 2016
SJPDP to Santiago
And many, many more I pray
#53
I dreamt of my Camino for 30 years. I did it from May to August of 2016....and I all I do is yearn to return. I could never understand before going Why pilgrims return. Now I know...I feel it was the first time in 52 years I got to be my authentic self. I just celebrated life simply...not being forced to comply to the rat race of today's lifestyle. I for the first time got to move at my pace...and just celebrate the beauty of living in this beautiful world. And this is coming from a women with an amazing marriage to a wonderful man. I'm blessed with five amazing children I adore...as well as six grand children ....all precious gifts. I love my life but will always cherish the simplicity of my 35 days walking the Camino alone....on my terms.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (October 3-18, 2015)
Frances w/2 Daughters (Sept 22 - Oct 20)
#54
You're not alone. If there is one thing that I think we can do to help is go through simplifying whatever \aspects of your life REALLY are just too much. One of the amazing aspects of any walking journey is that your choices are so small and manageable each day. Back in 'the real world' the choices in a day (from what to wear to which book to read to when to wash your sheets) can be insane and lead to a good amount of 'analysis paralysis' as we say in our house. We've really made a commitment to taking some of those simpler lessons and applying them at home (an ongoing journey of it's own).

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
First one begins August 13 2017!
#55
Hi Laurie, at Pilgrim House we developed a debriefing/journaling guide for pilgrims to work through as they head home. If you'd like me to send you a digital copy please PM me with your email and I can email it to you.
Take care,
Faith
This is wonderful Faith. Would you please send one to me as well? How do I PM you on here?
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#56
I love this thread.

This, by the way, is the first year in which I will not be going to Spain since 2015! I have planned to return in 2019, but I decided that four major overseas trips in a three-year period---from the beauty of the Pacific Northwest in Oregon--was enough for just a bit. I will be traveling nationally, and am planning on a road trip from Oregon to Wyoming. Husband is giving a talk about his book, which we launched about a year and a half ago.

My fix for Camino blues was to take up hiking in the state park just twenty-five minutes down the road, which will now go unmentioned as I had a Camino person show up and page me (via staff) over our radio system reserved for state park issues. Yikes!

My second fix was to write a book. I'm about 180 pages into it now, and looking to print in May (knock on wood). I hope to have about 200 pages or so of a good, solid little book. No, this one is not about Spain (apologies) but it is about my life, and my nearly eight years as an expatriate living in Cambodia.

Perhaps it is because of all of my travel and wanderlust for decades that I don't feel the pull too much. For me, I always give in to it when I feel it--as long as I can break away from those creatures I love without causing them too much pain.

Love to all!
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#57
This is wonderful Faith. Would you please send one to me as well? How do I PM you on here?
I just "started a conversation" with you - you should see a red notification at your Inbox tab. I attached the debriefing guide there; let me know if there are any issues. Take care!
Faith
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#58
I love this thread.

This, by the way, is the first year in which I will not be going to Spain since 2015! I have planned to return in 2019, but I decided that four major overseas trips in a three-year period---from the beauty of the Pacific Northwest in Oregon--was enough for just a bit. I will be traveling nationally, and am planning on a road trip from Oregon to Wyoming. Husband is giving a talk about his book, which we launched about a year and a half ago.

My fix for Camino blues was to take up hiking in the state park just twenty-five minutes down the road, which will now go unmentioned as I had a Camino person show up and page me (via staff) over our radio system reserved for state park issues. Yikes!

My second fix was to write a book. I'm about 180 pages into it now, and looking to print in May (knock on wood). I hope to have about 200 pages or so of a good, solid little book. No, this one is not about Spain (apologies) but it is about my life, and my nearly eight years as an expatriate living in Cambodia.

Perhaps it is because of all of my travel and wanderlust for decades that I don't feel the pull too much. For me, I always give in to it when I feel it--as long as I can break away from those creatures I love without causing them too much pain.

Love to all!
Hi, Deb:
Great to hear from you. I have [almost] decided that I can afford a short camino this year, in spite of major dental work. My dentist is a saint. He just can't think of leaving a long-term patient toothless [If you want to keep your teeth in your mouth while on camino, it is a good idea to avoid bocadillas]. At the moment, I am hoping to walk the Camino Olvidado from Bilbao to Ponferrada, then the Camino Invierno to Santiago. Planning for these routes seems challenging, as written guide are scarce. I am relying on the kindness of more experienced camino walkers to keep me from getting too lost. My last camino [VdlP] was challenging, but I am hoping for better this time. What brings me back and keeps me longing for the camino is the sense that there is a potential for spiritual growth on the route that I do not find elsewhere. Going on camino is my alternative to going on retreat, and seems to work for me as retreats never have. Now I am telling myself that, at my age [70 in April] I may not have many further caminos to walk, and I need all the spiritual growth I can get. All the best in your work on your book. Blessings to you and all who walk the Way.
Mary Louise
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#59
Its four months since I returned home, and it is wonderful to see this thread come back to life. Thank you @Albertagirl and @CaminoDebrita

I've realized part of the "heartache" and the senses of baggage had to do with three fairly significant life choices I'd wanted to make, and that I'd hoped the Camino would provide space and time for me to make those decisions. It didn't - or at least when I came back I realized that the path I thought was right while walking, was not right at all. That I think was the crushing part. Thinking I had some decisions sorted out and then realizing that my ideas were based on the rosy coloured glasses of being on Camino, and not on reality.

What I did take away from the Camino is to trust my own judgment for my own wellbeing, and to accept that while I will always be self-critical, I don't have to let myself go off the deep end. It took a while to be able to articulate this. And a lot of rereading my Camino journal and journalling since I got back (which is why I tend to encourage people to somehow record their thoughts).

And in the meantime I have committed to something absolutely wholeheartedly and with complete joy! I will be training to be a lay-chaplain in my church, which will let me perform marriages, funerals, baby naming ceremonies and other rites of passage for people who need them but that don't belong to any particular community of faith. I am sure some of you will resonate with the sense of being "called". I was called. Loudly. Pretty much every day on the Camino. And now I get to do it :)

Heartache has passed. Longing for the next Camino has started. It will be shorter. It will probably not end at Santiago. It won't have quite so many expectations - now if only I can get my foot to stop hurting!
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#61
I just love being on the Camino, I feel like it is the place where I am truly me. Its where I fit. Its where 'my people' are.
Not a single day goes by without me thinking of being on the Camino, or planning the next. I definitely had the Camino blues for the first few months back, and bored the pants off everyone constantly talking about it.
The Camino was a revelation for me. Before I did the first one, I thought I could easily fall into a hermit lifestyle, just me and my dogs - I always liked my own space. The idea of a weekend without seeing anyone was exciting. The idea of communal living didn't thrill me, so you may wonder why I even wanted to walk the Camino in the first place.
So I was really surprised to find that I am actually a social person, and meeting other people was one of the highlights. I met so many different wonderful people, many of whom I still keep in touch.
I remember lying on my bunk at Navarette, drifting off to sleep to the quiet murmur of the other pilgrims in a really crowded and hot dormitory, and thinking I felt the happiest I have ever been, anywhere. It wasn't just the walking, the simplicity, the living in the now, the food and the other pilgrims - it was all of those things rolled into one plus more.
When my knee hurt, I met a doctor (fellow pilgrim) who gave me a knee brace which fixed it, when we got lost, a Spanish lady in flowing white clothes came miles out on a deserted Roman road that she hadn't been on for 15 years, just to give us water and directions.
These things confirm for me, the Camino is the place to be.

Now I'm planning the next one. Now that I am familiar with all the towns and villages on the CF, I want to re walk the Frances, but visit more and different places. And I'm taking my husband and our two eldest grandkids. So for the next year, I can share the planning and the excitement.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#62
Like many here I feel somewhat lost at home.

Indeed the Camino needs to come with a Health Warning ;)

Work life is just something that passes the time whilst I plan and wait for my next Camino. Work is merely a duty. That keeps others employed, and pays the bills.

Many say that we need to try to 'integrate' the lessons we learn on the Camino into our everyday lives. But what if our every day lives no longer hold the the same interest. Perhaps for some, we have seen a better way to live our lives?

I think I need one more long Camino to straighten things out. And thankfully my wife will be with me.

Because I suspect some fairly life changing decisions might emerge. Like give up work, sell up, move to our small home in Thailand so we have no mortgage, no one else to support, and a cheaper more simple lifestyle.....

And I can go for a walk each year I am able to ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (October 3-18, 2015)
Frances w/2 Daughters (Sept 22 - Oct 20)
#63
Come home and secretly try and convince everyone else you know they should go do it ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#64
I saw there was a new post on this thread and am was curious...and am so happy to have looked.
It's great to get your update, Laurie, and everyone's news.
And in the meantime I have committed to something absolutely wholeheartedly and with complete joy! I will be training to be a lay-chaplain in my church, which will let me perform marriages, funerals, baby naming ceremonies and other rites of passage for people who need them but that don't belong to any particular community of faith. I am sure some of you will resonate with the sense of being "called". I was called. Loudly. Pretty much every day on the Camino. And now I get to do it :)
Wonderful...let your light shine!
What brings me back and keeps me longing for the camino is the sense that there is a potential for spiritual growth on the route that I do not find elsewhere. Going on camino is my alternative to going on retreat, and seems to work for me as retreats never have.
Good to hear from you, @Albertagirl, and thank you for this. Absolutely. For some of us it is a retreat.
My second fix was to write a book.
And Deb, so good to hear from you too! Please let us know when you have it written, OK?
I think I need one more long Camino to straighten things out... Perhaps for some, we have seen a better way to live our lives?
Maybe, @Robo, maybe not. ;)
But whether we get straightened out or not, the simplicity of the Camino is a lesson in itself.
I live pretty simply. But I am always amazed how little I really need when I walk. It's so humbling.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
TBD (2019)
#65
Something I haven't seen mentioned yet is Heart of the Camino, a website that is largely about how to retain the camino spirit after you get home (conveniently in the form of posters you can buy from them! :D I'm just joking, it's a good site and the posters are quite nice).

From the website:

The hardest thing about walking the Camino is not the Pyrenees or the hike up to O’cebreiro: it’s still feeling the Camino Magic two weeks after getting home.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#66
Update number two - the Camino gave me the courage to make change, the wisdom to judge what is important to me, and to trust myself...

So I will be leaving a job of 10 years in the consulting engineering sector and working in the non-profit sector. From 60 hour work week to 28! I will be packing lightly indeed, but I am hoping to reap richness and wealth of a different type :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino St James Apr 2017
#67
Update number two - the Camino gave me the courage to make change, the wisdom to judge what is important to me, and to trust myself...

So I will be leaving a job of 10 years in the consulting engineering sector and working in the non-profit sector. From 60 hour work week to 28! I will be packing lightly indeed, but I am hoping to reap richness and wealth of a different type :)
You’ll be fine I just have handed in my notice..I work in IT and realised I’m not enjoying this....will be in Spain end of May then will return home and this time find a job more suitable
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
#69
A very wise forum friend who has walked many caminos - Sillydoll - once commented on a similar thread, "Who would have thought you would miss your backpack?" So true, first comes the thrill of finishing, then the sigh of realising that you have finished. It certainly makes for an addiction, but one that is good for body and soul.
Yes, completely surprising but actual feeling. When I took off the pack, I felt odd, like I should keep on walking with it. I wasn't tired or even sore, and I hope to have this feeling again..
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
#70
You’ll be fine I just have handed in my notice..I work in IT and realised I’m not enjoying this....will be in Spain end of May then will return home and this time find a job more suitable
Ahhh Jim, good to see you here again. Tomorrow was the day I left, a year ago. And you, have it as bad as me, only with perhaps a bit more chance to go. Enjoy!!!! and keep us posted
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
#71
Update number two - the Camino gave me the courage to make change, the wisdom to judge what is important to me, and to trust myself...

So I will be leaving a job of 10 years in the consulting engineering sector and working in the non-profit sector. From 60 hour work week to 28! I will be packing lightly indeed, but I am hoping to reap richness and wealth of a different type :)
So happy for you. You will find what you need
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#72
Yes, completely surprising but actual feeling. When I took off the pack, I felt odd, like I should keep on walking with it. I wasn't tired or even sore, and I hope to have this feeling again..
Yes, true for me, as well. Taking my pack off after each camino (especially my first one) felt odd, sad, and so "final"...so now I keep going back, which helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF - León 2017

Planning for León - Santiago May 2018
#73
I just finished my first Camino and today is two weeks back home.

Camino homesickness is hitting hard, which is arguably why I've been participating in so many forum conversations in the last couple of days. I did not expect that - I thought once I'd finished, I wouldn't need the forum so much. In fact, it is the opposite. I need / want it much more.

Summing it up, it feels like I've changed, but nothing else has. In picking up my backpack, I'd gotten rid of a lot of baggage. Coming home, I have to pick it all up again. My life is pretty amazing and I have a lot to be thankful for - but right now I have to keep reminding myself of that an awful lot. As I reread that last sentence, I realize I just gave myself the reminder that I need (reciting all the things I was thankful for in the moment was how I kept going sometimes. I will have to restart that practice!)

I saw a thread a few days ago about a book on coming home, and I will read it soon. But I must believe I am not alone in the post-Camino blues. Anyone willing to share what they felt, and how they coped?

Many thanks

Northern Laurie (otherwise known as Laureen, the Canadian in a long skirt and flower hat on the Camino del Norte, the slow lady, and who knows what other nicknames).
I feel so much with you! I do relate to that about the change you feel inside. I started the camino last year but had to interrupt due to a muscle rupture. My mind wanted to continue but my body said no. I felt broken since the plan was to be on the beautiful road for several weeks. My spirit and body was separated. I came back to the camino some months later, still with calf issues but so relieved to be back. I learnt a lot from my first camino, about myself and my body. Unfortunately, I had to leave due to jobrelated issues. I left, more heartbroken than ever. I wasn't ready. I couldn't handle the big city lights and crowds. I was still on the camino in my head day and night and I missed people. Even if I felt so blessed with my life I realised that I was not 100% true to myself in my current life.

I started small steps towards a big change. The camino helped me come clearer. All those things that happened to me from inside and out me during the camino. Since last autumn I have been looking forward to be back. One day I might reach Santiago. Just a year ago before heading off I was occupied by if I could walk all the way to Santiago in 28 days. I got many tests, lessons, wisdom and beautiful memories since then.
 

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