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How do people adjust to home after their return from the Camino?

Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
#1
Hi, just wondering how others found the change from the Camino to settling back at home? I'm a little "fuzzy/numb" around the edges and a bit disconnected. I had a good experience, met lovely people and managed the physical side of things very well. I had no spark of enlightenment or similar while walking!!
 

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mspath

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#4
Some of us never "settle back at home" ! We write books and blogs, contribute to this amazing Forum, and continue to dream of starting out for Santiago once again. Whether this may be or not is up to chance. Nevertheless every morning as dawn breaks I scan the sky, feel the wind and test the air temperature as I think what a great day for walking!

MM
 

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Camino(s) past & future
(2013)-SJPP to SdC
(2014)-SJPP to Burgos
(2015)-Burgos to Leon
#8
I too arrived home after my Camino a little jangled and out of sorts with what had once been familiar and comfortable.
By chance, I found an article which began, "Travel, like life, is best understood backward but must be experienced forward ....."
So, like MM, I awake everyday to plan today's walk and dream of walking the path to Santiago again.
I now know the understanding will come later
Here is a link.
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/03/1...out-of-old-ways-of-seeing-the-world.html?_r=3
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
#9
Thank you for all replies, I didn't think I had any cause for anxiety before or during the Camino. I do look at life at home in a different way.
I agree with mspath that I look at the sky and feel the weather and love it whatever it brings.
I already have a Sunday Camino walk planned for July and a fundraiser cycle for August.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
#11
Some people do the Camino, have a great experience and just move to next project. I am not sure, but I think this is an approach more typical of young people.
In the immediate, yes, I wake up early every morning, because my body got adjusted to it, and it feels the need to walk. But I also find loads of things that need my attention at work and at home, so after some days I am back to my routines. And that is good.
Over time, it is a more as a nostalgy. Sometimes, the chirping of a bird, a foggy morning, a smell in the air bring back good memories and a smile.
 
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#12
Frankly, I'm a bit depressed and grumpy, and have begun planning a new Camino, and Camino prep, in anticipation of a return next spring. On the other hand, I've returned to my pre-Camino life with a greater awareness of how privileged I am to have the work flexibility to make this journey, and the financial flexibility to save for the trip. I know people who'd love to do this journey but cannot, because of health, work obligations, or financial and familial obligations.
I plan to return, and I miss my Camino, but I have renewed gratitude for my good health, my work flexibility, my children's independence, and the fact that I don't live paycheck to paycheck.
Still slightly grumpy, though!
 

jennie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
from st jean - estella 2013 ponferrada-santiago 2012.hope/expect to do full camino with y
sister in sept 14. we completed our walk in 2014?puenta la reina to belarado june 2016,
#13
its a weird feeling coming home,i think dad sis and i bored the pants off everybody it was,, on the camino this happened,or on the camino that happened,camino camino camino ,,i think that its because unlike in" real "?life on the camino no matter what your position in life you achieve something great each day ,from climbing that hill that looked shocking to making it to the next village,it has changed my idea of a fun holiday forever :)no more dreaming of a pool
side villa ,,now i dream of finding a comfy bunk bed after walking 20km with a big bag on my back,so happy we have this site to see we are not alone in our obsession !
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#14
How do people adjust to home after their return from the Camino?

We don't, we dream about the next one and check the forum to see who is doing what.
 

rickster

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012), LePuy (2013), Coastal Portuguese( 2013), Norte (Fall 2014)
#15
It usually takes me a couple of months to acclimate. I'm usually very quiet and not very engaging. You're going from a simple world that very few back home can relate to. They want to hear all about it, but get easily bored because they can't relate. I then get tired of trying to explain because it is impossible for me to relate my camino experience to someone who has never had one. So then my response to their questions becomes very short and unenthusiastic. The things I learned eventually fade and then I have to go back and do it all over again for a refresher course. Not so bad. At least that has been my experience.
Now I'm excited about the next one starting August 30th!
 

amorfati1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014_Caminho Portuguese (Lisboa to Santiago_4 weeks in May)
#16
It seemed that only when I arrived back ‘home’ after two months in europe and caminho portuguese I realized just how GONE I was.
I stood in my cute li’l flat with my suitcase and backpack, as if I visited the home of a stranger… and thought: NOW WHAT???
For e.g. I did remember that I had a laptop, but I had no clue what I’ve done with it, where I placed it. No recollection. Was completely gone out of my memory… I had to search my entire place to find laptop, keys and many other items.
Now, THAT had never happened before on any of my numerous travels and journeys.

Perhaps I did not recognize the depths of the experience of the Pilgrimage (vs just a walking holiday) while I was experiencing it, because that was then "daily-life”… The walking, getting ready, sorting back-pack, rolling up sleeping bag, massaging feet, filling water bottles, stopping at the wayside crosses and chapels, obtaining carimbo’s, eyes open for yellow arrows, navigating ancient roman roads, smiling at strangers, looking for a bar for caffe’ and water and juice and restroom, viewing the landscape with never ending marvel and so forth… the hours of solitary walking, the sojourns at night with strangers, noisy and quiet ones alike … perhaps I did not entirely notice just how I got inwardly changed while living such a simple life. All molecules seem re-arranged, now I am as if parachuted back into a life I lived before …

I am not actively planning a new pilgrimage — the recent one still goes on … I still am digesting the one I just returned from …And i would not be surprised if in the near future I will tie those shoelaces again and shoulder the pack, get those hiking poles and am off again…we shall see.

I am required to engage with life differently now …with the same openness and willingness to flow with events, not-knowing and circumstances as on the caminho with the yellow arrows. — to be alright with the ambiguity and ambivalence…to know and feel that all is woven together into one fabric that we call life.
Don’t have the foggiest idea where my next paycheck job is coming from … I just set one foot in front of the other, just as on the caminho …
So grateful for all the experiences along the path.
Panta Rhei — all is in flux, moving, flowing … and am off now to paint a yellow arrow on the wood in front of my door :)
 

Daxzentzu

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
FRANCES (2014)
#17
I was counselled about this very early in my preparation.
And warned that some people become obsessed on "doing a camino" or preparing for a camino - "hooked" even., that after coming back to the "real world" - they want to re-capture the feelings - that's why there are so many repeaters.

I explored what could happen to me
1. I discovered that my life was meaningless and that camino was the only true meaningful event in my life as a worm
2. Camino made feel good about myself and that I needed to get back there to re-find "sangria-la"
3. I also had to consider the damage to my family if I remained "hooked" on the drama of camino - it would seriously impair my relationships
4. I enjoy a new status, and the cachet of having done something so meaningful.
5. Its the first time in my life that I have been cool or edgy
6. I am a camino bore

So to ensure that I'd did not get the feelings so well expressed in this thread - I started to work on my spiritual preparation - my current state is:
1. My walk of 800 kilometres is nothing, it means nothing, it's worthless.
2. However, by spending every available waking nanosecond in the presence of my god, may save my soul - I am still a work in progress

Which means that I don't talk about it to anyone, no marks to give it away and no doubt that a reprise is out of the question.





Dax
In Pune, (a work in progress)
 
#19
A bit like an explorer returning from a foreign land with a remarkable account of what was seen, heard, smelled, and felt.

Foreign literally, and figuratively in the sense that the camino most people walk is unfamiliar and otherwise unlike the lives they live away from the camino.

A analogy that appears from time to time on this forum, and repeated more often on the camino, is trying to explain the taste of chocolate to someone who has not tasted chocolate.

The effect of the camino on some people (me included) is a newfound preference for a slower pace and a simpler lifestyle. Some (me included) return with a heightened awareness/appreciation/connection of and to nature, and a greater ease in trying new things and less anxiety about spontaneity. Some (me included) become anxious or feel an aversion to conflict and the intrusion of technology/media/prolonged connectedness to e-communications.

In other words, some people (me included) experience something akin to a hard re-boot, in computer terms -- our operating system becomes reset to factory specifications -- our cache is cleared, corrupted files and permissions repaired, etc.

Now, if one (me included) returns to a spouse/partner/children, the adjustment -- for all parties -- can be complicated and frustrating. Old patterns of thought and behavior altered or abandoned by the pilgrim who returns -- in contrast to those who remained at home, unchanged.

Further, if the purpose of the camino included a religious foundation (me included), then changes in thought and behavior might be perceived (incorrectly) by others as arrogance or some sense of superiority or judgement (when in fact the opposite is true ... profound humility and gratitude for the experience).

Regardless, family and friends might perceive the pilgrim is happier on the camino ... what does that mean, how will that affect relationships, etc.?

All of this is to say for some people (me included) returning can be difficult for a time ... but manageable with patience and reassuring words and deeds -- plus occasional long walks, hours or days unplugged from the Internet and cellphone, and, of course, this forum.
 

simply B

member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Five between September 2012 and November 2017.
#20
I did not "adjust" the first time. Just as Al has noted...

You don't adjust, you just go forward as the new person you found on the Camino.
The second time has been no different.

Back here in the "real world", I seem to have given up a lot because of the Camino.

Strangely, I am far richer for the loss.

And, somehow, upon reading this I wonder if my comment helps you at all...:( (Sorry about that!)

B
 

jennie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
from st jean - estella 2013 ponferrada-santiago 2012.hope/expect to do full camino with y
sister in sept 14. we completed our walk in 2014?puenta la reina to belarado june 2016,
#21
How do people adjust to home after their return from the Camino?

We don't, we dream about the next one and check the forum to see who is doing what.
love your avitar i remember seeing that sign last year n thought it was cool,can i ask how in your caminos past and future you have "almost orrison "?just being nosy feel free to tell me to mind my own business!
 
#22
Best way to adjust, imho, is to not stop being on Camino.

How do I know I'm still on Camino?
Still walking.
Still learning how to accept adverse circumstances with grace.
Still pullin up next to someone, sharing time and stories, then continuing on.
Still looking up at the same sky.
Still trying to do better by speaking words that never hurt.
Still trying to challenge and push myself.
Still havin trouble gettin up in the morning.
Still puttin one foot in front of the other.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#23
Camino(s) past & future
(2007)
#24
it's been seven years, and i still have flashbacks to my happiest moments as if they are in current time. all it takes for me is walking alone in the early morning, or feeling cool morning air before the sun takes its place. any gravel path the i feel beneath me, and crossing any long grass. in these moments i feel like i am neither lost or found. the easiest way to say it, is that unlike other places that i have visited and hold close to my heart-memories, there's been no other journey that has stuck with me with an erasing of time. it was indeed yesterday. i think that a lot of the possibility of difficulties afterwards comes from having been somewhere and actively doing something with a goal, strictly for one's self and with little worry. life at home is never like that, well, maybe for the 1%, but i don't consider the extraordinary when forming my thoughts on life. to this day i open my folder of camino photos, and never finish looking through them. i just can't. i never even took photos of people that i met, that's just the way i am, it's more of a documentary to trigger my memories of places and people as i remember them. somehow i feel like I'm diverging...my point is, there is no adjustment, in my experience. it's more of an appreciation. what i missed the most when i was there doing a journey for me, my little niece more than anything. now i have two and look forward to encouraging them to follow their goals when time and age allows. if anything, it's not necessarily an adjustment at home, it's an appreciation of the quietness and softness that regular life offers that many of us walk past.
 

trevorcc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPD to Santiago 2013,2014 planning Camino de Levante Sept. 2016, now planning March 2018
#25
i HAVE NOT GONE BACK TO MY SO CALLED NORMAL LIFE, I have not adjusted, I have not all that has happened is I am driven to walk the Camino the biggest part of my life has gone my children and wife are looked after they do not understand why just think Im crazy but agree that I have changed. So Iam back in a few weeks to walk and see who and how I may help my fellow travellers, for years I could not laugh I relied on sub stances to get through the days but now I am free I smile feel happy and most of all in love with my fellow man. I do not think I can stop or want to.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances june 2013
Via de la plata 2017
#26
I walked the camino in may 2013. It took me more then a year to adjust to normal live. I'm still reading this forum and still reading blogs from several people who walk or walked the camino. It feel like yesterday. So i think, writing this, i'm still on the camino in my thoughts. I long to walk the camino again and so i will in 2017. I think the camino is something you cary along the rest of your life. It's like a drug.
 

Al the optimist

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#27
Some above have said many things I relate to. I cannot remember a day since I first decided to walk my first Camino that I have not thought about the Camino. I am always thinking of and planning not just the next one but the next ONES! I hope that I will be able to continue them for some time, not just because of my health (I'm fine so far) but that of others. I feel sorry for those less fortunate. Pat because of his "almost Orisson". Kat who is undergoing a horrible time with her feet. Kanga for her devotion to her family. All the others too numerous to mention. After the first Camino my friends said I had become quieter and more reflective, that I had changed somehow. Someone above talked of a "reboot". In a way they are right. It is as if the operating system of daily life has been reloaded and so works better, but the data has been retained with the "bad stuff" archived - still there to draw upon if needed but not in my face any more.
 

GITA7759

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, SJPP - Santiago, 23 May - 2 July (2009), Santiago - Finisterre, 5-7 July (2009)
#28
Your little "fuzzy/numb" around the edges and a bit disconnected is your spark of enlightenment from El Camino. Oh, and if you were a true pilgrim, and it certainly sounds like you were, then you NEVER return home...impossible to do and not anything you'd really want to do. You have changed in intricate and extensive ways and it is a beautiful thing to check out and really know the you that is you now. Buen Camino y Ultreia...
 

MPLSMAN

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June / July 2014
#30
I also felt an "incompleteness" or "out of sorts" upon arrival in Santiago. Luckily I had time to walk to Finisterre then stay with Tracy Saunders who runs a post camino retreat house called "The Little Fox House" (www.thelittlefoxhouse.com). Other pilgrims also there we talked, discussed and relaxed in her home. It really helped and I'd suggest others to visit for a few nights.
 

michryan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Del Norte 2011,Portuguese 2014, many different hikes throughout the world,Via Francegena 2015.
#31
For me I find it always unsettling when I return home and try to get back into the swing of reality. I do a lot of long distance hiking and sometimes it's out bush (Australia) where you might not see anyone for a while so to come back to the fast pace is hard. Also you tend to de clutter your life with stuff that you don't really need. What I did notice though after the Camino I came back and this time really look at what was going on around me and who was around me. I sadly (but for the better) had to say goodbye to some people in my life that I realised were not healthy to be around. It was a weird realisation that I had but a very needed one to come too. Now in myself I feel more real. More me. And a whole lot stronger. The power of such a walk is amazing and I think the best way to cope when you return is to go with the feelings within you, breathe, and when it's all to hard find a quiet place and transport yourself back to how you felt on the camino. It's a powerful thing. A feeling (the good and bad) that should be cherished.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Dieppe, FR Bici CF.
2014 Ruta Vasco/CF/Primativo
#32
I've never had a so called "normal life" and I've been technically homeless for years. It no longer matters. What I carry in my heart is what is important for me and thankfully, that's changing all the time. It just becomes more and more full. "Home?" Bah, it's a contrived social construct.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
#33
Some above have said many things I relate to. I cannot remember a day since I first decided to walk my first Camino that I have not thought about the Camino. I am always thinking of and planning not just the next one but the next ONES! I hope that I will be able to continue them for some time, not just because of my health (I'm fine so far) but that of others. I feel sorry for those less fortunate. Pat because of his "almost Orisson". Kat who is undergoing a horrible time with her feet. Kanga for her devotion to her family. All the others too numerous to mention. After the first Camino my friends said I had become quieter and more reflective, that I had changed somehow. Someone above talked of a "reboot". In a way they are right. It is as if the operating system of daily life has been reloaded and so works better, but the data has been retained with the "bad stuff" archived - still there to draw upon if needed but not in my face any more.
Al, you have no idea how touched I am by your empathy. Not that one wants any thanks for choices freely made, but it is comforting to know that you understand.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#35
Some above have said many things I relate to. I cannot remember a day since I first decided to walk my first Camino that I have not thought about the Camino. I am always thinking of and planning not just the next one but the next ONES! I hope that I will be able to continue them for some time, not just because of my health (I'm fine so far) but that of others. I feel sorry for those less fortunate. Pat because of his "almost Orisson". Kat who is undergoing a horrible time with her feet. Kanga for her devotion to her family. All the others too numerous to mention. After the first Camino my friends said I had become quieter and more reflective, that I had changed somehow. Someone above talked of a "reboot". In a way they are right. It is as if the operating system of daily life has been reloaded and so works better, but the data has been retained with the "bad stuff" archived - still there to draw upon if needed but not in my face any more.
Al, as mentioned in another thread, I think the Camino reveals our true spirit, it helps us declutter and as you said archive the "dealt with" bad stuff. Thanks for you insight.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
#36
I seem to be like a bystander from outside looking in at all that is going on around me.
That may be quite common.:)

Home is great if you have identified the parts that caused anxiety, and use what you have learned to eliminate them. The camino does not cure "home," but can provide insight about it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
#37
Another thought maybe why adjust back, maybe the Camino is telling you what you had may not have been the best for you?
Maybe that is true. I considering a number of adjustments.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
#38
For me I find it always unsettling when I return home and try to get back into the swing of reality. I do a lot of long distance hiking and sometimes it's out bush (Australia) where you might not see anyone for a while so to come back to the fast pace is hard. Also you tend to de clutter your life with stuff that you don't really need. What I did notice though after the Camino I came back and this time really look at what was going on around me and who was around me. I sadly (but for the better) had to say goodbye to some people in my life that I realised were not healthy to be around. It was a weird realisation that I had but a very needed one to come too. Now in myself I feel more real. More me. And a whole lot stronger. The power of such a walk is amazing and I think the best way to cope when you return is to go with the feelings within you, breathe, and when it's all to hard find a quiet place and transport yourself back to how you felt on the camino. It's a powerful thing. A feeling (the good and bad) that should be cherished.
I agree with the de cluttering, I knew that when we could survive with so little on the Camino that we are carrying such a lot of unnecessary rubbish both physically and mentally. I agree with choosing the people you want to be around in your life.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
#39
Your little "fuzzy/numb" around the edges and a bit disconnected is your spark of enlightenment from El Camino. Oh, and if you were a true pilgrim, and it certainly sounds like you were, then you NEVER return home...impossible to do and not anything you'd really want to do. You have changed in intricate and extensive ways and it is a beautiful thing to check out and really know the you that is you now. Buen Camino y Ultreia...
I am giving this a lot of thought and I find it a bit frightening. I was working on it before I went on the Camino and obviously have a lot more to do.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
#40
it's been seven years, and i still have flashbacks to my happiest moments as if they are in current time. all it takes for me is walking alone in the early morning, or feeling cool morning air before the sun takes its place. any gravel path the i feel beneath me, and crossing any long grass. in these moments i feel like i am neither lost or found. the easiest way to say it, is that unlike other places that i have visited and hold close to my heart-memories, there's been no other journey that has stuck with me with an erasing of time. it was indeed yesterday. i think that a lot of the possibility of difficulties afterwards comes from having been somewhere and actively doing something with a goal, strictly for one's self and with little worry. life at home is never like that, well, maybe for the 1%, but i don't consider the extraordinary when forming my thoughts on life. to this day i open my folder of camino photos, and never finish looking through them. i just can't. i never even took photos of people that i met, that's just the way i am, it's more of a documentary to trigger my memories of places and people as i remember them. somehow i feel like I'm diverging...my point is, there is no adjustment, in my experience. it's more of an appreciation. what i missed the most when i was there doing a journey for me, my little niece more than anything. now i have two and look forward to encouraging them to follow their goals when time and age allows. if anything, it's not necessarily an adjustment at home, it's an appreciation of the quietness and softness that regular life offers that many of us walk past.
I found putting photos of places and people I met a helpful thing to do as I want to keep the experience alive. I do appreciate that I was able to do it and also to get safely to the end.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
#41
A bit like an explorer returning from a foreign land with a remarkable account of what was seen, heard, smelled, and felt.

Foreign literally, and figuratively in the sense that the camino most people walk is unfamiliar and otherwise unlike the lives they live away from the camino.

A analogy that appears from time to time on this forum, and repeated more often on the camino, is trying to explain the taste of chocolate to someone who has not tasted chocolate.

The effect of the camino on some people (me included) is a newfound preference for a slower pace and a simpler lifestyle. Some (me included) return with a heightened awareness/appreciation/connection of and to nature, and a greater ease in trying new things and less anxiety about spontaneity. Some (me included) become anxious or feel an aversion to conflict and the intrusion of technology/media/prolonged connectedness to e-communications.

In other words, some people (me included) experience something akin to a hard re-boot, in computer terms -- our operating system becomes reset to factory specifications -- our cache is cleared, corrupted files and permissions repaired, etc.

Now, if one (me included) returns to a spouse/partner/children, the adjustment -- for all parties -- can be complicated and frustrating. Old patterns of thought and behavior altered or abandoned by the pilgrim who returns -- in contrast to those who remained at home, unchanged.

Further, if the purpose of the camino included a religious foundation (me included), then changes in thought and behavior might be perceived (incorrectly) by others as arrogance or some sense of superiority or judgement (when in fact the opposite is true ... profound humility and gratitude for the experience).

Regardless, family and friends might perceive the pilgrim is happier on the camino ... what does that mean, how will that affect relationships, etc.?

All of this is to say for some people (me included) returning can be difficult for a time ... but manageable with patience and reassuring words and deeds -- plus occasional long walks, hours or days unplugged from the Internet and cellphone, and, of course, this forum.
I like the analogy about the taste of chocolate!
Slower pace and simpler life I agree with. I have always had a good appreciation for nature and continued to enjoy it along the Camino.
I was so happy not to see TV or radio while away. I remarked on the Camino that I had not been in a 4 wheel vehicle for 3.5 weeks, strange what you can do without.
The return to spouse and family may cause concern as I think I'm on a different wavelength and haven't tried to convert the unconvertible ! As I said in reply to another person on the forum I am looking at what is going on around me in a new way. Don't know what conclusion I'm going to come to. I'm giving myself plenty of time.
I think maybe too much time goes into the preparations and maybe not the post Camino adjustments. Again the physical, what to bring, this and that.....
I am not planning another Camino in that I don't feel compelled to be there....yet.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
#42
It usually takes me a couple of months to acclimate. I'm usually very quiet and not very engaging. You're going from a simple world that very few back home can relate to. They want to hear all about it, but get easily bored because they can't relate. I then get tired of trying to explain because it is impossible for me to relate my camino experience to someone who has never had one. So then my response to their questions becomes very short and unenthusiastic. The things I learned eventually fade and then I have to go back and do it all over again for a refresher course. Not so bad. At least that has been my experience.
Now I'm excited about the next one starting August 30th!
Yes, I feel the same but don't bother to explain to people what it meant for me. I loved the simple life. Still, I am not actively planning another Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
#43
Frankly, I'm a bit depressed and grumpy, and have begun planning a new Camino, and Camino prep, in anticipation of a return next spring. On the other hand, I've returned to my pre-Camino life with a greater awareness of how privileged I am to have the work flexibility to make this journey, and the financial flexibility to save for the trip. I know people who'd love to do this journey but cannot, because of health, work obligations, or financial and familial obligations.
I plan to return, and I miss my Camino, but I have renewed gratitude for my good health, my work flexibility, my children's independence, and the fact that I don't live paycheck to paycheck.
Still slightly grumpy, though!
I have more of a "non-feeling about everything" and don't plan another Camino, not in a negative way. I knew planning my trip that I was privileged to have the time, resources and good health to undertake the journey. I really appreciated this while on the journey as very few people can wrench themselves from their lives to make the trip. Reading all the comments has certainly helped me sort my feelings and I'm glad I'm human after all!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
#44
You're lucky(?) you only walked from Sarria! Don't worry about the change; concentrate on what you're going to do with it.
I am concentrating on what to do with the change, that is the hard part.
June 2013 I walked Sarria to Santiago.
June 2014 I walked and cycled St. Jean to Sarria.
 

maytru

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
compostela (2006) french way (2014)
#46
It seemed that only when I arrived back ‘home’ after two months in europe and caminho portuguese I realized just how GONE I was.
I stood in my cute li’l flat with my suitcase and backpack, as if I visited the home of a stranger… and thought: NOW WHAT???
For e.g. I did remember that I had a laptop, but I had no clue what I’ve done with it, where I placed it. No recollection. Was completely gone out of my memory… I had to search my entire place to find laptop, keys and many other items.
Now, THAT had never happened before on any of my numerous travels and journeys.

Perhaps I did not recognize the depths of the experience of the Pilgrimage (vs just a walking holiday) while I was experiencing it, because that was then "daily-life”… The walking, getting ready, sorting back-pack, rolling up sleeping bag, massaging feet, filling water bottles, stopping at the wayside crosses and chapels, obtaining carimbo’s, eyes open for yellow arrows, navigating ancient roman roads, smiling at strangers, looking for a bar for caffe’ and water and juice and restroom, viewing the landscape with never ending marvel and so forth… the hours of solitary walking, the sojourns at night with strangers, noisy and quiet ones alike … perhaps I did not entirely notice just how I got inwardly changed while living such a simple life. All molecules seem re-arranged, now I am as if parachuted back into a life I lived before …

I am not actively planning a new pilgrimage — the recent one still goes on … I still am digesting the one I just returned from …And i would not be surprised if in the near future I will tie those shoelaces again and shoulder the pack, get those hiking poles and am off again…we shall see.

I am required to engage with life differently now …with the same openness and willingness to flow with events, not-knowing and circumstances as on the caminho with the yellow arrows. — to be alright with the ambiguity and ambivalence…to know and feel that all is woven together into one fabric that we call life.
Don’t have the foggiest idea where my next paycheck job is coming from … I just set one foot in front of the other, just as on the caminho …
So grateful for all the experiences along the path.
Panta Rhei — all is in flux, moving, flowing … and am off now to paint a yellow arrow on the wood in front of my door :)
I just LOVE your description! My experience exactly!
 

Joyhappens

Samos in the early morning, worth the extra miles.
Camino(s) past & future
August 2013 Camino Frances
August 2014 Camino Frances
#47
Hi, just wondering how others found the change from the Camino to settling back at home? I'm a little "fuzzy/numb" around the edges and a bit disconnected. I had a good experience, met lovely people and managed the physical side of things very well. I had no spark of enlightenment or similar while walking!!
Ughhhh...It was hard...I have to go again to get it right this time.
 

trevorcc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPD to Santiago 2013,2014 planning Camino de Levante Sept. 2016, now planning March 2018
#48
I like the analogy about the taste of chocolate!
Slower pace and simpler life I agree with. I have always had a good appreciation for nature and continued to enjoy it along the Camino.
I was so happy not to see TV or radio while away. I remarked on the Camino that I had not been in a 4 wheel vehicle for 3.5 weeks, strange what you can do without.
The return to spouse and family may cause concern as I think I'm on a different wavelength and haven't tried to convert the unconvertible ! As I said in reply to another person on the forum I am looking at what is going on around me in a new way. Don't know what conclusion I'm going to come to. I'm giving myself plenty of time.
I think maybe too much time goes into the preparations and maybe not the post Camino adjustments. Again the physical, what to bring, this and that.....
I am not planning another Camino in that I don't feel compelled to be there....yet.
Just a thought that you say your on a different wavelength I see it as we are all on different wavelenghts its the ability to accept others whilst not changing yours. The family have not changed, you have so just accept them and smile more that always helps. I am in the same situation.
 

OTH86

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - (2013) (2014) (2015) (2016 + Thames Path) (2017)
Ingles - (2017)
#49
I stood in my cute li’l flat with my suitcase and backpack, as if I visited the home of a stranger… and thought: NOW WHAT???
For e.g. I did remember that I had a laptop, but I had no clue what I’ve done with it, where I placed it. No recollection. Was completely gone out of my memory… I had to search my entire place to find laptop, keys and many other items.
Thank you so much for this, amorfati1. I had a similar experience -- forgot money when I went to get a few groceries 'cause it wasn't at my waist. Then I wondered how I transported money in my previous life - two months before. Couldn't even think of the words for purse or wallet or tote bag... Haven't told anyone about this little episode :oops: , but now I can, thanks to you!
Terry
 

TheTinkerBell

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to SdC (May/June 2013)
#51
Hi Catherine!
The big thing for me was to get used to the negativity all around me. You're Irish, you can understand!!
The first time I got back into my car and turned on the radio, it was set to Newstalk and it was one whinge after another, so I just switched it off.
Money, politicians, hospital controversies, taxation issues, and on and on.......
Even in my private life, I had difficulty readjusting to the 'priorities' of home living - remembering to put out the waste bins, emptying the dishwasher, cutting the grass - they all seemed so meaningless, irrelevant.
The Camino stripped all of that away from me and I thank it for that. I still have to block out the negativity at times and I do that by getting out for a walk as often as I can.
It's the simplicity of everything that I miss the most.
 

OTH86

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - (2013) (2014) (2015) (2016 + Thames Path) (2017)
Ingles - (2017)
#53
Hopefully, the reincarnation bit is the keeper -- building on past lives and lessons. Don't want to toss off a life just 'cause one found a better one - right?
Part of the reason I want to be on the Camino again is that I'm finding hints of my old ways that I don't want necessarily to return to -- hoping the "booster" Camino will help. Or do I need to MOVE to the Camino to maintain?? Any ideas on how to maintain the new Camino self? I LIKE where I live - it's the national lifestyle I'm in conflict with... that brings out the self I don't care so much for.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago commencing 5 April 2014
Leon to Santiago commencing April 2015
#54
I agree with the de cluttering, I knew that when we could survive with so little on the Camino that we are carrying such a lot of unnecessary rubbish both physically and mentally. I agree with choosing the people you want to be around in your life.
In Finisterre I came up with the saying "Luggage is baggage". So true.
 

indyinmaine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - SJPdP to Santiago - Sept/Oct 2013
#55
Further, if the purpose of the camino included a religious foundation (me included), then changes in thought and behavior might be perceived (incorrectly) by others as arrogance or some sense of superiority or judgement (when in fact the opposite is true ... profound humility and gratitude for the experience).
Add that to the "chocolate analogy" and after nine months, including my own presentations and watching "Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago", I've come to the following conclusions(!?):
1. The almost total transformation of both my soul and psyche is impossible to communicate and sometimes difficult for those around me to assess. That includes my wife, who walked the last 120km with me, AND myself!
2. My Camino must continue by encouraging others to risk engaging in that "mystery" either by showing them my cross or encouraging them to at least "touch" the experience physically or by truly listening to others who have done it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
#56
To Leaning forward, I'm not sure if I'm transformed, I think I am still in a "limbo" situation. I haven't tried explaining "myself" to those near and dear to me, they would not understand.

I am spending time figuring out what has changed and what to do for the future. I realise that I had been working on my way forward long before I started/completed the Camino I just wasn't joining the dots. This was reassuring.

I do help John Brierley's tips in his "A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago", Camino Frances,

page 36/38, Inner Preparation.

And page 284, Returning Home.
 

vgen5122

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (August 19-sept 30,2013) (8/2017)
#57
Hi, just wondering how others found the change from the Camino to settling back at home? I'm a little "fuzzy/numb" around the edges and a bit disconnected. I had a good experience, met lovely people and managed the physical side of things very well. I had no spark of enlightenment or similar while walking!!
I started planning another Camino and I got in touch with a pilgrims organization.
 
#58
Hi, just wondering how others found the change from the Camino to settling back at home? I'm a little "fuzzy/numb" around the edges and a bit disconnected. I had a good experience, met lovely people and managed the physical side of things very well. I had no spark of enlightenment or similar while walking!!
I walked my first Camino this past fall. 6 weeks in Sept. and Oct. from St. Jean to Finisterre. My life has taken a radical change since coming back. Finished a 36 year marriage and am forging a new life. I undertook the walk to be brave I thought LOL what happened is I found myself out there on the trail and wondered how I had let that person go. We all walk for different reasons and have different adventures and outcomes. But I think we all find a part of ourselves out there that is a lasting amazement. And I do plan on celebrating my 60th B'day on the trail in 2015.
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil
Camino(s) past & future
.
#60
Hi, just wondering how others found the change from the Camino to settling back at home? I'm a little "fuzzy/numb" around the edges and a bit disconnected. I had a good experience, met lovely people and managed the physical side of things very well. I had no spark of enlightenment or similar while walking!!
I am still greatfull a friend of mine showed me some images of his camino he walked some years ago. He was a manager and got unemployed and searched for another kind of forfilling his life. By seeing these images and the thoughts behind it- I just was retired and was trying to find a new direction in my life too after a busy international sales carreer- I decided to walk the camino . Before this decision my wife and I traveled all over the world in luxury.
The camino brought us back to basics. In the meantime we twice walked to Santiago and we are preparing the third one for spring 2015.
The camino is in our thoughts almost every day.
 
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#62
Nice, this topic and all who responded!
Think the Camino experience shouldn't be overestimated. For most people it isn't normal life. It's part of your life however. Somehow experiences will have impact as they become part of your consciousness. Don't get me wrong, think walking the camino is a unique opportunity, providing special qualities.

I wonder if the extend of this impact is related to the extend your are connected to yourself, true you! Perhaps the combination of being away, meeting 'same' others, knowing where I walk, the walking itself, the nature and environment give a unique possibillity (openness) to be closer to who I really am. Hope to look into 'my theory' some more in the future!
 

david g

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Finisterre Sept.6/Oct.16 2012
Camino Frances, Muxia, Finisterre May 1/June 9 2015
(Planned Camino Aragone May 2016)
(Planned Camino Norte Sept. 2016)
#63
After our Camino my son and I met up with my sister in Paris. I remember feeling so out of synch with everything around me. It was all so busy and fast, almost like being an alien who had landed in new world. (All we wanted to do was WALK!) Getting home, the feeling remained, and I began to see life in a new way. I realized what a blessing it was to have been able to walk the Camino, to have met so many wonderful, giving people, and to live the life I have, but that that blessing asks something of me. It asks me to be more giving of myself, more attentive to the needs of others, to find a way to pass on some of that "spiritual connectedness" that I was shown while there. It also asks me to slow down, to see the beauty that's around me all the time. Two years later I still feel a bit out of synch, the world still moves too fast but I move at my own pace now.
 

supersullivan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago 2012. SJPP-Santiago-Finisterre-Muxia 2013. Ponferrada-Santiago June 2014. Leon-Santiago-Finisterre September 2014. April-May 2015: SJPP- S de C- Finisterre -Muxia- S de C.
#64
After 3 caminos, I now realise how pointless much of what passes as necessary in a modern world really is, I now regard the treadmill of work etc. as a means of allowing me the time away for my next camino and pass my spare time between by hillwalking to recapture some of that 'head decluttering 'that I find on the camino and spend ( probably too much time:oops: ) on this forum reading of others experiences to keep getting my fix.
 

William Garza

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
#65
You are wonderfully and fearfully changed forever if your lucky...
the family cant or wont understand...willfully or in blissfull ignorance
the friends eyes glass over after the first hour because they cannot relate, cannot match the experience, so they shut down and decide to prove their importance in the rat cage.
you ate of the tree, you see the world in a different light..and now the knowledge burns, the light that need be shared..but
those left behind..came home to..who lack the courage,conviction and soul for it..will never ever understand..that tree is hidden forever from them.
coming home
out there, it has a different meaning, the journey grown weary, the eyes gone teary and the 'Idea" of home..glows like a beacon in the nite.
as the journey comes to close, the time grows close and the homeward urge draw the waters to the windows of the soul..rainbows and elysian fields of home...
the road has been long, and the treasures found, the weary traveler, worn, tattered and weary... fresh from the world opens the door
and
life has gone on exactly as before
irregardless of what happened "out there"
it really has no bearing "here"
you are now out of step with the ordinary, structured and time kept way..
this is "their"way their Camino and they are happy for the timeline before, during and after
your timeline is forever divergent
you see the futility of the homage to Caeser, that endless barrage of adds, telling you, this will make you better than them, or somehow, priveleged, above and beyond "them"
you are forever removed from that road
and there is no going back.

that indelible mark forever placed on your heart, forever burning in your soul..
you have tasted of a tree
and it was good and right to do so

this was not forbidden
it sometimes comes unbidden
and now you need to eat of this again to nourish, to grow and to reach for the other side again.

they cant or wont taste this
its too strange, too foreign an idea to go and find inner freedom, its a dangerous idea to the kept.

My story is on another line, suffice to say, my first road/ i never left it
Ime still out 'there", still traveling some lone highway, some back road,
still alone with my own! thoughts and ideals of what my life and how my life should be led, on my terms
I left
I came home a stranger
in my own home, my own bed, my town,
a stranger to them.
to my existence "here" is conditional
I have seen the world, and she smiled at me
I have touched the essence, the origin, and came away forever different.

the road never leaves you, a part of you will always be out there, somewhere...
the best we can do for the unwashed masses is to understand ...that they wont understand
and carry on under not so bright skies, under not so clean air, the waters less refreshing, the rest, not so restful
we come home
and diminish.
Peace
 

david g

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Finisterre Sept.6/Oct.16 2012
Camino Frances, Muxia, Finisterre May 1/June 9 2015
(Planned Camino Aragone May 2016)
(Planned Camino Norte Sept. 2016)
#66
I walked my first Camino this past fall. 6 weeks in Sept. and Oct. from St. Jean to Finisterre. My life has taken a radical change since coming back. Finished a 36 year marriage and am forging a new life. I undertook the walk to be brave I thought LOL what happened is I found myself out there on the trail and wondered how I had let that person go. We all walk for different reasons and have different adventures and outcomes. But I think we all find a part of ourselves out there that is a lasting amazement. And I do plan on celebrating my 60th B'day on the trail in 2015.
What wonderful, true words! We find OURSELVES on the Camino. I think so many of us are living lives that at one time made sense, but maybe not so much anymore. Let's face it, our forty or fifty year old selves are rarely the same as our twenty year old selves.It's amazing that when given the opportunity to step away from "life" for a bit comes up, we can really pause, without distractions, and take a good look at where we are and what we're doing with our lives. Are we happy with where we are? Are we on a path that allows our actions to align with what we believe? That, to me, is one of the best things about the Camino. We're given a chance each day we walk to think about where we are in life, to kind of "pro and con" our situation, and (hopefully) by the end have the strength and determination to follow through with changes.
 

xin loi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
#67
A common discussion on the Camino was about how many worthless possessions we all waste time working to obtain. What did most people recognized as a fact on the Camino ?---In a word--"Simplicity"---lot of walkers swore they were going to shed all of their junk back home and live with less--but probably most don't. It reminds me of going to a Reunion of my old Viet Nam Veteran friends --most old guys wish they could once again live with only a rifle and a pair of boots as their only possessions. They miss the simplicity of life when they were young and owned nothing. Life on the Camino was similar in being so easy and it is only natural to miss that when we return to our normal life back home.
 

William Garza

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
#68
A common discussion on the Camino was about how many worthless possessions we all waste time working to obtain. What did most people recognized as a fact on the Camino ?---In a word--"Simplicity"---lot of walkers swore they were going to shed all of their junk back home and live with less--but probably most don't. It reminds me of going to a Reunion of my old Viet Nam Veteran friends --most old guys wish they could once again live with only a rifle and a pair of boots as their only possessions. They miss the simplicity of life when they were young and owned nothing. Life on the Camino was similar in being so easy and it is only natural to miss that when we return to our normal life back home.
Its kind of funny, my best buddy is a VietNam Vet, and i emulated the way he ran the roads, with simplicity and dignity, i could pack up a weeks worth of gear in an army duffle and live pout of that for weeks..easy. as long as i had some clean laundry, some emergency munchy and a good book, i would roam the 48 states..content.
I knew folks who had to have "home" in their cab..for me? home was a mexican wool blanket, a sleeping bag and a good pillow, anything more was just something to worry about.
I could live even lighter now, its no hardship, its no stretch and its ok.
well, almost.. now i have to carry a camera to capture what i see.
at first . it was the destination that excited me
then it grew into a deeper ,more fulfilling journey, where the distance and miles were the ends to the means
then it became the finest of all, it was the meditation of the journey, the "act" of moving, emptying myself of the worries of the day as the days grew long and the road wore me down
it became the finest of days, when i was all alone out in the big empty,
and coming home became a disappointment, in a way, what can you say, or do to explain what has happened inside?
i had lived fully/completely in the time away
they, had stood still
my Veteran buddy retired a short while ago, idk how he is going to cope!
 

xin loi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
#69
William----Tell your buddy that I left the Dog Tags I wore for 3 tours in Viet Nam hanging on the Cross of Iron--It's the old Roman Legionnaire shrine to their God, Mercury. He'll know why.
 

William Garza

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
#70
Ill be sure to tell him Sir. he is kinda out of pocket the last few days, he left as many others did, a pound of flesh and some friends on the trail
 
M

mikevasey

Guest
#71
At the moment the energy is subsiding for me, but I have experienced it before not just coming back from Camino's but other places as well. I feel its there all the time now, just waiting for the right time and place for me to dance with it. Its a natural process that it comes and goes unless you are maybe able to create a situation that allows the energy to stay or flourish, working on that one.

I think its hard not to feel down and disconnected when you are stepping out of something special back a familiar routine but it does help if you can keep some humour and laughter close at hand, and remember that the quality of experience you felt is always there waiting for you.
 
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LiesbethSA

Living a life less ordinary
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues -Barcellos to Santiago (2012)
Muxia to Finnistere (2012)
Camino Frances - SJPdP to Santiago Sept - Oct (2014)
#72
Walking the Camino has drastically changed my lifestyle to basic, close to Nature - with time to listen to music and to read. Started research on the history of the Camino and have time to catch up on European history! It's a snowball ... Want to know more! Fascinated with the history of Roncesvalles, Charlemange, Roland ... The Basques, the Middle Ages. And of course studying a few basic Spanish phrases!

In a month I will start Camino Frances and want to savour the Spanish culture and understand and the true meaning of the pilgrimage and, go back for more?!
 

pilgrim b

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances 2013
Ingles 2014
Frances 2015
St Cuthbert's Way 2017
Via Francegena 2018
#73
Remember hearing your breathing as you walked your camino,
those breaths you took each moment to live out that moment in reality ?
The butterflies you saw the camino angels the kindness' of individuals each day.
The bird song, the eye catching beauty of the world around you!
Well remember you still have your breathing as you walk tomorrow
with those breaths look at each moment and live out that moment in reality .
The butterflies are still there the camino angels the kindness' of individuals each day.
The bird songs, the eye catching beauty of the world are all around you still!
Be grateful and happy the camino provides us a Way, just listen.
 

William Garza

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
#74
I think of the Moments, fleeting and shining, from among the shards of the day...

my memory is shot now for various medical reasons, the words..are the feelings put to paper, but if I try, I can remember being bathed under the faucet, i can remember the smell of wet limestone , when escaping Hurricane Beulah, My mom and dad stopped and bathed me in some Hill country river, the color of the Sapphire Sky, the blue and clear of the waters, the kiss of the wind on me...

I remember everything
I remember nothing
Unless an emotion or sensation is attached to it


I t is a Blessed way to live, forgetting everything
Everyday new and full of brand new things, with very few memories of the immediate past.

So when I think of the roads already gone before,
I think of the very best moments, the sunsets, the camaraderie, the quiet contemplation, the miles passing under my feet endlessly.
I remember the storms
each and every severe one, the moments of terror, thinking, and Praying, that God, my Guardian Angel and my skills would keep the truck on the road and that i would kill no one on the way..
I remember the exhaustion
the frustration at a trip cut short.

But the moments i best remember were the high lonesome ones
where i could be at peace with myself and the world, on my terms
Strength builds the more you do this
Honesty is the norm when your out there
Courage to do the right thing
Integrity, because you have to look, answer and judge yourself every morning

Soon a calling develops, a hunger for the Better lived life
and soon there are people around you who are the same
It is a heady brew
not everyone can look in the mirror
not everyone can gaze at themselves and be honest
not everyone can see the soul laid bare and not look away in shame and disgust..

but for those who can?
it is the dawning of the day
the darkness gone forever
the hand of something greater has opened the pages of the heart
the touch of eternity has opened the soul to gaze upon
Honesty

Coming home
How difficult it is, when you have tasted of these fruits of life
to find a life...lessened, cheapened ..tawdry awaiting you, the moment you step outside the front door the first day back.

How do you keep it alive?

You hang on to the feeling
you hold tight
What the road is?
Is a Gift
take this and guard the essence
realize the magnitude of of what you've been given
hold tight to the memories, yet share the light within.

Be the roads lessons incarnate.
Its not religion
It is a Faith, born of labor, refined under the suns of many miles and cleansed by the tears of letting go of what you once held dear, and found they were anchored to a pain...

the best way to adjust?
give of what you have been given
share with the anam cara the light of life
Take what you need for yourself, what is the worth of giving? if there is nothing inside of yourself left to give.
Peace
 

trevorcc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPD to Santiago 2013,2014 planning Camino de Levante Sept. 2016, now planning March 2018
#75
The Camino is never, ever far from my mind. This morning I was bicycling the sea wall in Vancouver, BC and this is what I happened upon.

"It's déja vu all over again." (Yogi Berra) View attachment 11374
I was out walking by the river getting the hours in my legs before I go back next month and I found myself looking for those wonderfull yellow arrows. Only 4 weeks to go and I will find them and the peace they bring.
 
#76
It was hard for me to adjust from walking to sitting behind a desk. The walls of even my favorite rooms seemed were very close. Personally I had lost a very bad overwhelming obsession in my life, I suddenly had time for other things. Which is a good thing. I realize more pain and suffering in this world but understand it less. I have never doubted my belief in my Lord but did find it renewed. It (home) was hard to adjust to.
 

Magnara

Maggie Ramsay
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago de Compostela (2005) Via Francigena (2010) Le Puy to St Jean (2014)
#77
Hi, just wondering how others found the change from the Camino to settling back at home? I'm a little "fuzzy/numb" around the edges and a bit disconnected. I had a good experience, met lovely people and managed the physical side of things very well. I had no spark of enlightenment or similar while walking!!
Sillydoll, a very generous poster and veteran of many caminos, commented once, "Who would believe you would miss your backpack", but it is true. After a while you will settle, but like many of us, will probably start planning another....and another. We only ever intended to do the Francais but we have just completed our third (now Francais, Via Francigena and Le Puy to SJPP) and, who knows, maybe in a year or two, another one.
Maggie Ramsay
(The Italian Camino - Amazon)
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#78
One of the things that occurs to me when I read through this thread is how suddenly modern pilgrims are thrust back into "real life" after their extraordinary caminos.
The camino developed over time, in an era when EVERYTHING took a mighty long time to happen. If you went anywhere, you probably walked, or rode a slow animal. And once you got there, you had to turn around and go the whole way home again. Life was short and brutal. Going back to Spain for another go was not an option.
Ergo, people who made the "original" medieval camino had an extraordinary journey to an amazing place. Then they had a journey of weeks or months to process the whole thing before they got home and resumed their old lives -- assuming they survived.
Modern people have 4 or 8 or 24 hours or so between their camino and their home airport. "Culture shock" does not begin to describe what happens next.
It's no wonder so many people feel they are not finished. They probably aren't!
I may be very wrong, but my theory is: for some people (many of them on this thread) the camino clears you up, it gives you a new lease on life, a re-set. It is designed to, over time, show you where you came from, where you are, and what you can be... and from there, it takes you right out of YOU and says it's not about YOU at all, now that you've cleared up your mess. It's about what you can do for other people, other creatures, the world around you.

I think medieval people who really deeply experienced the pilgrimage went home and changed their homes and towns and churches into places of kindness and giving and service, modeled on what they experienced on their camino. They brought that spirit home with them, and did what they could to recreate it in "the real world." We are obviously having similar "conversions" while on the camino. We just don't get the time and journeying needed to apply them!

So, for the sake of world peace, and the peace of mind of all pilgrims, the airport at Lavacolla should be immediately shut down. All pilgs from now on should walk, paddle, hitchhike, or skateboard back home, or at least as far as Madrid Barajas.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#79
I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1996. This is much different from the more familiar Caminos. On the AT, you are often with many folks in a small shelter, or large way-side hostel/hotel, or tenting alone. As you make your way along the roughly 2,164 miles to Mt. Katahdin you may have many days truly alone. A time for reflection, to sing as long and loud as you wish. To remember...to laugh...to cry. And once you finish, because for me I was finished. I was so finished...I've never had a desire to walk the AT again. The Camino IS Not finished with me!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: 2013, 2014
Madrid: 2016
Portuguese: 2015, 2017
Voluntario: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
#80
Everyone who commented above aptly described the multitude and range of feelings, symptoms, and consequences of doing a Camino. I can truly echo, second, concur, and empathize with every comment made. The most profound comments, naturally, seem to be Al the Optimist, Wayfarer, and Rebekah Scott. All are long-term Camino "addicts." I think that I've become one after my two Caminos.

On my return in late June this year, I was literally trying to work out in my mind how I could move to Spain, at least for part of the year. But reality quickly hit home. While I am comfortable, I am not well-off enough to maintain two homes. I can state that reacclimatization the second time around has been far more difficult than the first time, last year. As others have commented, I found that nothing was important, critical, or desired, beyond the Camino, and related activities. My days are one, long "whatever..."

It has now been about seven-weeks since I returned home. The "fuzziness" is slightly diminished. However, I found that the only way I can get through each day is to surf this forum trying to help others, while planning my next Camino. Presently, I am looking at the Camino Portugues - coastal route - from Porto to Santiago in the first half of June 2015. That should take about two weeks. If I am fortunate, I may be able to volunteer again to help at the Pilgrim Office.

What I would add to all of the above is the profound disconnect I have with my "real life." Like others, I find myself caring far less about current events, politics (a "blood sport" where I live, just outside Washington, DC), possessions, and objects.

The sole "problem" I cannot seem to reconcile is the disconnect between my severe "Caminoitis" and interrelationships with friends and family. As most things in my life back in the world have diminished in importance to me, so too have many relationships.I do not feel "less" love for my spouse, parents, family, pets, friends, etc. However, I do feel "differently" towards all connections to everything not connected to or on the Camino. I think it is the priority order of all of this that has been affected. I just need to deal with it in a grown up manner.

Were it possible, I think I would be living simply along a Camino route, likely in Spain. I am not interested in operating an albergue, a hostal, or any of those common pipedreams that develop among many Camino veterans. Yes, I admit to having those thoughts both last year and this. But I have gotten past that to the essence of my feelings.

My yearning is to live "in the Camino" to be part of the experience, everyday. If it were possible, I might move to Santiago to learn Spanish fluently, then to devote my time and energies to Camino-related pursuits, as others have done.

To say I was addicted would be an overstatement. As much as I am drawn to a life similar to what Rebekah, Johnnie Walker, or Biarritz Don have living in France or Spain, I accept that I have adult responsibilities and commitments here. My parents are getting on and I am the son. I am married to a wonderful woman (35+ years) who understands my need to do Camino, and supports my doing at least one per year. She has not yet done one. For her, this is my "hobby." That explains it adequately for her. But, as I explained, that is far less than the reality.

After being in Spain for two months this year between walking the Camino Frances for the second time and serving as an Amigo volunteer at the Pilgrim Office, I have been "persuaded" that I cannot be away that long, at least while my parents remain in the picture and need me within driving distance. So, I am "sucking it up" until circumstances change.

I presume there are others out there who feel similarly.
 

robertt

Active Member
#82
Something which helps me is to say "I'd like to be on a camino" but not "I'd rather be on a camino". Helps me to focus on what I've got when I've got it. Also, I try not to concern myself with the purpose or meaning of the Camino. I walk, and Saint James (whether he is there or not) looks after all the deep stuff.
 

chilledKat

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June/July 2014
#83
It's been a week tomorrow since leaving Spain. As Rebekah Scott said "culture shock does not begin to describe what happens next".

In some ways, one could say that I am blessed as I have had nothing to return back to. No job, no real fixed address, no commitments apart from my dog who cost me a little fortune in vet fees since my return.

With total freedom, ironically comes anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. Which path to take?

I wish someone would come and paint yellow arrows to mark my way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte to Santiago and Finisterre/Muxia (Sep/Oct 2014)
#85
It's been a week tomorrow since leaving Spain. As Rebekah Scott said "culture shock does not begin to describe what happens next".

In some ways, one could say that I am blessed as I have had nothing to return back to. No job, no real fixed address, no commitments apart from my dog who cost me a little fortune in vet fees since my return.

With total freedom, ironically comes anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. Which path to take?

I wish someone would come and paint yellow arrows to mark my way.
I'm like you in this. Setting off on 10 Sep and nothing fixed to come back to - no return date, no job, no country, not even the dog! Exciting but scary. Hoping wisdom and direction will come on The Way, at least for the next step. It is a lesson of living in the now of things. I hope the arrows appear for you soon.
Mary
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte to Santiago and Finisterre/Muxia (Sep/Oct 2014)
#87
Hey Mary, maybe you won't come back!
Hi Al the optimist, The possibility has occurred to me and it would be great to find a reason or even a possibility to stay on. Since I studied Spanish in college (sooo long ago I've forgotten a lot) I've always wanted to go back and this looks like my best chance. Mary
 

William Garza

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
#88
It's been a week tomorrow since leaving Spain. As Rebekah Scott said "culture shock does not begin to describe what happens next".

In some ways, one could say that I am blessed as I have had nothing to return back to. No job, no real fixed address, no commitments apart from my dog who cost me a little fortune in vet fees since my return.

With total freedom, ironically comes anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. Which path to take?

I wish someone would come and paint yellow arrows to mark my way.
Welcome to your freedom.Some are overwhelmed, some are paralyzed by the choice available to them,
some laugh..and then run the green fields, its not easy having the future, an unwritten book before them. but the unwritten story is sometimes the very best of tomes!
The path before you is open to interpretation, cut any path, across any field, and be confident in your steps, look what you've been through and know that even though it was not the the best, it was also not the end of roads.
Walk in Faith, when the road was not marked , you walked on anyway, confident that the direction was right.. right there in your heart,

I think, humbly, that the road to greatness's gate, is strewn with flint and thorn...and you walked through this with grace and strength.
all the arrows are there, painted in your soul,

I hope i have not overstepped, its not my intention
Peace.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: 2013, 2014
Madrid: 2016
Portuguese: 2015, 2017
Voluntario: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
#90
Note my signature "motto" below, in Latin. It translates to "It is solved by walking with God." Whether you are a religious or spiritual person or not, you WILL feel the Presence while walking the Camino. It is there.

Millions of pilgrims preceded you over more than one thousand years. I cannot explain HOW or WHY this phenomenon occurs. I just know it DOES OCCUR. While walking, simply open the windows and doors of your mind to the thoughts, impressions, visions, people, places and things you will experience. Try to eliminate distractions like mp3 players, mobile phones, texting, etc. Live in the moment. Relish your social interaction with others.

Trust me, please, it will all work out... The others above, many of who have a much longer affiliation with the Camino than me have also assured me of this in the past. And they were spot-on right.

All you have to do each day is get up, show up, and pay attention. By the end of your Camino, you will have a better view of life and of your future than you currently do.

I have the same problem. Yesterday, my wife and I talked it out and I told her that a very significant part of me did not want to come home after two months in Spain this year, six-weeks last year. It is not personal, I explained. It was the Camino. I WOULD rather be there than "here." Nothing is going to change domestically, but I will be planning at least one Camino for 2015. We will see. I DO have strong faith. That faith has been nurtured and improved on by two Camino Frances, in two consecutive years.

I hope this helps.
 
Last edited:

Al the optimist

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#91
I know how you feel Tom. I fell in love with Spain 6 years ago, visit a few times a year and much prefer the way of life to that here at home. However although no longer having a wife to consider I do have children and grandchildren and also a 90 year old mother to look after (I am her only child). Still that is the advantage of being in the UK, it's only a short flight away. I walked May/June and came back just 2 months ago but miss it badly so I am off to get another fix in 19 days (not that I am counting). :):):):):):):) :):):):):):):) :):):):):)
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago commencing 5 April 2014
Leon to Santiago commencing April 2015
#92
I've had real problems adjusting to the real world after the Camino. I've thrown out a lot of clutter from my life but the lure of the Camino keeps calling me back like the Syren's song.

So after finishing in May 2014 I'm already booked for November / December in the same year this time starting in Pamplona to fit in with pre-existing commitments. It will be different in many ways.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
#93
I've had real problems adjusting to the real world after the Camino. I've thrown out a lot of clutter from my life but the lure of the Camino keeps calling me back like the Syren's song.

So after finishing in May 2014 I'm already booked for November / December in the same year this time starting in Pamplona to fit in with pre-existing commitments. It will be different in many ways.
Pete, that's a fast turn around. Lucky you.
 
#94
It's been five months since I came home. Here's an update on my earlier posting.

I continue to think daily about my camino and how it "re-booted" me. The most apparent changes in my attitude and thoughts and behavior continue -- effortlessly. I sense these changes are being reinforced -- perhaps fortified -- as I work with success to assimilate my experience into my life here at home.

I participate frequently in this forum, reading and sometimes offering comments, as it links me to you -- a community of people who share some of the same common experience. I know no one in my country who has walked the Camino.

As time passes, I find myself more aware that what I learned and left and gained on my camino was not something that one can learn, leave, or gain -- only -- on the Camino de Santiago.

For a time, I questioned whether and how I could sustain my experience without a repeat "dose" of the Camino. I am realizing -- for me -- that while the Camino is unique, as a Christian pilgrimage, that the "spirit" or collection of features that are the Camino, can be found in other places ... albeit, not all together, at the same time.

And this to me is a great hope: that if I look for and follow the way markers in my life at home (and wherever I may travel), then I can continue to experience elements of the Camino wherever I am, at any time.

I sense a freedom that stems from that realization: that the Camino is not as a drug is to an addiction, or as a siren to a rocky coast, but rather that the Camino is as a lighthouse is to a sailor ... guiding one even from a great distance.

I wish you all well and a buen camino/bom caminho.
 

William Garza

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
#95
It is a Blessing to you, purely and simply, to have a chance to see who you are with. and without a mirror.
you have been shown...Life, without prejudice, without all the voices of society telling you who, what and why you should be
the coming home of the soul, that is a supreme blessing to those who had not known they were gone
you came home
and now the surroundings dont fit, the soul set free.

what a person can do, is change the world to fit the picture in the soul
the heart of the matter.

dance to the music playing in your head, weave the pattern anew
walk in the same light as you did on Camino
share the love of everything good you found on the way, and make the world the Camino
Help the other pilgrims around you
help yourself, spread the light to all who are within your distance

you have been blessed fully and completely
that is the taste of the wine, once drunk
will burn your desire until you drink again, and share

think you
every step taken
was one step back...
that is , into what you are meant to be, or become
return to that innocence, where fear, and longing and desire for a cleaner, inner mirror
where the return of Faith, Hope and Love are real, true and attainable goals.

you had fear
you had anxiety
you had worry
you had got lost

you found.

take the wonder and light of the Blessing of the gifts put at your feet
eat of the banquet laid before you
drink that wine of freedom

all these have been laid out before you
and if you dont...
nibble.

The true pilgrim will share the road and always will
do you see?

Peace
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
#96
At the moment the energy is subsiding for me, but I have experienced it before not just coming back from Camino's but other places as well. I feel its there all the time now, just waiting for the right time and place for me to dance with it. Its a natural process that it comes and goes unless you are maybe able to create a situation that allows the energy to stay or flourish, working on that one.

I think its hard not to feel down and disconnected when you are stepping out of something special back a familiar routine but it does help if you can keep some humour and laughter close at hand, and remember that the quality of experience you felt is always there waiting for you.
Hi Mikevasey, I took advice from an earlier blogger to smile at family while trying to readjust. I found this helpful as I was taking the experience of feeling so different seriously. As I didn't go on the Camino to "look for myself" I am still putting into context the effect it had/ has on the way I am viewing my life.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
#97
One of the things that occurs to me when I read through this thread is how suddenly modern pilgrims are thrust back into "real life" after their extraordinary caminos.
The camino developed over time, in an era when EVERYTHING took a mighty long time to happen. If you went anywhere, you probably walked, or rode a slow animal. And once you got there, you had to turn around and go the whole way home again. Life was short and brutal. Going back to Spain for another go was not an option.
Ergo, people who made the "original" medieval camino had an extraordinary journey to an amazing place. Then they had a journey of weeks or months to process the whole thing before they got home and resumed their old lives -- assuming they survived.
Modern people have 4 or 8 or 24 hours or so between their camino and their home airport. "Culture shock" does not begin to describe what happens next.
It's no wonder so many people feel they are not finished. They probably aren't!
I may be very wrong, but my theory is: for some people (many of them on this thread) the camino clears you up, it gives you a new lease on life, a re-set. It is designed to, over time, show you where you came from, where you are, and what you can be... and from there, it takes you right out of YOU and says it's not about YOU at all, now that you've cleared up your mess. It's about what you can do for other people, other creatures, the world around you.

I think medieval people who really deeply experienced the pilgrimage went home and changed their homes and towns and churches into places of kindness and giving and service, modeled on what they experienced on their camino. They brought that spirit home with them, and did what they could to recreate it in "the real world." We are obviously having similar "conversions" while on the camino. We just don't get the time and journeying needed to apply them!

So, for the sake of world peace, and the peace of mind of all pilgrims, the airport at Lavacolla should be immediately shut down. All pilgs from now on should walk, paddle, hitchhike, or skateboard back home, or at least as far as Madrid Barajas.
Hi Rebekah, while on the Camino I constantly thought of how people from previous ages coped with arriving to start the Camino and their journey home. It's amazing how they completed it without the modern conveniences we have in our lives, and we think we did it simply?.......I'm sure they had to cope with disease, maybe lack of food and even bandits! We come home to a cosy home and wonder what is wrong with us?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
#98
Hi
Everyone who commented above aptly described the multitude and range of feelings, symptoms, and consequences of doing a Camino. I can truly echo, second, concur, and empathize with every comment made. The most profound comments, naturally, seem to be Al the Optimist, Wayfarer, and Rebekah Scott. All are long-term Camino "addicts." I think that I've become one after my two Caminos.

On my return in late June this year, I was literally trying to work out in my mind how I could move to Spain, at least for part of the year. But reality quickly hit home. While I am comfortable, I am not well-off enough to maintain two homes. I can state that reacclimatization the second time around has been far more difficult than the first time, last year. As others have commented, I found that nothing was important, critical, or desired, beyond the Camino, and related activities. My days are one, long "whatever..."

It has now been about seven-weeks since I returned home. The "fuzziness" is slightly diminished. However, I found that the only way I can get through each day is to surf this forum trying to help others, while planning my next Camino. Presently, I am looking at the Camino Portugues - coastal route - from Porto to Santiago in the first half of June 2015. That should take about two weeks. If I am fortunate, I may be able to volunteer again to help at the Pilgrim Office.

What I would add to all of the above is the profound disconnect I have with my "real life." Like others, I find myself caring far less about current events, politics (a "blood sport" where I live, just outside Washington, DC), possessions, and objects.

The sole "problem" I cannot seem to reconcile is the disconnect between my severe "Caminoitis" and interrelationships with friends and family. As most things in my life back in the world have diminished in importance to me, so too have many relationships.I do not feel "less" love for my spouse, parents, family, pets, friends, etc. However, I do feel "differently" towards all connections to everything not connected to or on the Camino. I think it is the priority order of all of this that has been affected. I just need to deal with it in a grown up manner.

Were it possible, I think I would be living simply along a Camino route, likely in Spain. I am not interested in operating an albergue, a hostal, or any of those common pipedreams that develop among many Camino veterans. Yes, I admit to having those thoughts both last year and this. But I have gotten past that to the essence of my feelings.

My yearning is to live "in the Camino" to be part of the experience, everyday. If it were possible, I might move to Santiago to learn Spanish fluently, then to devote my time and energies to Camino-related pursuits, as others have done.

To say I was addicted would be an overstatement. As much as I am drawn to a life similar to what Rebekah, Johnnie Walker, or Biarritz Don have living in France or Spain, I accept that I have adult responsibilities and commitments here. My parents are getting on and I am the son. I am married to a wonderful woman (35+ years) who understands my need to do Camino, and supports my doing at least one per year. She has not yet done one. For her, this is my "hobby." That explains it adequately for her. But, as I explained, that is far less than the reality.

After being in Spain for two months this year between walking the Camino Frances for the second time and serving as an Amigo volunteer at the Pilgrim Office, I have been "persuaded" that I cannot be away that long, at least while my parents remain in the picture and need me within driving distance. So, I am "sucking it up" until circumstances change.

I presume there are others out there who feel similarly.
Hi T2andreo, you have explained it better than I did! I know I said I had a fuzzy feeling about me all the time, this is still the case but not as intense. I agree that I am still disconnected and care very little about what goes on in the media, the TV and radio turned off most of the time, what doesn't effect me doesn't concern me. I also agree that with the family I don't feel less love but feel differently, so strange to understand and explain. I have no longing to live on the Camino and would be divorced if I was away for 2 months, well done you and for your work in the pilgrim office!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
#99
As
It's been a week tomorrow since leaving Spain. As Rebekah Scott said "culture shock does not begin to describe what happens next".

In some ways, one could say that I am blessed as I have had nothing to return back to. No job, no real fixed address, no commitments apart from my dog who cost me a little fortune in vet fees since my return.

With total freedom, ironically comes anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. Which path to take?

I wish someone would come and paint yellow arrows to mark my way.
Amid the confusion I felt on my return I found the advice to take time to let things sink in very helpful, things will fall into place in its own time. St. James and St. Domonic will be with you along the way. Allow yourself to feel the way you are without concern.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela June 2013
Walked and cycled St. Jean PDP to Sarria June 2014
Santiago Muxia Fisterra Oct 2014
Lisbon to Porto May 2015
I
Note my signature "motto" below, in Latin. It translates to "It is solved by walking with God." Whether you are a religious or spiritual person or not, you WILL feel the Presence while walking the Camino. It is there.

Millions of pilgrims preceded you over more than one thousand years. I cannot explain HOW or WHY this phenomenon occurs. I just know it DOES OCCUR. While walking, simply open the windows and doors of your mind to the thoughts, impressions, visions, people, places and things you will experience. Try to eliminate distractions like mp3 players, mobile phones, texting, etc. Live in the moment. Relish your social interaction with others.

Trust me, please, it will all work out... The others above, many of who have a much longer affiliation with the Camino than me have also assured me of this in the past. And they were spot-on right.

All you have to do each day is get up, show up, and pay attention. By the end of your Camino, you will have a better view of life and of your future than you currently do.

I have the same problem. Yesterday, my wife and I talked it out and I told her that a very significant part of me did not want to come home after two months in Spain this year, six-weeks last year. It is not personal, I explained. It was the Camino. I WOULD rather be there than "here." Nothing is going to change domestically, but I will be planning at least one Camino for 2015. We will see. I DO have strong faith. That faith has been nurtured and improved on by two Camino Frances, in two consecutive years.

I hope this helps.
I agree that there is a definite religious/spiritual presence on the Camino. There were quite a few occasions that we were helped and assisted along the way, it was astounding. I would agree to your advice to "pay attention", and continue to pay attention when at home.
I, like you did not want to come home, I did not want to stay either. Again, it was not against those at home. Maybe I need another dose of Camino? I'd like to pay full attention to the spiritual side of things.
 

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