38 days, 4 blisters, and 888 kilometers later…WE ARE DONE WALKING!!!!
Praise the Lord, we can finally rest. No more snoring, no more “stupid early” alarms, no more squeaky top bunks, no more community bathrooms with see-through showers, and get this, our hotel actually has REAL TOWELS! I’ve been using one of the size of a dish rag the entire trip, and to say it hasn’t really done the job is an understatement. Below I’ve included what an average albergue looks like in comparison to our current hotel, and boy do I feel like I’m living in luxury.
After 30+ days of the albergue life, I definitely will be sleeping like a baby for the next couple of nights.
Although Santiago is an end for many on the Camino, there are also a number of pilgrims who continue on walking towards a coastal town in Northern Spain nicknamed “The End of the World”. My mom and I had decided from the beginning that we would continue our journey to Finisterre because it only seemed appropriate to end the Way, at the end of the world.
In all honesty, it’s been a lonely couple of days walking the final 88 kilometers from Santiago to Finisterre. The Camino vibe was present, but my Camino family has dissipated, with many returning to their respective homes and entering back into the real world. I walked mostly alone for these past 4 days, and I had a chance to reflect on everything that I’ve experienced over the past 5 weeks. I’ve discovered so many things about myself and I hope to continue to grow immensely in my next season of life from what I’ve learned while walking. I just wanted to share a few of my thoughts here:
1. We are never prepared for what we expect.
2. Be a learner, not an expert.
3. Ask intentional questions, get intentional answers.
4. Relationships are the ultimate prize.
5. Silence is good for the soul.
6. Judgements are worthless.
7. There is no dress rehearsal in life, this is it.
8. Don’t be scared to vulnerable.
9. All you need is one bag, 2 shirts, 2 shorts, boots, and a whole lot of bread to live.
10. The end is only the beginning.
As my adopted Camino little sister would say…
“The Camino brings you back to who you truly are. It peels away the layers and allows you to be free”
This journey has been nothing short of life changing. I would be remiss not to thank my mom for even planting the idea of walking the Camino in my head in the first place. Where I was in my life before I began, and where I am now has changed dramatically, and I have her to thank for that. Although this has been the longest consecutive period of time I have spent with her since high school – and there definitely were times when I wanted to fill her pack with a dozen rocks when she wasn’t looking – I wouldn’t have wanted to experience it with anyone else (besides my dad…Hey dad!!! Miss you!)
I can’t and won’t ever be able to say enough about the kindness exhibited from every single person I’ve met along the way. Whether it was helping thread a blister, cooking a delicious meal, reserving beds at our next albergue, or even something as simple as making me laugh. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to my Camino family for being some of the most lovely and inspiring people I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know.
The Camino bubble will be popped in just a few days when I board a flight back to America. Although I am sad this chapter of my life has ended, I can only imagine what God has in store for me in the next one. Always moving forward, and never looking back. Here’s to a summer I’ll never forget.
Thanks for following our journey, and one last time for good measure…Buen Camino!!