There are a lot of things I will miss about Spain and the Camino. It’s beauty, most of all. The passion of the people. The language. The lack of “take out,” encouraging a chance to sit and stay awhile. Siesta: a daily embrace of rest. Paper tablecloths as a welcome. Fabulous cafe con leche. Great wine. Hearing five different languages over breakfast. Cheap accommodations. Churches, churches and more churches. Bridges built by the Romans. Bread.
What I won’t miss? Incredibly slow service. A single waitress for a full restaurant. Terrible WiFi. So far from my family. Narrow roads. Smokers. Timer bathroom lights that last 20 seconds or less. No peanut butter anywhere. A different bed every night. Travel stress. Push button toilets. Hand showers. Plastic covered mattresses. The endless search for water. Bread.
Have I told you I’ve learned a lot? The pilgrims say that your Camino starts when you get home. I guess I’ll have some lessons there too. But for now…
Lessons from the Camino:
- Walk your pace. There’s always someone faster. That’s okay. Walk your pace.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re doing your best. So is everyone else.
- Appreciate your body.
- Get over yourself. You are not the end all be all. At the same time, you are everything.
- A little Spanish goes a long, long way. Show people you respect them and their culture.
- Some people want to be quiet. Let them.
- First impressions aren’t always right.
- You gotta walk through some bad to get to the good.
- The good stuff takes time. You have to put some time in to reap the rewards.
- Patience. You have to wait. It’s okay. The world is not on your clock.
- You gotta give a little to get a little.
- The mind gives up long before the body.
- You get by with a little help from your friends. Thank you friends for keeping the home fires burning.
- Your journey does not belong to someone else. No one can walk it for you.
- If you want to do the Camino, make sure Marci is available. You’ll want to go with her.
- There’s no place like home.
Thank you to everyone for the comments and the messages of support. Thank you for your cheerleading even though I know you often wondered what the hell we were doing. Thank you for sending notes of support on our darkest days. Thank you for inspiring us and letting us know you will be there for us when we come home. Thanks for the poems, the photos, the prayers and all the love.
The sun has set.
See you in a few days.