“Traveling is the ONLY thing that you can spend money on and become richer”.
I’m not talking about richer in terms of dollars, but rather richer in terms of your being. Think about that quote and recognize how accurate it really is. He realized this when he did his one month pilgrimage across the Camino De Santiago.
Traveling is abundance. You get to expose yourself to many different situations that you do not observe when you are at your home base all of the time. You get to meet a wide variety of people. You get to engage in the culture of those people. You already experience the “melting pot” in the United States. Envision if you were to travel to Europe or Asia.
I recently booked a trip to go over to Europe in which I will be flying into Naples, Italy. I will be settling there for a few weeks and then catching a train to Spain. Then I will be too, partaking in walking the Camino De Santiago. It is a hike across Spain beginning at the border of Spain and France. It’s one month long and you walk through many contrasting cities along the way. If you watch any documentary on this trail they will all say basically the equivalent thing. The Camino De Santiago is the story of your life condensed into a month.
Some people will dart through the Camino De Santiago stress-fully to get to the finish line! My friend let me know, those are the people you chuckle at. What is with the urgency? Another person will take their time and revel in every little bit of it. Either way, you learn about yourself in the process. Are you a nitpick? If you are, you might find it annoying to sleep in a sleeping bag every night or stay in a hostel with a cluster of people. That doesn’t necessarily imply you are nitpick, but it’s a considerable metaphor for what some of the things people criticize in their lives. Little things. That don’t genuinely matter. It will be an eye opening experience where I will literally gain more awareness of myself.
It’s tough to witness at home. You are generally in habitual patterns that you aren’t aware of. I have them. Everyone has them. You wake up, do this and that just like you did yesterday. You rendezvous with the same people and have the same accustomed conversations. It take’s a bona fide high level of awareness to observe this when you are doing the identical things over and over. With traveling, it is a contrasting story.
Since you are encountering new people, doing new things, and traveling to unfamiliar places…those habitual patterns can’t easily stick. If you are staying in a different hostel in a various cities, it is going to take an adjustment every time. It is the continued acclimating which is uncomfortable at first, but eventually you will start relishing.
Humans are adaptive. Our ancestors traveled throughout their lives. And now we stay in one place for lengthy periods of time.
I am overwrought to see what I become aware of about myself. Will I see aspects in myself I can transform? For sure. But this will be satisfying, as it will help me develop into a superior person. Here are a few peculiar things that I am looking forward to, specifically on the Camino. This is how I picture it now, but I grasp that our imagination can only formulate based on what we already know. So these are a combination of watching videos of the Camino and conversing with my friend about them.
Walking the Camino De Santiago – Aspects I am Looking Forward to
1) Eating habits
My friend explained what you eat over there is COMPLETELY divergent than here. The laws here grant the food to be lower quality in the US than they are in Europe. From what he explained, a good amount of the food is going to be fresh, organic, and non-gmos. That sounds amazing. On the downside, he said that food over there is plain. He made it sound like Spain was more plain than Italy. Of course, I am accustomed to having meals that include dipping sauces or sandwiches with condiments included. Unless I ask specifically over there, a sandwich is going to consist of two pieces of bread and a small portion of meat. Sounds appalling to me right now! How am I going to be full? Where is the taste? I asked these same questions to my friend and he said that it was absolutely weird at first. It is commonplace to always have so much sauce on our food in the US that you aren’t able to taste everything individually. Just pile it on! But, once you become accustomed to eating extra plain, your taste buds return. Now you can taste the bread and the meat individually and really appreciate it. I’ll take his word for it, but I am not entirely convinced that I won’t be craving American food after a short period of time. To be honest, he said that he got to a point where he appreciated both. Simple and complex, they are both satisfying.
2) Meeting new people/Interacting with many different people
When you are on the trail, you are going to be walking with people from diverse countries. I am going to have the freedom to learn the subtle and major differences between cultures. I could be hiking with Spanish people, Italian, Australian, or even other Americans. Regardless, I will be able to meet so many various people and have an intimate setting for getting to know them. You know, not the traditional, where you might meet them at a bar or through a friend, but only for a short time. On the trail, when I meet them we will have days and days to converse with no distraction. I can conceptualize, this will allow the conversations to get deeper and create a profound connection. It will just come more natural. Everything is so fast paced in our society, that sometimes it creates a disconnect. This will slow everything down. I know I am going to love the spontaneous connections that are created and could possibly be life long.
3) Mysterious towns/Adventure
My friend still conveys that after he did the trail the first time, there were multitudes of tiny towns he didn’t get to experience. He said they passed through exceptionally small and large towns. Just the thought of getting nearer and nearer to a new town is exciting. The mysteriousness of what the town could be like, to the anticipation of getting there, would be an unexplored feeling. I am not going to know what to expect. That’s what adventure is about. Going into something full force, not really knowing what to expect. The only thing you can really expect is that it is going to be an amazing time
4) Having barely anything- Why?
Frequently I think people forget that there is little you actually need in life. You need food, water, interaction on different levels, and love. Of course, you need money to live in this world as well, but it is nice to take your mind off of that fact. It’s easy to get tied into the idea that you need all of the stuff in your life right now, which you don’t. Life is simple. Humans make it complex. While walking on the trail, it will be wonderful to have only a few necessities. That’s basically it! It sounds like a freeing experience, and one that could ultimately change me forever. I have never experienced anything like that before. And it’s very tough not to think about money, unless you have enough where you do not have to. But here’s another way. Go on a trail and just dismiss the fact from your mind. Humans are happier living simple. We just complicate things. I don’t remember where I heard this, but a teacher was explaining three things that help us thrive. Move your body. Check. Drink tons of water. Hopefully, check. And sleep when you are tired. Check. All three of these will be taken care of and I will be able to claim that I hiked across Spain.
5) Getting away from electronics
This ties in with the previous point. But it is going to be pleasant to have fewer electronics in my face at all times. I watch a small amount of TV already, but I use my cell phone all the time. Who doesn’t now a days? Yea I will still have my phone, but what am I going to really need it for. A few calls and texts and that’s about it.
Being outside almost 24/7 is going to be refreshing. I have at no time in my life been outside for that period of time straight.
I am looking forward to seeing how I adapt to the various situations over there. Especially, learning how to communicate with people that don’t speak the same language. I expect there will frequently be at least a handful of people in every shop or cafe that speak English if you are trying to order food. In the areas with the most tourists.I’m not going to bank on this though, as I am a tourist in there country. Surely, I can learn enough of the countries language to get by while I am there. Body language and reading each other is going to be huge when communicating.
Learning to sleep in tons of new places every night will be something that could be tough at first, but eventually I will get used to. Not to mention, on the trail sleeping in hostels and sleeping bags.
8) My view on America
This is compelling to think about. I have lived here my whole life and I appreciate it. I wouldn’t trade my time here for anything. But I think that going over there will truly alter my view on America. Getting away from people sometimes for a period of time changes your perspective on how they fit into your life. I think it is the same thing with living here. I want to see if anything changes fundamentally about my views on life here. My friend said his did. He said that he basically thought that the way we do things here in America are the appropriate way of doing them. Who could blame him? But as soon as he went over to Europe it was an experience that made him realize that there are additional ways of doing things that are just as satisfying. He appreciates both America and Europe, but he now has a better perspective on the overall picture from being in Europe a few different times.
9) Getting in amazing shape
I will be walking anywhere from 5-15 miles a day. I will be in amazing shape and I will be entirely depending on myself. It will also be nice not having a car for a little bit. It will be a favorable switch of pace.
My friend gave me a good metaphor for walking the trail. It is equivalent over the course of a month to taking psychedelics. It thoroughly resets you and develops your views on life in general. He essentially convinced me by explaining how he felt during and after walking the trail. The only sense I see that anyone wouldn’t want to start walking the Camino De Santiago, is if they were physically incapable or if they are fearful of an eye opening experience that might change them fundamentally to the core. I personally always welcome positive change and see this as just another opportunity. Who knows what will happen? That is what I am looking forward to most.