Everyone has their own Camino.
Camino means “road” in Spanish, and Camino de Santiago means the road to Santiago. And Santiago means Santiago de Compostela. The French Way, the most popular route, starts from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, a small town in southwestern France. The route crosses the Mont Pyrenees and continues along northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. Other routes include the Camino de Norte, The Camino Finisterre (Route to the end of the world), the Camino Portugués, the Vía da la Plata (Silver Way) etc.
The French Way was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. And “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes (In the Kii Mountain Range, Japan, World Heritage Site in 2018) became a “sister route” with The French Way.
Everyone has their own Camino. Some people started their Camino because they were moved by the movie “The Way”. Some of them set off because of their unhappy life or missing their loved ones.
I haven’t watched “The Way”. The country for my first solo travel was Spain. It is said that everyone’s favorite country is the first country to travel to. It is true for me. Since I visit Spain in 2012. I have read several books about Spain, but of course, it is not in Spanish. My language learning is poor, so I will not waste my time on it!
I saw some books about “Silver Way” and “Camino de Santiago”. I did not have any feeling at that moment.
When it was the final year of my Ph.D. study, I was driving toward my dream. However, I lost the most important family member in my life just after I achieved my childhood dream. I kept working hard to equip myself as much as I could. I was getting stronger and stronger, but I was still powerless in such a situation.
Recalling the feeling of powerlessness at that time, I felt the limitation of my ability. No matter how much recognition, I felt joyless.
No matter how hard I tried to improve my ability, I lacked motivation, just like an electric generator without gasoline. I told others, “I’m fine, don’t worry.” As only I can feel the emptiness in my heart, but not willing to explain it. If I need to say, that is “Okey, give me a break, please!”
It is said that when a person disappears in your life, it is because they have fulfilled the tasks that God gave them in your life. My mother left me after she took me to fulfill my first dream without enjoying the fruits of my success.
Later, my mum encouraged me to attend a conference in 2017. But she passed away before my trip. Then this trip was the first long trip after she left. I arrived in Spain again and read the books about Spain and Camino de Santiago. In 2018, the worst year for me since 2017, I came to Spain and started my Camino.
I wanted to escape from the crowd, my work duty, and leave behind all responsibilities. I want to take care of myself and let myself talk to my two old friends who know me best. See how far I can go and how high I can climb with my limited ability and keep on finding my original aspiration.
My original plan was to finish my Camino at one time, but, unfortunately, I got injured on the second day. I had to stop halfway. Then, I came for the second time in 2019, but I couldn’t finish it yet. Maybe God thinks it is difficult for me to put down the “things”. So, I should go more times.
Looking back on the days in my Camino, life returned to simplicity. Getting up in the morning, walking, eating, and sleeping. Looking at the scenery on the way, listening to the birds singing, feeling inner peace, recalling the past days, and planning the future. It is a peaceful moment to take a rest. Refilling the gasoline to the electric generator to go for more dreams in the future.
On, keep it on!