Day 18: The End of the Camino

I walked 250 miles, about 400 kilometers, on the Camino Francés in 17 days. 

The Way of Saint James is something people do for many reasons.

Some people do it to give thanks to God, some people do it for sport. Some people go with broken hearts, grieving the loss of a loved one or healing past wounds. Some go to find themselves, or to figure out what they want to do with their lives. Some walk simply for the glory of having conquered over 700 kilometers by foot.

I went on the Camino because I wanted to become a better version of myself. I wanted to reflect on who I am and who I have become during my time abroad, and to observe, without judgement, what has changed and what has stayed the same. I was curious to discover what parts of my life I grew in, and where there is still room for improvement.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve learned about limits, both physical and emotional. I’ve identified my beliefs, as well as my faults. I’ve opened my heart to complete strangers, and I’ve also learned how to recognize my own ego.

I’m a better listener than ever before, after having listened to people grieve their losses, teach me songs in French, and tell me folktales from their country.

I’ve also learned to admit when I need help, and put my pride aside. It only took me a skinless toe and two infections to figure that one out.

My arrival in Santiago de Compostela, means that my Camino has officially come to an end. That also means it’s time to start reflecting on the experience and asking myself certain questions. But the truth is, I don’t yet know the depth of the impact that the Camino has had on my life. That will take time. 

All I can do for now is keep striving to become a better version of myself. I’m not there yet, but I’m getting there.