Camino Afterthoughts

I miss the Camino every day. 

Maybe it’s because I’m reading Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild,” or maybe it’s because I’m in Slovakia staring at the Tatra Mountains while they tease me. 

“Come climb me, come play,” they say.

It’s been over a month since I’ve been on the trail, yet every day I still imagine that I’ll wake up, lace up my boots, swing my backpack on and just go. 

All through my lunch today, I stared longingly at two Slovakian hikers sitting a table over. I watched them drink their ice cold beers, knowing how good they tasted after a long day of walking. I couldn’t help but stare at their backpacks that were fuller than mine on the camino. I wanted to ask them where they were hiking, what gear they had, and silly enough, if I could please come with.

I had to stop looking because one of them started to wink at me, and I’m afraid I gave the wrong impression.

Walking the Camino gave me purpose and clarity. I had a clear mission every single day, met inspiring folks left and right and I got to be outdoors for hours on end. The views of the Galician mountains, reminiscent of scenes from The Hobbit, and the poppy covered fields of the Meseta, which made me curse while I sweated and blistered, are burned into my mind. 

It’s kind of like childbirth, I suppose, which is another topic I know nothing about. It’s painful and uncomfortable at times, but when you look back at it, none of that matters. You remember how beautiful it was and how much joy it gave you.

I suppose that’s a good thing, to miss it. It’s motivating. It helps you create goals, my newest being to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, and one day complete the triple crown of hiking. That is, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian trail and the Continental Divide Trail. 

I already have the backpack and the boots. And hell, my two missing toenails are probably never going to grow back anyways. 

The Triple Crown. A combined 7,900 glorious miles of smelly sweat and bloody feet, across 22 states. What a dream. 

Yes, I think I’ll do that. 

Come climb me! -Tatra Mountains

5 thoughts on “Camino Afterthoughts

  1. It never goes away! The Camino is something that will stay with you forever. I used to have dreams of visiting as many big cities as I could before the Camino. Now, every vacation involves hiking and being outside. I wish I had time to hike the PCT or CDT. I’m lucky to live close to the PCT and get to hike sections of it. I just finished hiking the John Muir Trail, which was an equally rewarding experience. Good luck with your post Camino journey!

    1. Thank you so much Drew! I have to admit, that a huge part of my restlessness and wanting to hike is your blog! Of all the travel blogs I follow and the new cities and destinations I see, your trails are the ones that get me going 🙂 I’m hoping to start with the John Muir trail after a few practice trails. I’ve never hiked with my own tent and serious gear, so I suppose I should first learn how!

      1. Thanks, you’re too kind! The John Muir Trail will be a great place to start. I should have a day by day guide up in the next two weeks or so. I was in a pretty similar position when I returned from the Camino. I had done a ton of day hikes, but very little overnight backpacking. It’s one of those skills you’ll pick up quickly if you have the desire to learn. The biggest thing is to practice and test all of your gear before heading out to take on 225 miles! I’ll be excited to follow and see how your journey progresses!

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