After my recent Camino Portugues from Lisbon, I arrived back to “the real world” and the only place I wanted to be was back on the Camino de Santiago. I’m sure you get what I’m saying? It’s only natural if you are like me and walk the Camino once a year. I changed on the Camino – everyone was walking for the same reason, my habits changed, the food I ate changed and I certainly didn’t talk about work or politics. Everything was simple. I woke up, walked for a bit, watched the most amazing sunrise, had a second breakfast, and walked until I reached the albergue at the end of the day. It’s like someone pressed reset on my body, mind, and soul.
However, once all the walking is done and you arrive home, “the real world” can come as a shock for some pilgrims. It did for me, I won’t lie. Your family or friends find it difficult to relate to what you’ve been through over the last few weeks. Try explaining that the nicest albergue was €18 and watch them figure out what ‘albergue’ means. So, it is an idea to keep thinking that you are always on Camino. Your Camino is never-ending.
So some tips to stretch out that Camino feeling:
- Keep on walking at home
- Write / Journal / Talk about your Camino
- Keep in touch with your pilgrim family through email and social media
- Read guidebooks and books on the Camino
- Follow your Camino body-clock
- Look after yourself
- Give something back?
- Plan your next Camino
And planning my next Camino is something I have been doing. I have been looking at a few routes for next year BUT I have decided to walk later in the year. The reason for that are two-fold. Later in the year will result in fewer pilgrims and lower temperatures.
I also need to start looking after myself while on Camino. On many of my early Caminos, I loved to walk a 20-25 km day but from Lisbon, I was walking in excess of 30 km per day in 30+degree temperatures. The previous two Caminos were wake-up calls for me in a way. I have a rare form of focal epilepsy which is under control by medication while at home however heat and over-exertion can bring on episodes if I am not careful.
So, I will have two weeks. I will walk for shorter days. and I will be walking at a time when it is cooler. It can be done and I have a whole year to see what routes are suitable. It just won’t be the Camino Frances!
I typically use the below links for planning, which can be found in my Planning Links page:
Follow here for more news about my upcoming Camino!