Monday, April 29, 2019

Following the yellow life as on the Camino

Sarria, Spain street marker
Finding your way on any route of the Camino is fairly simple. You follow the yellow arrows and shells toward Santiago.  Sometimes the markers are a little less clear, but by seeing them you know you are on the right path.
If only life was that simple.

There are times in life when you do feel that you are on the right path, going the right way and doing all the things you are "suppose" to be doing. Perhaps its the family and career, the house and such.   Then something happens and it catapults you on a different road. Sometimes its a slight change of direction which brings new excitement and breaths new life into your existence. 

Way marker Augsburg Germany
Then there are those times when it seems as if the rug was pulled out from under you and you have no real direction.  There are many stories I've read where it was those circumstances that brought people to the Camino. Following the yellow arrow to find their new life path, their new way.

When I went on my first Camino, it was more of the slight shift in my life. A new experience, and I felt called to walk it.  When I went with my sister, once again I felt called to take her, to help her fulfill her dream of walking the way.

Since those times my life has taken many turns.  I now face a blank sheet of paper where I could really do whatever I want to do.  All I want to do it walk the Camino.  Perhaps it is knowing that everyday you have direction to follow. Yellow arrows helping you along the way.  Perhaps I need to look at life goals as yellow arrow, 
helping to keep me on my way.  Perhaps the camino is that safe place to go to
find oneself. 

Camino 2016
They say what you focus on is what you get in life. From today on I will be focusing on the positive in my life and doing my best to look forward.  Taking the lessons of the Camino and applying them to my everyday life. 

Lesson 1: keep moving forward.....learn from the past but keep your eye on the future.   On the Camino most peoples goal or focus is on getting to Santiago. There are others goals depending on their time on the Camino, but the focus is to that goal.  Once we climb the Pyrenees we don't agonize over how hard or difficult it was. We rejoice that we accomplished that bit. We learn from mistakes made perhaps on socks or not drinking enough water etc. But we do not let what happened that day deter us from continuing on to our next town, our next goal.....Santiago.

So in life I need to be grateful for the lessons I've learned along the way, and to find my new route and remain focus on that next adventure, while enjoying where I am at. 

My focus will be returning to the Camino,  my travel business and how I can combine my love of both travel and the camino, and being financially independent.

Buen Camino!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

A lapse of time....yet again.

It is hard to believe it was a year ago when I last wrote here.  For my readers, my apologies.  I was all ready to write and relay my story and then I wanted to get the ok from my sister to use her name.  Then I did not hear back and as so often in life, other things seemed to take priority. 

The year has been filled with a lot of ups and down. In June my daughter Audrey, her children and I moved from South Carolina to Texas, where my other daughter Jessie and her family are.  So as with any move we had the job of going through our things and downsizing.  The task reminded me a lot of packing for a Camino. What do we need, what can we live without.  With those items we could live with out we sold to help pay for the move.

Once moved we had the task of finding work and settling in.  Also in June shortly after we moved my sister Donna, the one I did the Camino with, yes I used her name, was hospitalized with diabetic complications. I rushed to Denver to be with her family during that time.  Thankfully she has recovered, but its been a long road.

Back in Texas I got a job and settled into that routing. My health seemed to take a turn for the worst. My leg seem to not want to work, making it hard to move and stand let alone walk. Then I realized resting them was no good either. With the not walking like I used to, my 3 miles a day, and not moving I put on weight.  So now with extra weight makes it harder to move, leading to depression, leading to....well you get the picture. Such a viscous circle.

I started to think of what I want to do with my life, where I want to go. With that came a look at a project I was working on last year, a Camino Journal, more on this later.  With my daughters help we began  to put the finishing touches on the journal. That sparked the fire in me once again to want to go back.   Funny thing the more positive I thought about the journal and a possible trip back, my body has been feeling better. It helps with the warmer weather as well. I am not able to move more with less pain.  All of this helps my spirit and brings my focus back to here.

I see now that when I lost my focus and my way.....things went downhill.  So now with the renewed hope the Easter season brings, I have renewed hope and faith for my continuing Camino journey.

More to come......soon this time.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Sarria to Portomarin

After our flight landed in Santiago we took the bus from the airport to the bus station.  With it being sunday the bus station was very quiet. Actually it was nearly deserted.  We were able to get ticket to go to Sarria. The bus however did not leave for a few hours, so we passed our time in the little cafe having our first meal in Spain.

Tortilla Sandwhich

Finally it was time to take the bus to Sarria. The ride itself was good.  As I gazed out the window I realized that we were driving across roughly the same path we would be walking over the 6 days.   Every now and then we would see a pilgrim along the road, not many though. Probably due to the fact it was after 3 in the afternoon and most pilgrims would have most likely been done with their walk for the day. 

We arrived in Sarria roughly 2 hours later.  We got off the bus and then using my gps on my phone we headed to find our room for the night.   On this trip I had decided we would be staying in private rooms, either in small hotels or alburges when private rooms were available.   With having our own room I was hoping it would help us get the rest our bodies would need.  That and it meant we didn't need to pack sleeping bag or liners or towels.  We found our room and took our things to our room, then headed out to find dinner and a walk around the town.  The evening was warm and it was nice to explore the area. We then went to the room to prepare for the start of our walk. 

First stamp in our pilgrim passport! 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Spring 2017 Camino

Looking back at my blog I realized that I didn’t write about my trip to Spain in 2017,  which was the last 100 km from Sarria to Santiago.  It was a wonderful time and I learned a lot during that trip. 

Pilgrim Shell at Tour Saint-Jaques
 A few years back, after I had heard about the Camino, my sister Donna visited me and we got to talking about the Camino and how we wanted one day to walk it.  She had plans to walk with her daughter and I was going to walk with my friend. 

In the fall of 2016 I had a dream and woke with the feeling...a certainty, that God was telling me I needed to help Donna see her Camino dream come true.  Since there were already plans for her and another of our sister's to come to Europe to visit, adding a trip to Spain seemed easy enough.  So I went about putting the plan into action.  After some effort and a change in flights, we decided that we would walk the last 100 km during Holy Week, walking into Santiago on Easter Day 2017.   

Before we headed on our Camino adventure, we first had a wonderful vacation with our sister Audrey, in which we traveled to Paris, France.  While in Paris we took the time and searched out the Tower of Saint James, Tour Saint-Jacques, an historical meeting place for pilgrims in the French capital.  It was here at the Tower that many pilgrims through out the ages began their pilgrimage.

Tour Saint-Jacque
After our wonderful time in France, we headed back to Germany to spend time with family and pack for our camino. Then we were off to Munich for our early morning flight to Santiago. We were excited that our trip was finally here, and yes, were also apprehensive as to what adventures awaited us.  This was Donna's first trip to Spain, and that did add to the apprehension as well.  

Cookie on plane tray
Our plan was to fly to Santiago and then take the bus to Sarria and begin our walk from there. We were able to get a direct flight from Munich.  When we boarded the flight we were given a German style cookie, which was quite large.  We did our best to translate what was on the cookie and then the flight attendant let us know that this was the first non-stop flight on Lufthansa from Munich to Santiago!  We saw this as the first of many surprises on our journey! It was a wonderful souvenir, especially with the date on it, but with one draw back. The cookie was very heavy! We also were concerned how we would keep it nice.  These cookies are more to look at than to eat,  so we did our best to pack it away. 

We were now officially on our way to making our Camino Dream a reality......

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Time to get writing again....

Its been a long time since I wrote and I feel bad about that.  There were so many times I wanted to catch up on what was going on with my walk...and me...but then I felt ashamed in some ways due to the fact I did not get to Spain at all last October like I planned.  However, the other part of me knew I really had nothing to be ashamed of and I should have written. Then, as time went on, the harder it was to write.  Tonight I sit here and force myself to take that first step once again.  So here it goes a short note to catch up on some things.

In October I was all set to go back to Spain and walk part of the Camino Frances route. My daughter, Jessie, and I were going to meet up in Bilbao and head down to Estella and do some walking together.  However, over the summer Jessie started to have some health issues and concerns and as the day got closer to the walk, She became more ill and was unable to walk.  Jess asked me to come see her first in Germany before I went to Spain and go with her to some doctors appointments.  I agreed. After all, no matter how old your children get there are times when they reach out and say they need your support and you want to be there for them.  So instead of Spain, I went to Germany in October.

We experienced a lot of ups and downs during my trip to Europe, however, we did not make it to Spain.  Amidst several doctors appointments, we were also busy packing up a house for moving. Fortunately, we were able to fit some travels in, where we did find a lot of other bits of "The way of St James". I will be writing about those bit here next.

It is time now to refocus on some things and get my life in order and back to walking the Camino....

Thursday, September 14, 2017

3 weeks to go.......

I woke this morning and realized that in 3 weeks time I will be in Spain. The last week has been filled with other things and tasks not related to the Camino. We were blessed/lucky that hurricane Irma change course and stayed away from us. However there was a lot of preparation for the storm and possible evacuation. In the course of that preparation some of my camino items were used to the "emergency kit". Funny how those items can be used many ways. So now that the storm has passed I can put back my camino kit and get back to preparing for the way.

I really do need to have better focus and not let the time slip away with entertaining doubts and uncertainties.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Count down to Fall Camino

Just a quick post to say that as the week starts, so must my preparation for the camino must start. I have been putting things off lately. Well.....I could say other things just took priority, but no this has to be moved to a priority.

Today I did finish a packing list for my daughter Jessie. Jess will be joining me for the first bit of this adventure for a few days.  So that is one packing list down and one to go. I will be revamping my packing list and seeing what I can do without or have to add to.  Once I get that I will post it here. I am aiming to get that down the end of this week.

Started to get more serious on my stretching and strength training as well. More to follow on this as well.

Really I just wanted to let you all know that I am still around and look forward to writing more.

Thank you for reading my ramblings. I appreciate and it helps to keep me going!

Buen Camino!