The 66 things I learnt from walking the Camino Frances

This is how I would summarise my experience on the Camino Frances.

It would be untrue if I told you that I gained all of these insights on the Camino alone. I have to thank a lot of great teachers – near and far. However, many of these insights were confirmed on this journey. Whether you need to walk the Camino to get some valuable insights into your life or not, I do not know. I am sure you can get these insights in other places as well. However, the environment that the Camino provides and just a long walk in general can be certainly conducive and after all – it is also a lot of fun 🙂

  1. Pack wisely. Less is more
  2. If you can, invest in high quality products – this will save you some trouble
  3. If you cannot: that is OK – you will survive –> check point 4
  4. Time is the solution to many of your challenges. The more time you have for yourclock-3179167_960_720 Camino, the better
  5. If you seek solitude you might want to consider walking another route
  6. Take good earplugs. They can save lives
  7. Sometimes you need a good exit strategy
  8. ‘Magic’ will happen when you pause and let it happen (without waiting for it to happen)
  9. When you face your fears you might find out that reality is often less scary than your imagination has pictured it
  10. By separating yourself a little from what is happening around you, life might offer a different perspective to you
  11. feedback-2990424_960_720If you like to be around other people and socialise the Camino Frances might be a good option
  12. Being part of a community is nice- as long as you can choose whether you want to be part of it
  13. Your body remembers what you did to it – and will take a long walk as an opportunity to remind you
  14. Even though it feels you are kind of alone on this planet, you are a part of it
  15. Most people will try to support you, if you are in need and ask for help (if it is a short-term commitment)
  16. Beware of the upper bunk bed – bed-1298903_960_720accidents do occur and sometimes you are moving in line with the person on the lower bunk, however
  17. if the bed collapses you will probably be better off on the upper bunk
  18. Nothing is just good or bad
  19. Overcome your fear of ‘performing surgery on yourself’. If you can, avoid doing a messy job, in order to avoid infections. If you cannot: practise 😉
  20. Most (if not all) worst-case scenarios (best-case scenarios – ALL scenarios?) your mind creates are not real
  21. walking on concrete = pain
  22. Not much materialistic stuff is needed to keep a person satisfied
  23. Being unwilling to accept change will cause (unnecessary?) suffering. (it is however necessary: life will keep on kicking you in the bottom until you do accept what you need to accept)
  24. When you accept change life can flow and new opportunities can arise
  25. A glass of good wine can bring happinessred-wine-2443699_960_720
  26. A sorrow shared is a sorrow halved
  27. Worrying doesn’t solve problems
  28. The more time you spend alone the more time you have to worry (if you are not a meditation master), however:
  29. If you never spend anytime alone you will never be in touch with yourself and understand the concept you call “I”
  30. A solution to a challenge you are facing is more likely to present itself if you stop worrying and do something else instead
  31. In moments of complete awareness if feels like you become one with everything around you
  32. You can finally eat as much as you like and still lose weight
  33. Age is (to a certain degree) just a number. Don’t let this number limit you
  34. woman-3199429_960_720Dance when you feel like dancing
  35. What you resist persists
  36. Depending on circumstances getting up at 6am can be wonderful
  37. If you want to experience a more homely feeling, try out the smaller places (villages, albergues)
  38. Even people who seem to live the life you want to live face challenges
  39. April can be hot in Spain.
  40. April can also be cold in Spain.
  41. If you get lost, enjoy the view, stay calm, be patient. Freaking out does not really improve a situation
  42. We are all in the same boat – we just hold different positions, at different times
  43. Sometimes letting go of plan A and try out plan B or C or M can lead to wonderful outcomes
  44. Stay flexible in your approach figure-1707104_960_720
  45. Without experiencing pain or suffering would we know joy or pleasure?
  46. Comparing yourself to others is nonsense. It is impossible to know the whole picture anyway
  47. Walk on your own if you want to consciously observe what is happening around you, walk your own pace, process information and experience being a part of everything around you
  48. Walk with others if you want to exchange information, hear different perspectives, bond, support/be supported for a little while or just share an experience (like drinking a bottle of wine 🙂 )
  49. Both experiences can be valuable – depending on what you want and need in that moment
  50. Don’t force a swollen foot into a compression sock and then walk for 20km
  51. Just because you think it cannot be done or others tell you it cannot be done – does not mean it cannot be done
  52. Always question things – choice-3183317_960_720including your own concepts
  53. If you want to look good you might have to pay a price for that
  54. Be less critical – focus more on the positive – and pay compliments – if that’s how you feel.
  55. Be critical, if it is needed – can you still be kind? Question your motivation
  56. Every action has its consequences – sometimes the consequences come unexpected
  57. Celebrate your victories – celebrate the victories of others. Celebrate together.ball-1786430_960_720
  58. The reason that makes you happy in one moment can be the very same that makes you extremely unhappy in the next moment
  59. Dont underestimate a long walk – then again don’t worry too much about it either
  60. Your perception will create your reality
  61. Listen to your body
  62. Ask for support, if you are in need.
  63. Give support if others are in need
  64. We bond with people with whom we believe we have something in common that is of importance to us
  65. Sometimes unhealthy food is healthier than healthy food
  66. Maybe there is always an exception to the rule

This list is obviously very subjective and limited to my own experience. It is certainly not a comprehensive list – because depending on my own experience and my perspective on life my views are always subject to change.  However, it is more or less true for how I saw  the world and my Camino that moment when I created this list.

That all being said there remains only one more thing to be said:

Buen Camino to all of you 🙂

– no matter whether you walk an actual trek or whether you just walk on your life’s path.

“When someone seeks,” said Siddhartha, “then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.”
― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha




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