I met a man on a plane on the way to Spain. He was en route to walk the Camino de Santiago as well. Me, I was joining a group. Him, he was walking alone to turn off his mind. There are many that walk alone to be one with nature, to enjoy their own company or for whatever reason. It’s safe. Beside, we can learn so much from having quiet time.
When I booked the trip, I was willing to room with anyone in order to pay less. There were a few of us that travel on our own but they prefer to have their own room. The travel agent has no choice but to offer me a room just for me with no added cost. Lucky me.
Walking the Camino covers at least 700 miles. That is a lot of mileage and I prefer to focus on one step at a time only. The next thing I know I made it to the finish line.
Most of the time, I was at the end of the line walking on my own. One pointer I learnt from walking or hiking is that I make sure I can see the person in front of me then I will be fine. At one time, I lose sight of the person because I was too busy absorbing the little things. For example: an ant, a mushroom or a single rosehip. The singular beauty of each one of these stands out. If there are more together, it’s pretty hard to see the uniqueness of the subjects.
Sometimes, my only companion is my shadow. Actually, I’d rather be walking alone rather filling the void with useless talk that takes me away from experiencing the moment. In a group, the common conversation is the places that they have visited, how they are looking forward to their next trip, how exquisite the food was, and so on. Look, there’s a fly by, I cried out to break the conversation. A group of starlings dancing in the horizon flew by but they missed it for they were too busy talking.
Should I have lagged behind, one of the guides is waiting for me giving me the hand signal: the hand pointing down on the head asking me if I am alright. And I give him the same signal that I am safe and sound.
Travelers leave some of their thoughts behind written in stones. This one is so true.