Day 53 – we started our 789.1 km (~ 500 mile) journey in St Jean Pied De Port, France on June 7th. Little did I know what was in store for me.
To me this was a physical athletic challenge; for Morgan this was a spiritual quest for her 60th birthday. Something has changed. I am am not quite sure how to describe it.
On a long trek like this, you start to notice the little things; the ants crossing the path; the colors of flowers, the shapes of clouds. You also become very aware of each aspect of the weather; the way the wind is blowing, position of the sun, is it cloudy, sunny, is it going to rain….? I used to notice these things when I was a little kid and have not thought about this in a very long time. Somehow this walk changes your perspective; its a reminder that little things are important, it slows you down and makes you take note of the world around you. There was a lot out there I was missing.
Remember, I come from being a type A, analytical business consultant who serves in interim CFO, COO and other corporate roles. The way I am thinking now has taken me so far out of my box; I can’t even find my box. But I believe this change is for the better…I hope.
My Take Away’s from this journey.
Live in the now – I have always lived only for tomorrow, if only when, then I will be OK, then life will be good. On this journey, at first, I would measure the time in hours until we reached our destination each day. “Morgan, it has been “five hours, 2 more to go.” After I finally “got it” and stopped and realized the beauty of this trek and started just enjoying the journey, the paradigm shifted. This was now a great adventure! The walks no longer seemed soooo long.
Spiritual – didn’t see this one coming. Yea something got me. There is something out there, not quite sure exactly what this means. I guess this will play out over time.
Live more with less – after living 38 days out of a backpack which held all our possessions, it seems that living with less can bring even more focus on what is important….”its life, this is our only chance to live on this planet, I better make the best of it”. When we came home, we cleaned about 1/2 of everything out of our closet, for starters. For some reason this felt really good.
Family and friends are what is important – dedicating a day to each person who is important, and thinking about the gifts these people bring, is a huge reminder of their importance in my life. Anyone can do this, no matter where they are. Try it….it may surprise you.
Health and Physical conditioning – this trail was really tough and challenging, but it really kicked us into shape. We are only given this one body. This was a reminder that we better take good care of the body we were given. There are no trade ins.
Spain – for some reason, I never really thought a lot about Spain but it is a beautiful country with incredibly friendly people.
People – This was one of the greatest joys of this journey. Breaking bread with people from all over the world reminded me, we all have more in common than we have differences. If we start asking and listening and taking the time to get to know each other, about their family, their lives and their loves, we find out just how connected we really are. Everyone has a story.
I plan to continue to blog about people because, everyone and I mean everyone, has a story.
For us, this trek was an epic life changing adventure. During this journey, everyone’s comments and words of encouragement really made a huge difference and we thank you.
4,141 miles back from Santiago