Walking My Way

Walking from Killin to Crianlarich, Scotland - 2012

Last week I started attending a class at my church where some of my friends are sharing their experiences of walking the Camino de Santiago last Summer. Part of the class experience has involved watching a movie called The Way, and let me tell you...all of this is awakening my desires for traveling (but traveling in a pilgrimage sort of way)...

Though I haven't walked The Camino, the film is making me think about my trips to Iona (the short and my long, 7 month stay to volunteer) as well as my earlier solo trips to Scotland. I miss traveling like that. When you travel in a pilgrimage sort of way, it is more about the experience/people/environment and carrying what you have with you (both physical and emotionally).

I think I have been approaching my life in a pilgrimage sort of way the past couple of years. It has been interesting because I am much more mindful about my choices and always want to find meaning...but it can also be frustrating because most people DO NOT live their lives this way. It can be a challenge but having lived and traveled and met people from all over the world leaves you with a different outlook on life. I am fortunate, right now, to be living with a good friend who has had these same experiences (and walked the Camino). I hadn't realized how much I missed being within a community of people like that until I watched The Way. It is a hard thing to explain...the feeling...unless you've done it.

One of the sentences that was spoken in the movie was, "Time to get back to the Real World," which is something that I heard a lot while on Iona. In fact, when I was planning on leaving my New York life I had a lot of people use that idea against my wishes, claiming that the only reason I preferred being out there was that it was a vacation. There is a stripped down nature to living and traveling the way I did...something that I had longed for...but that doesn't make things simpler, necessarily, because when you go somewhere quiet or remote with nothing but yourself and a backpack, there is is nothing to hide behind. You really meet and get to know yourself. It is not easy (cold showers!)...but it is most definitely REAL.

Right now, I am still trying to sort out my job(s) and come out from the haze of bills I have following school and the holidays. I think I am beginning to see a little shred of light but I have a way to go yet. I am yearning to shift into a job that uses my skills to help people because that was the whole idea. Also, work that pays me what I need to reach my goals. I am releasing that intention into the world and putting some goals in place. The first goal is to walk The West Highland Way. While I would love to walk The Camino one day, I have been DYING to do The West Highland Way for YEARS. So...I am aiming for late Spring of 2016. This is not an easy goal...but it is real.


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