(A Camino path indicator letting pilgrims know how to follow the path to Santiago de Compostella.) One of the things I’ve wanted to do since seeing the movie “The Way” is the Camino de Santiago – a walk to the Santiago de Compostella church. I learned, in Portugal, that what I thought was the only way to do the walk (starting in Southern France, walking across Northern Spain) was, in fact, merely one of many, many possible paths to walk to get there.

Seen in Burgos, Spain – letting pilgrims know how much more walking they need to do to get to Santiago de Compostella.

I started researching best ways to do the walk. Unfortunately, my luggage is too heavy to walk with it, but I found various services that will transport your luggage as you walk (ugh, lame, though). Then I read that one must be prepared for the walk. There are important weather and walking conditions I hadn’t considered. More importantly, I didn’t realize that each day you walk roughly 25 kilometers (roughly 16 miles). Unfortunately, my plantar fascitis has been quite bad my entire trip so I realized I can’t do the trip this time round. I met many travelers on the walk in various cities who told me it’s definitely not something one should do with an injury.

I’ve been really disappointed about not being able to do the walk. I know there will be other times in life I can do it, but darnit, I’m here already! Then I had an exchange with a Spanish friend and he wished me that I “find the right road (camino).”

Signs for the Camino pilgrim to know if they are on the right path.

I suddenly realized that I’m already doing a Camino walk – my path is simply different than the planned ones. I went to Santiago de Compostella, but in fact, my Camino is much deeper and wider than one direction, and one destination. With this new understanding, I realize I haven’t missed anything at all because I’ve started the journey, and I’m doing it my own way. Ironically, my journey has no specific directions whereas the Camino walk requires you to follow a specific path. Perhaps, in the end, that was the sign intended for me all along.

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