Things I learnt about myself on the Camino

  • I don’t need tea to kick start my day!

In actual fact I didn’t drink tea throughout the Camino and I haven’t had a cup since I got back. I don’t miss it, but old habits die hard and yesterday morning I noticed I switched on the kettle without thinking

  • One cup of nice coffee a day is usually enough, preferably after I’ve walked a bit.

Here back home I have enjoyed my cuppa after the first dogwalk of the day. I haven’t needed a second cup yet …though occasionally on the Camino it was a two cup day!

  • Five minutes in the shower is a long time and more than enough!

My first night on the Camino was at Orisson. There we were given a token for the shower …and because water is precious our time was limited to 5 minutes. I learnt then that my showers are usually much quicker than that and that 5 minutes is actually a long time. I always turn off the water when I lather up etc …

  • I only need to wash my hair once a week with shampoo

On the Camino I only had a tiny ‘travel size’ shampoo with me. It lasted the whole Camino. I often rinsed my hair under the shower without shampoo. I’m not a lover of ‘products’ and my hair didn’t suffer from having no conditioner throughout the time I was away. Here in Finland I mostly wash my hair at the pool and only after swimming (rather than aquajogging) so the shampoo once a week regime can continue … though the water here is different pH so I’ll have to see how this pans out.

  • My feet do benefit from a little love and attention

When I came home from the Camino my feet (apart from the dry patches where the heel blisters had been) were in good condition. There were no callouses or rough spots. Today I noticed a few have started to develop, so a little Vaseline daily is actually good for my feet! The rest of my body doesn’t usually need anything at all.

  • I miss the sunshine

That’s not news to me or anyone who knows me, but it’s worth reflecting on. Sunshine makes me feel good, dark, grey skies do not. I suffer from SAD (seasonal depression) because of the lack of decent light and I feel the lack of warmth on my skin.

I like meeting new people

One of the wonderful things about the Camino was the ease with which anyone could strike up a conversation with another. I had some deep conversations with some pilgrims, and some fun banter with others. It was also ok to walk in step and in silence with others at times. I miss the smiles and the ‘buen camino’s!

  • I am very ok with my own company.

I don’t know how much of the Camino I walked alone. I’d estimate at least a third of the way, perhaps more. One of the discoveries was that I really like walking alone. It gives me time to think and process, and see the beauty I see with my own senses! Don’t get me wrong …I loved the starry skies and full moon of the Mesetas and the glorious sunrises even when I happened to be with others, but the sound of the day waking was always more profound when I was walking alone.

  • I am much more of an outdoor person than I realised

That’s been an interesting discovery too!

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