Way of St. James is a dream destination for many people. I was not one of them. This was never my dream. I can’t say that I have always dreamt about it, however, the desire to walk it has grown for some time and I think that I’ll walk it one day.
Inspiration to travel comes from many sources and sometimes I’m surprised how information about a place or activity get through. This is much simpler story here: two of my close friends walked the Way of St. James recently. Their stories, pictures and memories shared with me were inspiring enough to come to a decision. I’ll walk Way of St. James some day, but first let me tell you the story how the Way of St. James became my dream destination.
Last November I was having a delicious dinner with one of my friends. He has just returned from the Way of St. James and he still had these sparkling eyes while telling his story. I simply love such conversations as it gives amazing boost to my imagination. He showed me like thousand photos made on his way to Santiago with endless horizon full of gentle hills and wineries, small bridges, little churches and traditional spanish houses. I got bewitched with his story but that was not the moment I decided to walk the Way.
In January I browsed through Vimeo site and one of the first movies found was on the Way of St. James. I paste here a link so you could have a look at it. I found it profoundly inspiring.
The braking point in my thinking about the Way came later in spring. A friend of mine made an ambitious project to go to Spain and walk the Way, or better say to ride it. He made like 750km on his bike. I’m not a big fan of bicycle so there was no point to join him, however, after his return we met and he told me a fascinating story on how it was. His pictures and stories or maybe the way he was telling about it got to me and I knew this very moment I need to go there.
The Aran Islands
Yes, even my recent trip to Ireland brought some inspiration to walk the Way. I told the story in details here so no need to repeat it.
Last week I saw a movie The Way directed by Emilio Estevez, starring Martin Sheen. Now, that was a surprising confrontation of my friends’ stories and a vision of the director. I recognized some filming location from pictures and enjoyed watching it very much. If you have ever thought about walking the Way of St. James you should watch this movie first. Not spoiling the end of this movie let me just say that the leading actor of this movie goes through a profound transformation on many levels of his inner life. My expectation towards the Way would be much modest but I still believe that walking any trail on foot creates a unique opportunity to reshape the self.
The overall idea of a walk with one backpack, free from a phone and computer is rather catchy. Everything turns upside down when you hit the road. The freedom of relying on myself is one of the best thing while travelling. Meeting people from all over the world and participating in a tradition of a thousand years old makes it really special. Mostly, however, the time spent on the way gives you an opportunity to miss your everyday life. I’ve got already the shell of St. James found on a beach so I consider the first step in the preparation was made.
I think that having fascinating and inspirational people around is a blessing. The other’s people passions not only bring news about unknown places but also makes me to believe I can go there. And bring my own story about a place to share it with them later on. Can’t wait to start my journey.
The pictures published in this gallery is a courtesy of my friend who agreed to share it with you. Enjoy watching it and start planning your journey. And get some inspiring people around you. This may change your life. All photos were taken along the Camino del Norte.