On Saturday, I head to St. Jean Pied de Port to kick off the Camino de Compostella pilgrimage. The total journey is approximately 780km and I intend to complete the walk in 40 days.
It has been just under two years since I finished the travels across Africa and across parts of Africa. That journey and my time in London have given me a deeper perspective of the kind of life I want to build and the kind of explorations I want to pursue (The Philosophy of Travel)
For now, it is suffice to state that Camino is the first step (of the kick start) to a whole new way of living and exploring.
As part of the Camino, I am raising funds for Planeterra, a non profit I support.
It is important for me to contribute, to be grateful to and to be part of more communities across the world and I couldn’t think of a better way to kick start this critical life value: Giving back and sharing my privelege is now a core pillar of my life unlike previously when it wasn’t as important.
In addition, I am aiming to be digital free for the first month through September. This is a new challenge and I am grateful to friends and family for their support and understanding as I disconnect while still trying to raise funds.
Disconnecting, even if it is for a short period, is worth considering. We live in a hyper connected world, constantly distracted by gadgets, apps, social media, Netflix and much more including our thoughts, fears and anxieties. We have forgotten to connect with nature, with ourselves and with our souls. In addition, on a personal level, I have struggled with both my physical and my mental health. Physically I am much better. However, I have to work harder on my mental health.
The Camino helps me do both: The walk is physically challenging and the digital disconnection helps me adopt additional mental management techniques such as journalling, mindfulness, deep breathing etc. Today, health management is also a core pillar of my life.
The Camino is, therefore, a small step onto the future. The long walk is the life ahead and the hard work needed to sustain it. As I continue to explore the world (with the aim to be as nomadic as possible), I hope to share more of my privelege, to work harder on my health, to learn more, to unlearn more and to live a much richer and meaningful life.
I envision my future to be closely connected to nature and communities, to be able to have meaningful relationships with myself and with others, to be able to dive deeper into cultures, art, history, politics, sciences etc, and to be able to teach and educate myself and others. Materialism, Consumerism, Status, Titles don’t matter as much as these did previously.
The Camino is, therefore, an important first step. The long walk is ahead. But the first step matters more today. And it starts tomorrow when I board the Eurostar to Paris and then make my way to St. Jean.