I am delighted to feature another post by the vivacious red-headed wanderluster from the UK, Sheree Hooker, author of Winging the World blog. She was one of 21 pilgrims interviewed about packing for the Camino by the Packing Goods website. You might remember Sheree from her guest post last month, Camino Reflections by an Awkward British Wanderluster. Read her tips below, one of which I disagree with (can you guess which one?). But this is a lesson about choice of gear—what works for some pilgrims, doesn’t necessarily work for others. When a pilgrim is planning what to pack for their first Camino, the options and advice can be overwhelming. In the end, it’s up to each pilgrim to decide what he or she will pack. Still, it’s good to take a sneak peak into the backpacks of other pilgrims!
I’m happy to feature a guest post by fellow travel blogger Sheree, who recently walked the Camino Francés with her partner Tim. The self-proclaimed “awkward British wanderluster” writes, “I don’t really know where I’m going, but that’s never stopped me before.” I can definitely relate to being awkward and having a serious case of wanderlust! It’s an interesting take on the pilgrimage, and even more evidence that the Camino provides.
When my boyfriend Tim first told me that he wanted to walk the French Way of the Camino de Santiago, I wasn’t really all that surprised. Eight years before this declaration, he had suffered a spinal cord injury during a motorcycle accident and had been told he would never walk again. Luckily, after several months he took his first steps (for the second time) and began a new chapter in his life.
When Tim asked me to partner him on his Camino journey, I instantly agreed. At the time, I knew only the bare bones of what the Camino was about but as I thought that the decision would probably never come to fruition, I thought very little about accepting the invite. After a few months, it became evident that Tim was serious about undertaking the journey.
I am really excited to share this great new Camino route map, designed by Michael Matynka, founder of the Wise Pilgrim Guides. The world needed a better Camino map, and this is it!
The map shows nearly fifty routes across Spain and Portugal, and four that enter Spain from France. Each Camino is named and color coded, and includes major cities along the route. Below is a closeup of the map’s detail. Continue reading
Happy Holidays! What’s it like to celebrate Christmas in Spain? Maria Seco, founder of Spanish for the Camino, lives on the Camino and just wrote an excellent post on her blog about traditions in Galicia. Enjoy!
Mel Soriano from Pasadena, California, is on his fifth Camino and is currently in Ponte de Lima, the place I started my Camino Portugués last year. I am recommending Mel’s blog, Let All Who Are Thirsty Come, plus a few related links below. He is on a spiritual journey and eloquently shares his experience through stories, hymns, prayers, and photographs. In his own words, he’s “Nomadic geek, Episcopalian, Pilgrim, mobile/data integrator, husband, fiscal progressive IMMIGRANT.” He is also on the board of Integrity USA, the LGBTQ group affiliated with the Episcopal Church. For Mel, the Camino pilgrimage is about healing, contemplation, gratitude, and meeting people.
Happy Friday! This morning I received an email from a couple who is walking the Camino Francés right now.
One of my intentions for 2017 is to serve as a wellness ambassador to help to create a culture of health within the workplace by promoting staff participation in UC Berkeley wellness programs, services, and events. My colleague Veronica and I were recently featured on UC Berkeley’s Be Well at Work Newsletter and you can read our interview below. Yes, the Camino does come up in one of my responses. It seems that lately more things are a ripple effect of the Camino!
Be Well at Berkeley – March 2017
Laurie and Veronica have always been advocates for fitness both at home and in the workplace, so it was no surprise when they decided to become Wellness Ambassadors for International House. Ever since Laurie started at I-House in 2005, she rallied co-workers to join lunchtime hikes on trails around campus. The camaraderie within this informal hiking club formed many friendships over the years. Last October, Laurie started teaching yoga to staff at lunchtime on Mondays. Veronica joined I-House in 2015 as a Human Resources Assistant. She is often the first person a new employee will encounter, and she makes everyone feel welcome with her positive attitude.
We recently chatted with them to learn how their advocacy for health and wellness have inspired and made a real difference in the lives of others within their department.
Have you ever seen those word clouds made up of a variety of words, some small, some large, some even larger? I had a brainstorm one night and thought it would be fun to make a Camino word cloud. I asked a question of the Camigas on Facebook (a group for women to share tips about the Camino). My question was, “What single word describes what the Camino provided for you?” The first eighty responses resulted in the heart-shaped word cloud below, in which larger words are the most used.
It’s time to take a look back on the past year of The Camino Provides. We saw this blog transition from “the calling” stage, during my Camino training and planning months January – April. Then “the Compostela” phase when I was on the Camino Portugués in May. Finally, “the beyond” phase after my return home and posting about my Camino. I am still processing my experience and have a lot more to write about. One thing is for sure, the Camino does provide, in unexpected ways. More on this later. Continue reading
For today’s Friday Favorites, I’m happy to feature the Pilgrim Story Hour with Mony Dojeiji. This is a series of video and audio podcasts dedicated to sharing stories about the Camino experience. Mony begins each episode with a story of her own based on a particular theme, then she invites online participants to join in and share theirs. She is a master storyteller and speaks authentically on a variety of Camino topics, such as rituals, animal encounters, trusting a stranger, walking alone, and courage.