Buen Camino

In early July I joined thirteen other people on a Bounce Travel adventure in Northwest Spain. In seven days, we walked the final 70 miles of the Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James). This medieval Christian pilgrimage to the Cathedral in Santiago (the legendary burial site of the apostle St. James) still attracts many thousands of modern day pilgrims each year, all of whom are seeking something.

When I left for this journey, I was seeking a physical challenge as well as much needed time for reflection away from the noise of everyday life. It turned out to be so much more for me and for each of us in the Bounce Travel group.

There is an amazing sense of community and fellowship along “The Way.” Pilgrims greet each other with the words, “Buen Camino” (Good Walk). So many different languages and walks of life, but everyone shares these words and the common goal of making it to the cathedral. Attending mass at the cathedral with all of the other people who had finished their pilgrimage the same day was a very moving experience that will stay with me always.

As this was a Bounce Travel trip, each evening we would gather and have a lesson and discussion on different topics surrounding resilience and wholehearted living. The sharing of ideas, feelings and different strategies during these times was life changing. Throughout the week I found my attitude and perspective on life’s challenges shifting. I felt positive and empowered. A couple of personal examples:

Beginning of the week: I am not happy with my body.
End of the week: Thank you God for giving me a body that was able to carry me 70 miles this week.

Beginning of the week: I have to participate in various activities regardless of the toll they take on me.
End of the week: I know myself best and I give myself permission to participate in things that “fill my cup”, regardless of what others think I should be doing.

For me, the words “Buen Camino” have become more than a greeting used during a wonderful and challenging hike across Spain. They have become my mantra. They are a reminder to follow the right path, be thankful for what I have and live a good life. I wish you all, Buen Camino!

Bounce Travel is a project of the Bounce Back Project, a local program designed to help make our community healthier & happier.

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