What I have learned on the way of St. James

Walking for two weeks from Porto to Santiago de Compostella

For two weeks I walked the way of St. James (Camino) from Porto to Santiago de Compostela. I’d like to share my thoughts as this walk has taught me some good lessons. For me it has shown a lot of parallels to the walk of life. On this path and also in life you have ups and downs. Sometimes you feel strong and fit and on the next day exhausted and miserable. You walk in the sun, but also sometimes in the rain. Today you have headwind and tomorrow tailwind. Sometimes you walk alone and sometimes together with others. One time you need help and another time you need to give support to others. In one moment, you know exactly your position and in another one you are lost. Sometimes you know the way and sometimes you have no clue where to head to. The thing is, that you have to accept all of that – during the walk and during life. It is part of the journey. You can’t or you shouldn’t hide yourself. You have to face these challenges and you have to manage them. For that you need to take care of yourself (health and well-being), of others and of your equipment.

I think the most important thing on this pilgrim path and in life is that you take action. Nobody else will do it for you. For every chapter of the journey you have to get up, get your stuff together and you just have to start to walk. There might are obstacles on the way and you may need to walk some detours. And sometimes you might even fall, then you need to stand up again and go further. Keep the faith! If you have defined your target, have the right tools and equipment and -where needed- the right companions with you, you will find the right way, you will find your way and you will reach what you have been looking for – either in private or in business life.

But I have also realised that it is important to enjoy the walk itself. It is good to reach targets and milestones. But the way itself is also very relevant – independent if it is a two weeks walk or a whole life. Take your time, find your own speed, look left and right, take some detours, use also the small unknown trails, make pauses, take time to reflect, make good connections with others and be aware of yourself, the environment and the moment itself. What I have for sure learned on this Camino is that the best moments come by surprise and unexpected. Then it is important to see them and to catch them.

I wish you all the best for your journey.