Posts tagged travel
10 Ways to Battle Post-Camino Blues/Depression

Two years ago, after weeks of walking over 500 miles across the north of Spain, I wearily stepped foot into Santiago de Compostela, the celebrated finish line of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. The Camino provided me with a life-changing journey and I gained unforgettable realizations and confidence from the experience. And for the longest time after I returned home, all I could think about was being back on the Camino; the same Camino I cursed day after day for the physical and emotional struggles it caused. Despite these hardships, the peace and serenity I found throughout the long walk, along with the freedom and liberation from the stresses of my daily life couldn’t be matched in the ‘real world.’ Before I knew it, the elation I felt while on The Way (another term for the Camino), turned into a post-Camino depression.

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I would walk 500 Miles: An Anecdotal Transition back to the 'Real World' after Completing the Camino de Santiago de Compostela Pilgrimage in Spain

The Camino seems like a far-away dream at this point. A dream that I wish I hadn't woken up from. To think that just two years ago, I was a pilgrim; walking an average of 10 miles a day from pueblo-to-pueblo or city-to-city.  It’s been a little while since I stepped foot in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, the celebrated finish line of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (Camino Frances route) Pilgrimage. I vividly remember that moment and everything I had worked for up until then… the blood (literally… the unearthly blisters!), the sweat and tears that went into walking those 500 miles (800 km) from St. Jean-Pied-Du-Port (eastern side of the Pyrenees mountain range), France to the Galician city of Santiago de Compostela (northwestern Spain). All worth it, along with a picture in front of the famous cathedral and a Compostela (certificate) to document this feat I completed.

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Day 35+: Santiago de Compostela, Spain- Porto, Portugual- Lisbon, Portugal

We woke up in our room fit for royalty, in the parador, and were so happy we didn't have to walk anywhere other than to the bus station today. We took our time getting to breakfast, and HOLY MOLY, it was a buffet also fit for royalty. AND THEY HAD GLUTEN FREE EVERYTHING. On top of this, we ran into Lane from TX. We all seemed to be walking on cloud nine. We caught up with him and took some photos in front of the Cathedral together before parting ways. Guys, if you can afford it, try to stay int his parador once you make it to Santiago. It's worth every penny. 

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Day 19: Sahugun to Leon aka “Sin dolor, no hay Camino”

At 6:30 AM we were awoken by the sound of loud church bells. I suppose it was time to rise for the The Last Breakfast... Ha! After packing up our belongings, we headed to the comedor, where we found Bridgette. She told us how the head nun yelled at her this morning for apparently leaving her bathroom light on all night, and thus wasting energy. “I don’t know how she knew I had left it on? I need it for when I use the restroom at night and can’t see.” We exchanged our own nun-run ins. I informed the nun I was allergic to gluten yesterday, so I had a banana and yogurt awaiting my arrival, while the others had plastic wrapped pastries. We paid €3 each for this feast, since we’re all told that nothing else would be open at this time (7:15 AM). Have I mentioned that sunrise isn’t until 8:30 AM here? So it's pretty dark when we begin walking.

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Day Eight: Logroño to Azofra aka The Camino Provides

Logroño was quite rainy this morning, but doable. I got to mail out my postcards (€1 to the USA), which was easier than I thought it would be. In Argentina, they ask you a million questions before they put a stamp on something you'd like to send out. Prior to leaving, we had coffee and a snack (€5) at a cute café we spotted yesterday. It´s a wine bar, with an adorable bathroom (see photo).

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Day Seven: Los Arcos to Logroño aka Fat Camp

We woke up in our regrettable hotel, where the wi-fi finally began to work late at night, causing us both technological insomnia. We had breakfast at a local restaurant which wasn’t great, and truly once again probably should’ve just stayed in a local albergue, as it would’ve been cheaper, and the sleep would’ve been just the same. My knee is still killing me, unfortunately… as is my mom’s ankle. So, we are taking things really slow. 

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Getting to the Camino Starting Line (Toronto, London, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port)

Toronto, Canada

We took a quick two-day detour in Toronto, Canada for my cousin's wedding, where I was able to take inventory of my backpack's contents for the next six weeks. Oh yeah, my cousin’s wedding was big/fat/Greek/simply awesome. I have the best family. 

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Intro to Camino de Santiago Journal

Your future female Anthony Bourdain, except traveling solo on a budget... And not a chef. This was my blog's original tagline, until my mom decided to join me for the entire length of the pilgrimage. I wrote in my journal and posted blog entries onto Tumblr everyday for my family and friends to follow along, despite any lethargy or physical pain for the kms of walking.

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