It’s been nearly a year since I embarked on my last Camino and I realize that I still haven’t finished updating my blog followers, specifically on the Camino part of my journey.
Life has become overly busy as it does for many of us. I’ve been focusing on a career transition that really began ten years ago when I took the Web Design and Animation program at the University of the Fraser Valley. After graduating, I did side jobs, but never fully threw myself into it. Maybe it was fear holding me back. Although my intentions were to work full-time doing what I enjoyed doing, I fell back into what I had always done which was clerical and accounting. Even though I made the Dean’s List with straight A’s in the program, something always held me back. Often, I contemplate, what and why? Maybe it was a lack of self-confidence or a fear of failure. I’m not sure. Now, though, I am pushing past that. Opportunities are arising through networking and I am taking them. Finally, I’m striding past my fears and moving forward and onward.
Maybe the Camino helped me push past the fears, or maybe it was the “traveling solo” for eight and a half months out of the last, nearly, three years following a massive purge of the stuff in my life. Or maybe all of it helped. There were so many lessons and so much growth through it all. During my solo travels, I faced fears, problem solved and got through it fairly unscathed. Sure, there were a few setbacks like getting lost in a pitch-black forest between France and Spain, carrying too much weight while walking my first Camino, developing a shin splint along the way, getting robbed in South America three times, having to play my flute in a cemetery in order to eat (very successful), having to play my flute in a small desert town on the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia for the same reason (not so successful), getting off at the wrong train stop in Nuremberg (last train of the night), dealing with a two-week stint of vertigo in Peru and many more experiences that I’ll never forget, but the rewards heavily outweighed the challenges. A career transition while living with less stuff, less to pay for and with less to worry about really isn’t that scary. I’m doing it. Plus, there is less to lose if things go sideways. If they do. But even if, I know I will come out the other side still fine.
So, here we go…Ultreïa! It’s a Latin word meaning “beyond” or to keep going; to head onward and reach “beyond”. It’s a pilgrim salute like “Buen Camino”, which means “good way” or “good walk”. I’ve learned that I can live my life that way; the same way that I can walk a Camino. I just need to keep moving onward and reaching beyond to achieve my goals. It isn’t always easy and there are challenges, but there are many rewards too.
So now you know the reason for the gaps in my posts. There may be more of them as I work hard to complete projects, but it doesn’t mean that I’ll stop blogging altogether. I just need to focus my attention elsewhere for now.
There is still much I want to write about like where I bumped into the Camino while traveling in other parts of Europe. It’s everywhere! Seriously. It was in Bavarian Germany, Austria and in any more places, I’ve heard. It exists in Prague too, although I never saw it when I was there. I’ve seen maps of the Camino, the routes spanning through Europe like tributaries to a river leading to the ocean, or to Santiago and Finisterre in this case.
Each time my eyes would rest on a Camino arrow or scallop shell symbol, a warm, fuzzy feeling would envelope me like a soft, cozy blanket.
I found the Camino in the old city centre of Nuremberg in Bavarian Germany,
…in the quaint fairy tale village of Rothenburg ob der Tauber (also in Bavarian Germany),
…in the famous “Sound of Music” city of Salzburg in Austria,
…and even in tiny Lienz nestled at the bottom of the Tirol Alps in southern Austria 45 kilometers from the Italian border.
I would always drop what I was doing and follow, for a little while at least.
To see more, check out my Camino in Europe photo album!
This weekend, I will have a little time to write, so I am going to update you with some photo albums of the remaining parts of my Camino with a little blurb about each section so you at least have an idea of where I was and what happened. Please feel free to comment or send me a message if you have questions. I will always answer back.