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-   -   The Camino Journey: An Update! (http://www.shirleymaclaine.com/encounter/showthread.php?t=214023)

Samcrawford 12-05-2012 01:58 PM

The Camino Journey: An Update!
Well, it's been a long time since I last posted and boy has so much changed. I wanted to give an update because so many people contacted me from the Encounter Board to wish me well on my journey. I left for Biarittz on October 4th and made my way down to St Jean Pied de Port fully expecting to make it to Compostela in four weeks. The first two days were the hardest and yet the most inspiring. The Pyrenees were absolutely magical but ridiculously steep and to make my way over them was a personal triumph. My journey continued for 10 days until something very unexpected happened.

As those who have read Shirley's book on the Camino will know, meeting new people is part of the parcel of the journey and on the third day I met a very handsome American guy. We instantly clicked and though he wasn't gay, there was a real friendship between us that seemed to just spark the moment we met. I'd posted on the forum before I left that unrequited love was a big part of my leaving. On the journey, I realised that I fell in love so quickly and so deeply because I was a total wreck. I wanted someone else to make me feel whole, to give me confidence and make my life better for me. You guessed it, I fell for the American. When he decided to leave the trail on day 10, I followed him. Together, we travelled through France, Belgium and the Netherlands until finally he realised my feelings for him. He disappeared and suddenly I was there, alone.

And that's when it hit me. It didn't matter whether I was in Spain or Holland or London - unless I knew myself and came to love myself, to understand my own thoughts, feelings, spirituality, emotions, reactions - I'd always be following and I'd always be left alone. Instead of going home, I carried on travelling and in a way, I suppose I plotted my own Camino. Into Germany, onto Denmark and then to Sweden before returning home a month ago. Since that time, life is so different I hardly recognise it. I've lost 2 and a half stone (putting me back into a 30" waist and giving me enormous confidence!), I'm taking care of my body because I care about myself, emotionally I am secure and my friendship with my unrequited love may not be requited but the pain and hurt of it all has gone and I'm happy with our friendship because "just being friends" doesn't mean "not being family". I have a new job which I love and finally I know who I am.

So there we are, a very brief summary! I don't post this to say how great things are, really I just wanted to say three things: 1) Thankyou to all those on the board who supported me on my journey before I left (and those who thought of me during!). It's not the Camino I expected but it's one I will never forget. 2) To anyone thinking of doing the Camino - do it! You'll never regret it.

And 3) To Shirley who started the journey for me. You have no idea how indebted I am to you. I used your guided meditations every day on my travels and on my last night in Stockholm, I wrote a small note in my copy of your book on the Camino and took it to a local library. I really hope that it inspires other people to make their own Camino. I'm thrilled to be back, happy to be living life and can't wait to get stuck back into the forums!

Cher O 12-06-2012 08:42 PM

Hi, Sam.
What a joyful post. Sounds like you had yourself quite a journey. I'm sorry about the unrequited love, I know how that can hurt, but you shine, guy. You made the most of the situation and learned some things that some of us never learn. Good on you for taking better care of yourself. Sounds like you have life by both hands. Thanks for posting this. I'll never get as close to el Camino as you did. This was a wonderful adventure. Love, C.

sisterlura 12-07-2012 06:54 AM

Welcome back, samcrawford! I thought of you often - and prayed for you on your journey. It sounds like it was exactly what it needed to be for you. It's wonderful that you were open to, and surrendered to all the possibilities that presented themselves, even the difficult ones.

Also, I loved how you thanked Shirley for starting this ball rolling, and wrote a note inviting others to get on board for the trip of transformation. Bravo!!

Lura :)

patswife 12-07-2012 04:09 PM

I often wondered how you were doing while you were gone, Sam. It seems like your journey took an unexpected turn, but it must have been the right thing for you, else it wouldn't have happened that way. Everything is a learning experience, after all. I'm happy to hear that things are going so well for you. Glad you're are back with us.

ShelleyD 12-08-2012 03:00 PM

What a great journey and learning experience and thank you for sharing.

Loved you realization here..."unless I knew myself and came to love myself, to understand my own thoughts, feelings, spirituality, emotions, reactions - I'd always be following and I'd always be left alone."

And I especially loved your writing a note in your copy of The Camino and taking it to the library....how touching~

Thanks again for sharing and welcome back!

Basia 01-03-2013 06:42 PM

Thanks for posting and sharing your 'Camino 'journey.

You made a great self realisations and I aplaud you for truth and honesty.

Hope this year you will have all the frendships relations that you deserve and that will just compleate your life. Happy New Year.

Samcrawford 01-05-2013 07:04 AM

Thankyou all so much for your very kind words, I really appreciate them! I used to dread the turn of a new year but this time it really was a case of leaving behind the negative and only going forward with the positivity I now have. Maybe that's what the Mayans really meant? I think so ;)

renaissance 02-11-2013 01:30 PM

Wow Sam! What great courage you have within! Thanx so much fo sharing your personal adventure and insights of the Camino both,physically and of the spirit,very inspiring indeed. May you have many more wondrous journeys and as others have mentioned here,how nice of you to leave a milestone for others at the library. ,be well,Renny

Yogi Berra once said"If you come to a fork in the road,take it!" :)

Samcrawford 02-27-2013 04:03 PM

Thanks Renny! Those are really lovely words, I appreciate them :)

renaissance 03-08-2013 08:58 AM

You're most welcome Sam..keep us posted if you go on any more cool adventures of the spirit will you? I guess we could say our entire planet is on a Camino adventure of sorts these days...so many changes occurring around the globe so quickly! Paradigm shift of conscience here we come!! :) ,cheers,renny

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