In June I hiked more than 500 km on the Camino de Santiago. Everyone I met on this way had a special reason doing this. I was especially curious about the spiritual aspect of walking over 500 km on this very special path.
I met people from all over the world from over 20 different countries. The nationality, the age or profession didn’t matter. We were all the same. We all had our problems, injuries, good and bad days. But we all kept walking, sometimes alone, sometimes chatting to others or just walking side by side enjoying the silence. And nobody walked without caring for the other one. Nobody was left alone sitting by the wayside. We shared our food, water and compeed Everyone who came by offered help. Why doesn’t this happen in the “real world”?
The problems on this Camino are very essential: Can I walk 5 or 10 km more to the next village or do I stay here? Where do I get something to eat or to drink? Where do I sleep tonight? It wasn’t always easy to do this – no walk in the park. This Camino showed me my physical limits. But whenever I had blisters, blue toe nails or swollen and sore legs, this way provided me with everything I needed to keep moving just at the right time. That was a very special experience.
What did I learn on this journey, what did this Camino with me? Of course it didn’t heal my cancer or one of my disabilities; I didn’t expect that to happen. But now I know that it pays off to fight and to keep on walking – on this Camino as in my life – despite of all injuries or illnesses. If I give up and stop, people pass me by and I miss so much. If I keep on moving, I can make these amazing experiences, meet these wonderful people and see such beautiful landscapes. That is an experience I will never forget in my whole life and that will help me to keep on fighting and enjoying every single day.
Raising money for SA-YES with walking this Camino was a perfect match, because it is about people helping each other no matter where they come from and it is about not leaving people alone when they are in need of help and support. That is what SA-YES stands for. Thank you to every donor. Every donation is so important to help SA-YES support the young people in South Africa. And thank you to Michelle and Julie who accompanied me via text messages and emails during this walk. That was a huge motivation.