I knew this would happen. Even on that second very hard day on the Camino, I knew it would. I knew that despite the physical pain and the wrenching loneliness, despite the isolation and fear, despite the language barrier and being half a world away from everyone I knew and loved – a day would come when I would miss the Camino and ache to be back there.
SB asked me why I thought this was the case, and I told him that the Camino for me was an experience absolutely as far removed from every day life as I could imagine – entirely removed from things like work and classes and independent studies and bills and Moodles and houses to be sold. I miss it now like I miss old relationships – not that I actually want to be there right now, walking on untrained feet, spending money I don’t have on foods I can only barely recognize – but every so often there’s a twinge of remembrance. Unlike old relationships, however, the Camino is a thing I can have again – that I hope to have again, so that twinge of remembrance is undercut with deep longing, the same longing that drew me there to begin with.
A few months before I left, Neil told me that he thought I would go back. He walked the Camino Frances in 2005, and returned to do part of the Via de la Plata within six months. I’m not as driven by it as he is, but I will be back, and as soon as I can.