It is now 5 months since we stood on the square in front of Santiago De Compostella. After 800km across Spain, and new acquaintances across countries, it has become everyday life again.
For Mads, it means back to retail and the next step up the career ladder.
You forget how easy it is to live in a backpack and how you appreciated even a semi-poor mattress in a hostel after 30km of walking. I wonder what James and Grant are up to, our two Australian friends. I wonder if they're getting on with their house building?
Equipment like trekking poles and camel bags have gone up in the attic for a while, but the clothing is still in the closet, and is used extensively in everyday life. NOW that was nice to wear!
It's with a smile on my face every time I scroll back through the camera roll or log onto our shared Instagram profile from the trip. The memories come back quickly and you remember both the breakfasts and the route and the final destination of the day. What a wild experience it was!
It’s hard to say if you'll use your experience from the Camino in your everyday life. But one step at a time, and the belief that you will finish every day, is a mindset that can be trained in many ways, and a mindset you use in many ways in your daily life. A healthy exercise for body and soul that we would not be without.
For Mikal, getting back home again meant that he started a new job straight away, a few days later. Time has flown and the new job has demanded all his time, focus and presence.
Coffee breaks have been frequently filled, with thoughts like "if only I could get on a plane and go again....." followed by a deep breath, and memories of the simple life on the Camino. Where you just were “alone", with yourself and your thoughts, feet and body, and could really enjoy the little things.
These thoughts often turned into dreams of another walk. Mikal likes to say that he could go again right away. Especially now, knowing what to expect. Maybe it will be another Camino, another route, in a few years. For example, the Camino Porto, the somewhat shorter trip, from Porto in Portugal and then north to Santiago - a trip of about 10 days.
"When I - in my head - pack my backpack for the next trip, it is with a different enthusiasm and focus, and now also with a different insight and experience in terms of needs. So I revel in the thought of "how little" I need to bring, how simple I can make it. With the right clothes and the right gear, you really don't need much. Other than to get going."
The Camino will forever be a memory of ultimate freedom, simple living, and peace of mind and body. Time stands still on the Camino. If you allow it. The Camino has been the ultimate break from everyday life - the ultimate break from the rush of everyday life. And also a reminder that you can do much more than you think.
The next walking adventure hasn't taken shape yet, but it undoubtedly will. In Denmark. Spain. Scotland. Iceland. Or even further afield. One thing is for sure - it will be with LOOW on our body and with LOOW in our backpack!
Mads & Mikal