In the Spring of 2003, I was at somewhat of a crossroads of my life, considering starting a PhD in something that I wasn't sure of, and generally looking for a change. I decided the solution, at least for the short term, was to take a few weeks off of work and do the Camino de Santiago. You know, reflect on life, experience communitas first hand, that kind of thing.
They say that the Camino changes people. I had always assumed that this referred to interior change, different priorities, greater maturity or patience or understanding, subtle yet transformative things. What I didn't realize was that it could also signal external upheaval as well. In my case, I ended up meeting a really interesting Danish man, and six months later, I was living in Copenhagen, somewhere that I probably would never even have visited otherwise. So, it can safely be said that my whole life is different because of the Camino. The interior stuff changed some as well.
In the morning of the 14th of June, 2003, Thor and I completed the Camino together. We got our compostelanas together, and had them laminated together (next to the office where they are issued). We then went to mass, for me the third of the journey (I went to one at the beginning, one in the middle, and one at the end). A couple of days later, I went on to spend a few days in Madrid, and Thor went back to Copenhagen. The rest is not so exciting.
The end result is that life went on, but with new possibilities. And now, it's four years later, and I cannot imagine how things would have turned out had I not done the 800+ kilometer journey across the North of Spain. A truly transforming experience, in almost every area of my life.
What has transformed you? Which pilgrimages have you travelled, be they real or symbolic?