I am participating in the Writing Contest: You Deserve to be Inspired. Hosted by Positive Writer. In October 2014, I had a dream that I was hiking through mountains with nature completely different to what I know. The next day, I turned on my laptop and clicked whatever video came up as a "recommendation" on Youtube. To my amazement, it was bits and pieces from my dream the night before.
For the next few days, I began researching, El Camino de Santiago. I spent days debating on whether I was going to follow my dream and take a leap of adventure and set out. One week later, I had made up my mind to walk, still unsure how I was going to finance, prepare, or even complete this trek - but as the days went on, the dreams kept coming and I was certain I was going to do this.
For a little over four months, every weekend, I set out into the Trinidadian forests and began climbing. During the week, I'd pack my backpack with bottles of water and walk on the treadmill.
I had the support of a small but effective group. Being a private person, I decided I would let my dreams tell me who and when I was going to tell my loved ones about my great adventure. As the weeks fell off the calendar, more and more people became aware of my intention.
I had never been to Spain; no one in my family had been to Europe, really. We were more familiar with the Caribbean and American culture rather than European. My Spanish skills were at a bare minimum though I bought a number of books and searched all the touristy words before my big day came.
March 14th 2016
I left from Trinidad to Miami and then to Madrid. For hours I sat on the plane, not getting more than a 10 minute sleep, thinking of so many things. At the end of the flight, I kindly asked the woman next to me for guidance - both she and her husband did.
My first day in Madrid, I got lost. I tracked down a young man dressed like a Pilgrim, thinking he too was on the way to St. Jean, France but he was returning from South America. This kind person helped me get my train tickets, my train, and even took me to one of my stops. I had no idea how I was going to do any of this as there are no trains on my tiny island! When I finally connected to my bus to Pamplona, I spent hours, nodding off to sleep and awaking every time the bus stopped.
At last, I awoke, got off the bus and entered the bus station, only to realise, i was at the wrong stop! The people at the bus station ever so kindly tried to get the bus conductor's attention but failed. I had to wait an hour, with a new ticket, until my Pamplona bus finally arrived - and it did.
I arrived at 10.30pm with out any sleep or food for the journey. A young woman guided me towards a hotel. As I walked more and more into the city, a group of three people, took me my the hand and showed me both hotels. That night, when I got to my room, I began laughing hysterically outside my hotel room because - I could not open my room door! What else, right?! The next morning, I woke up, had a large breakfast and left the hotel with a warm, "Buen Camino!" from the hotel manager. A warm shot of energy surrounded my entire body and began building in my heart.
I sat on the bus going to St. Jean Peid du Port and began thinking how the kind acts of strangers, in a country where my language was limited, was so helpful and trustworthy and this was only my first day!
When the bus stopped in France, I walked out and asked a woman for help. She too, was about to walk El Camino, she looked at me and said,
"I don't know where to go but we will follow."
A few seconds after she continued, "I will walk to Santiago with you."
St. Jean Peid du Port to Santiago de Compostella
My new friend and I stayed together the entire way. We were a unique pair, Romaina and Trinidad walking hand in hand while discovering our many mutual traits. For the first two weeks, we walked with mainly women from all over the world. Gradually, faces change but some you'll see in every corner, hostel, and every step with you. This is how we met the boys during our second week. We'd seen them all the time but never stopped to connect until one day we just stopped and bonded. Now, there was an energetic balance of male and female consciousness. Together, we all saw how much we reflected ourselves in one another; we became a family.
One Year Later
As I look back, I realise how much I inspired myself by following my dream and universal signs. I understand now that people will help people. We can have any of our life goals with the assistance of others if we learn not to take anything too personal, and in that become less egotistic. We are powerful and control our perception and energy. Through this, we will see that our path is lit up through pain, love, and laughter. I fully see now that in life, you must be a little crazy to survive the society that has brainwashed the masses to become.
I live my day to day life as I did on the Camino; in the now. Don't get too caught up in doing for others that you forget to do something for yourself. See the magic that you already are.
Live your dreams.