Imagine a day like this:
You wake up when you want to, feeling refreshed and ready to go. You smile and talk with your companions before walking outside to notice the pleasant breeze on your skin, the sunshine on your face, and the sweet fragrance of the flowers that rise to meet your nose.
Having some trouble imagining it? That’s not surprising. For many people, it’s been a long time since they’ve had a day like this, a day that moves according to their pace and allows them to truly notice and cherish everything that’s going on around them. Taking time to appreciate the beauty in our lives might seem frivolous or unnecessary.
Unfortunately, the alternative is a fast-paced, stress-filled lifestyle, and that stress has an effect on our health. There are a number of issues people can face when they don’t take time to slow down and enjoy life. Sometimes, you just need a little unwind time, and traveling can do that for you.
The good news is, as Henri Matisse put it, “There are flowers everywhere, for those who bother to look.”
For some, the Camino de Santiago is all about the adventure. For others, it’s a spiritual journey that begins months before the trip and could continue for the rest of their lives. But both types of travelers will be inspired by the natural beauty offered along the path; on the Camino de Santiago, the flowers really are everywhere.
Nearly every home in the countryside has roses planted in front of the house, and many of the beautifully remodeled historic guesthouses feature charming gardens with dreamy wisteria and lively grapevines, which create the perfect setting for journaling, meditating, and reflecting after a day on the road. Learning to slow down and notice the beauty around you can be an important part of your journey on the Camino de Santiago, and what you learn will continue to impact your life when you return home.
Calm Your Anxiety
Savoring the present moment helps your mind steer clear of panic-inducing thoughts about the past and the future. Along the Camino de Santiago, you have plenty of time to practice staying present, focusing on one step at a time, and looking around you to appreciate each carefully planted rose and everything else the Way has to offer.
Take Time to Be Still
At the end of a day of walking or biking, it feels good to sit still. You have time to tune in to your body, listen to the sounds of the countryside, and enjoy being rather than doing. After a couple of days on the Camino de Santiago, you’ll notice how good it feels to take this time for yourself. This can be the start of your meditation practice, and perhaps you’ll be inspired to continue after you return home. Meditation can help you reduce stress, focus your attention, and manage symptoms of various medical conditions.
Mindfulness can improve your romantic relationships, reduce anxiety, improve your working memory, and more. Practicing mindfulness along the Camino de Santiago by staying aware of how your body feels, when your thoughts wander, and what you see along the way can translate into a more mindful life in general and improve your mental well-being and clarity.
The Camino de Santiago offers opportunity after opportunity for you to connect with nature, your family, travel partners, and yourself. Contact Adventure Camino to take care of the details of your trip, from airport pickup and lodging to additional sightseeing tours, so you can slow down and focus on your own personal journey: the sights, the sounds, the little moments, and the blooming roses that make your trip magical.