Six months after my separation last year, my turning point was when I went on a walking pilgrimage in Spain.
It's a famous one called the "Camino de Santiago" (The Way of St. James).
I chose that trip because of the solitude. I was lost as to what my next steps were.
My purpose was to find my "way" again. I didn't think I would get clarity in an urban setting with all the noise and distraction.
I went by myself. No friends, no group. Solo mi.
I figured I would be walking by myself for hours on end that will extend to who knows how many miles over 10 days with only my backpack. There isn't a whole lot to do but think.
I was so wrong.
It was the most communal trip I've ever been on. I was alone for only a few hours the entire 10 days.
On the first day, I met an Italian and we ended up walking the next 4 days side by side. We ate, bunked together at hostels, walked, and talked. That was the routine. We would meet others along the way but it was the 2 of us.
I then had to split off due to lack of time (he had been walking a month and had a few more weeks left - gotta love the way Europeans vacation!).
Shortly thereafter, I met an American and 2 Spaniards. We were BFFs for the rest of the trip.
I'm still in touch with them.
On the last day of the walk, I met someone who would become one of my closest friends and confidantes. I feel like I've known him for years, not just 8 months.
To say it was an amazing trip is an understatement. The friendships forged was worth every blister and foot ache.
The most surprising aspect of the trip were obviously my fellow pilgrims.
Because we had just met and come from different cultures, we had no expectations of how someone should think and react. There were no judgments from the listener. This allowed us all to be vulnerable and share ourselves fully. It was a gift to receive the purity of their focused attention.
This connection is something we need in our daily lives to feel complete and part of something bigger.
Because it smooths the bumps and potholes you inevitably come across as you walk your "way", especially on your fertility journey.
You don't need to walk the Camino to connect so intimately. But you do need to put away your phones and other distractions so you can give a few minutes everyday to your loved ones.
It takes courage to reach out but like exercising a muscle, it gets easier the more you do it.
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The Real Deal:
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