July 25 is the feast day of Saint James – Santiago – an important day in the Camino calendar. If you’re not walking, it’s a great day to reflect on your Camino, or even better, spend the day like you’re on Camino.
This is my first Saint James Day since my Camino and I’m feeling very celebratory, so I’ve put together this list of 25 ways to recreate the experience, remember some of the fun, and get a bit of walking in while I daydream about going back to Spain.
- Dig out your Camino backpack and pack up everything you need for the day.
- Now, go into your basement or closet, unpack it, and pack it again in the dark.
- Vaseline your feet before putting your socks on.
- Get up really early and explore your neighbourhood as dawn breaks.
- Take a quick Spanish lesson. Here are 56 useful phrases.
- Help someone who looks lost. Conversely, get lost yourself.
- If it’s raining, put on your rain gear and walk up the steepest hill in your area.
- Have a nice look around when you get to the top.
- Check out the peregrinos tweeting up a storm on the Camino right now – look for them by searching #CaminodeSantiago in Twitter.
- Check the weather in Santiago de Compostela. Looking good! Or, it’s raining! Or both!
- Walk somewhere unfamiliar, stop for a coffee and the least identifiable food item.
- Pay for your coffee with your leftover euro small change.
- Wear sunscreen. A lot of it. Offer it around to whoever is nearby.
- Have a conversation with a stranger. Preferably in your second or third language.
- Stop for a chat with a herd of cows. Or goats. Or a cat or dog looking for conversation.
- Look at pictures from other peregrinos currently on the Camino. Search #CaminodeSantiago on Instagram.
- If the weather is fine, take off your pack and stop at an outdoor café or bar for a cold beer.
- Learn about one of the lesser-known routes, like the Cami Sant Jaume or Camino Mozarabe.
- Write a quick note to your Camino family, they miss you.
- Find the closest thing to a menú del peregrino or menú del día in your town. It must have fries. Even if it’s pasta. Especially if it’s pasta.
- Lots of people are blogging about their Camino experiences, right here on WordPress, there is an endless series of posts with Camino information and experiences.
- Head to the end of the world. Whether it’s the ocean, a beach, anywhere the land meets water.
- Time for another beer already? If you say so!
- Start planning your next Camino, even if you don’t know when or if you’ll go again. Science says planning far ahead can lead to more joyful experiences and you already know that’s going to happen, so make your next Camino even more joyful.
- Why are you still reading this list? GO! Go for a very long walk in nature. NOW!
Buen Camino, Peregrinos!