October 08, 2018

Not reading on the Camino 

The weird thing for me about walking the Camino—aside from the daily 15-20 miles with a pack and sharing bedrooms, showers and toilets with total strangers every night—is not reading books
At home I like to start the day with 30-45 minutes of reading and coffee. I listen to books while driving, running, mowing, etc. and steal other moments as I can.

I made the decision to leave books, real and recorded, behind during the Camino (quick glances at the guidebook and phone don’t count). I also make it a point not to listen to music while here.

Instead I hear the wind, the sound of boots and trekking poles, my internal chatter, birds, sometimes traffic and the occasional conversation. It’s a bit of a reset for my brain.

I did bring an Anthony Bourdain book for getting here but had to leave it half read at St Jean Pied de Port in southern France because there was no room in the inn of my backpack on that first brutal day over the Pyrenees.
Whatever changes in me, if anything, after this trip, that’s one habit I look forward to resuming.

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