When Terri and I were preparing to walk the Camino, we discussed something that was very different about this trip; we realized that we had very few plans set in place and reservations made in advance. The majority of our 5 week plus trip was free of a lot of expectations. We had never taken a trip like that before. All of our vacations we had taken up to this point we had planned out all of the details of where we were going to be on what day and many of the things we wanted to do and see were discussed and planned out. We had a lot more expectations and reservations.
Walking the Camino was really not a vacation but more like an adventure or a journey with little expectations and reservations. That is what I think makes it special in some ways. Maybe it is the fact that you have so few expectations that makes it special. It is harder to be disappointed for sure if when you stay open to whatever comes your way. When we setup a lot of expectations about our upcoming vacation, it puts a bit more of a “burden” on everything working out as planned. If things don’t work out as planned, it can throw us off and we might end up in some cases being angry or very disappointed.
One of the times we were put off and disappointed on the Camino came when we made a reservation in advance for a private room the prior evening. When we showed up late the next day, we found that there was no private room available for us! We ended up in a large, very crowed Alberque on the top bunks.
The majority of our trip we really had few expectations and we were both very open to what came our way each day. We tried to stay open and aware each day to what might surprise us. We both really liked this new way of traveling.
A great example of this came about half way through the Camino, when we stopped in a small town for a cafe con leche and much to our surprise we found out that Terri was the 10,000th pilgrim served. Terri was showered with special gifts (a great necklace of candy and goodies that she wore the rest of the day and shared with all the pilgrims she met along the way) and a free lunch! What a fun time we had with the owners of the Cafe as they took our pictures with them and blew party horns! Now this was a pleasant surprise!
This definitely was a new way for us to travel, having very few expectations and reservations. Having done it now, I think we both are convinced this is a better way to go! Try it if you haven’t, you might be pleasantly surprised!