I’ve written a lot about coming home from the Camino and how the process can be harder than the walk itself. After three of these crazy journeys, I’ve found that it takes almost exactly a year for me to suddenly realize how I’ve changed. The year leading up to it is wildly confusing, especially the first few months at home. I often feel like someone playing the role of a regular human while my heart is still out in the middle of the woods somewhere.
Of course, I had no idea I was flying home to a pre-pandemic world or that I would not actually return in 2020 as planned. For that reason, I am so grateful I went when I did. It would have been easy to find an excuse not to go, and I was very lucky that I was in position to make that choice. I fully realize this is not common.
I don’t have a lot to say about leaving Porto and heading home that day that I haven’t already said. I wrote a post about my terrifying flight home last year. This is the flight map my husband was tracking during out descent. I can confirm that it felt exactly like this, especially that last part where the airplane changed its mind about landing for a hot second.
When I got into the taxi to the airport, the driver was playing the song Smile by Nat King Cole. It was the third time I’d heard that song in just a few days. The Camino was sending me off to an unsure world.
When we landed after that awful flight home and I made it through customs, Ben was waiting for me on the other side, right where we’d said our goodbyes 18 days prior. Returning from a Camino is the one time an NYC airport looks wonderful. I couldn’t wait to see my city.
And if you are big on details–no, I did not find somewhere to put Michael’s music. The moment never felt right. Our sheet music is still tucked into the back of my journal. I’ll leave it somewhere on my next Camino with Ben, hopefully in 2021, perhaps by the Cruz de Ferro where he’ll have a lot of great company.
I cannot thank you enough for following me on this writing project. I’ve written a lot about the Camino on this blog, but I’ve never managed to write it out day-by-day like this for an entire trip. My other Caminos lasted closer to six weeks, so they’re a little trickier to wrap your head around.
This has been a wonderful escape back to a time when I worried about things a little bit less. I look forward to being there again someday.
Love to you all. Stay healthy and safe.
If you’d like to start from the top (and have a lot of time on your hands!) here are the posts in order:)
This is Day 18:)