Being my early self I’m at the airport almost 3 hours before my scheduled departure, and as a result, I’ve been aimlessly pacing up and down the terminal back and forth. Yesterday in Muxia I went from no plans to jumping on a bus to Santiago, a train to Madrid, and soon a plane to Italy within 24 hours. The world suddenly became very fast. In fact by the time I reach Trento, Italy from Muxia, I will have taken a total of 4 buses, 3 trains and 2 planes. Gone are the days of simple dependency on my own two feet. I didn’t expect a huge shock returning to a busy city like Madrid, but after the peaceful calmness of a place like Muxia, I was suddenly jolted back to life. Strangely enough being back at the airport in Madrid felt nostalgic, as I passed the place where I bought the SIM card for my phone, my first cafe con leche, and my toothpaste for the trip 44 days ago.
Video from Muxia:
On reflection I’m not sure if I was always present on this trip. I think my mind was in many other places, but it has really allowed me time to process the events of the PCT that were impossible to do at the time. I’ve reminisced and I’ve grieved, and as a result I feel a lot more at peace. I feel I missed a lot of the Camino because of it, but looking back the the photos and videos I guess I was there, maybe just set on autopilot sometimes.
My heart aches a little to leave Spain so soon, but when work presented itself back in Abu Dhabi for a few weeks before I head back to Australia I could hardly say no. It will enable me to enjoy the time with my friends and family so much more, without worrying about the decreasing bank account and duration of my unemployment. I want to be 100% present when I’m home, as I’ve been looking forward to that moment since I left for the Middle East in early January. Family and friend time is calling, loudly! I want to be around the people I love.
I’m still in my hiking clothes. I can’t explain how much I’m craving wearing a new pair of pants that actually fit me (I gained weight on this trip… ergh), and that I don’t have to fight with every time I put them on. My bandana is permanently fixed to my head still and my shoes are beyond worn out, both physically and in measure of odour, they have to go! Calling in a few favours, the life I left behind in a suitcase in Dubai will meet me at the hotel when I arrive back in Abu Dhabi. This is when hiking Rozanne will transform back to working Rozanne. And so life continues…
Many of you have thanked me for sharing my journey, but it is me who should be thanking you for allowing me to share it. Not many people walk with a support network lending advice, thoughts, stories and support. I was often carried on the PCT by the outpouring of support and encouragement which still seems incredibly surreal to me. Reading about your stories and experiences makes my own much richer. So gracias to you!
Ciao Spain, my home for one and a half months. To have gone from entering a bar red faced as I pointed to things I wanted, to walking in and ordering exactly what I want while briefly conversing with the locals in broken Spanish is incredibly satisfying. The power of communication is something I’ve underestimated until this trip. Languages can open your world more than you may appreciate. Learning Spanish is now at the top of my ever increasing list of things I want to do. That list grew a lot on this trip. Luckily I still have a lifetime ahead, should be enough time to get through most of it!