Camino de Santiago

I’m nearing the departure of my last trip before heading back to work. I can’t repeat enough how much of a blessing it’s been to take this time off, to experience living in a different capacity, and just taking in the opportunities that weren’t available while working.

In three days I’m off to Spain (technically Paris where I will land to then take a train to St Jean Pied de Port – the border town outside of Spain). Thousands of people take this pilgrimage a year to Santiago de Compostella – also known as the way of St James. This road has been walked on for over a thousand years by pilgrims of past. From Saint Jean Pied de Port, I will walk to Santiago de Compostella – about 800 km long spread over a month and a bit.

I’m not Catholic, but I think this trip will benefit anyone going in some way. As I’ve heard from other peregrinos, one learns to appreciate the repetitions of the day, and find joy in the little differences as well. Others find support and friendship along the road. One would also learn to shake off the technology that we’ve been so bound to, and stick with just what is necessary. As a Christ follower, I hope this journey will also be of spiritual benefit, and will help me listen more to what the Spirit says. I don’t think we listen enough – always pushing our thoughts, ideas and expectations over others.

I really don’t know what to expect from this trip – but I’m open to it. Expecting I’ll be learning a lot about blisters at least!

packing gear - not including cat :)

packing gear – not including cat 🙂

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WHAT?! Another month gone?!

Crap, it’s September already? wait, its the end of the month?!

Well, I can’t say I’ve been doing nothing though. It’s been another adventure in itself coming home. I’ve started Korean classes at the Consulate. It’s a whole lot harder but now I can say other words besides what’s in a korean restaurant menu.

Also next week I’ll be doing the first inspection of the new condo at Limelight! I’m so excited, but also a bit freaked – I’d post a picture of the state of my room but maybe I’ll let your imaginations fill in the blanks.

Recently, I took on a volunteer position at an NGO called Raising The Village. They focus on helping communities in Uganda get the necessary training, infrastructures and tools to recover from the challenges they are facing. A few of my friends from church are involved as well and it’s been interesting working alongside them on a professional level. RTV is located in a Centre for Social Innovation building. It’s got a start-up vibe where dozens of NGO’s rent out space to gather and get things done.

It’s been an amazing September. The days fly by fast, and I just realized today that it’s because I am fully enjoying it! There is so much to say but maybe I’ll include some photos next time to make things a bit more interesting 🙂

One month in…

A friend asked me the other day what I was hoping to gain from this year off. To be honest, I’m not sure. This is a year of experiments; to try things I don’t typically do, and push myself in areas I don’t typically go. But with an unplanned schedule there comes temptations of the ‘everyday’. My typically everyday is sitting at my computer, thinking of ideas but not actually doing them, watching movies. To sum it up, nothing.

But I’ve learned through various experiences, and most recently my missions trip to Arizona – that we should stop waiting and just do it.    Whenever I ask myself if I’m following the right path, I ask myself again, ‘have I loved the Lord with all my heart, strength, soul and mind?’ and ‘have I loved others as I love myself?’ (luke 10:27) If I haven’t, then I’m on the wrong path.

So I’ve made a few commitments…including signing up for Korean intermediate class at the Consulate. It was fun taking it earlier in the year and it’s free. Why not? Sign up here, and see if they have classes in your area in the GTA.

I’m going to keep myself busy, talk to strangers, learn new things, and of course, keep traveling! 11 months to go!