Since coming up with my plan to walk the Cornish Camino two weeks ago, I envisioned a lot of things to have happened between now and then. I imagined my days would be spent training, researching, booking things and learning Spanish.
In reality, my first week of training was a disaster due to shift times and torrential rain.
I’ve struggled to research as I needed to prepare for a job interview, (I got the job!), plus the books I want to read haven’t arrived yet. Booking anything has proved impossible as we all wait for Covid-19 restrictions to be lifted and then for businesses to reply, and I haven’t even opened DuoLingo!
My best laid plans for an adventure seem to be falling apart and the adventure hasn’t even began. So, what now? Well, I did what any Camino addict does when they aren’t sure what to do with themselves- no, not go for a walk, I watched The Way.
A lot of people talk about the magic of the Camino, how it gives you what you need, not what you want. As I watched the film, my phone announced a couple of notifications, an email I’d been waiting for about the campsite arrived, shortly after that, an email regarding St Michaels Way also turned up. It was magic in a way, but the content was disappointing. The campsite was already booked for the dates I wanted, and access to the stamps required for my passport was uncertain.
Now I’m behind on training, I can’t go on the dates I planned and to top it all off, even if I do go on those dates, I won’t be able to stamp my passport, if the passport even arrives on time!
There’s a scene in the film, the morning after Tom’s first night in an Albergue, where he is getting his passport stamped and he asks the innkeeper, “Have you ever walked the Camino?” and she replies “Never. When I was young, I was too busy. And now that I’m older, I’m too tired.” Of all the scenes and moments in that film, this is the quote I always remember.
“Never. When I was young, I was too busy. And now that I’m older, I’m too tired”The Way
I don’t want to be the innkeeper. I don’t want there to always be an excuse. If I’m a week behind in my training, the campsite is full and I can’t guarantee I will get my stamps, then that doesn’t become the reason not to do it, or to give up, that just means I need to change my plans. I am not too busy to train, there will be other dates, or other campsites, and I need to trust that when it comes to the stamps, I have got to have faith that it will all work out, even if it turns out to be complicated and convoluted, it will all be worth it in the end.
When I left the Camino for Paris before, I somehow ended up in the north of the city at the Cite du Cinema for an exhibition called Star Wars Identities, (yes, I left one of the greatest walks in the world, to go to one of the best cities in the world, and whilst there spent my time at an exhibition on a science fiction film). As I looked back on my photos from my time in Spain and France, I had kept a couple from the exhibition, one of them was Yoda with a quote, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Its the same for My Cornish Camino, I can do it, or I can’t, there is no try.
The best laid plans may go awry, but that doesn’t mean I have to give up.