POST-CAMINO: EXPLORING THE UNKNOWN AND CULTIVATING COURAGE

The two year mark has passed. On the first of March 2018, I embarked on my pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Two years later, welcome or not, this moment provokes the need for reflection.

Moments like these force me to take a step back and observe what’s really going on. Not just here on whenawayfarer.com or on Instagram, but also in the rest of my life or, at least, the direction in which I’m heading.

Contemplative times usually lead to posts like these. Especially, when I’ve encountered some sort of internal blockage, and am uncertain about where it is that my personal journey is heading towards.

Taking a snapshot now, it looks like things have shifted on a subconscious level, that there is a strong longing to change direction… however, on a conscious level I’ve not yet surrendered to this process of transformation.

This is closely related to something that happened during my silent retreat last month, when an idea from the past revisted.

It’s an idea that keeps recurring. It’s involves researching, exploration and creation, as well as a level of vulnerability. Up until now, I haven’t had the courage, or the resources to proceed with this idea. Thinking about it gives me all the feels, as it is so closely related to my interests and my own journey through life.

Completely re-immersed into the chaos of the forty-hour work week and celebrating the magic of the everyday, the idea ebbed away. Looking back now, I realise that was exactly when a certain feeling of unease made its appearance.

Last night, returning home from having to work this weekend, I was writing down some thoughts and the idea popped back into my mind. Like an unexpected guest, knocking on the door late at night.

Perhaps it’s time to finally let this unforeseen visitor in, to explore the unknown, and cultivate the courage to do that which is so close to my heart. In the same manner, as in March 2018, I embarked on a journey that would take me to the end of the world in 111 days. Unsure of how it would turn out, yet determined to try it anyway.

To be continued.

Love,

PS. In case you are looking for more information on the Via Tolosana (GR653), check out my IG. I’m currently sharing my journey there!

CELEBRATING SPRING WITH A LONG-DISTANCE HIKE

Lees je deze post liever in het Nederlands? Dat kan hier.

My trip to Tenerife was fantastic, but I didn’t get to hike as much as I wanted to. Now Spring has made its appearance, I just want to be outside to soak up the green and flowers revealed by the buds bursting open. However, the beautiful parks and forest here in Amsterdam can only satisfy part of the longing to be outside. The quiet and solitude when being in nature cannot be felt as intensely when being in the midst of the city.

Sounds like a good reason to get out there again. And what better than to celebrate the arrival of Spring with a hike!

Leave the road, take the trails.

Pythagoras

It didn’t take long to decide (with a list of “places I’d like to visit” as long as mine, you can’t be picky), so I booked a flight straight away. In four weeks, I’ll be putting my boots back on and travel to the United Kingdom to hike the West Highland Way.

The West Highland Way is a long distance walking route in Scotland. The path is 154 kilometres (96 miles) long and runs through the Highlands from Milngavie to Fort William. I’ve decided to take six days to cover the distance and take my tent as there are plenty of campsites, and wildcamping is allowed in most areas.

Four weeks will pass quickly, so time to dust of the gear and get ready to walk again. You have no idea how excited I am to explore the absolutely stunning Scottish Highlands! And… how are you celebrating Spring?

Love,


DE LENTE VIEREN MET EEN LANGE AFSTANDSWANDELING

Hoewel mijn reis naar Tenerife geweldig was, heb ik er uiteindelijk niet zoveel gewandeld. Nu de lente van start is gegaan, wil ik alleen maar buiten zijn om het groen en de bloemen te bewonderen die tevoorschijn komen uit de opengebarsten knoppen. De prachtige parken en het bos hier in Amsterdam kunnen echter maar een deel van dit verlangen om buiten te zijn vervullen. De stilte en afzondering die het alleen zijn in de natuur met zich meebrengt, kunnen niet zo intens gevoeld worden wanneer je je midden in de stad bevindt.

Klinkt als een goede reden om er weer op uit te gaan. Niets leukers dan de lente te vieren met een mooie wandeltocht!

Verlaat de weg, neem de paden.

Pythagoras

Beslissen waar ik heen zou gaan was niet zo moeilijk (dat krijg je met een enorme lijst met “plekken om te bezoeken”, dan kan je niet kieskeurig zijn), dus ik heb direct geboekt. Over vier weken trek ik mijn trail runners weer aan en reis ik naar het Verenigd Koninkrijk om de West Highland Way te hiken.

De West Highland Way is een lange afstandswandelroute in Schotland. Het pad is 154 kilometer lang en loopt door de Schotse Hooglanden van Milngavie tot Fort William. Ik heb besloten om de afstand in zes dagen te bewandelen en mijn tent mee te nemen aangezien er genoeg campings zijn en wildkamperen op de meeste plekken is toegestaan.

Die vier weken zullen snel voorbij zijn! Hoog tijd dus om al mijn spullen af te stoffen en mezelf klaar te stomen voor deze wandeling. Je hebt geen idee hoeveel zin ik heb de waanzinnig mooie Schotse Hooglanden te ontdekken. En… hoe vier jij de lente?

Liefs,

TIME TO CHOOSE: CAMPING OR BACKPACKING THE CANARY ISLANDS?

Oh yes! It’s time for a new adventure! I decided on a whim to book a ticket to the Canary Islands, or at least one of them: Tenerife.

Based on the little knowledge I had from the Canary Islands, my initial plan was to take my tent and go hiking. Last week, I spent some time reading about the Canary Islands, and found out that besides spectacular natural parks, the islands have rich cultural and historical sites too. So many options, so little time to choose!

not the right time for a tent

First thought: I want to take my tent! Didn’t really camp on the Camino, I really love my tent, and the Canary Islands should be the perfect place to use it. After a bit of research, two camping options presented themselves to me. First off, Teide National Park would be the perfect place to hike, and camp on the state campsites that are mostly situated on the borders of the park. However, many sites report that this time a year temperatures could drop significantly at night. Despite that I’ve purchased a proper sleeping bag, my last below zero camping experience has not left my mind yet. I still need a little more time to process, before taking that one on again.

So many options, so little time to choose!

Thus, the other option: Taking the boat to La Gomera, a beautiful island located south west of Tenerife. It would cost me a ferry-fare and pretty much two days to travel to and from the island. Although I’m not a true fan, I could opt for wild camping but I’d have to travel to a camping store first to get myself a gas tank. Likewise, the temperatures didn’t seem all too great; it was a couple degrees colder than Tenerife, and a higher chance of rain and fog. It just seemed like December wasn’t the right time for a La Gomera hike and there was too much planning involved for a mere week of holidays. So I decided to put that on the “maybe another time”-list.

a little bit of both when backpacking

Second thought: Why don’t you just go backpacking? As I found out that the Canary Islands have an incredibly interesting history and culture, I really want to visit some cities or towns to experience some of that too. As a graduate in Religious Studies, I happen to have a thing for churches, and Tenerife has got a fair share of them! Leaving the tent at home and taking the backpack would allow me to do a little bit of both: diving into the history of the island and emerge myself in the beautiful natural parks too.

Backpacking it is!

Yesterday, I’ve been gathering some of the things I’d like to take. I forgot, however, that just little amount of stuff can weigh so freaking much! Luckily, I’ve got some days left to sort all that out. The joy of anticipation has yet begun though, cannot wait to be wayfaring again!

Want to join the journey? Keep an eye out on Instagram. I’ll be posting a little story every day.

Love,

ACTING ON IMPULSE: NEW ADVENTURE COMING UP!

Lees je deze post liever in het Nederlands? Dat kan hier.

Those who know me are probably aware I can be a little bit impulsive at times. When I come up with an idea, I want to execute it immediately or – at least – take the first steps. If I don’t, I get a little… well, let’s say unpleasant. I’ve always thought it was just me being extremely impatient, but I’ve got a feeling I enjoy tricking myself into confronting certain situations and experiences I find rather scary. When acting on impulse, you kind of have to

Last week, when cycling home from work, I realised it was only a couple of weeks before I’d be enjoying my pre-Christmas week off. At the time I handed in my days off, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go somewhere or just have quiet week at home. Riding home through the city, I was suddenly hit by the all too familiar longing to venture off to an unknown place and discover that which the Universe would throw at me. As my first experience with winter camping in the Netherlands wasn’t a great succes, I’d recently researched some places I could go to in winter. 

…I was suddenly hit by the all too familiar longing to venture off to an unknown place and discover that which the Universe would throw at me.

The next morning, I commenced my slightly erratic search for cheap flights to this list of possible winter destinations. I found one straight away though I felt I had to think about it, at least for a little while. An hour later, when I arrived at work, I decided to go for it. When I tried purchasing the ticket, I realised I forgot my paying device at home… I had to wait after all. Anxious and excited, I booked a flight as soon as I got home. Unsure what the weather will be like (it could be raining for a week), no idea what I’m going to do yet or what to expect, I’ll be flying to the Canary Islands in two weeks. 

So. Time to dust of the gear, as well as my Spanish, and do a little bit of research on these islands. Pretty sure it’ll be just what I need, and if not, there is no turning back now 😉

Love,


LEKKER IMPULSIEF: ER KOMT EEN NIEUW AVONTUUR AAN!

Degenen die mij kennen, weten dat ik af en toe een beetje impulsief ben. Wanneer ik iets mijn hoofd heb dan moet het meteen of dan moeten in ieder geval de eerste stappen direct worden gezet. Als dat niet gebeurt dan word ik… tja, nogal ongezellig. Ik dacht altijd dat mijn impulsiviteit blijk gaf van mijn extreme ongeduld. Toch krijg ik steeds meer het gevoel dat ik mijzelf hierdoor dwing bepaalde situaties en ervaringen te ondergaan die ik eigenlijk heel eng vind. Want na een impulsief besluit, dan moet je wel. 

Afgelopen week onderweg naar huis van werk, realiseerde ik mij dat ik al vrij snel kon gaan genieten van mijn pre-Kerst weekje vrij. Toen ik mijn vrije dagen indiende had ik geen flauw idee of ik ergens heen wilde gaan of dat ik gewoon lekker een week thuis wilde zijn. Al fietsend door de stad werd ik overspoeld door het maar al te bekende gevoel erop uit te willen gaan naar een onbekende plek en de dingen te ontdekken die het Universum op dat moment naar me zou gooien. Omdat mijn eerste ervaring als winterkampeerder in Nederland niet zo’n groot succes was, had ik recentelijk al wat plekken opgezocht waar ik eventueel heen zou kunnen deze winter.

Al fietsend door de stad werd ik overspoeld door het maar al te bekende gevoel erop uit te willen gaan naar een onbekende plek en de dingen te ontdekken die het Universum op dat moment naar me zou gooien. 

Direct de volgende ochtend begon ik met mijn zoektocht naar goedkope vluchten middels mijn lijst met mogelijke winter bestemmingen. Ik had gelijk wat gevonden maar besloot er – voor de vorm – nog heel even over na te denken. Een uur later, toen ik op werk aankwam, had ik lang genoeg gewacht. Betalen werd alleen een beetje lastig zonder mijn bank-apparaatje… moest ik toch wachten. Eenmaal thuis, helemaal uitgelaten, boekte ik meteen een vlucht. Geen idee hoe het weer zal zijn (het kan best een hele week regenen), wat ik ga doen of wat ik kan verwachten, maar over twee weken vlieg ik naar de Canarische Eilanden!

Tijd dus om mijn hike spullen en mijn Spaans af te stoffen! Een klein beetje voorbereiding kan vast ook geen kwaad. Ik denk dat dit avontuur precies is wat ik nodig heb en zo niet, dan is er in ieder geval geen weg meer terug 😉

Liefs,

NEW SEASON, NEW LOOK, NEW CONTENT

The past weeks, I’ve felt a little unsettled about when a wayfarer. I can – and most likely will – write about the things you should definitely pack before you embark on your Camino, the things I wish I’d known before I ventured off for three months, the places where I spent the night and that which my pilgrimage gave me, apart from a whole lot of callus. Yet, the thought of the Camino being the only topic I could write about makes me shiver, as it wouldn’t be covering my entire journey.

The pilgrimage that ended in Fisterra was part of a larger journey that, up until today, continues. Life would probably be an accurate, all-encompassing description of that larger pilgrimage that I am hinting at ; ) Writing about my experiences as a pilgrim was not the sole aim of starting this blog: I wanted to create a fixed place to return to whilst trying to find my own way in the world.

Since returning back home in March, I noticed the entire endeavour just made me realise there are a ton of things yet to be discovered, massive amounts of adventures to be experience and dreams to be realised. It unleashed a quest to seek, experiment with and discover ways to make wayfaring through life a tad more adventurous, inspiring and meaningful.

Thus, as with the changing of the seasons, when a wayfarer changes along. From now on, apart from Camino-related posts, you’ll also find regular reports in regards to my quest. On top of that, I have changed the look of the site a little bit… hope you like it!

In other words, if you’re interested in the daily discoveries and doings of a wacky wayfarer whom’s seeking more than she finds… stay tuned!

Happy Equinox!

Love,

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