Brave Or Stupid. The Moment That Led Me To The Camino De Santiago.

In 2011, I made the biggest decision of my life.

I had a real moment. Enough was finally enough. I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. Call it the mother of all endings.

Overnight, I walked away from my 15-year career as a Lawyer and all the security that came with it. I left behind my homeland of England to begin again in Andalucia, Southern Spain.

Many say I was brave. Some say I was stupid. What do I think? I guess I was a little of both.

We’ve all experienced a moment, or maybe two, in our life.

Perhaps, it’s the crappy job that robs our joy? The relationship that’s destroying our soul? The feeling of waking up every single day knowing that we could be and do so much more? That our dreams are slowly slipping away as life gets in the way?

Perhaps we need to stamp our foot in the ground and say, no more.

For me, I chose to start again in Spain. Spain had worked its magic on me as a nine-year-old girl, and starting my life there felt like coming home. The land of the bull was under my skin, raging through my blood. Who was I to resist?

Though Spain left its mark on me as a little girl, it was the tales of a young shepherd boy from Andalucia named Santiago in the book The Alchemist that inspired me the most to move to Spain. Paulo Coelho, the legendary author, spins a powerful yarn of spiritual truths that spoke straight to my soul.

Brave or stupid, there was one thing I knew for sure: come what may, I was going to have an adventure. I was going to experience it all.

As I made the long road trip, I passed through the beautiful region of Galicia, home to Santiago de Compostela, the birthplace of the Camino de Santiago. The Camino signs were everywhere. “One day,” I said to Sally (my dog), rubbing my hands with glee, “One day, I’ll walk the Road to Santiago!” The Camino de Santiago is an incredible 700-kilometre walk that begins in France at Saint Jean Pied du Port and ends at the Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela.

I’d read The Pilgrimage, by Paulo Coelho, many years before. His tales about the Camino de Santiago put it at the top of my bucket list.

In 2016, I trekked across northern Spain through mountain ranges, vineyards, and the desert until I finally arrived in Santiago, completing my Camino in 30 days. It was an adventure of a lifetime. An adventure that wouldn’t have been possible without my moment. This was a reminder that life rewards the brave if we are willing to let go of the life that isn’t ours.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the life that I have now. Life doesn’t just reward the brave—it likes to throw in a surprise or two along the way—as long as we are willing to let it all go—the life, the jobs, the love, all the things that don’t belong to us.

Paulo Coelho’s tales greatly inspired my adventures. He is one of my heroes, and his words gave me the courage to go after the life of my dreams. His book, The Pilgrimage, pointed me in the direction of the Camino de Santiago, for which I will be forever grateful.

Paulo Coelho has been rocking my world for years, but like a bolt from the blue, Paulo Coelho gave me the surprise of my life.

Someone from Paulo Coelho’s world had come into my world, taken my words, and planted them firmly on his website.

It felt like a kiss from the universe—not a gentle pucker of the lips on my forehead, mind, but a full-on kiss, tongues and all. Yet, another reward for having the guts to let go because, yes, life rewards the brave.

This little gift opened up a whole new field of possibility. I realised that I now lived in a world, or should I say, I’ve created a world, where a little miracle like this could happen. My world wasn’t so little after all.

Which is why my message to you is this: if you are stuck in rut in any situation in life or if it doesn’t make you happy, be brave and let it go.

Don’t wait for the chaos of a moment, as I did.

If you choose to walk a different path and create a different world, you have no idea what could be waiting for you, the rewards that life could bestow upon you along the way.

Life always rewards the brave, but we have to be willing to let go of what isn’t ours to get there.

Check out my e-book, A Wild Woman’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago for practical advice on preparing to walk the Camino de Santiago including snippets from my journey and stories from Camino pilgrims. Click the link to download your copy.

(c) Samantha Wilson 2019.  All Rights Reserved,

I’m a Camino de Santiago Guide who inspires people from all over the world to live a more adventurous life.
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