Summer Experience

What did you do this summer?

I walked the Camino de Santiago, which is a 500-mile hike through France and Spain.

What made you decide to do this?

When I was in middle school, I read a book by Paulo Coelho entitled “The Pilgrimage,” and it planted a seed in my head that this was the type of thing that I should do at some point in my life. Following a few years at Colgate, I decided that it was the time for me to consider myself and do something to build my soul. I took some meditation courses in New York City this summer to prepare myself for the trip and for life in general.

Did you make the trip with a group?

I did the trip alone. I met some really amazing people while I was over there walking through amazing cities in Spain like Leon, Burgos and Pamplona.

What are some things you learned from this experience? Has it changed your outlook on anything?

This experience taught me that there is so much to do and see in this world and our goal in life is to better ourselves and raise those around us to a level of consciousness that they may not have realized was possible before. We are here in this life to make life as fulfilling as possible and live a completely conscious existence. I needed this trip and I know that other people need something like this, too, but are sometimes too frightened of it to go through with the actual experience.

There is time for internships and jobs and there is time for becoming the best pos-sible version of yourself. I went on this hike to learn who I am and who the best version of myself is. It helps to take time for oneself and acknowledge who you have been and acknowledge that this may not be the person you had always wanted to be. I know more now than I ever have before and I owe it to my own striving toward something greater and hiking the Camino de Santiago.

Would you recommend this to others?

I recommend this to anyone who really wants to know themselves in a deeper sense, understanding themselves in relation to the world and the inhabitants of this world.

Contact Emily Kress at [email protected].