people over things

May 11 2016

This past fall, after graduating University, I was hiking the Camino de Santiago. On day 3 I was seated at a dinner table with a Vagabond. He had no home, no family, one small daypack filled with one pair of sweatpants, one shirt, one sweatshirt, two pairs of socks, one pair of shoes, a winter hat and a toothbrush. We wandered down to the river after dinner, engaged in a conversation, and words cannot begin to describe how inherently happy this man proved to be.

The Camino itself is a minimalistic journey, where you bring just what you can carry on your back. But all of a sudden my packed 58 oz Osprey backpack seemed entirely unnecessary and I wanted to toss it off the edge of the next mountain we crossed.

I walked the next few days with this man, alongside my sister and other friends we met along the way, and I learned more than I could have imagined - about cultures, norms, lifestyles. I wondered why I spent so much of my time in anxious consideration of how to carve out my perfect life, when in reality all that mattered was the present moment I was in. Life cannot be predicted or prescribed, and it's occurrences are largely out of our control. But we CAN control how we react to our days, and what we bring on the journey of life.

Material things aside, this man inspired me to limit what I carry on my metaphorical "backpack." Hanging on to negative memories, unkind people, broken relationships and past anxieties suddenly proved their weight, and I did everything I could to leave them behind.

I continue to be the same person, traveling the world, loving my family and friends, asking questions and seeking deeper understanding, but all of it seems so much easier now with a lighter backpack and the mentality shared with me by this particular Vagabond; the world is our home, and the people in our homes make our lives what they are.

I currently live in Boston, MA but am traveling internationally for 6 weeks, on a Galapagos cruise at the moment. If you want to talk travel or love, or have a passion for gaining a deeper understanding of the world around us, I would love to be in contact. I have so much to say but the middle of the ocean is not conducive to strong wifi, so this had to be brief.

Always remember, love is the answer.

Sent from my iPhone

Kathryn Waxman
[email protected]
live in Boston, currently in the Galápagos Islands

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