Rebecca Santos had her designated role as a married woman and a mom. Santos is still a mom, but she went through a divorce and found herself with a new designation – a single person. “I had never done anything by myself,” Santos admitted. “If I could do this, I could do anything.” The “this” was walking the 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago de Compestela, in Spain. Likened to the Eat, Pray, Love saga, in 2012 Santos left Huntsville, Alabama and journeyed to a road that would be life-changing. “I was looking to clear my mind,” Santos indicated. “I was afraid to move forward.” This trip literally moved her forward, and for much of it, she was with other travelers.
“You would walk with people for a period of time,” explained Santos. “Not everybody makes the journey at the same pace. It wasn’t personal if someone stayed behind.” This realization put her divorce in perspective. Santos was appreciative of moving forward. Day 23 was her most important discovery, and for this, she was alone.
“I was all by myself on the highest part of a mountain,” recalls Santos. “I saw hearts wherever I looked; leaves, rocks shaped like hearts. I realized that love is everywhere and in everything.” The greater discovery was that she was consciously noticing this connection. “Most of the time we don’t notice,” Santos said. “I felt connected to everything including the love of myself, and I noticed.”
At the close of her trip what she found fascinating was that the first 30 people she traveled with were the ones she ended up with, at least 29 of them. Spiritually, this symbolized for Santos that no matter where we go, we meet loved ones again. “I now e-mail the guy who did not finish the trip.” Santos had one constant travel companion, a glass turtle.
Do you know the way to Santiago? Follow the yellow arrows…ya never know where they’ll be.
Turtle enjoying the countryside! All over the Camino there are stacks of rocks like this that people leave behind..
The long road to Santiago…
Somewhere on the Camino, traveling thru the wine country. Check out that snow capped mountain! Breathtaking!
Today I checked into a hotel to take in the sights of the city…this is the view out my window. Just a lit’l cathedral. WOW!
This was probably from my “Sound of Music” solo. Lol
The sign at the wine tap said something to the effect of…For the pilgrims to make it to Santiago with strength and vitality! Whoo hoo! But it was a lit’l early to be drinking. Just a quick sip. But as luck would have it (?) I forgot my walking stick and had to return quite a ways to retrieve it! So I had a second sip. For strength & vitality of course!
Somewhere way up in the mountains up with the windmills!
Here they are! The stars of the show! They have some good miles on them now! The boots are holding up like champs…my feet are whimpering & whiney! Lol
“Spent the day at the beach with turtle, sat in the sun, played in the sand, kissed him good-bye and after the sunset up on the rocks below the lighthouse I threw him into the sea… Now he’s home. He went the distance!” And so did Rebecca Santos.
-Rebecca Marie Santos
Rebecca is the high spirited owner of a unique pet store, Pets, Love and Happiness, in Huntsville, AL She is the mother of two and smiles her way to the hearts of every person and animal she encounters.