Be vulnerable

May 8, 2020

 

One year after our first Camino together (and my third in general), mentioned in the last #MileStoneExperience, we decided to hit the road again, this time toward Rome. To make it more challenging (and exciting ;) ), we started from Fano, Andrea's home, 330 km from the capital city. Just stepped out of the door and started walking. As you can imagine, there is no official route between those two points, no yellow arrows, no shells which show the way, no albergues for pilgrims. All roads lead to Rome, so also Fano had a consular road, built in 220 BC (Via Flaminia), that once connected the two cities. But now there's no marked path, beside highly congested roads. We had to design our own way, we had to knock to churches and convents gates to find a place to stay for the night, we had to ask people for help. And there are not many things in life more difficult than this one - being vulnerable, ask for help and let the world guide you.

Sometimes we would mistake the way and had to come back few kilometers, as we also avoided to go along main roads. Sometimes we stayed in the tent, but from time to time we needed a shower or at least a water source. In the 11 days of walk, only twice it happened that some priest or nun refused. They were suspicious sometimes at the beginning, thinking for example that we came for money or that they didn't have proper facilities, but once we mentioned we walk to Rome most of them opened their hearts and doors.

We took quite easy the first "No", anyway, there were other churches in town; the second came in a moment of crisis, we were tired, dirty and quite desperate, as there was no other option at hand. I didn't plan to, but I started to cry in front of the church, simply from tiredness. I knew that one way or another we would manage, but that moment too many emotions clocked up inside and I needed to vent them out. You know, there is a moment of tiredness, both physical and emotional, when nothing else matter, you just start to cry wherever you are, even if there are many people around. And those people at the end convinced the priest to let us in for one night. He let us sleep on the dusty floor of a classroom with access to a sink, and that was more than enough for us.

This Camino was a crucial lesson for us before starting to go around the world. If you want to travel the way we do, completely dive into a culture, staying with local people, there is no way to do it without giving up that sense of control. And it's difficult, every time we start a new journey we need to relearn it. Let things be and trust fate. Make yourself vulnerable. It's not easy. But it's definitely worth it.

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We are Anna and Andrea, a Polish-Italian couple traveling around the world. We are looking for changemakers,  in order to describe and share their stories.

Our journey is based on exchange: story telling and other skills in exchange for a place to sleep and food. 
 

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