My Camino: Lisa Morales
Photographer and storyteller Lisa Morales and her son Thomas are veterans of many Camino de Santiago routes. She tells us how the Camino changed her.
Name of pilgrim
Lisa Morales and son Thomas
55 and 16
Photographer and travel writer
Where are you from?
Why did you decide to walk the Camino?
I had reaffirmed my commitment to my Catholic faith, and I wanted my son to have an experience steeped in faith, history and a love of the outdoors. I also had a milestone 50th birthday.
Which Camino did you walk and when?
Norte in 2014 Primitivo from Lugo in 2016 Parts of Le Puy 2014 Parts of Vezelay and Arles routes Muxia to Porto in 2019.
If you have walked the Camino more than once, why?
We ended our first Camino in Ribadeo because of my knee injury, then returned to walk from Lugo. I have a great love of the coastal routes! I walked from Muxia in reverso to photograph the trip, and to not have a “pilgrim family” but more introspective time. I walk in France as a devoted Francophile. I feel the need to “recharge” my resiliency batteries.
What was your highlight?
One standout highlight is the night we spent in Güemes with Padre Ernesto Bustio at Albergue la Cabaña del Abuelo Peuto. His family home is now a social justice collective, and he instills the joy of a “Camino of Life” in all who visit there.
Has the experience changed you in any way?
In every way, from the usual urge to downsize possessions and housing to a deep commitment to spread the spirit of the camino everywhere. I love volunteering as a hospitalera and have done two assignments thus far, in Spain and in Portugal. I became involved in chapter leadership with American Pilgrims on the Camino. It changed my son into a young man with a much wider world view, and increased his resiliency.
Why should someone walk the Camino?
I would never say “should.” The reasons for walking are not always known even to the pilgrim or traveler. Many travelers begin as tourists and end as pilgrims. Walk to regain a sense of what human interaction can be at its most basic level; walk acknowledging one’s own privilege having the time and money to walk.
What advice would you give anyone who is thinking of walking the Camino?
To not overthink! Do not overplan, overbuy, overpack. Let go of the need for certainty and the “what-ifs?” The basic needs are well known. Acknowledge the fear of “what if” then leave it at home. Think carefully about your choice of walking partner, or if this needs to be a solitary journey open to meeting new partners along the path.
I suggest the pilgrim write themselves a letter pre-Camino: hopes, fears, expectations. Seal it and leave it on the bed. Read it upon return and reflect.
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