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Fall/Winter 2015

alumni news

Dr. Sam Pinkerton's beautiful journey

Following is an edited version of a published article by Samuel “Sam” Pinkerton, D.C., Davenport ’79, who practices in Toowong, Queensland, Australia. Dr. Pinkerton and his daughter, Shelby, took a journey together on the Camino De Santiago (The Way of St. James) in France and Spain in spring 2015. (Article published in Australian Friends of the Camino newsletter, June 2015)

Dr. Sam Pinkerton standing next to daughter on the side of the road, with distant landscape in the background.

The Camino De Santiago is known to have profound effects on a person’s outlook; it teaches you another sense of time and solidarity.

Shelby and I were guided along The Way by indelible, yellow arrows as we walked the 800- kilometer, 500-mile medieval pilgrimage. The Camino Frances, which we followed, started in St. Jean Pied Port on the French side of the Pyrenees Mountains and went down to Santiago de Compostela in the northwest of Spain.

gravel road with trees and shrubs on sides

The Way offers a unique opportunity to let go of the complexities of modern life and to detox—if you choose—from the Internet, news and other distractions. In turn, this allows you the serenity for inner reflection and the time to gain a fresh perspective on what’s necessary and important, and what isn’t. There is also something inherently seductive about a centuries-old journey that has enticed adventurous souls from all over the world to take part in this pilgrimage. With no major decisions to be made, you’re given the chance to put everyday stresses aside. The Way is a journey where everyone can find their own kind of spirituality.

We walked an average of 27 kilometers each day, and by just taking things in our own stride, life’s simplicity became intoxicating. You soon develop a strong sense of serenity and acceptance as you put one foot in front of another … and there was an awful lot of that!

distant hills

The No. 1 gift on the Camino was by far the people we met: other pilgrims and the Spanish. The Spanish were truly respectful of the pilgrims who traveled from all over the world to walk 800 kilometers across their country. I found them to be most generous, helpful, friendly and warm. As for the other pilgrims, you start to see the same faces on a daily basis, all sharing the pilgrim greeting of “Buen Camino,” roughly translated to “beautiful journey.” A number of special people joined our mobile village, each leaving an indelible impression on our hearts.

“Buen Camino!” —Sam

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