Hello SouthPawPoet! Thanks for reading and commenting.
Agree 100% that knowing and using the language helps. I’ll even take it a step father to say that an individual who is traveling has an obligation to do so. I’ve studied this language for 4–5 years, but admittedly needed to brush up. It’s amazing how it comes back in use. The kiddos each independently hold a decent competency rating from their study on DuoLingo. It’s using the language that opens doors that wouldn’t be available, and at least once got us admittance on an otherwise full train. We are complimented time and again on out language, and although it’s not great, it’s a game changer.
I hear your comment about the foreign-ness being within. And, I think I understand it. I think a person traveling abroad has an obligation to assimilate to the culture around, not ask the culture to assimilate to the foreigner. And, that’s what we’ve tried to do… use the language, be present in the culture and embrace it. Maybe it’s the foreignness within that is the true struggle.
Gotcha! People write the easy “fluff” piece about the Camino connections. In the midst of this journey we have spent many late nights connecting with other pilgrims around hostel and albergue meal tables. This sentiment I write about is alive and well on this trail. “Why did we do this?” is one of the biggest wonderings. It’s also a common joking matter.
We’ve made great connections and I’ve shared pics and mini stories across other platforms. Here, I’ve chosen to embrace the feelings and emotions that too few write about. That’s the hope at least. ;-) One pilgrim, one Camino, as the saying goes. It is different for each individual.