When I met him, Stefano worked as a night receptionist at a hostel I lived in. He spent most weekends working while others enjoyed their social lives at the most common of hours. The solitude dawned on him some days, and at others, it was mainly his solitary character that accepted it. When asking him about his travels, he told me his most significant one was the Camino de Santiago he did a few years back alone.
Tired, exhausted and collecting blisters over blisters, he halted for a couple of days in small convent, pondering between continuing and taking the first bus back to the city. Stefano’s backpack seemed to only be weighing him down rather than helping him be independent, as any backpack is supposed to do.
That same night, at the campfire that was lit, a priest approached him asking him about the sorrow in his eyes. The priest said nothing for a while as Stefano opened up about feeling he was never able to finish the things he started. What the priest revealed to him that night, was that some backpacks were physical, while others were emotional – but most of all they were filled with fears. Needless to say that night Stefano decided to continue his route and donated half his belongings to the convent.