A film about a trip

It’s not easy for me to express how much I’ve learned on my trips to Santiago.

The first time I’ve walked the Camino the experience was something I was totally unprepared for. Ever since then, all of the times have been different, but as enriching as the first. I’ve walked the Camino once with two close friends, once by myself, and once with my mother.

Now, at last, with in equal parts shame and longing, I can share the short film I’ve made about that one time I started it alone.

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The failure artist

There’s Erdinger, doritos and monopoly on the table, as our wolfpack is playing amidst a cloud of happy smoke. While we recover our bodies from a day of snowboarding at a cozy Airbnb, a white landscape gazes at us from the window.

This was my first time snowboarding, and, as you can imagine, I’ve fallen. A lot.

I’ve tumbled like wet clothes on a washing machine. I’ve shaken like an astronaut on reentry. I’ve stirred like a martini, rolled like a Royce, felt my brain pole-dancing on its skull as I fell face first on a white sheet of snowish ice.

I’ve hit the softened ground face first, ass first, God knows what else first, and on those rare instances I flew a bit, as I twisted mid-air before the inevitable impact, I knew — this was one of the greatest days I’ve ever had.

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This title belongs here

And you? Do you belong somewhere? How is it that you make a place, a group, a family part of your fiber? Where do you plant your lunar flag? When do you finally set the palm of your hand gently on a lover’s face, letting her close her eyes indefinitely, without second thoughts flying above you?

There was a pub in Glasgow I remember fondly. It had a brazilian theme — go figure — and a mesmerizing scottish redhead from Inverness at the bar. Me and my cousin bristled with enjoyment, as we had been visiting Inverness not many days before. Between laughing at our misadventures, she warned us about scottish winters.

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Magic air

A timid sun lurked between rows of distant, sleepy houses. The raincoats shone from the constant pouring, and the mud on our boots clinged for dear life. You’d see clearly, by the way we moved, how sore our feet were. Compared to past days, they were strolling gently through freshly cut grass, drinking camomile tea and being massaged to the soothing sound of generic oriental new age monk music.

We had arrived on the tiniest of grocery stores. The old lady running it didn’t care much for light, as half her universe was as dark as a coal mine, and the rest dimly lit. The small collection of fruit and food was everything you could hope for in the middle of the Camino. I picked up some bananas, apples and grapes, and ordered coffee. Scratch that — saying I ordered coffee will sound like I was in a Starbucks, selfie’ing shamelessly around my badly written name on the paper cup. I wasn’t.

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Serendipity and love

The sun was dizzying and the path was unforgiving. I felt very hot, increasingly tired, and my damned water bottle was empty. Forgetting to refill it before those last 7 kilometers was, in retrospect, a rookie mistake. Step by step, with a ghost-like expression on my face, I hurried to my unknown destination. Where was I going? Why was I alone, thirsty, walking painfully towards the smallest of villages in Spain, in a terribly hot afternoon, in May?

I wish I could answer that truthfully. The truth is I can’t.

Last April, I embarked on a one-off journey that would last 35 days. I felt a gloomy, worrying sensation on my spine, when I saw my parents leave me at the Campanhã station in Porto, waiting for a middle-of-the-night train that would take me two countries away. Why?

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