I am searching my past scribbles because I know I have written about this subject before. I certainly pondered the concept, even meditated on it. What really is “Trail Magic” and why does it change your life forever? My personal and internal definition of Trail Magic is when another member of any community aids a traveler to make the experience bearable, inclusive, and even enjoyable with no reward expected - just helping and giving to a stranger. Most of the time it is also because they too have experienced generosity from a stranger in a foreign land. The love is passed on. On the Camino, we called it or should I say call it El camino de la vida. Living the life of The Camino. Once you lived the life of the Camino you will always be a part of it. Tapping that source of love is a high I cannot explain. It is art, it is gold and why we are alive. The love has a life of its own. For many travelers it is the source of their energy they just don’t know it. Why else would you travel three grueling weeks and place yourself in a vulnerable location to stand for a few hours on top of a mountain or a temple or a trail or waterfall or whatever you are seeking or chasing. It’s mostly about the people you encounter along the way that really makes a journey. The Trail Magic that is given to you when you are hungry, tired, lonely and scared is always in perfect timing and you realize you were almost destined to be there to receive this love. You feel connected, cared for and loved. Please travel until you experience this. If you are rolling your eyes at this don't worry you just haven't arrived there yet and you will if you keep going. I am not saying you can’t receive that same love in your own neighborhood but for me on the road, it is more significant maybe because we need it even more. This is why travel changes us forever because we become and learn unconditional love.
Charlie receiving Father Ernesto's "Trail Magic'" at Guemes on The Camino de Santiago.