Walking with Less

How a journey across Spain led me to a minimalist lifestyle

Words by Regina Castro

Silhouette of Man Walking in Front of Clouds
Photography by Jad Limcaco

Last year I made the Way of St. James, a famous pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago in Galicia, Spain. The route consisted of walking 770 km from Roncesvalles, France, to Santiago, walking 15-30 km each day for a month with nothing more than a small backpack. For this reason, I was forced to pack only the essentials.

At the beginning, my essentials were more than five t-shirts, three pants, two jackets, and many self-care products. Even though I started this journey with what I thought were very few items, I found myself reevaluating every single thing on my backpack as the pilgrimage progressed. I thought, do I really need three pairs of underwear? Is carrying a hairbrush necessary? Will people notice if I use soap as shampoo? The minimalist mindset quickly became a necessity. After all, the less I carried, the easier walking would be.

My mindset completely changed when I came back home, entering my room and feeling overwhelmed seeing so much stuff everywhere. Why do I keep all of this? It felt as if I had lived surrounded by trash for so many years. I was so mad at myself, the first thing that came to mind was to throw everything out and keep just the basics. Every month since then, I reevaluate all that I own as if it were my small backpack.

I’m not saying you need to walk across an entire country to become a minimalist. Think about it this way: If you knew that the more possessions you owned burdened your way to reaching your goals, how much would you carry?

Regina Castro

Regina is an architect and musician in a constant search for new ideas and experiences. She studied Urban Planning in Florence, Italy, and is currently living in Mexico. When she isn’t playing guitar, she is probably drinking a cup of coffee.


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Inside Minimalism is our series of exclusive essays on simple living. Each essay is written by our team of writers who are passionate about helping you craft a simpler life. Supported by their own personal experiences, we want to inspire and encourage you to clear the path of life’s stuff, so you can get to where you really want to be.

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