Every year thousands of people trek to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain on routes that wind through Europe, carved by countless pilgrims and spiritual seekers before them. It can be a long, long walk. But that’s the point. If you’re looking for answers, inspiration and insight, the journey’s the thing. It’s where the magic happens, the chance meetings, the unexpected discoveries. I haven’t walked the camino myself but those who have tell me they get a huge amount from it.
Every year hundreds of thousands – millions – of people trek through our city streets on their way to and from work. And what they get from is, mostly – nothing.
Zip. Niente. Nada.
The street to many of us is just a traffic-filled, annoying space to hurry through, a logistical obstacle, something to screen out with an iPod playlist.
We disagree. That’s not a royal ‘we’ either. It’s a delightfully disruptive clan of creative allies involved in a new non-profit venture we call Street Wisdom. We think a scrubby path through the northern Spanish hills is more like Oxford Street rush hour than an average city dweller realises. We think the magic is more about how you look than what you are looking at. We’re suggesting the difference between a quest and a commute is a choice you can make any time. When you really switch on your senses and connect with what’s around you, you can start picking up inspiration right outside your door.
What do you think? Want to experiment? We’re doing Street Wisdom events from San Francisco to Sofia this Spring. Just register on the site and we’ll let you know when and where you can join us.
First posted on Street Wisdom blog 11 February 2014