I went on the Camino with five friends from home.

I walked the Camino with a group of 12 lovely humans, all of whom became my friends.

Isn't this life?

We start off with our own group, our people.

Then the journey begins and people we never knew existed start walking next to us and pretty soon they become part of our journey, too.

The first night we all gathered to learn more about our Camino experience, my initial reaction to meeting new people kicked in and I thought to myself,

No, I won't really make space for these new people. I have my circle of friends with me. I will stick close to them. I don't have the capacity to walk the Camino and allow new people into my life.

This is the voice of an introvert who can play an extrovert when needed.

What a mistaken thought that was.

As we started to walk together conversations simply happened.

We talked about life, about love and loss ... so much loss in a group like that.

We cried.

We laughed til we cried.

We commiserated about blisters and sore knees and rough sleep.

We became friends because of the shared journey.

And there were times - more than I anticipated - when it felt like heaven had descended to earth for a brief moment and we were given a glimpse of life as it was meant to be lived.

Bread. Wine. Laughter. Tears. Loss. Gain.

I would do it again in a heartbeat.

All because these strangers became friends.