The Road Taken: Further Reflections on My Walk in Spain
As many readers may already know, I was privileged to walk the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route in Spain, during the summer of 2018. I wrote about that experience in a previous entry in this blog, and soon I plan to release a book that goes into more depth about the experience of walking the Camino, some of the valuable lessons it taught me, and how the Camino still influences my life, my relationships, and my work with our clients.
One of the most impactful realizations I’ve had since my Camino experience is the way that it continues to occupy my mind, my heart, and my approach to almost everything I do. Hardly an hour goes by during any day when I don’t reflect on some aspect of my Camino pilgrimage. Lately, I’ve been reflecting deeply on the greeting that passes between peregrinos (pilgrims walking the Camino) and even between the peregrinos and the people in the villages and towns along the way: “Buen Camino.” As I wrote in my previous blog, this simple Spanish phrase, which translates roughly as “have a good journey” or even “happy trails,” comes to mean so much more. Far beyond a wish for a safe or pleasant day’s travel, “buen camino” captures a wish for fulfillment, for true discernment of one’s purpose. For this and other reasons, I’ve begun closing my blogs, letters, emails, and other articles with “Buen Camino.”
Hearing and offering this simple greeting while I was walking the Camino de Santiago became like a transfusion of energy. Each time a fellow peregrino or someone standing near the road or seated at a sidewalk café shared this greeting, I felt a small burst of encouragement. Or in the evening, when my legs and feet were sore from the day’s walking, giving and receiving “buen camino” provided both comfort and resolve for continuing the journey the next day. But actions were just as important as the words. There were times my fellow peregrinos or I would offer assistance when the opportunity presented it to a struggling peregrino.
As I mentioned in my earlier blog, our aim at Bernhardt Wealth Management is to extend the spirit of “buen camino” to our clients, our colleagues, and everyone with whom we come in professional contact. We want to be dependable traveling companions for the financial journey—to provide encouragement, guidance, and expertise as we seek to lighten our clients’ loads and help them stay on the path to their most important life goals. Each time we provide evidence-based investment advice, help our clients make the right decisions for their estate planning needs or wealth management matters, or coach our clients through a challenging market cycle, we are, in essence, not just wishing them “buen camino” but are fulfilling our promise to be a dependable traveling companion. By serving as their personal chief financial officer, we hope to free them from the day-to-day burdens of managing their wealth, giving them more time to focus on building a meaningful legacy. In all this, our intention is to renew our pledge to travel the road with them, to help them stay on the path, and to offer encouragement, support, and help, especially when the way grows long and “travel fatigue” sets in.
If you or someone you care about could benefit from having Bernhardt Wealth Management as a dependable financial traveling companion, we would appreciate the opportunity to learn more; please contact us. And for more information on how we work with clients to create individualized wealth management plans, please click here.