Just What We Need. Another Long Distance Hiking Blog!
So here we are! As I’m sure you’ve heard, I intend to hike the Camino de Santiago this May and June 2015. The Camino is a 500+ mile pilgrimage that begins in St. Jean Pied de Port, France, travels across northern Spain and ends at the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great, which is in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. If all works out, I would like to continue my adventure all the way to the coast of Spain.
What Was I Thinking?!
If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever take a trip like this, I would have laughed at the idea. In fact, when I first heard about the Camino de Santiago back in April 2014, seriously considering it was the furthest thing from my mind. My husband was only 1/3 of his way up the Appalachian Trail and I was still adjusting to my life back home alone. But when Brian returned from his trip with a renewed sense of self and livelihood, I began to more seriously consider taking a similar journey for myself. At first, Brian and I thought we would hike the Camino together. Why not embark on a spiritual pilgrimage together as a way to renew ourselves and our marriage? The thought was invigorating. We discussed how we would take approximately 2 weeks off work to hike the very last section of the Camino together (which is the minimum required to gain “credit” for hiking the Camino.) But as this idea evolved, it occurred to me that I may have few opportunities like this in my life. “If I’m going to hike the Camino, why not do the whole thing?” I gently brought up my thoughts about hiking the entire thing to Brian unsure how he’d respond. But no surprise, being the loving, supporting and amazing husband that he is, his immediate response was, “I think you should do the whole thing. And I think you should do it alone.” We both understood the significance of taking a trip like this on my own so we agreed that I would hike the trail myself and he would meet me for the last portion as we originally agreed.
Initially, the thought of hiking 600 miles alone in Europe scared the living daylights out of me. How could I possibly manage? But once I realized the unlikeliness of finding someone who was willing and able to take that much time to hike, and the more I read about the Camino and prepared myself physically and mentally for the challenge, the more I came to realize taking this pilgrimage alone is the only real way to accomplish my goals. I would share my goals with you however they are not only deeply personal but I think they’d also be tremendously difficult to articulate.
A Word about my Blogging
As I prepare to embark on my journey, I have accepted the inevitable! I’ve been made aware that it’s impossible to have a long distance hike without a blog of some kind. I am hoping to minimize the amount of time I stay “connected” while hiking the Camino but I am aware that at the very least, I need a method to keep my loved ones aware of my status. So, as much as Spain’s WiFi access will allow, and as long as it’s not pulling me from my trail experience, I promise to stay in touch! I may post a quick “here’s where I am” update or a if possible I’ll create a gallery of scenic pictures along the way. I can’t promise my blog won’t be reduced to drunken photos of myself as I tour the wine country. In all honesty, I tend to enjoy wine more than blogging. Either way, I hope you’ll join me on my great adventure! Thanks!
Wiki has a pretty good description if you’d like more history of this 1000+ year old pilgrimage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camino_de_Santiago.