From email update May 5th:
Tomorrow I’ll take a bus from Barcelona north to Pamplona, and after resting for the night I’m going to take a walk. The walk will take me 30 days, more or less.
Back in the day, El Camino de Santiago (The Path/Way of Santiago) was a pilgrimage route to the city of Santiago de Compostela, in the northwest corner of Spain. The most famous route of the pilgrimage, El Camino Francés, begins inside France itself and stretches east-to-west all the way to Santiago, paralleling the northern Iberian coast. Since the camino’s transformation into a tourism thing (some people still do it for religious reasons, but most don’t), kind souls and entrepreneurs have established pilgrims’ hostels along the route, where folks can eat and sleep cheaply, then move on at dawn.
I’ll be bringing just a trekking backpack with a sleeping bag, change of clothes, some good boots, a map, money and sunscreen. I expect cold mornings, hot afternoons, blisters, fellow travelers, exhaustion, elation, and of course, the unexpected. Needless to say, I’m ridiculously excited.
So what does this long walk mean for *you,* my lovely friends?
Well, for one, it means you prob’ly won’t be getting any email updates from this little pilgrim in the next month. So don’t worry, I’m fine, just unplugged.
Two, it means that when I finish, you can look forward to some reflections on renunciation, which is one of the main reasons I’m stoked about this adventure. I was going to write some stuff about renunciation now, but this is already getting too long, so we’ll just save it up for later.
And Three, it means that when I get back, you can also look forward to learning more about my mom! Since May, the month I’ll be walking, is the month of Mother’s Day, I decided to dedicate this adventure to my sweet mama. (Hi, mama :). And as a friend helped me realize recently, the highest compliment you can give someone, the best way to pay respect, is to take inspiration from them. To look deeply at their good qualities and work to develop those qualities in yourself. So during my walk, I’ll be reflecting on my mom, and the wonderful things about her that I seek to emulate. I already have some ideas, but the camino will offer a lot of great, wide-open time to reflect further. Report forthcoming. :)
So there you have it, friends, a long walk (in) freedom. Wish me luck!