This is the way

Catedral Basilica de Santiago de Compostela

The unexpected pause is unpausing … finally.

It’s been 104 days since I arrived back in the States. Eighty-seven days since my hero left this earth. I am eternally grateful for these 104 days. They were days spent surrounded by family and days filled with unimaginable personal growth.

They were part of an adventure the universe had chosen for me.

But enough with the past, let’s instead look forward. Let’s look towards a new path. A well worn path paved by millions before me.

This path has a name, and its name is the Camino de Santiago.

And this path will not be walked alone. My mom has decided to join me on this adventure! This has long been a bucket list item for me and I am beyond excited that we will get to share this incredible experience together.

The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, is one of the three major Christian pilgrimages. It is said that the apostle Saint James is buried in Santiago de Compostela in the northwestern Spanish province of Galicia. Artifacts and records show that humans have been making the pilgrimage to SdC since the early 9th century. By the 12th century more than 250,000 people made the journey annually. In 1993 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Like all pilgrimages, it traditionally starts from your doorstep and any way you take is valid. Over time many known routes solidified and today there are considered to be about 12 named routes. The most traditional and most trafficked is the Camino Frances.

The Camino Frances route is approximately 790km and should take us about 30-35 days to complete, at an average of 22-28 km per day. The route traditionally starts in the south of France in the town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. The walk will take us up and over the Pyrenees mountains into Spain. From there it traverses northern Spain with the terminus in Santiago de Compostela.

For the journey, I’ll be pairing down my already small set of personal belongings even further. A basic set of 2 shirts, 2 shorts, socks & undies. I won’t be carrying my laptop, and thus, won’t be blogging as much during the trek. I might try to write from my phone, but we’ll see how that actually goes.

However, we will be documenting our walk on my second Instagram account. We plan to upload at least once a day, so if you’re so inclined give the account a follow @choosingouradventure. Those images will also appear in the sidebar of the blog for the duration of our walk, for those of you that don’t do social media.

This pause, while unplanned and unexpected, has given me so much.

Time with my family, time with my father and the chance to grieve and process surrounded by those I love. It’s given me a rest that I didn’t know I needed, replete with ample time for reflection for the year’s worth of adventures.

These months have confirmed for me that I am on the right path, that “out there” is where I am happiest. I yearn for it. I’m excited to get back on the road. Excited to discover new places, meet new people and experience new cultures.

The next chapter begins in five days. So until next time … Buen Camino.