“I’d had this notion that a tourist goes off in search of diversion, while a pilgrim is after something serious.” –A Sense of Direction: Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful by Gideon Lewis-Kraus
Just as I do at New Years and birthdays, I like to start every next chapter with intention. This is the year I’ll read forty books and learn to hoola hoop, I tell myself. Sometimes I see these new beginnings through and sometimes I do not but, always, I start with intention.
I believed I would start this pilgrimage to Santiago in the same way. Ever since I was surprised with this gift I had the intention (there’s that word again) that I would set out down the road with purpose. And while I learned during my time in the Himalayas (which was, in retrospect, its own sort of pilgrimage) that I cannot think through the future, I wanted to start the walk with a big question, something that’s been troubling me, and then ponder it through to resolution. Signed, sealed, delivered.
But somehow this summer got away from me: my dog got sick and I launched my book and spent a weekend visiting my grandparents and now BAM I leave on Wednesday for at least 7 months and I haven’t even started packing. I feel crazy, like I am trying to catch sand in a windstorm.
But this is life and I know that, as always, there’s a lesson in there somewhere.
So, in 2 days I’ll be in Spain. I’ll fly into Pamplona and then take the bus to St. Jean Pied-de-Port, France where I’ll begin the 500 mile walk to Santiago de Compostela. I genuinely have no idea what I am doing. But everyone keeps telling me that all I really need to do is show up and walk so that’s what I’m going to do.
Inspired by Laura of Roam Far and Wide who blogged every day of her walk, I’m going to try to do the same. I have no idea if I’ll be successful or not, and I don’t want blogging to get in the way of the experiences I’ll have on the pilgrimmage. I won’t, for example, choose blogging over dinner and drinks with other pilgrims. But the truth is that writing and blogging make me happy and I know I’ll want to share this adventure as it happens.
So that’s the plan, Stan.
The next time you hear from me I’ll be in Spain!
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