I first heard about the Camino from a German friend who had undertaken the journey some dozen years ago and I was instantly intrigued. I have read about it since and for many years it has languished on my bucket list as one of those things I might tackle in the future. Then in the last couple of years we planned it, we even set a provisional start date, a couple of times but we couldn’t seem to ‘pull it off’ for various and sundry reasons. Until this year that is, and I do think this year is somehow significant as I turned 50 a couple of weeks ago.
In the early stages of planning and reading about the Camino one is directed, by those in the know, to ask themselves the very question others have been asking me, why? Why do you wish to undertake a 500 mile/800km pilgrim walk to Santiago de Compostella? And although I struggle a little with the name pilgrim, I have come to see the journey I’m about to undertake as my way of giving thanks for all the many blessings I have been given in my life. For me it is a chance to take time out, to simplify my life to what I can carry in a backpack and appreciate how luck I am for my health, my relationships and the many amazing opportunities I have been afforded in this life. And so for me, that is my why!
And although I’m not quite sure why I have chosen to express my gratitude in this way, the die has been cast and the countdown to our departure is ticking by, T minus 8 and counting.