My friend, Leslie, is about to embark on an epic journey. In a few days she leaves for France to walk the Camino de Santiago. The Camino, as it’s frequently called (or also the Way of St. James), is an ancient pilgrimage that begins in France and ends in Spain, and depending on the route, it’s roughly a 500-mile journey. The Camino has a rich and interesting history and I encourage you to Learn more about it here.
Leslie’s spirit of adventure and backpack is all that is required for her journey (and a little training). Similar to running a race, we all have different reasons for signing up for endurance challenges, and I was curious to learn what motived my friend to take on such an exciting adventure.
What inspired you to walk the Camino de Santiago?
A friend of mine handed me a book in June 2014 called “A Million Steps” by Kurt Koontz who hiked the Camino. I read it and said, “I need to do this.”
When did you decide to do it?
After reading the book, I decided to do the Camino for several reasons. I love a good physical challenge. In the past, I’ve raced in several triathlons and biathlons, as well as have done a lot of mountain and road biking, cross-country skiing, and several backpacking trips. Additionally, I’m in my early 50s and feel that I need a new challenge in life, especially one that I can do on my own. I chose not to invite anyone to join me, including my husband, on this journey. I want to get away from my regular life, stand on my own two feet (literally, too), and not have to take care of anyone else but myself.
Where are you starting and how long do you expect it will take?
I’m starting in southern France on the trail known as the Camino Frances. On the first day I’ll cross the Pyrenees Mountains into Spain. On average, people take five weeks to complete the 530+ miles from southern France to Santiago, Spain. I will be gone for six weeks—I didn’t want to have any time constraints, and wanted the ability to take a day off if and when I needed it. If I get done early, I can rest and enjoy leisurely days in Spain. [Continue Reading]