Come August 7th I am supposed to be on a plane flying out to Spain for a three week adventure on El Camino de Santiago. For part of my Honors College requirements I am writing a thesis paper on the spiritual experience of pilgrims on El Camino de Santiago, and in order to do so I am conducting interviews as I hike the trail myself. In the recent months I have been doing background research on the subject, gathering as much information as I can – including popular books such as The Camino by Shirley MacLaine and The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho.
Although I have pulled much information together, it has been hard to find time while working at camp to do so. With little free time and even less time in which I have access to the internet, I am just now beginning to feel confident in this trip once again. I just received my guide book, The Norther Caminos: Norte, Primativo, and Inglés Routes (I will be doing Primativo from Oviedo to Santiago). I am also awaiting a package full of hiking socks, underwear, t-shirts and The Northern Spain Adventure Map by National Geographic. Things are beginning to look up once again. I am not leaving camp until August 3rd(ish), so I will not have much time in between camp and Spain to pack, unpack, and readjust. Because of this, I have been trying to prepare as much as I can while at camp.
Not only am I currently focused on getting information put together but also preparing my mind and body. El Camino de Santiago is not for the faint of heart. I will be walking miles a day while carrying everything I need on my back. In order to prepare my body for the journey, I have been getting up before breakfast in order to walk (luckily enough I have an amazing boyfriend who supports me and walks with me in the mornings here to keep me company!). As camp progresses and I become closer to my departure, I plan to walk more frequently.
That being said, I also need to prepare my mind. Even though I have read deeply into the subject, I am not sure that anything can fully prepare me for what I am about to embark on. My main goal is to do my best keeping an open mind to any and all people and things. It is an opportunity of a lifetime and I am sure that in some way in will be life changing.
Stay posted for more about my journey on El Camino de Santiago :)