Walking 500 Miles

The dates are set. Flights are booked. Most of the gear has been purchased. Now it’s time to start walking to train for…walking. At the end of May I’ll start a journey that will fill in a major checkbox on my bucket list. Ever since I first heard about El Camino de Santiago, I’ve wanted to walk it. I’ve often thought the best way to see the world is on foot. So this pilgrimage is a perfect fit for me.

I have a job that I love and with that job I’ve been given some amazing benefits. One includes a 4 week sabbatical. The moment this was announced to the company, I knew the Camino de Santiago was one of my top options for my first sabbatical. I’ll be adding an additional two weeks on to that sabbatical for my journey. This will be the longest “vacation” I’ve had since summer breaks in college. Though I love my job, it will be nice to step away and clear my head for a bit.

El Camino de Santiago

Also known as The Way of St. James, the Camino is a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. There’s an extensive trail system all over Europe that leads to Santiago. You can walk for as little as a week, or for several months depending on where you start from.

camino map1

I will be walking the Camino Frances (The French Way). This is the most popular route. I will start in St-Jean Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyrenees mountains and walk the 790 km (490 miles) to Santiago. You may know about this popular route through the Martin Sheen movie The Way.

Camino map

I’ll begin walking on May 25th and will need to find my way from Spain to London by July 1st. So that gives me up to 37 days to walk the 790 km. Many people average the walk in 30-35 days by walking about 15 miles a day. So that will be my goal.

I’m a pretty active person, averaging about 5+ miles of walking a day, going for runs, playing soccer or kickball, swimming, hiking, etc. But this will surely be a new challenge for my body. I’ll be carrying everything I need for the journey in my backpack.

I’ll be in a country where I don’t really speak the language and sharing sleeping quarters with people from all over the world and likely wearing basically the same clothes for 30+ days straight. It will be an adventure of a lifetime!

I’m hoping to be able to use this blog to share my journey. So welcome to my adventure!

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