First of all, no, I’m not pregnant.
I had a feeling that people that were going to think that, but no, my big news has nothing to do with growing a small human being. Plus, I can assure you that if/when that time comes, I won’t be posting teasers about it on my blog. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but that’s just not my style. More likely an announcement of that sort would come in the form of a photo of myself cradling bottles of wine while sobbing hysterically, with the caption “see you in nine months lovers.”
So, no, again, not pregnant.
But anyway, remember that 500 miles song by the Proclaimers? It used to be one of my absolute favorite songs when I was younger. I would drive my mom crazy by listening to it over and over and over again. I loooooooooved it. And even today, as a pseudo-grownup, I still do.
So it’s kind of funny to think that in less than one month I will actually walk 500 miles.
Well, 472 to be exact, but hey, I think that’s close enough to count!
Yes. You read that right. Me, someone who up until a few months ago had never done a real hike in her life, will be hiking almost 500 miles. With Kevin. Across Spain.
Confused? Let me back up.
For as long as I’ve been with Kevin, we have wanted to do some sort of big trip together. A “last hurrah” before we settle down and have kids type of thing, but we could never agree on what this big trip would be. And then about a year ago we started learning more about this little thing called the Camino de Santiago, and suddenly, it all kind of fell into place.
On October 2nd, Kevin and I will be flying into Pamplona, Spain, and from there we will spend the next 30 (+/-) days walking (yes, walking) to Santiago. For those of you that have never heard about the Camino de Santiago, you’re not alone. While the Camino is very popular in Europe, it’s still not that well known among Americans.
The Camino de Santiago is a 1200 year old pilgrimage that leads to Santiago de Compostela, in western Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of Saint James are buried. In medieval times it was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages one could make. Today, it’s become a very popular modern pilgrimage, drawing people from all over the world for all sorts of reasons, be it for the adventure, the cultural experience, to become closer to God, or sometimes just for the food and wine. Last year, almost 200,000 people walked the way.
Though many people do it for religious reasons, there are also a lot of people who do it for non-religious purposes, like us. Both Kevin and I are agnostic (agnostic theists, if you will), so while we’re definitely open to having a spiritual journey along the Camino, it’s certainly not the driving force behind it.
Kevin first learned about the Camino de Santiago when he was in high school, and he’s wanted to do it ever since. For me? Well, I first learned about it years ago when I read Paolo Coelho’s “The Pilgrimage,” but because his journey was very religious and spiritual and included things like camping and sleeping outside, it didn’t really appeal to me. Kevin and I had talked about it briefly but it was never something we seriously considered doing.
Then about a year ago Kevin and I saw movie The Way. While watching it I looked over at Kevin and said “wait a second… you don’t have to camp? You just walk through the beautiful Spanish countryside and then eat and drink wine and hang out with new people?” And when he said yes, I said “sign me up!” Because eating and drinking and hanging out with people? That I can do! That right there is my forte.
And so our plan was born.
The walk from Pamplona to Santiago should take about a month, and from there we’re giving ourselves another two weeks to do whatever our hearts desire. Our tentative plan is to spend a few days in Portugal and then head over to Morocco, but we’re taking a “go with the flow” approach and not really committing to anything in case we change our mind along the way.
I’ve wanted to write about this for so long but I’ve had to keep it secret, because taking a six-week trip kind of means that you have to sacrifice other things. Things like your job. Which means in order for me to do this trip, I will have to leave my job, and I couldn’t really write about that until I’d shared this information with my work. But now that the cat is out of the bag, I can blog about it to my hearts content!
And probably drive you crazy in the process.
Fortunately, Kevin’s job is awesome and is allowing him to take six weeks off, so thankfully only one of us will be unemployed upon our return.
As for what I’ll do what I get back? I have no idea. Quitting your job for the great unknown is equally as exciting as it is scary, and while the thought of coming back to San Francisco jobless does give me some anxiety, the thought of not doing this trip gives me so much more.
So there you have it, friends. My “big news.” Considering the number of real life friends that already knew my “big news” but that after reading my blog called or emailed me to ask just what my “big news” was, I fear I may have hyped it up a bit too much. I am sorry if that is the case, but to me, it’s pretty big.
I sincerely hope that you’ll bear with me as my blog temporarily morphs into that of a Camino de Santiago travel blog. I promise to try my best to keep you entertained, and hopefully my adventures in Spain will be a little more exciting than my life in San Francisco has been lately.
I do hope you’ll stick around.