“You do not choose a life, you live one.” Bucket List Trip #20

The quote in my headlines is also the quote I have tattooed on my left shoulder, pictured with a kayaker below some mountains. It is of course not my quote, just my motto, and the quote itself comes for the movie “The Way”, which takes place on the Camino de Santiago. Anyone who knows me well at all is probably surprised that I did not price the Camino out until trip #20, possibly because it is the bucket list item that is so engrained on my heart and in my mind, that writing it down again, and pricing it out, will just continue to build that flame within me, calling me to go! Followed by the disappointed and frustration that I have yet to make it happen. I’ll get there someday, I truly believe my heart will continue to yearn for it, until my feet have blistered from it.

The Camino de Santiago is one of the oldest Christian routes, going back actually even before Christianity as a route many had traveled. The route is across Northern Spain, from France to the Cathedral in Santiago, where the remains of the Apostle James are believed to be buried. You can start the camino is many different locations, but in order to receive your Compostela, you have to walk the last 100km.

Along the Camino there are multiple options for lodging. You can camp, stay in hostels, book hotels, private housing, etc. so the price is all over the place. What I decided is that I would take a 10 Day/8 Night trip, 6 of those nights would be on the Camino, with a night in Madrid and Sarria (the starting point for my Camino). I figured I would spend 5 nights in pilgrims housing and 3 nights in hotels (although along the route, I may choose to add a hotel night depending on how I am physically doing).Obviously there is so much more I could write about this experience, but I am trying to keep these posts basics, so here is what I have priced out:
Flight: $1113
Lodging: $375
Transportation in Spain: $300
Food: $500
A grand total of $2288! (Of course that does not include gear!)

I can not say why this has never happened, I think about it and plan for it often. I can make a million reason why I can not, or shouldn’t do it, but to be honest my heart is so set on it, that I know I need to answer the call. Maybe someday I will get to host a group for this incredible experience, have someone decided they should send me there, or maybe some of you will read this and have the same desire as me, and we can form a group and just do it! But for know, it will stay at the top of my list, my absolute must do!

I know this experience will change me, how could it not! It will test my limits, point out my weaknesses, yet remind me all that life has given to me, the good and the bad, and remind me that I am still moving forward! I am not sure if this is the life I would have chosen, but it definitely is the life I have chosen to live!

Keep dreaming and making those miles into memories!

P.S. There is an equally amazing pilgrimage route in Norway that I was recently introduced to called the St. Olav way.  It is amazing, and my heart is truly longing to experience that pilgrimage as well! I can not wait to get my feet back out on the path!

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