You have probably heard that I am leaving to walk the Camino de Santiago. I fly out on Saturday (April 28th) and I will be gone 6 weeks. This is a huge undertaking. I have had a ridiculously diverse life, but I have never experienced anything close to this.
I am amazingly thankful for the chance to go. This is a massive sacrifice for my family, for my work and for my network… and so I am without words to describe my gratitude.
How did it happen? I have been dreaming about going for a couple of years. I have had several friends walk and regale me with their adventures. I am also writing a novel wherein my protagonist ends up on the Camino, so my love of that character makes me want to go even more.
A couple of months ago, my friend Tom Kohl told me he was walking the Way (he left a few days ago) and that retriggered the desire. Aimee and I discussed it and it seemed that serendipity had descended upon us. Within days, I purchased a plane ticket to Europe.
What is the Camino? It is an ancient pilgrimage from southern France to Santiago, Spain.
It is approximately 800 kilometers (500 miles) and traditionally it takes about 40 days to walk (averaging 15 miles each day.) Pilgrims have taken the journey for numerous reasons: enlightenment, mourning, spiritual formation, relational connection, adventure, health, etc.
What am I hoping to get out of the trip? This is the question I get asked most often. My friend, Brian, just asked me this very question and my answer to him feels the most true…
I answered, “I will find out while I walk.”
“Are you writing along the Way?” This is the second question I often get asked. The answer is “no.” I have no expectations of regularly monumenting or chronicling the trip. For a guy like me, I just want to go and be fully present. I also don’t want to succumb to the modern lie that I need to monetize or “increase my platform” through this walk.
“How can we follow you?” I will however post an occasional picture or a small thought on Facebook or on my website. It will not be extensive, but I love you all and I want you to see that I am progressing. I am not taking a computer or an iPad, only my phone, so my options will be limited.
What are you nervous about? How can we pray for you? This is often the last question and maybe the most important.
- Pray that I will “Find out while I walk” as I wrote above.
- Pray that I will find divine friends along the Way.
- I have been doing some training and my body feels great. I am worried about my feet which have not been responding well to my boots and I have heard that foot issues can easily derail or even end a pilgrimage.
- Pray for my family. This is the longest we have ever been apart and it is certainly a burden on Aimee.
Pilgrims Prayer- 12th Century
God, You called your servant Abraham from Ur in Chaldea, watching over him in all his wanderings, and guided the Hebrew people as they crossed the desert. Guard these your children who, for love of your Name, make a pilgrimage to Compostela. Be their companion on the way, their guide at the crossroads, their strength in weariness, their defense in dangers, their shelter on the path, their shade in the heat, their light in the darkness, their comfort in discouragement, and the firmness of their intentions; that through your guidance, they may arrive safely at the end of their journey and, enriched with grace and virtue, may return to their homes filled with salutary and lasting joy. Amen.
Again, I don’t know how available I will be, but please, if you desire, send me an email or text if you want to connect, ask a question or just encourage.
Much love, Tony