It's the night before our trip, and if my travel companions are anything like me, they're finishing up the last of the tasks that must be completed before we head to the airport tomorrow morning. Tomorrow, we'll spend well over twelve hours traveling from San Antonio to Madrid on the first leg of our Camino journey. We'll have one day in Madrid before we head to Sarria by train the next day. The day after that, we'll begin our 100km journey on foot to Santiago de Compostela, followed by a shorter walking trip from Fisterra to Muxia on the coast.
As my friends, family, and colleagues will remember, it was just over a year ago today that I started the Camino de Santiago, the trip that ultimately led to this new journey with Chaney, Kelsey, Erica, Brandey, and Jaime. Last year, I walked 500 miles from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela. In the thirty-five days I spent walking and living out of my backpack, I met a lot of wonderful people and learned a lot about my own ability to cope with what the journey threw my way. I was the last person on earth who thought I could sleep in a room full of dozens of snoring strangers, but I did it many, many times. I learned to be grateful for things like a bed in a room full of strangers and to revel in the sheer pleasure of taking my shoes off after walking twenty miles.
When I left for the Camino in May 2013, I knew that the following spring I would teach a course on travel narratives that would end with a faculty-led trip to Spain with my class. I had no idea who would ultimately go on the trip, but I was excited to offer students this amazing opportunity. In the end, I'm pretty lucky to have five awesome students to travel with, and while it will be an arduous journey at times, they are going to make me, their family and friends, and their university very proud of them.
Speaking of those five awesome students, I won't be the only person contributing posts to this blog. We plan to take turns posting, so you'll get to hear from all of us. My husband, Doug, is also walking with us, but he's just along for the journey. We'll see what we can do to get him to make an appearance on the blog.
If you're on Twitter, we're using the hashtags #tlucamino and #tlupilgrims