Photo Courtesy of the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove, Montgomery County Audubon Collection, and Zebra Publishing

This time the calling happened while Mike and I were road tripping to a funeral in Eastern Kentucky to honor an incredible man and comfort family.

As we made our way east on the Mountain Parkway, I asked Mike, “How about a podcast?”

After a little discussion, we agreed we were in the mood for something adventurous, so I began scrolling through episodes of Suzanne Stavert’s podcast, Travel Connections.

I met Suzanne a few years ago when she was visiting Kentucky, and I’m in love with her sense of adventure, her love for books, and her philosophy on travel: “Say yes and figure out the rest.”. I love that!

While I had listened to several of her episodes in the past, I was behind, and I knew Mike would enjoy them.

So, we started with a recent episode: Come Travel the World with Lifetime TV Host, Scott Eddy. He talked about how he left his job of investment banking in the US to live and eventually start a business in Southeast Asia. He lived in 6 countries over 17 years, and he currently travels to 20 countries each year. He also talked a lot about Alaska, including his experience aboard a fishing boat from Deadliest Catch, which just happens to belong to Mike’s (my husband’s) cousin. Small world?

Needless to say, I had picked the perfect podcast to start out our road trip.

With that episode complete, I scrolled through the other episodes I hadn’t already listened to only to stumble upon a subject I hadn’t encountered in a few years (since before the pandemic, I suppose), but a subject that always catches my eye and my adventurous spirit.

We listened to “Walking the Camino de Santiago – An Exhilarating & Inspiring Adventure.” And that’s where it happened.

I began to slide, slowly at first, but then all at once with my whole body and mind, down the rabbit hole.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Camino de Santiago:

The Camino de Santiago, known in English as the Way of St James, is a network of pilgrims’ ways or pilgrimages leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition holds that the remains of the apostle are buried. — Wikipedia

There are many routes to choose from, but most walkers start in France, Spain, or Portugal and end in Santiago de Compostela.

In this episode of Travel Connections, Suzanne talks with Meg Maloney, who, after seeing the last of her three children head off to college, decided to complete the 500+ mile French route of the Camino de Santiago.

After listening to Suzanne’s and Meg’s conversation, a long-ago calling I had successfully suppressed due to wrong timing came back to life. I immediately became obsessed with learning everything I could about the Camino de Santiago. I’ve been watching videos, listening to other podcasts, and I even ordered Slow Your Roll: Ruminations & Reflections On My Walk Across Spain, the book Meg wrote about her adventure while I was still on the Mountain Parkway traveling east. (Review coming soon.)

Meg walked the 500+ mile French route, the most popular route of the Camino de Santiago, in just over a month, and to say that I’m feeling some sort of calling to do the same is a huge understatement.

While I’ve known about the Camino de Santiago for years, this is the first time I’ve ever listened to someone else’s journey and thought to myself, “Now is the time for me to go.”

Timing can be everything, right? And at this very moment, I feel like my time to answer the calling toward the Camino is drawing near.

Questions for you:

  1. Have you ever completed a long, solo journey in a land foreign to you?

  2. Have you ever felt a strong pull or calling to do something outside of your normal?

  3. Have you walked the Camino de Santiago?

Some of my reasons for wanting to do this are private in nature (reasons I might share in the future), but many other reasons are not. I’ll share these in future posts as I explore the logistics of such a walk, and examine what it takes physically, psychologically, and spiritually to go on a long, solo walk.

I know, based on rabbit holes I’ve fallen down in the past, this could lead to me walking the Camino de Santiago next spring, or it could lead to something else entirely.

Stay tuned…

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