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139 Miles Down!

Greetings from Grañon, Spain. I have just finished day 9 of the Camino Frances, having walked over 223 km (139 miles) from the French side of the Pyrenees Mountains to the Rioja wine region of Spain. My feet are weary, but my spirits are very high.

Here are some initial reflections after my first nine days of walking:

First, I am feeling stronger every day. Due to a mishap where a deep philosophical discussion while walking caused me to lose the route, I walked 35 km one day. While this was pretty terrible in the moment, it made me more prepared, both physically and emotionally, to attack long walking days ahead. While it certainly is not a competition or race, I feel both surprised and proud that I am often the first one to arrive at our daily destination. It’s a good feeling knowing I can accomplish this monumental task.

Second, I have figured out the rhythm of the Camino. Things are very simple: walk, eat, and sleep. But despite its simplicity, organization is key. How do I efficiently get my things together in the morning so I can get out and attack the day? Am I being mindful of where water and restrooms are available along the way? When I get into my Albergue each day, how best should I accomplish my chores of making my bed, showering, and washing my clothes? How can I prepare my things so I can efficiently get going the following morning? Rinse and repeat.  This simplicity has been a revelation and helped me gain a renewed focus on making efforts to (1) be better organized in every aspect of my life and (2) not procrastinate.

Third, it’s all about the people. The Camino is certainly about the walking, but what a privilege it is to be able to meet interesting people from all over the world, all on their own journeys searching for something personal to them. It’s just been insanely cool in that regard.

Fourth, northern Spain is so beautiful. The walking is hard but made so much easier by being amidst so much natural beauty and so many generous people. 

So, I am definitely on a journey. What will come of it ultimately remains to be seen, but I feel very lucky to have this opportunity at this stage in my life. 

"I also feel very fortunate that folks have responded so enthusiastically to our Freedom to Walk campaign, both in terms of their interest in my daily videos and IPF’s content but also in terms of financial support for our Exoneree Support Fund. We are about two-thirds of the way toward reaching our goal of $15,000 raised, which really means $30,000 because of the generous match by Dr. Sarah Pappas. This support is absolutely vital to help us meet the transition needs of our clients so they can find stability while embarking on their own journeys in freedom."

If you missed any of my daily videos, chronically my daily experience on the Camino, you can follow me on Instagram @_walkwithseth. I am doing my best to get a video out after every day that I walk. For your ease and enjoyment, here is the recap of day 6 :

I can feel your support and encouragement with every step I take. So can our freed clients. Together, we can make a more just and free society for all.

Much more to come. Buen Camino!


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