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Halfway There

As I write this, I am in Mansilla de las Mulas, Spain. I am laying the in the bottom bunk in a small room that contains four bunk beds in the Albergue. It’s a Sunday, so nothing is really open. We are fixing some chickpea dish with ingredients from the gas station store (which was open). 

This would seem suboptimal in most other contexts. But for me, on the Camino, I am still with seven people who I began with 18 days ago. While we have said goodbye to some—because they have pressed forward or ended their Caminos—I am better for having spent quality time with them. 

Top Row (L to R): selfie in the countryside outside Burgos, walking with a friend, cooking in an albergue

Middle Row (L to R): typical meal along the camino, outside Sahagún, sitting next to a Monumento al Peregrino in Villacázar de Sirga

Bottom Row (L to R): group photo in front of the Cathedral in Burgos, outside Hontanas, sunrise over the countryside

I have fully embraced the simple rhythm of the Camino and found it comforting. I wake, I pack, I walk, I eat, I walk more,  I arrive, I do my chores, I relax, I eat, I prepare for the next day, I sleep. Rinse and repeat. While life at home could never be this simple, it does strike me that I could simplify life by procrastinating less and focusing on the the things I need to do before the things I want to do, so when I am doing the things I want do I am not burdened by the pressing things I should have already done. Seems easy. We’ll see!

At this point I am more than halfway done the Camino Frances and about halfway done my time in Spain. More than anything, I feel very accomplished. The walking is hard but my perception of the difficulty and distance has shifted. When I am confronted with a 11-mile day, I am treating it as if it is a short “walking rest” day. 15 miles? That’s a normal day? 18 miles? Just leave earlier. 

Look how far I’ve walked:

I’ll be in Santiago in 14 days. I will have reached the ocean, completely traversing a country for over 575 miles four days after that. It’s hard to fathom but it’s my reality. And it’s awesome.

I have met so many interesting people, spoken so much Spanish, and had sufficient space and time to think through how I can make positive changes to my life. 

For as amazing as this experience is, I miss my family so much. I get to talk to them everyday but I can’t wait to hug and kiss them. I also miss my staff at IPF and had major FOMO as most of them got to be together in New Orleans at what appeared to have been an amazing Innocence Network Conference. I will be excited to return to work, renewed and recharged.

I am keeping up with my daily videos, which you can see on my Instagram @_walkwithseth.

I love you all! Buen Camino.


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