Grace, USA

“…now I’m a fanatic about walking 12,000 steps per day (per my FitBit), I only buy Rioja Reserve red wine, and I love to wear the clothes I wore on the Camino because they bring back such happy memories.”

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“In 2012, I innocently rented ‘The Way’ from a Redbox DVD machine, never suspecting a mere Hollywood video would change the direction of my life and transform my relationship with my only daughter, Amy. I LOVED the movie, which begged the question, ‘Is this a real walk?’ When I learned that it was, I added it to my bucket list.

Two years later, I decided to walk the Camino. I invited my other walking friends to join me. I got a few nibbles but Amy had just graduated from college and when she heard what I was planning, she said she wanted to hike it with me. This was a tough request because we have fairly opposite personalities and while I love her with all I’ve got, I didn’t want to risk our rather fragile relationship:
‘You just don’t want to job hunt. You don’t even hike. We’re so different,’ I told her.
‘But Mom, I can job hunt when I return. I really want to try hiking. And we’ll have fun shopping for all the cool stuff we’ll need,’ she countered.

Eventually, we agreed to let our family therapist make the final decision:
‘I think it’s a great idea,’ our shrink said.
‘You just need the business,’ I mumbled.
‘And don’t invite anyone else,’ the therapist added. ‘Just you and Amy.’

A deal’s a deal, so we started planning, purchasing, and packing. We left a few months later, in early May, and hiked the whole Camino Francés, from St. Jean to Santiago, and then on to Finisterre and Muxia. We walked about 600 miles in 60 days, taking time to really enjoy everything around us.

The result? Our therapist was right. It was a GREAT IDEA. I loved every minute of the walk and my time with Amy. Really, every minute. Now, when uncomfortable moments come up, she often reminds me of how we worked things out on the Camino, we laugh, and get through it. Amy and I plan to hike the Camino again someday but, in the meantime, we’re planning to backpack in New Zealand and the U.S.

In addition, now I’m a fanatic about walking 12,000 steps per day (per my FitBit), I only buy Rioja Reserve red wine, and I love to wear the clothes I wore on the Camino because they bring back such happy memories. Plus, we made some wonderful friends from around the world and love to stay in touch with them. Buen Camino!”

-Grace, USA

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