Europe Travel

Finally – Spain and the Camino de Santiago

Location: Camino de Santiago

Let me tell you a story –

Five years ago I had never heard of the Camino de Santiago until one evening my husband mentioned it as something he would like to do. I have a very clear memory of that moment – because in hindsight I know how pivotal it was.

After doing a little research we talked about tackling it the following year. But even though I was retiring that year my husband was not. He thought we should wait until we were both retired and could take our time and do the entire 500 miles.

Then we thought, well, maybe we will take five or six weeks to walk the Camino and spend another couple of months in Europe.

Then that conversation expanded to maybe we should go abroad for a year… or maybe indefinitely. And the next thing we were talking to our realtor and purging our belongings and beginning our new life.

Whoa. It really happened like that. All from that one comment about wanting to walk the Camino.

It’s been nine months now since we left the United States and through all our travels we have been focused and preparing for our personal pilgrimage. Significant in so many ways but for me most significant because we had a goal and we went for it. We didn’t just talk about doing something –  we changed our entire life and we feel great about it.

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So now the Camino. I hope we haven’t waited too long. The Camino, like every other destination, has grown in popularity substantially in the last few years. I hope it’s not too crowded. I hope it’s not too hard. I hope I can do it.

But even if I can’t – if injury or sickness stops me – I’ve still accomplished so much. I am at my physical and mental peak and I’m excited and ready to go.

Our three weeks in Lagos Portugal has been the

A month in Portugal with our youngest.

perfect final preparation – lots of hikes and training combined with lots of relaxation and healthy food. I’ve loved Lagos and I’m so glad we had the time here. It was especially great to spend this time with our son Erik.  He now heads back to the USA after being away for 32 months.

We fly to Madrid on Monday. We have three days there to do final preparations and last-minute items before taking the train to Pamplona and a bus into France where we begin walking from Saint Jean Pied de Port on September first. We expect to finish somewhere around Oct 8-10th in Santiago Spain. 500 miles.

PLEASE NOTE – I plan to do short and frequent blogs all along the way and daily I will post photos to My Fab Fifties Life Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter pages (except possibly the first two days while in France since my phone may not work in France). I hope you will comment and follow on any or all of these resources and share in our pilgrimage, as you have shared in all of our preparation.

The time has come!  Finally – the Camino begins September 1st!


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  • Reply Sarah

    What a great story – and a great journey yet to come! Good luck!

    August 27, 2017 at 11:36 am
  • Reply Brianna

    Good luck on the trail! I’d love to do something like that someday, but I feel like I would get bored really easily! P.S. I have that smae backpack and I love it!!

    August 27, 2017 at 12:21 pm
  • Reply Bernadette Jackson

    A tale of two journeys, the one that got you here and this one to come. Such powerful writing, and I wish you both well along the Camino.

    August 27, 2017 at 2:25 pm
  • Reply Ana -

    That is an amazing story! I love your spirit and I’m sure you will have a great journey. It is indeed an amazing adventure to have for sure!

    August 27, 2017 at 2:51 pm
  • Reply Susie Puterbaugh

    Best of luck Laureen! I hope the Camino is everything you expect and more. I’m looking forward to following along.

    August 27, 2017 at 3:09 pm
  • Reply Morrie and Pauli Pedersen

    God’s speed! Savor this memory and keep us posted! Take care.

    August 27, 2017 at 3:30 pm
  • Reply Judy Dresser

    Great story so far and I wish you the best of luck on the Camino! Enjoy your time and keep all of us posted along the way. You are prepared and mentality tough for this next chapter of your life!

    August 27, 2017 at 5:35 pm
  • Reply Cynthia

    I’m SO interested in hearing about this journey, can’t wait to see more!!

    August 27, 2017 at 6:26 pm
  • Reply lexieanimetravel

    So nice, I’m excited for your adventure. wish you the best and dont forget to enjoy! love you post.

    August 27, 2017 at 8:32 pm
  • Reply Renada

    This is so great. I would love to follow your journey on the Camino. I lived In Spain, but didn’t make it up north. Good luck and don’t forget to pack band aids!

    August 27, 2017 at 2:27 pm
  • Reply Michael Söhlke

    Just a short note: there are many “Caminos de Santiago” in Europe (or, as it is called in Germany “Jakobsweg” derived from the assumed grave of Apostle Jakobus in Santiago de Compostela) – your part is the famous Camino Francés from the 11th Century which was the main traffic axis in Northern Spain in the High Middle Ages. Being part of the UNESCO world heritage since 1993 many people walk the trail to find peace, tranquility and actually themselves – either walking parts or even the whole distance. – I wish you a wonderful and unforgettable experience!

    August 28, 2017 at 11:29 am
  • Reply Santiago Ways

    Amazing, I love your blog <3 I'm looking forward to hear some news from you and your trip!! How is it going?

    September 7, 2017 at 10:01 am
    • Reply Laureen

      All is well! Mile 84.

      September 7, 2017 at 12:14 pm

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