The Call of the Camino

My journey will be a 500 mile trek that starts in France at St. Jean Pied-de-Port which is near the border. The first day brings a hike over the Pyrenees and into Spain where it traverses through uninhabited wilderness, towns, villages and urban centers across the northern regions. This medieval pilgrimage route, also known as, “The Way of St. James”, culminates in Santiago de Compostela at the cathedral where the relics of St. James lie. Spanish tourism websites promote El Camino as a walking and cycling holiday.

Over 150,000 people walk this Camino each year for a variety of reasons. Being a global citizen, I look forward to seeing who I will cross paths with, where they are from and what inspired them to take a walk across Spain. As a curious adventurer, I want to explore the different regions, the villages, the people, food and culture of northern Spain. I want to savor the history and sacredness of this medieval path rich with spiritual significance.

My inner journey will have the luxury of many miles to ponder all of the mysteries of life  … such as how someone who, decades ago, swore she would never ever backpack anywhere,  committed to carrying a 25-lb backpack across Spain. How someone who didn’t even like hiking, not only committed to a two-month hike, but did an extra 500 miles (with 25-lb backpack) before beginning her walk across Spain. Such mysteries may never be solved but there will be plenty of time to be inspired, motivated and awakened to new perspectives, new caminos and new adventures in living. Questions to be reflected upon include, who am I today and where am I going tomorrow?

Accompanying me on this magical mystery tour will be my “sole” sister, Terry Ruttger. Over the past two years, we have had many soul searching and sole searching discussions about boots, socks, jackets, resiliency, stamina, endurance, life, solar energy, transitions and so much more as we brought this dream to fruition. As with the 25+ years that we’ve known each other, we’ve experienced a lot of ups, downs, bumps, hiccups and sunshine on our path as we prepared for this trip. All systems are go, we are packed and ready to roll. Please join me on this adventure by following my blog.

Look out Spain, here we come.




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Jane is a resident of Browndale neighborhood in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

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