During July the theme has been 31 days to focus on YOU and whilst we are only just over half-way I wanted to give you a taste of what to expect in August. My August theme will be all about Celebrating Life Now! Not waiting until….BUT celebrating and loving your life NOW!
I will be celebrating my 60th birthday in August and thought it was time for us all to celebrate life, love and friends.
Why wait for a specific event to celebrate? Just celebrate for 31 days in August.
My guest today is a favourite of you all, Donna Connelly from Retirement Reflections. Donna has been a guest before and wrote about ‘Building Walking into your Lifestyle’ In that post, Donna explained about how she and her husband were training for the Camino Walk in Spain.
In this post, Donna will be sharing with us Celebrating a Milestone Birthday: 700 Kilometers on the Camino Trail. To celebrate her husband’s birthday.
This is a perfect introduction for my August theme and hope that you will enjoy Donna’s thoughts.
Celebrating a Milestone Birthday: 700 Kilometers on the Camino Trail. To celebrate her husband’s birthday.
Congratulations to Sue on her upcoming 60th birthday! I love how for her birthday she has chosen to focus on celebrating life, being bold and courageous and challenging herself, and her readers, to try new things. I also love that she has invited a group of bloggers to join this theme and share their own stories.
Once again, Sue and I are definitely on the same page.
My husband, Richard, turns 70 this September. For his birthday, Richard and I have decided to take the leap, challenge ourselves and celebrate together by walking 700 km on the Camino Trail in Spain. We both love the Camino and have done two separate eight-day sections previously (you can check out posts on our last Camino experience here).
We had always wanted to walk the full Camino Frances but kept putting it off. Finally, we decided if we didn’t do it now, when would we do it?
Ready for his 70th birthday trek!
So, later this week, we fly to Paris, then to Biarritz, then bus to San Sebastian then to Najera, Spain to begin this journey.
Hiking the Camino Trail is a very personal experience. There is no correct way to do it and no set distance that must be traveled (unless you want an official ‘Compostela Certificate’…then you must walk the last 100km of the trail to Santiago de Compostela…or bike the final 200 km).
Here’s our basic plan:
- Begin walking from Najera, Spain (where we left of last year).
• Instead of ending at the traditional Santiago de Compostela, we will walk to Finisterre and then on to Muxia(688 km in total…if no missteps or backtracking).
• Each carry our own backpack (mine is 12 lbs, Richard’s is 17lbs) for the full trek.
• Stay primarily in auberges (hostels). There’s nothing like sleeping with 40+ new best friends every night!
While champagne and cake may be a more traditional way to celebrate a milestone birthday, here are just a few of the things that we will be gaining/reminding ourselves:
- The journey outweighs the destination.
• There is incredible serenity in letting go, savoring each moment and living life more slowly.
• Richard and I love being surrounded by positive, energetic people of all ages and cultures.
• We need far fewer material goods than we currently have.
• The physical and mental health benefits of walking are endless.
• We can go for an extended time without being attached to our computers and phones. Really, who knew?
* The Camino Trail is richly steeped in history. For example, for centuries, a Costa da Morte (Finisterre) was believed to be the ‘end of the world’–the place where the sun died and the worlds of the dead and the living became closer. In nearby Muxia, it has been said that the Virgin Marie visited the Apostle Santiago in a stone boat. Once in Muxia, her boat crashed and broke into pieces. Those pieces are believed to be the rocks that surround the Shrine that stands there today. Source
What better way to celebrate your birthday than with so many ‘new best friends’! And of course, we will celebrate with champagne and cake with our family and friends once we return. It’s a win-win!
People hike the Camino Trail for a multitude of different personal reasons. Last year, we met an amazing young German woman hiking the full Camino Frances alone. She had recently graduated from high school. For years, her mother had wanted to hike the Camino herself but was always too busy – until she was too old and in poor health. Our young friend did not want that to happen to her. Richard and I do not want that to happen to us either.
We are thrilled (and I’m a little bit nervous) about our upcoming adventure.
What about you? What is something that you have always wanted to do? How will you make that dream become a reality?
“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
Donna Connolly blogs at Retirement Reflections. Please be sure to check out her upcoming Camino adventures on her site.