Big News

Last month was going to be BIG NEWS month…but April has been and gone. So here we are…in May already!Shel Sweeney Big News



I’m going to hike the Camino de Santiago next year! I’ve been wanting to do this hike for about 20 years, but always found a reason why the time wasn’t right, I didn’t have enough money, I couldn’t get annual leave, I was scared and unmotivated and it seemed easier to keep this trip as a pie in the sky. But no more!


What is the Camino?

The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage route to the shrine of the Apostle St James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago in northwest Spain. There are several routes, but the one I will do begins in St Jean Pied de Port, France, crosses the Pyrenees into Spain, and skirts the northern top of Spain all the way to Santiago. If you’ve never heard of the Camino de Santiago, then this really is big news…check out a film calledThe Waywith Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen or a wonderful book calledThe Year We Seized the Daybut Elizabeth Best and Colin Bowles.


Why the Camino?

I’m not really sure. To say I am drawn to it sounds kind of cheesy, but there you are…it pulls at me in some way, draws me in and begs to be walked. I am curious, about Spain, about this path, about my capacity to complete it, about what kinds of transformation it might hold for me, about what it takes to complete, about what will go on in my mind as I walk each day, about whether or not the chattering part of my brain will quieten or get louder, about what obstacles I will face and how I will overcome them…about so many things.

Being in a position to undertake this walk is a complete privilege and I want to make the most of the opportunity, though as yet, I’m not sure what that means. I am interested in faith and the sacredness of place, as well as the meanings we attribute to certain places, walks, icons, experiences, etc. I am also interested in what takes place physically, emotionally and in a soul sense when you make space and time for yourself to place one foot in front of the other every day for weeks on end for almost 800km. Oh yes, you read that correctly, it’s not a typo…800 kilometres! And I’ve never done anything like this…I’ve only ever done day hikes – hence why this is BIG news!


You only live this life once!

I only get one chance at this life and if I keep waiting for the right time, it will never come. I need to create the right time, and I am doing that by making a commitment and by declaring that I will hike the Camino de Santiago in 2018!


This year, I’m going to use my blog to stay on track, to set goals, to hold myself to account, to motivate myself and generally ramble on about this dream fulfilment. I’ll dive into the history of northern Spain and the history of this particular pilgrimage, I’ll tell you what the allure of this hike is for me, I’ll get philosophical about the nature of faith, and I’ll keep you abreast of my training, finance and planning schedule.


What’s next?

I’m not starting from the most optimal physical space. In my next blog, we’ll assess my starting point as I give you an overview of my health and fitness.


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