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Day 16:  Why am I doing this?

Back to basics (Candace)

Playa de Poo to Pineras de Pria

Distance: 10.2 miles (16.5 kilometers)

Total Ascent:  75 meters

Difficulty:  1

Calories Burned: 2,299

Today has been an absolutely stunning day.  We have had the most beautiful cliffs, the calmest beaches, and the sun even came out for us today!

I’m sitting in the rectory that accompanies an old church at the top of a lush hill overlooking pastures and forests and mountains after going off the beaten path, meandering and bush-wacking through thorn bushes, and I’m blissfully worn out.

The first cause for my calm is chemically induced.  I’m on 600 mg of ibuprofen, and I am flying high.  I never knew how amazing a pain reliever could be until taking these crazy horse pills on the Camino.  And we can get a pack of 40 for less than 2 euro!  Who knew!

The second calming agent is a bit more personal. We have finally realized that we don’t have to be anywhere. That it is okay to stop midday. That no one is judging us if we don’t make it the next 10 km today.

And we had so many interesting conversations over the past few days.  One of them was this:  We asked each other, “Why are you doing this?  Taking on this pain to walk all of these miles?” 

And I was surprised by my answer. I went back to the trek I took in the Himalayas three years ago (thanks to my dear friend, David Cassidy). My reason back then was simple. I was close to committing suicide, and David suggested that I take a spiritual pilgrimage.

That pilgrimage changed my life.  Saved my life, even.

But when I stopped to think about why, I think it became my reason for taking this pilgrimage as well.

I knew that my life needed to change dramatically and quickly if I was to survive in 2013.  And the best way to prepare myself for that change was to get back to the basics.  To strip myself down to nothing (i.e. no money, no belongings, no prospects) to learn who I am and what my path should be. 

And that is exactly what happened.  After two months of living in Nepal, I determined that my path was in California.  And that path led me to a rewarding job and the love of my life.

And now I’m here again.  At a crossroad and moving into my next big change in life.  I’m married and planning to begin my family.  A lot is going to change.

So what better way to prepare than to get back to basics again.  Learn who I am at my core, what the unit Andrew and I are building is meant to look like, and what our ultimate path should be.

No answers yet, but that’s not really the point, is it?  Just knowing my reason is exactly where I should be right now.