Things that go through my head before a pilgrimage

What in god’s name did I get myself into?

I haven’t seen the inside of a gym since August, and now I’m walking 25 kilometres every day for a full month?

When I initially signed up for this pilgrimage (figuratively, I mean), I had expected to do this walk with a friend. But now I’m gonna be all alone somewhere in Northern Spain.

I mean, “all alone” with hundreds of other pilgrims.

I wonder if my newbie-ness will radiate off me?

I wonder how many crippling blisters I’ll get?

Will I have a Camino romance, even if I don’t shave my legs for four weeks?

Should I download an audiobook or just force myself to listen to my own thoughts even when I’m sick of myself?

I’m not even sure why I’m doing it. I bounce between terror and extreme excitement, unsure what to expect, but knowing it’s going to be something special.

Even if I’ll be stuck inside my head for 8+ hours a day.

I’m not exactly religious or spiritual, so does that make me bit of a fraud? I kinda feel like a fraud.

As life goes, it’s doubtful I’ll be able to complete the whole thing. And it’s not just because I have hip issues. (Yes, at 29 years old, I have hip issues.) But I accepted some new contracts lately, and I’m in no position financially to turn them down.

(I’m actually really excited about these contracts, btw. But more on those later.)

So tomorrow I board my flight to Barcelona, where I’ve never been. I have two days to soak up some Gaudi and to do some tapas binge-eating. Then I have a full day in Pamplona just to mentally prepare myself while shopping for last minute items.

Like hair conditioner. Can’t get too careless on the trail now, can we?

I’m sure to forget a few things.

And then it’s time to hit the trail.

But I’ll be doing it without laptop or tablet – with only two changes of clothes.

Wanna know my biggest fear? It’s sleep, or lack thereof. And my self-consciousness over my buffalo-like snoring habits.

So I’ve bought some ear plugs, but I couldn’t find any Breathe Right nasal strips. Or a Diva Cup. How does one handle feminine hygiene on the trail? Anyway, if I don’t sleep, I’ll never make it through this journey.

I’m excited to meet new people. I’m excited to wander for hours without no distractions – no cell phone, no text messages, no emails. I’m excited to see where my mind will lead me, not just my feet.

I’m excited to look back on this blog post after I’m finished and think, “What a fucking idiot.”


  • March 19 2016
    Brenda Martin

    Candice….I am sure you will do fine on your pilgrimage (figuratively) ! You are a good write and this this blog had me laughing out loud ! Cant wait to read your comments after the trip is over…main thing is to ENJOY your trip !!!

    • March 21 2016

      Thanks brenda! I hope you’ll follow along!

  • March 19 2016

    I walked the Camino Frances in June 2015 and found that there were almost always bathrooms when you needed to go. The infrastructure is truly amazing for such a long journey. Also, if you get a chance, stay at the albergue “En el Camino” in Boadilla. Buen Camino!

    • March 21 2016

      From what I’ve read, the infrastructure seems amazing!

  • March 19 2016

    You are going to have an amazing time! I am so excited by your trip and what you are going to experience. Even if you don’t finish it, this is such an awesome success. You rock!

    • March 21 2016

      Thank you Beth! I love the support! :)

  • March 20 2016

    Good luck! I’ve always thought about doing this myself. Can’t wait to read about your experience.
    Joya recently posted…Photo Essay: Mile Rock Beach, San Francisco

    • March 21 2016

      Thanks Joya!

  • March 21 2016

    Candice I am so excited for your journey! You are no fraud, you are doing it for your own reasons. Although, I think defining those reasons for yourself before you head out might help you in tricky moments when you are feeling down (or exhausted).

    I am so excited to read about how your trip shakes out, have fun and enjoy it!!

    • April 06 2016

      Thanks so much Leah! So far so good :)

  • March 23 2016


    I’m so happy to have stumbled upon your blog…at work, no less! I love your style of writing, and I can’t wait to hear about your Camino experience as I’ve always thought of doing it…good luck!

  • March 23 2016

    and p.s…my husband’s mother was from Newfoundland, we’ve always wanted to go, just need 3 weeks!….anyways, she’s been gone for a long time, but still has family there, perhaps once I read your guide, I’ll make the time for us to go! thanks…

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