A few years ago, a friend of mine decided that she was going to walk the Camino. She was older than me and I thought “If Jane can do this, then so can I”. Anyway, life and business got in the way, and even though I had every intention of walking this trek with my friends over the last two years, it never actually happened.
In 2015, a business colleague of mine named Jackie Jarvis also set sail for the Camino trail. Following her blog and knowing the challenges that she had to overcome I knew that this was something that I needed to complete – I can’t explain it, I just know I have to do it.
I don’t have many regrets in my life, but if there was one thing that I could change it would be to have travelled more and explored the world. I never went to Uni, and I was in full-time employment from the age of 16. I bought my first house at the age of 19 and before I knew it, I had financial commitments and a lifestyle that I needed to keep up with. Travelling was just something that other people did, until now.
I have the best family in the world! My husband is 100% supportive in all of the challenges that I decided to embark on, and I am also lucky that my daughter shares my sense of adventure.
In January 2016, after a return trip from Dubai, I mentioned to my husband that I have been thinking about walking the Camino, and he said: “if it is something you really want to do, then go for it”. He was comfortable with me taking our then 13-year-old daughter with me, but he said he would feel better if there were more of us going, so I asked my best friend Julie. I have known Julie since I was four years old, and we have a special relationship. If I was going to do this challenge, I could not think of anyone better than my best friend to be by my side. I did a little dance when she said yes!
There are two types of "journey" that you experience when hiking, the inner journey, and the outer journey. I learnt so much about myself on that first Camino that I was totally hooked. Someone once said to me that your real Camino starts when you get back, how right they were.
The Next Chapter
This hiking lark is addictive! In October 2016 I walked my first solo hike along the Camino and met Erik Op Ten Burg who was the inspiration for this website and business. Since then the hobby of walking and hiking has turned into something more. We now run a walking club and we organise taster Camino trips and other weekend hiking breaks. I am keen to get as many people out into nature so they can experience a similar calm and peacefulness that I do each time I head off on another adventure.