Saturday, September 22, 2012


Last night I watched the movie The Way, with Martin Sheen. It's about a straight-laced, follow-the-rules kind of guy who gets a call that his wandering adventuring son has died on his very first day of a pilgrimage that starts in France and goes through northern Spain to the sea called the Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James). This link shows the route and has info.

Sheen's character flies to France to identify and claim the body, and decides on a whim to take the pilgrimage in his son's stead. The movie is about the people you meet along the way and how we make choices about how we live our lives. I really liked it and recommend it.

This is a picture I pulled off the internet (link below). Amazing scenery, with this pastoral-small European village feel - really nice. The movie has made me think a bit about folks who have the wanderlust in a big way, those that most definitely don't, and the rest of us in between.

I found myself thinking about my assumption that, sure, I'm in good enough shape to do an 800 km walk over the course of a month. Well, I think so. And thinking that I could do this kind of thing if I really wanted to is an assumption I carry with me that makes me feel better about not doing it. I've always figured I'd get to Europe someday. As I've mentioned before, it's something I don't want to do by myself; I'd like to go with the wonderful guy I hope to eventually meet. 

But I feel sort of this nagging feeling that I should be making contingency plans so I don't wait too long and miss the opportunity. This thought isn't necessarily new, but I figured I'd put it down on the blog. If I hit 50 (3 years from now) and still my match is taking his sweet time, I'm going to Europe for 2-3 weeks on my own. Saying that makes me feel better.

It's a big world out there, that like it or not we are part of. Ack. I'm a little embarrassed to say I've never been further out of the U.S. than Canada, and that was 20 years ago. Life kind of happens, you know? It's more in my nature to do things locally, I guess. I was chatting with someone the other day, saying how, when you own a home, you could work on home stuff during almost all of your free time and not be finished. Ergo you need to back off a bit sometime, yes?

Hmm. I need to cogitate on this a bit more.

image from here


  1. My family has always been very wanderlust-y. My sister did junior year abroad in Italy and Germany (I SO wish I had done that, but my grades weren't good enough!). When she was there, mom and I visited her for 3 weeks. Then later, I was lucky enough to go over a few times for work, and I went for 3 weeks with Dad after my divorce. And you know about my year over there, all over the place, again for work.

    What I mean to say is that both of my 3-week touristy trips to Europe were with family. Not alone. It's hard, hard, hard to think about doing it alone. If I do it again, I'd think about going with a group like Servas or elderhostel. But now the places I really want to go to are Greece, Turkey and Istabul.

    1. Hey Jordan,
      Thanks for your comments. Yes, I've always considered you well-traveled and ballsy when it came to taking those kinds of opportunities. I'm a little surprised you wouldn't advocate doing it alone - but thankful because I don't think I could pull it off. Going with the right group will be my contingency. Also, my brother J and his wife are going to Amsterdam next summer and have said I could probably tag along. I will consider that.

  2. I traveled internationally alone quite a bit in my early 20s. It's certainly not as much fun as going with a group, but then again, something like this pilgrimage would be a way to meet other fascinating people (like you). I loved this movie too.

  3. I've been to Spain, Iceland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Belgium, and lived in the Netherlands for three years. A lot of my overseas travel was by myself. While I am glad I did it, and enjoyed the exploration - it would have been even better if shared. But I agree that you shouldn't wait forever. Traveling to Amsterdam with your brother and SIL would be a great way to put your toes in the water! Amsterdam is wonderful!!


Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.