But at some point I realized that that just wasn’t for me, I hated school and I hated my job. In 2012 I watched a movie called “The Way” with my youngest brother Lane. This movie changed my life. I knew that I must become a pilgrim on the El Camino de Santiago, a network of trails in Europe that all lead to Santiago de Compostela. Lane and I decided to make the the journey to Spain and walk the El Camino in 2015, the summer after he was to graduate from High School. Within a few months I had put the journey in the back of my mind, where it stayed, until April of 2014 when I came across a note I had made in my phone. I called my brother and asked if he was still up for the challenge but unfortunately in the last two years his plans had somewhat changed.
Being an independent woman I decided NOTHING was going to stop me. I made a plan to save all my vacation days from 2014 and 2015 and combined them with my Christmas shutdown at work…unfortunately I was still going to be about a week short of the 1.5 months I needed and I was unable to get an unpaid leave of absence. So….I decided to quit.
From there it snowballed pretty fast! I started taking steps everyday. I opened a savings account specifically for The El Camino and came up with a budget. But then I thought “go big or go home.” If I’m going to quit my job to do this, I’m gonna do it! So my 1.5 month trip turned into a 3 month trip. Then I thought to myself, if I didn’t have an apartment payment I could travel even longer, perhaps 6 months…so I moved out of my apartment and in with my sister and her family (who were gracious/brave enough to take me in), I sold EVERYTHING right down to the silverware and I upped my saving to 80% of each paycheck.
After a TON of research, the purchase of many guide books and the discovery of Nomadic Matt, with all his many tips on traveling on a budget….I’ve decided on a one-way flight to Europe and a year of travel, adventure and self-discovery.