Friday, October 25, 2013

It's Booked!

Well, it's finally happened. I booked my plane tickets! On May 25, 2014, I will be heading to Paris to begin my journey on the El Camino de Santiago in Saint Jean Pied de Port. I'll be on the way home on July 10th. That's a whopping 43 days! The only thing left to book is my train ticket from Paris to Saint Jean to complete my traveling plans. Haven't decided if arrangements need to be made for Orisson...I have until February to decide.

It's amazing how this has come all together. After watching the movie "The Way", I felt compelled to do this walk. When I mentioned it to my mom, who mentioned it to Candy, it was only a hopeful desire. It was just something that I could do after I finished graduate school. Now, it's becoming more of a reality. God has really been putting the pieces together from the most simple things, like getting my items I need to travel, to getting my plane tickets. I just can't get over it.

Here's a great example: I have been wondering about how I was going to handle my expenses without a huge cost (most institutions charge an exchange rate fee when you're overseas); I mean I was really struggling over what to do. Many posts on the El Camino boards talked about using an investment company that allowed you to have a checking account, but I wasn't too sure about that. Well, I had gotten locked out of my saving account and had to call the company to get it unlocked. Through this I was able to set up a separate account with a debit card with NO fees in about 2 minutes. The conversation with the "agent" just naturally went to me going out of the country and needing some way of having access to my money while keeping my "trip funds" separate from my "normal funds". Thank you Jesus for locking me out of my account in order to make this possible. This may seem like no big deal to most people, but it's a huge deal to me. I have to have every detail planned and know how things are going to get done. Not knowing torture for me.

Many months ago, a dear sister in my church gave me a scalloped shell to put on my pack during my pilgrimage. I hung it on my rear view mirror just so I wouldn't loose it. Well it has become more than just a place to keep up with something. It has become a symbol of hope and anticipation. The hope that I will be able to complete the journey, and the hope that God is going to do something magnificent in my life during the pilgrimage. Along with the anticipation of WHAT God is going to do. Nothing is more exciting when you know that something big is about to come in the horizon. You may not know what is coming, but you know that it's going to be something that you'll never forget and will change your life forever. I might not even realize what God has done until I return, but I do know that this pilgrimage was by God's design. Things have been falling into place so easily, and I know that God is working behind the sense to make it possible. He's even making it possible for Candy to go (she wasn't too sure that her boss was going to let her be gone for such a long time)!

Now lets see if I can get through this Spartan Race in March.....I am trying to think of it as training for the Camino. So if you see some weirdo running in the middle of the winter in Alabama, you now know why.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Plane Tickets and Such

It's that time....time to buy the plane tickets! Whoot! Whoot!

My friend and traveling buddy, Candy, and I got together last night to discuss the final dates and flight times for our El Camino. We had our paper and pens ready to sketch out the details. Ipads and Macs were handy to look up the flight info and new blogger information.

We went through several different dates and scenarios that could affect the traveling dates. How long should we allow for arrival and rest before starting? What if there was an emergency? Why not just stay a few extra days to relax before returning home? Those were just some of the things that went through our minds as we perused the internet for tickets.

It took us a little bit to find some returning flights that we NOT at 6:30. But we did. Hallelujah!! It don't know if I could get up at the butt crack of dawn to fly home after a journey like the El Camino. 

So on Thursday, I will be purchasing my plan tickets for May 25th to July 8th!! We are going to fly out of Birmingham into Paris. After the flight, we will catch a couple of trains for the final destination of Saint Jean Pied de Port. Neither one of us has ridden on train before, so this going to be exciting. I am more excited about riding on the TGV (the high speed train) than the "regular" train...I don't know why, but I am. When coming home we are going to fly out of Santiago (well, actually about 14 km outside Santiago) into Birmingham. I can't wait! Candy and I have been planning this trip for a little over a year now, and it is finally coming together. We are actually going to do this. It's amazing how God has been working out all the details for this trip. The direction God has been taking my prayers about this journey. The anticipation about what God is going to do while I'm gone is just so exciting.

Candy did mention to my mom last night that she has read many stories about how people met their spouses on the Camino. Hhhhmmmm.....maybe. The only thing Mom said was, "all I ask is that he speaks English". Ha ha ha!! 

Before we called it a night, Candy showed me this blogger on that wrote every day of his journey on the Camino. It has some really good information about what to expect from the locals in some of the cities, cities that make great stopping points due to food and accommodations, and some general tidbits that could be useful.