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at the end of the earth.

For my 34th birthday I took myself to Spain to go for a walk. I walked through tiny villages and vast wilderness and open fields and large cities. I climbed up hills, down mountains, through tunnels, under archways, around lakes, and over rivers. I met beautiful, hilarious, smelly, rude, fabulous, weird, humble, generous, inspiring, unforgettable, talented, fascinating, and strange people who spoke more than 14 different languages. I got soaked in the rain, burnt by the sun, drunk from the wine, smitten by the culture, awed by the landscape, and carried away with the collective pilgrim wanderlust. I started alone in Pamplona, injured, tired… heartsick. And after 500 miles of walking, 27 nights of sleeping in crowded, sweaty hostels, 28 early mornings spent finding my way through the foreign terrain with a map and headlamp, 200 hours of bearing my soul, and 200 more absorbing the life stories of my newfound family… I reached the end of the earth*.

And I walked right up to the ocean and said, “thank you.”

(*Finisterre, Spain)

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