Walk to Spain
How to travel on your own two feet around the streets you call home
I’m a walker. My mental health depends on the motion, the Vitamin D and the fresh air I receive in big doses from regularly walking the streets of my hometown. I often joke with everyone who talks about traveling with me that if we’re traveling together, they have to be able to hang by putting in at least 8 miles per day through the streets in the world we might plan to explore. Okay, it’s no joke. I just don’t feel like I have met a place until I have tread her dirt roads or city blocks. I need to breath the air, see local faces up close and touch the paths of a place to know her. And so, I walk.
I got to know my hometown really well in 2020 by walking. Living in a suburban bubble of 4 square miles, I spent months passing over the same cracks in the pavement, watching the seasons change, trees bloom and leaves fall while hidden behind my Covid mask. I practiced loving my neighbor by giving them extra space when passing by and exchanging a wave instead of a smile. I guess you could say that the act of walking became my best friend during lockdown times. And now, as the sun of spring is returning and masks are, for now, a thing of the past, something in me is beckoning me once again to the sidewalks to walk. Can you feel it, too?
If you do, then today I want to share with you a really fun way that you can travel, simply by downloading an app, putting on a pair of walking shoes, placing headphones in your ears and walking out your front door.
The Conqueror Challenge
In 2020, I walked the Camino de Santiago with The Conqueror Virtual Challenge.
Here’s how it works.
The Conqueror Virtual Challenge is an app and really fun Facebook group where you become a member by signing up for one of 35 hiking challenges around the world. You pay a nominal fee and start walking. Then, as you go, you log your miles along your chosen hiking trail as the map pins your location and allows you to virtually view the real surroundings of your hike at any given time. The app keeps track of where you are, where you have been, how far until you reach your final destination and provides virtual postcards along the way for your pleasure as you pass key sites along the path. In the end, you receive a top quality and beautiful medal in the mail to celebrate your achievement. The whole thing is strangely and fully satisfying.
I walked the Camino de Santiago…all 480 miles of it! It was amazing.
I “travelled” when I couldn’t travel.
I took care of myself physically and mentally during a really tough time.
I completed a grand challenge.
AND I filled my ears with as much travel - especially Spain - as I possibly could along the way with audiobooks and travel podcasts.
So, if you are looking for a way to both take care of yourself AND travel as soon as tomorrow, I highly recommend hiking with The Conqueror Challenge app.
Pro Tip: Consider starting with the Camino de Santiago and download the audiobook, Two Steps Forward by Anne Buist and Graeme Simsion from your favorite source. I found it for free from my local library app. It’s a fun-filled story of walking the Camino that makes you feel like you are really there. Then just put one foot in front of the other all the way to Spain and allow the adventure to unfold.
Buen Camino and Happy Travels,