My Intermission Year – Why I’m Taking a Year Away from Work to Travel

Brooklyn Borwnstone
There’s a blue sky above with mottled clouds drifting overhead as I sit in the backyard of a Brooklyn brownstone. We’re here for a week before hopping on the QM2 to cross the Atlantic. It’s been a life dream that I have been actively working towards for about 7 to 8 years – to spend a year away from the noise of life to experience and explore other parts of the world. My partner in all this is my husband, professional sculptor Michael Binkley. Michael has been through a creative dip lately and his motivation for the intermission year is to get Back to Epiphany (more on his journey in another post).

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Camino Portuguese – Day 30, Pilgrims’ Mass in Santiago de Compostela

My Camino is over. After arriving yesterday, we had a walk about, a great dinner of canapes/tapas, then went to bed early. We were both quiet with less chatter between us, and it was a strange feeling to know that after walking for a month, my trek had come to an end. I felt a bit of sadness, but the biggest physical/mental feeling was a mind that was less full. I can’t really describe it – even after rereading this paragraph and trying to be more succinct, I can’t. Peaceful. Complete. I not only erased a chalkboard, but I wiped it down with a wet cloth too. Continue reading

Camino Portuguese – Day 29 – Arrival in Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The last day of walking started early, and it was the coldest day in my 29 days with damp ground from a rain shower the night before, and a mist had settled in for most of the morning. It was a welcome temperature change, and oddly enough the dew/moisture was dripping intermittently from the trees which felt like a symbolic cleanse. Overall a different day – an extreme shift in weather combined with a shorter distance and limited eye candy in the scenery made for anticlimactic last steps of a grand journey. Continue reading

Camino Portuguese, Days 26 to 28, Pontevedra to Teo

This morning was a bummer. I’ve been chatting with Michael daily, and it turns out that a few days before he was due to fly over and meet me in Santiago (at the end of my Camino), one of our beloved dogs has become very ill. The vet has escalated the situation to a specialist, and Michael and I made the tough decision for him to cancel his vacation and for me to fly home earlier than anticipated. Our two weeks on a beach in Portugal is not meant to be. Continue reading

Camino Portuguese, Day 22, Baiona, Spain

This city is first-rate. You likely need three full days to take it all in, but we managed a good walk about to see the sites. There is a Parador here, which we spent a good two hours exploring. Paradors (Poussadas in Portugal), are historic buildings that become part of a luxury hotel chain, usually run by the government, with emphasis on restoration, cultural and historical reference. Continue reading

Camino Portuguese – Days 19 to 21, Viana do Castelo, Portugal to Baiona, Spain

Holy shitballs! I just calculated my distance and I’ve walked 416 kms! The ~30kms I didn’t walk on day two is in this total, and I’m keeping them in to make up for all the times I’ve been lost. I’m in Baiona, Spain right now after a two hill day – the feet are barking. And just when I thought my blisters were but a few itchy spots, a few new ones made an appearance. I tend to get the blisters when wearing the thicker socks. I think my feet are walking too hot. So back to my thinner socks for the rest of my Camino. Continue reading

Camino Portuguese – Day 18, Apulia to Viana do Castelo

A different day on the Camino as the path took us away from the coast, and through forests and small towns. Since Porto, Kara and I have walked on the flat – mostly boardwalk to absorb our gait, so road walking and elevation was a new sensation compared to the last few days. It brought back memories of the earlier few weeks of solo Camino and some of those hills! Continue reading