About Shannon + Eric

On May 2nd, 2014, we started the 500+ mile journey of El Camino de Santiago de Compostela. This is our story…

The story of Love on El Camino starts five and a half years ago in Washington, DC on a blustery, January evening, at a bar in Adams Morgan, just one week before President Obama’s 2009 inauguration. The atmosphere in DC had shifted – excitement, passion, and fun were in the air, running rampant through the streets.

We were two kindred spirits, each with a deep sense of wanderlust, each of us craving to see the world. While neither one of us were looking for love – it found us. Although our romance was complicated and tumultuous in the beginning, and we went through hot and cold stages faster than a lobbyist can bribe a dirty politician, we continued to talk almost every single day.

Love On El Camino is our story. One that is rooted in love, loss, pain, fear, courage, happiness, and acceptance. It is one that has expanded and flourished throughout our adventures together. It is one that will continue to unravel and unfold. We don’t know how it will end. We only know what our present entails, which is molded by our past and challenged by the dreams of our future.

We believe there is a power in sharing stories, which is why we’ve chosen to share ours as we hike El Camino. Our hope is that our story, in some very small way, will challenge you to do something you never thought you could, take a leap of faith, and trust in the unknown.

To truly understand how Love On El Camino came to be, we feel the need to share these key pieces of our past, some of which comes directly from the countless emails and texts we sent one another in the beginning of our roller coaster relationship:

On Wednesday, March 11, 2009, Eric forwarded Shannon the following email:

On Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 2:12 PM, Eric Broussard-Bueno wrote:

On Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 2:54 PM, Shannon Lynberg wrote:

On Thur, Mar 12, 2009 at 12:05 PM, Shannon Lynberg wrote:

On Thur, Mar 12, 2009 at 1:38 PM, Eric Broussard-Bueno wrote:

2.) Our deep wanderlust has been a driving force in our relationship since the very beginning. To quench our desires, we used to text each other daily all the places we wanted to travel:

February 23rd, 2009

Shannon Said Eric Said

I’m having the kind of day where I want to runaway to Argentina.
I’m usually down with running away to Argentina 🙂
I actually just looked up jobs in Argentina.
LOL…. Let’s go!
I’m not laughing. Serious.
Found my job
What is it?
Never mind. It ended up not being that great. So now am thinking ill just go be a beach bum.
LOL… Sounds like a good weekend
Weekend? I’m thinking more like a month. Haha.
LOL… Or a year
Or a lifetime of beach in Argentina?

February 25th, 2009

Shannon Said Eric Said

I want to runaway again 🙂
LOL…. Hold on, I’ll pack my bags! Where r we going?
Zanzibar, (the spice island) off the cost of Tanzania.
Of course…. Flying or teleporting?
You fly and ill meet you there.

August 28th, 2010

Shannon Said Eric Said

I really want to go to Bolivia.
So if I said, come with me now to Bolivia for one year u would?
I would follow u to the end of the earth. Any time any day.
3.) After spending three months on a “break”, our love was sealed on a 19 day road trip through the U.S. in September, 2009. Eric asked Shannon to go on the road trip through a text message (of course). He asked her after learning his Mom would need a double lung transplant, and he planned on moving half his life back to Louisiana. Not only did Eric want his Mom to meet Shannon, but he also knew going on a road trip would be the best way to find out if Shannon was “the one.”

August 12th, 2009

Shannon Said Eric Said

So anyway.. was wondering… Depending on what happens… And when it happens….AND… if u maybe are in between the two jobs……. Interested in a road trip???? 🙂
Hope that all made sense!!! 🙂 I’m basically trying to figure out best way to live my life in DC, but have enough of what I need in Lake Charles ready just in case… And I figure shipping would b expensive as hell…. But in the meantime, if u and I could make it a fun trip, that even better! We could go anywhere really… And if u didn’t have enough time, u could always fly one-way back from somewhere??? Anyway…. Just thoughts??!!! 🙂
Well at this point it could still be months before the job interview process is complete. I’ve been going through interviews since april. But I have a shit ton of vacay time still and more comp time than I will ever use. So I’d be down for a road trip. I was just thinking how I could get away for a few days. What do you have in mind?
Yea! All up I’m air of course… But really anything! We could drive to your parent’s cabin in NC and many places I’m between and u could fly back from Atlanta…. Or we could go out slightly west Ohio, Kentucky, TN etc… Or really
whatever wherever…. U could go all way to Lake Charles or fly from somewhere else… Thus is really just in BEGINNING thoughts…. Ideas?
Why are you trying to get me fly from all these places? Haha. All sounds good
Hahaha…. Just trying to give u options depending on time and logistics….. Lol.
Whatevs. You’ll be like “get out of the car. Fly home”
🙂

4.) On that epic 19 day road trip, Eric realized he loved Shannon, in a dueling piano bar on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. Shannon had already known for months that she loved Eric, but up until that point, she had been in denial.

5.) In 2011, after Shannon and Eric moved in together, Eric took a documentary film job in Australia. Two months apart, with Eric on the other side of the world, and Shannon feeling stuck in DC.

February 27th, 2011

Shannon Said Eric Said

This may sound strange, but I feel Like this trip is making me fall deeper in love with u, and the idea of really getting the hell out of DC once and for all creating the life we so want! We r listening to Louie 14 now and it’s making me think about u:)
Babe, I feel exactly the same way!
This year we enjoy DC, do our research about what we really want to do/where we will go, figure out how to make it happen, and in 2012 we will do it!

about-avalon

6.) In November, 2011, seven months before Shannon and Eric moved out of DC, Eric drove down to Louisiana, so that he could drive his mom up to DC to visit the week before Thanksgiving. Because of her chronic lung disease, travel was extremely difficult for Lourdes, but Eric wanted to show her an amazing time where he and Shannon lived. Lourdes very much enjoyed coming to DC. During this trip, Eric and his Mom went to see the movie “The Way.”
The movie had a huge impact on both of them, and Lourdes told Eric, that she hoped one day, that he would go on pilgrimage on El Camino and bring some of her ashes along with him.

about-eric-video7.) On May 2nd, 2013, Eric’s Mom, Lourdes Bueno Broussard, passed away. At the time, Shannon and Eric were in Macedonia trying to make their way back to the U.S. in time to see her. Up until the day she died, family and doctors made it clear that Eric and Shannon needed to come home soon, because her end was nearing, but that she more than likely had several months left to live.

If you want, you can watch the video Eric made, here.

8.) 2013 was one of the hardest years of our lives. In addition to Eric’s Mom passing away, Shannon had to have surgery in Greece, and Eric almost died in a hospital in Costa Rica. The culmination of all of these things inspired Eric and Shannon to want to search for more purpose in life and in their travels. And they felt like hiking El Camino before they get married October, 2014, was important. Once they started talking, they realized they wanted to find an organization that shared their values and thus, a partnership with The Passport Party Project was born.

If you feel inspired by our journey, we ask that you consider giving to The Passport Party Project. 100% of the money raised will be given to support Phase Two of the project, which helps girls/tweens get their first passport and go on their first international trip. You can donate and find out more here.

So here we are, hiking El Camino, both for different purposes, but together as a couple. Pushing our boundaries, breaking things down, and raising money for The Passport Party Project.

This is our story, both as individuals and as a couple. We promise, we won’t be reading what the other one writes, until we finish, so the only people who know the full story is all of you!

You can read our rules we’ve set here!

P.S. You might be wondering how we accessed/downloaded all our text messages. Over the years, we’ve sent each other over 40,000 text messages. For years, Shannon has been dreaming of a way in which they could access every single message ever written. And then Eric found one.

February 25th, 2011

Shannon Said

I need to go to bed boo. I love you and can’t wait to talk in my morning/your night. I’m sure you are having a crazy/amazing day and I’m excited to hear all about it. Ps- I was searching for something in my inbox and I ended up re-reading emails and gchats from early early on in our relationship, and then after we got serious. Crazy to see just how far we have come as a couple. Some stuff was sad and painful to re-read but then it was awesome to be reminded of everything. I think we should write stuff down more. Now of course I don’t even remember what I was searching for, but that’s ok. It was worth it just to see the progression of our relationship. I would do anything to have a copy of every single text we sent each other. It would be the worlds greatest love story. Or maybe the world’s craziest love story. I wish we had figured that out before your phone effed up. Sending you a million kisses.