May 3rd, 2014: Today is day 2… it feels unreal.

By Shannon

Yesterday when we were walking to the information center at the Basilica to get our camino credentials, we noticed a sign that said, The Way was playing at the local theater.

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The Way

The sign was in French, but luckily one of the few things I retained from my high school French class was how to order food and the vocab for the days of the week. When I told Eric the movie was playing at 9PM on Saturday night (today), we knew it was a sign we needed to go.

I had only seen the movie one time. And I watched it originally begrudgingly because Eric wanted to watch it the night before we ran the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in DC back in 2012. I don’t remember why I didn’t want to watch it then. I had so much resistance towards the film. I remember Eric getting pissed at me while I texted and Facebooked during the movie because he felt like I wasn’t paying enough attention. (I wasn’t.) Looking back, I think I was scared of how much Eric wanted to hike the camino. I was scared of what that meant for him, and for us.

He had been telling me since he saw it with his Mom in November 2011, that he wanted to make the hike one day. At that time, I told him I wasn’t the kind of person who does stuff like that. I always thought El Camino would be something he did on his own. And now, here I am for better or worse, in Lourdes, about to make an almost 600 mile hike.

Earlier this morning in the hotel room, I turned to Eric and said, “Whose idea was this anyways? It seems like a horrible idea”. He so graciously reminded me that it was my idea we do this now. So I curse myself for getting it into my head that Eric and I need to make this journey before we got married. What got into me? When did I become the type of person to suggest such a thing? Usually it’s Eric to push for us to do something so huge.

But then I remember so clearly when something deep down in my unconscious whispered to me, on that hot jungle evening in Costa Rica, after an intense yoga and meditation session, that we needed to do this.

For the past few days, I’ve been feeling that push and pull between the “I don’t want to”, “I can’t do this”, and the “I have to do this”, “I will find a way to do this”. So I am grateful that the The Way is playing now. Unlike two years ago, I actually want to watch it this time. I want to absorb all of it, in the hopes that it will make me feel confident that I too can do this.

We show up at the movie theater at 8:45PM. It’s a hole in the wall, run by this little old french man who Eric spoke Spanish with.

He leads us up a set of stairs and into the theater. I always find going to movie theaters in other countries very comforting. Maybe because all theaters have some similarities so there’s a familiarity there. I don’t know. But in this freezing theater, filled to the brim with religious artifacts, I am strangely (or maybe not so strangely) comforted.

Notice all the religious paraphernalia.

Notice all the religious paraphernalia.

As soon as the opening credits began, I am overcome with emotion. It truly sets in that in just two days, we will be waking up and starting our own journey on El Camino. I have so many doubts. I am unsure if I have this in me. But I want to try.

After the movie - we are both feeling more inspired. Also notice more religious paraphernalia.

After the movie – we are both feeling more inspired. Also notice more religious paraphernalia.

Distance: Forgot to wear my Up band again. Maybe on purpose.
Location: Lourdes, France

Feeling inspired by our journey? Please consider donating to The Passport Party Project. Your contribution will help 10 young girls, get their first passport and go on their first international trip! Go here to donate and find out more.

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