Completing the Camino de Santiago became a bucket-list item for me the moment I learned about the magical experience. Each year, thousands of wanderers from around the globe set out to walk a trail that spans across the country of Spain. Many do it as a spiritual pilgrimage. Many do it to honor a loved one or a loss. For over 2,000 years the trail has been worn by those seeking to disrupt their daily lives for the pursuit of community, connection, divine interaction, and the deep presence that a physically strenuous journey demands every single day.
In January of this year I chose to finally have surgery on my right foot. I have an acute form of arthritis that had slowly degenerated my mobility over the last 7 years. The procedure went well, but has a slow recovery period. It’s often a year or more before the pain diminishes. Walking the Camino typically takes most pilgrims about a month, and they’re often walking over 20 miles per day. It became obvious during the months of recovery that followed my surgery that I would not be able to complete the Camino by foot anytime soon.
In June I began training to bike the Camino. I’ve always enjoyed riding; it’s synonymous with freedom. I spent the humid North Carolina summer putting in over 650 training miles to prepare for this journey. I was previously a humble commuter cyclist, and now I’m going to cycle across an entire county! I fly to Spain on September 7th to ride approximately 550 miles from St Jean Pied de Port, France (in the Pyrenees mountains) to Muxia, Spain (on the eastern coast). The journey will take me anywhere from 14-20 days depending on weather and my pace.
This experience is deeply personal. I wish I could share it in real time with all of my loved ones. Maybe I’ll go back again with some of them in the future! For now, I’m hoping that you’ll become a part of this journey in a very meaningful way. Many of you know that before my current career in real estate I was a farmer. I attribute that season of my life to so much fertile self-development. I'm going to use this journey as a platform to raise money to support local agriculture. Here's more info on who we will be supporting on this grand adventure!
The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) aims to help local farms thrive. They link farmers to markets and supporters, and they are helping to build healthy communities through connections to local food. They’re based in my beautiful home, Asheville NC, where we are proud to boast the highest concentration of small, regenerative farms in the country. Every dollar donated will go to ASAP and their programming to support farms, teach folks about healthy living & eating, and making fresh food more more affordable and more accessible.
You’ve heard, “Think Global, Act Local”? This is what that means. I know you care about social justice. I know you want to protect the earth. I know you care about climate change! I know you think about and talk about poverty and food insecurity. I know you want to promote healthy living for all. So - please join me in supporting local farmers. They are our superheroes. Farmers take deep care of plants and animals, that in turn take deep care of you me. Join me as I bike across Spain raising money to help build resilient communities of food sovereignty in Western North Carolina - please donate today!