My Camino de Santiago Journey

On Instagram last week, People of Charlotte shared my story about my Camino de Santiago journey to Portugal last year.

People of CLT, check out Susan’s amazing story below. You can do anything you want to do! To mark my 50th birthday in the summer of 2017, I decided to take a three-week solo pilgrimage and walk the Camino Portugues from Porto Portugal to Santiago Spain. I had never travelled for pleasure alone and I wasn’t sure that I could meet the physical demands of the walk. This trip was pushing me outside of my comfort zone, but I wanted that experience. A pilgrimage is a ritual journey and the pilgrim is transformed along the way. This was certainly true for me. As I walked the daily journey of 10 miles with a pack on my back along the stunningly beautiful coastline of Portugal, I had time to be alone with my thoughts. Pilgrims say that every step is a prayer. I thought about all of the blessings in my life: my 25-year marriage, my almost grown kids, my aging parents who were a constant source of support, my dear friends, a wonderful job as a professor, and a community that I love. At the end of the 150 mile journey, I felt strong, powerful, and peaceful. I knew that if I could walk the Camino, I could run for office, even though I knew it would be hard. I heard the call to serve and here I am. @susanbharden