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  • Writer's pictureveronicapaini

So, you're doing what with your life ??

Let's rewind back to June 2015...

It all started when I thought I knew everything and anything. A newly graduate from the University of California, Irvine, confident I had my life on track.

Well damn, was I wrong..

To commemorate this achievement – I decided to take on something big- The Camino de Santiago aka The Way of St. James. It’s a hike through Spain’s countryside, starting in the French Pyrenees and finishing in the city of Santiago de Compostela.

In short- Approx. 500 miles (800 kilometers) on foot. 5-6hrs days. 33 days total. Living out of your backpack- accompanied by bedbugs, blisters, and your daily dose of going insane.

I obviously didn’t read the fine print before embarking on this journey… . But with all the hardships aside…. those 33 days were the most exuberayting moments of my life.

Meeting people from all over the world - old and young from different paths of life. Waking up at the crack of down - hiking a good 10k before rewarding myself with a cafe con léche. Feeling so connected with the earth with an overall sense of peace. Drinking sangria with fellow pilgrims, swimming in rivers, washing my socks daily, cooking with strangers, stopping at hidden churches to sit and pray. It was the simple life of a pilgrim.

Don’t believe me? Check out my video for all of ‘you-see-it-to-believe it’ folks

Now as you walk the Camino, regardless of who you are – your background, status, age, race– to the Spanish people you become a Pelegrino or Pelegrina (Pilgrim). Always greeted with a smile, followed by a ‘Buen Camino!’

It was refreshing honestly, not to be questioned so much. Back home it’s always- so what now? Are you going back to school? Where are you working? Or the infamous “What do you do?” I constantly feel like I have to prove myself – be ready with my most updated resume.

On the Camino, I was simply a pilgrim, and that was it.

I loved it.

Now as I mentioned earlier, I thought I had everything figured out, convincing myself that after this trip – I would get all my travelbug jitters out, have a clear mind, and know what I want.

Well, not really. It was the complete opposite. I was more confused than ever before..


My mind was opened to the simplicity of nomadic travel, questioning what I thought was normal back home… I was SO conflicted. I wanted to be a pilgrim forever yet enjoy all of my comfortable social norms.

Again, long story short - I wanted it all.

So, I decided to go home and continue the postgrad 'Cooperate America' life… But with a different intention..

That’s where The Modern Pilgrim comes in. I wanted an outlet where I could share my personal encounters, experiences, and moments as a modern pilgrim. I obviously can’t walk the world. But I can still try to see the world… Stay with locals, have raw interactions, and continue learning about people.

So that’s how I coined The Modern Pilgrim! Anddd that’s where I am today. I work remotely, part-time, here and there, to save up as much money as I can to self-fund my trips. I want to do it all on my own, experience it raw - first hand. You'll find me constantly looking for new cities to explore, where I can truly immerse myself. From CouchSurfing, renting motorbikes, hitch hitching, befriending locals, working in hostels, sleeping in train stations, finding the best airfare deal, you name it- I'll do it.

Is it stable? Lol, no. Do I have job security? No. Does my family approve 100%? Not really. Do I doubt myself from time to time? Oh yeah. But as cliche as this might sound- I'm just tryin’ to follow my dreams..

So my advice - don’t loose sight of your passion.. keep that sprit alive... it's worth it.

& Forever, Buen Camino !!!


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