Joy of the Journey


This morning was met with a complex feeling. Our goal lay ahead only a few short miles away. Less than 2% of the journey left. We took our time getting up knowing that we were not in a rush of any sort.

We relished in the miles to go knowing they were the only ones we had left. I didn’t mention anything to the boys, but somehow everyone knew that earbuds and listening to music or audiobooks would be irreverent today.

The Camino has been everything I expected and more. The walking has been relaxing and meditative. The conversations with the boys have been frequent, funny and contained real depth. The friendships forged with fellow travelers have been enjoyable. The churches have been filled with expected beauty and charm. The food has been an experience of flavor and novelty. It was the trip of a life time.

I have many people to thank. John, thanks for all of your encouragement and advice. Travis thank you for your willingness and ability to keep things rolling at work and your support as a friend. A big thanks to my team at work that continue to take care of our clients in my absence. To my mother who single handedly prayed us through Spain. There are also many family members and friends that have been very supportive of our family in my absence.

But mostly to my wife Teresa. She has been nothing but amazing through this whole journey. The sacrifices that she made were great and uncounted. She also gave me great hope and joy every moment on our daily video call. She was nothing but encouraging and joy filled. Many people along the way know of this St. Teresa, the mother of 10 back in Kansas. I made sure of it.

As we wound through the foggy streets of Santiago, we finally got our first vision of the towering baroque cathedral. After some searching, I found a private corner and touched the stone wall of the cathedral. I lost it. So much emotion overwhelmed me. It was something that I had been working toward for years. For the past 30 days I have pounded the dirt day after day to slowly make progress toward this church of wood and stone. What seemed so far away has now been accomplished.

Trying to hold it together for a picture

And above all this, I got to do it with 3 young men who showed exceptional character. Three men that I was so proud of. They worked together the whole journey. There was no fighting, no complaining. They got up every morning and went along on this crazy journey with their dad.

I have much to be thankful for.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Ethan says:

    Congratulations guys, well done

  2. Noah says:

    Wow, I can’t believe you made it. I just hope that the journey was as meaningful as much as the destination. You really did look like you were trying to hold it together for the picture. 😅

    Enjoy your victory! It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it makes me joyful that it went amazing for you!

  3. Travis Gear says:

    Impressive! Well done men! It’s a good thing you survived, Al, or I would’ve killed you.

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