Last summer I finished my camino at the end of the world in Finisterre, a lovely beach town where I swam all day, collected a sackful of perfect scallop shells, and sat for hours in the morning on the terrace drinking cups and cups of ghastly instant coffee. With a bit more time on my hands before heading back to the US I wandered a bit further, beyond the town of Muxia (another well known stop for pilgrims) to the Little Fox House. As I’ve mentioned before, this is a private home that serves as a post-camino retreat for pilgrims (like me) who’ve reached the end, holding this journey in their hands like a fragile new baby, unsure of how to hold it. It was there that I found some rest, some company to spill my guts to, and real, live drip coffee. This was the beginning of September 2014.
Near the end of September 2015, I will return to this place, the unofficial end point, to start again. My life is like that these days, big and little circles closing and starting again. I’ll spend almost two weeks at the Little Fox House looking after pilgrims while the owner is out and about. And then I’ve given myself another two weeks to walk a section of the camino. I’m not sure which way I’ll go; backward toward Santiago, take a bus north and walk the Camino Ingles, there are a lot of route options. If I learned anything from the camino last year, it is just to show up and let it happen.
I must tell you this return to Spain has taken me by surprise. Off guard. Aback. To be honest, I thought I’d learned my camino lessons, had shit figured out, was on my way toward a badass new life. And I have, and I sort of do, and I am. But obviously the camino has beckoned me back, to sit me down maybe for a talking to, or to clarify some un-ironed wrinkles, or to guide me in a whole new direction. All I know is that when those yellow arrow appear, it’s easier to just follow them already. Don’t fight it.
Last summer I crossed paths with several people walking their second, third, countless caminos. I thought, nah, that will never be me, a return to the camino might be something I get to do in the next decade. These people, who keep walking and walking, they’ve got issues, they haven’t learned their lessons, haven’t been willing to follow the arrows of their life. And so, guys, I am apparently one of those people. Maybe I’ve got it all wrong, but in any case, I’m nervous. Last summer was all about healing, self-forgiveness, acceptance of what is. What will the camino open my eyes to this year? Will I be led to more challenges? Will I be shown things I don’t want to see? I don’t know. I don’t any of that. All I know is the camino is calling, so I’m strapping on my back, hitting the road, and following the way.
As most of you know, I’m packing up Yellow Arrow Coffee and leaving Breckenridge in September for the East coast. When I return from Spain, I plan to finish and publish Follow That Arrow: Stories and Recipes on Getting Here From There. By next Spring, I’ll be hitting the road again on book tour. Follow my journey on Instagram: @gourmetgwen or @yellowarrowcoffee.
Hitting the road this summer and driving across the US of A. The map above shows my tentative route. Looking forward to purple mountain majesty and amber waves of grain from about June 21 to July 14.
While I’ve been hitting the Whole30 hard (more on that later) I’d love to hear your food recommendations for the stops along the way, focusing on farmer’s market finds and the all-American fresh feast that awaits. So before you ask, no I won’t be visiting Voodoo Donuts, or scarfing deep dish pizza, or seeking the best fried chicken. I’ll be highlighting and celebrating the gorgeous fresh produce, sustainably raised meats, and perfectly ripe fruits I find along the way.
Please leave suggestions in the comments below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Live along this route and want to meet up for a coffee? Let’s do it! Also accepting mix CDs, travel advice, and general banter.
All posts about this road trip will be filed under the tag Road Trip 2014, or you can click the image to the left to read all road trip posts. Follow me on Instagram @gourmetgwen, Facebook, or Twitter (look for #RoadTrip2014) for up to the minute details and gobs of food photos.
TechConKona is a powerful business | technology | solutions conference. The event will bring together change agents, thought leaders and innovators. It all happens on Saturday, November 2 from 8:30 – 4:00pm at the NELHA Gateway Center in Kona. Come participate by registering here.
At TechConKona, attendees will master how to use technology to boost the bottom line with immediate results. TechConKona is an eye-opening and exciting networking, educational and synergistic event for current and future business owners.
For half of the conference, speakers and panelists will focus on the technologies you can use to reach clients faster, easier, cheaper, and more efficiently than ever before. The other half, speakers and panels will talk about the changing face of being green- and how it’s more possible than ever to have a healthy planet by using new ways to connect, communicate and run business.
Keynote Speakers are:
Henk Rogers – Video game designer and entrepreneur. Best known for bringing Tetris to the world, Mr. Rogers, a Big Island resident, is founder and Chairman of the Blue Planet Foundation, which is currently working on ensuring Hawaii is moving towards it’s energy sustainability goals. Mr. Rogers is a proponent of food security on Hawaii Island. He will be discussing how technology and sustainability intersect for the benefit of all island residents.
Sonny Bhagowalia – The State of Hawaii’s first Chief Information Officer. Mr. Bhagowalia has headed IT in multiple federal agencies including the US Department of the Interior. He is now working with the state of Hawaii to increase broadband access for all of the islands. He will be discussion the island wide wifi access initiative, and is encouraging small business to share their concerns with him. Sonny’s goal is investing in people. He is working to use the government workforce and provide them with the things they need and grow them in their jobs. He believes in giving people something exciting and a reason to stay here in Hawaii and not go to the mainland.
Chef James Babian – Chef, restaurateur, and Food Network participant. Chef Babian is known as an expert in the sustainability movement of local, organic food on the Big Island. A champion of the concept of creating menus using “seasonal, artisanal, and regional” cuisine, Chef Babian will discuss his experiences in food sustainability on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Michael Kramer – Adviser for Natural Investments LLC, founder of the Hawaii Alliance for a Local Economy and board member of the Sustainability Association of Hawaii. Mr. Kramer is the voice of green business in Hawaii, helping pass legislation to establish a new corporate structure in Hawaii, the Sustainable Business Corporation. Mr. Kramer will discuss the Think Local Buy Local campaign for local businesses and his work on the Big Island.
Amber Bieg – Sustainability expert, green business consultant, and strategic marketing consultant. Ms. Bieg works in the San Francisco Bay Area on cutting edge projects including www.fibershed.org and www.thefoodcommons.com . These projects use technology to re-localize production of products and she will be a great resource for local farmers, food producers, restaurant managers, chefs and more.
Scott Schang – Manager at Broadview Mortgage, Orange, CA. Mr. Schang is a successful business owner and entrepreneur who helped pioneer inbound/content marketing in his field by utilizing the WordPress blogging platform, search engine optimization and Google analytics. An expert in SEO, website development for small business, and online marketing, Scott will share his knowledge about successfully marketing small businesses online.
Julie Ziemelis-Owner, Ziemelis Communications in Kona, Hawaii. Ms. Ziemelis is a local blogger, social media expert and marketing professional. Ms. Ziemelis is an influential online voice for Kona utilizing a variety of online social media platforms. She will share success stories, case studies and mobile applications to help you get your online marketing game ON!
Denise Laitinen-Big Island Blogger and Firewise Communities Hawaii Communities. Ms. Laitinen, a Stanford graduate, has been a Big Island journalist/writer for many years. Denise will focus her discussion on “Think Local, Hire Local” and will contribute her extensive knowledge in using social media platforms for outreach and marketing on the social media panel.