Take a Virtual Vacation: El Camino 2023

In which Laura leads 14 writers on a creative pilgrimage hiking, writing, and painting on El Camino in Spain.

Foot Bath. 6 AM.

This morning, I’m soaking my feet in epsom salts and lavender essential oil while reading a terrific book I was gifted for my birthday: The Emerald Mike by Kevin Fedarko, all about the history of the Grand Canyon and the river guides who run it. And the politics of dam building and conservation and a

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My Feet

I’ve had the funny experience of going around Santa Cruz the past couple of weeks and when I see people I know, they often greet me with, “So how are your feet?” My first thought is, “How did you know?” But then I realize—oh yeah, I wrote about it! Two weeks ago, when my feet

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The Camino Walks You

It’s my last full day at home, time to let go of months of preparation and to embrace the actual experience before me. Regardless of what I hope this experience will be for myself, my two co-leaders, and for the women hiking with us, I have no idea what it actually will be. For instance,

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First Walk in Madrid

I arrived at my hotel jetlagged, grubby, and tired (I only let myself sleep 4 hours on the plane to help me adjust to the time zone here). But it was a pleasure to unpack, do a bit of handwashing in the sink, take a shower, step out of my airplane clothes and into shorts

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My New Art Kit!

I’m enjoying wandering around Madrid during these few preparatory days before the official start of our retreat. I went to the Prado today to drink in art for a few hours with my co-leader Andre. She and Brenda and I are meeting every day to go over last minute details. Our group starts arriving tomorrow

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Our Journey Begins

We just had our official orientation session. In the hours leading up to our 4:00 pm start time, I felt out of sorts as I always do before a retreat, workshop or new class begins. I took a nap. I looked at my notes for our orientation. I crocheted pink and grey ears for an

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Art on the Go

We started with art again this morning. I’ll be teaching our first writing class this afternoon, but we wanted to be out painting before the day got hot. When we gathered with our art kits on the street this morning outside our hotel, Brenda Porter handed us each a swatch of watercolor paper with one

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The First Writing Class

I just taught the first writing class of our Camino pilgrimage. I was blown away by the cohesiveness, intimacy, and presence of our group, right from the very first class. What an amazing group has gathered for this creative pilgrimage—what an amazing, as-yet-to-be-discovered journey we’re going to have together. And the tie-ins between writing and

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