We are Jim and Linda, a retired couple living in Greenville, SC. When we are not spending quality time with our children (5) and grandchildren (14), our next favorite pastimes are relaxing on beautiful beaches and experiencing interesting places.
Jim worked in manufacturing and corporate management for 30 years and has been a small business consultant since 1995 and continues in a semi-retired status. Linda was a corporate events manager with a large international company. She retired first in 1999 and after a two year break was enticed by her former employer to return on a part time basis until she finally decided to retire for good in 2015.
Even though we both had traveled internationally with our respective careers, we had limited our personal travels to relatively short term trips in the US and Caribbean. That all changed when Linda’s part-time work schedule and an accommodating boss allowed us to take more extensive trips.
In 2012 as we were wrapping up our planned “month in Provence, France” trip, we decided to tack a couple of days on the front end to walk the first 15 mile stage of the Camino. This was brought on by a book we read about Shirley MacLaine’s adventure on the Camino some 10 years earlier.
The grueling hike from France, up and over the Pyrenees Mountains into Spain left us wanting to continue. So in 2013, after spending a month in the German Black Forest, we picked up where we finished in 2012 and walked another 32 miles of the Camino before returning home. In 2014 we started our European visit by walking the next 270 miles of the Camino, then flew to Civitavecchia, Italy to begin a cruise of the Mediterranean. In 2015 after a two week cruise to the Baltics and St Petersburg, Russia, we returned to Leon, Spain, where we concluded in 2014 and walked the remaining 180 miles into Santiago de Compostela.
Our Camino adventures completed, we thought, we continued our travels elsewhere on the planet. But by mid-2016 we were contemplating a return, this time to walk the entire distance. So, in October 2017, we completed our 5th Camino experience walking the full 500 miles from St Jean Pied de Port, France to Santiago, Spain in 68 days.