// why I walk from Portugal to Spain
★ Why I am intending to walk more than 300 km from Portugal to Spain?
The answer is simple:
BECAUSE I CAN
But why is that such a big deal for me? Isn’t walking a quite common thing to do? No, it is not.
I have experienced days, weeks, even months throughout the past five years, where I wasn’t able to walk more than a few steps in a row.
I HAVE BEEN SEVERELY ILL
I was suffering from ME/CFS. A devastating, life-destroying neuroimmunological multi-system disease.
ME/CFS causes a wide range of symptoms. One is an indescribable, unimaginable physical fatigue and weakness.
Sometimes the distance between my bed and the couch, located in the living room just across the hall, seemed almost insurmountable.
Walking these few steps often felt like climbing the Mount Everest – without extra oxygen.
MY LIFE HAS CHANGED OVERNIGHT
On my 31st birthday (September 10th, 2013), I physically crashed physically for the first time.
At that time, I have been in pretty good shape – I have been mountaineering in the Austrian Mountains in the previous days.
These pics are taken on those days:
I’ve haven’t been mountaineering ever since. It took 1.5 years to figure out what I was suffering from.
I FOUND HELP
Fortunately, I found a therapist who is a ME/CFS expert.
He knew exactly what to do – what laboratory tests to run, how to read and handle the test results, and how to treat the discovered underlying causes of my ME/CFS version.
I was suffering from Lyme Disease, Eppstein Barr Virus, Leaky Gut Syndrome, suppressed immune system, neurotransmitter and hormone imbalances, Adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism and a lot more.
In other words: my physical health was totally screwed.
RECOVERY IS A FULL-TIME JOB
During the past four years, my whole life was about regaining my health.
I took thousands of tablets, pills, powders, and drops. I have done a variety of additional and complementary treatments, like Craniosacral therapy, Acupuncture, and Reiki.
I spent ten-thousands of Euros.
I went through hell due to massive Herxheimer reactions frequently.
I have changed my diet, lifestyle, mindset, belief system, life goals, the way I see and treat myself and so forth – actually, I have changed everything that needed to be changed in order to heal.
By the end of the day, I have changed my whole life.
TODAY I HAVE REGAINED 90% OF MY PHYSICAL HEALTH
Every Cent that I have spent, every pill that I have swallowed, every hour I have spent on a therapy table was worth it because today I reached a level of physical health of almost 90%.
On some days, I feel almost normal physical health-wise.
ME/CFS DESTROYED MY OLD LIFE
ME/CFS took it all – my job, my social life, my sport, my hobbies, my money.
BUT it never, not even for one second, took my will to live an independent, self-determined and healthy life.
I WILL WALK INTO MY NEW LIFE
I hope it became clear why the statement ‘because I can’ [walk] from the introduction is so special to me.
Walking more than 300 km feels like walking into my new life, and leaving all that sickness shit behind.
Everyone who ever has experienced a long period of sickness and chronic fatigue knows how special that idea is.
I WILL REPORT DAILY ON INSTAGRAM
I am going to report and post daily on Instagram – you are most welcome to accompany there!
I WILL BE A PILGRIM
The trail I have chosen is an ancient pilgrims route called the Path of St. James or Camino de Santiago.
There are different variants of that path. The most popular begins in France – the Camino Francés.
I am going to walk the Portuguese Coastal Camino.
It meanders alongside the coastline of the Portuguese and Spanish Atlantic Ocean.
It starts in Porto – northern Portugal – and ends in Galicia in Santiago de Compostella or Finisterra, in north-west Spain.
I AM SUPER EXCITED!
This undertaking is going to be the biggest adventure in my life so far. I am super excited and incredibly grateful that I can it at all.
Most people walk it in 14 days. I have 33 days, and I haven’t booked a return ticket yet.
Maybe I will walk home…just because I can.
See you on Instagram!
Much love, Nadine
PS: The attached picture shows the official sign of the Camino – a yellow shell on a blue background.
I took the picture in Brittany, France, precisely 12 days before I had my first ME/CFS crash in September 2013.
At that point, I had no idea how important that ancient pilgrim’s path would become a few years later. Today I know.