A new beginning

The first sunrise in my new homeland.


Dear Caminoheads,

I hope everyone is doing well, I know it has been quite a while since I last posted but I trust that some of you are still around.

I feel I consistently apologize for being too busy, but I do not know how else to describe what life has been like lately, and “lately” means “for years”. “Being too busy” has been a reason often used as explanation and justification, but not so much explored on its “why” but a pretty obvious one is that I am “the only man here”  (actually, in this case, “the only woman”!!!)

I mean to say with this that I am the only one working an extra full-time job, doing the groceries and cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry (ironing included), and since August 2021, doing all the paperwork needed for a working visa and organizing a permanent move to Spain.

Right now, I am writing this post in an Iberia plane to Madrid -stop on the way to my new destination: Valencia, that I boarded this Tuesday 08March at 1:55 PM with my life until now packed in 2 large bags, 1 medium bag and 1 carry-on. I left 5 filing boxes -with books,  pictures, small pieces of decoration, 6 pairs of shoes and 2 coats at my friends’s house. And all else is gone to a new life elsewhere, somehow, like I am doing: my furniture and appliances have gone to the houses of two of my friends, I sold my car yesterday, and my apartment is on its way to becoming a dermatology practice. 

And most of this happened in the last 3 days. I moved the cloths and other bags on Saturday, moved the apartment on Sunday, sold the car on Monday and boarded this flight on Tuesday. 

I wasn’t really expecting all of this to be so last minute, but “timing” is definitely not a gift my life has been blessed with. I had planned to do most of this along 3 or 4 weeks, but my brother was here and had to aligned to his schedule as he needed my car, work has been… -you know, there is always a lot going on- but since last Sunday we added the management of clinical trials in the context of a war, and the extreme desolation of having work colleagues, people with whom we talk daily and exchange mails daily, experiencing what we watch in the news. I had planned to be out of work last week, but it ended being “one of the busiest” weeks at work,

And it is also said that moving is one of the most stressful situations in life, and I am doing it on my own, to another country, in a continent with a war just started next door. 

(Timing will be another topic of discussion here soon). 

I will be on vacation -although “on call”- until the 28th of March. My Camino friend Pat will be landing some hours after I arrive and we will head south, to spend some days away from Valencia before settling… a first step towards a less busy life… I have always said that the Camino taught me to recognize myself as a walker on the side paths, and acknowledge that the highways aren’t my thing, and this is why I am moving…  

Buen Camino for us all.

But most of all: Peace for Ukraine. 


13 thoughts on “A new beginning”

  1. Good luck with moving to Spain but is it the best time to move to Europe?!as another Vladimir, Vladimir Ilich Lenin,said,”decades pass with nothing happening and then weeks pass when decades happen”. Coronavirus and now the Ukraine crisis.Spain may seem far from the Ukraine,as is England (about the same distance)but Europe is small and as history tells us trouble travels across it rapidly.A bullet in Sarajevo got my grandfather, from Whitby in far off north eastern England,poisoned with Mustard Gas in 1916(he didn’t die which is why I’m typing this!)but by a strange quirk of fate he died of throat cancer in Middlesbrough hospital in 1969 when I was an infant and Mustard Gas is used in chemotherapy to kill cancer cells, nitrogen mustard, and another deadly Victorian explosive, Nitro Glycerin,is used as a heart medicine!In another quirk of fate nitrogen mustard is used to treat early stage Mycosis Fungoides, the rare lymphoma that I have,but I never had it used on me perhaps because it was discovered at stage 2b the beginning of the aggressive malignancy?

  2. Cris, how wonderful to move to Spain. Where are you intending to settle? I’m intending to visit Spain later this year.., if I get a solid break and continue to recover,

    I will point out that at its closest, the mainland US is only 55 miles from mainland Russia. Santiago de Compostela is 2200 miles from the Ukraine, which is closer than Russia.

  3. Oh Cris,
    May this be the finest chapter of your life so far. May all good things come to you, people you will come to call friends, who will treat you like one of their own. May blessings be discovered daily, if not hourly. Our hearts are with you. May you be safe, may you be happy, may you be whole.
    May the people of Ukraine receive this same blessing, may this senseless war end, and may all the world stop take a deep breath and a long exhale.
    Sending all the Vashon love we have. Welcome home, Pilgrim. Valencia!!

  4. oh my goodness Cris……..that is a lot to get done in a very short time and I am glad you waited to tell all once you were underway to your new home across the world. I pray for peace as you settle in and will await all the news to come out of that as the days/months go by.
    May this new venture be good for your soul and spirit and I wish you all the very best,

  5. I echo Catherine’s beautiful prayer. I know you will make fast friends and have adventure ahead in sunny Spain. I will always remember meeting you at Raven Ranch at The first Philapalooza. You are brilliant and kind and brave. How lucky is Valencia to have among its illustrious denizens. Stay safe.

  6. Oh dear dear Cris–so glad for your move and so sorry for how hard it all was. Wish I could give you a giant bear hug right now! I also echo our Catherine with all good wishes for you! Please keep us posted!

  7. Well, ¡Bienvenido! and I KNEW there was a reason I got up at 4 am and opened my computer screen. I have been feeling a little guilty for not finishing some Caminoheads worthy blog entries for publication but my life too has been excuse-filled. I survived driving school and got my license the other day and now I’m trying to buy a car. All learning is beneficial, but makes me tired too.

    So we look forward to finally meeting you in person and enjoying café con leche for an hour or two.

    You did it! Take a deep breath along your walk loves,

  8. And Russia once owned Alaska….so perhaps a future Alaskan Soviet Socialist Republic!

  9. Bon Voyage and Via Con Dios, Dear Cris! Valencia is lucky to have you and you’ve accomplished so much in such a short time, it’s breath taking. We hope you will find some breathing room and occasionally let your Caminohead friends know how you are.

  10. Way to go my Dear Cris.
    Much accomplished in such short order.
    Let me also echo Catherine’s Prayer.
    Many many Blessings for this stage of your Life Journey.

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