I-95 is a Pilgrimage Road

Kalee F.
Group 3

Before this year, I had never heard of the Camino de Santiago, so I’m not quite sure that my longing was for this trip and this land, but the longing was there. More of a longing to explore the world, and experience things that are entirely new to me. There is so much power in being a stranger to everything around you, and I longed for that feeling. Browsing through the International Center’s list of programs and slowly narrowing down my options for reasons like “this trip is too long” and “this trip has nothing to do with my area of study”, I found my call. I stumbled across a title that seemed familiar to me, “Medieval Pilgrimage” and was reminded of a day in class when my professor, Dr. Lukens-Bull, talked about a trip he would be leading this summer. After much research into the Camino de Santiago, I realized this was the trip for me. The rich history, the beautiful landscapes, and the religious significance sealed the deal; this is what I wanted to do this summer. After the planning and the meetings, classes finally began. At this point I had packed, changed my mind, repacked, and done it all over again too many times to count. In class, learning more and more about the pilgrimage, and what we will be doing there, departure finally started to feel real and imminent. A guest speaker in class, Professor Scott Brown, talked about Romanesque sculpture in the regions to which we will be traveling, and introduced the idea that any road you take on your way to pilgrimage is a pilgrimage road. This idea stuck with me, and as I was driving from Jacksonville to Orlando, where I will depart for Barcelona, I realized that I was on my way, not just to my parents’ house, but to Santiago, and that I-95 is a pilgrimage road because I am a pilgrim.