Two New Hampshire girls hike the 500-mile Camino de Santiago to raise money for women around the world.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rise Above Those Narrow Confines

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. 
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Photo taken from
Yes.  That.

That's why we're doing this.  That's why I insisted we use our Camino as a way to raise money for charity.  I want Alex and Sage to grow up with social consciences.  I want them to understand that we have a responsibility to help others however we're able.  Hiking is something that comes naturally to my daughters so, at this point in their lives, hiking for charity is how they can contribute to a higher cause. 

I'm often asked if I will write a book about our Camino experiences.  That's an understandable question; I did, after all, chronicle my oldest daughter's first peakbagging quest in Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure.  However, Up was written after Alex completed that quest, and only because Alex asked me to formally pen a memoir of our journeys.  We didn't start our quest with the intention of writing a book --  I only agreed to publish something after I realized our tale might inspire other young girls to hike or, at the very least, spend more time outside.  Up has done exactly that, given the content and quantity of my incoming emails.  I'm glad I wrote Up and I'm happy it's had such a positive influence on so many people -- but, again, our original intention was to hike.  The memoir idea came later.

Photo credit: Guy Cunningham
Similarly, we're hiking these 500 miles to a) enjoy the Camino and b) raise money for others.  Memoir-writing is not a primary goal.  If it was, then our Camino wouldn't really be about helping others -- it would be about helping ourselves.  

The girls should learn to give because giving is the right thing to do...not because they might get something for themselves in return.  There's a fine line between publicizing your efforts (so that you might raise money for others) and publicizing yourself (for the sake of self-glory).  We want to do the former and not the latter.

All that being said, I have toyed with the idea of a memoir (mainly because people keep bringing it up).  I've written a few introductory chapters and thought about the possible angles.  No doubt the bits and pieces are intriguing -- two young girls, their double-amputee/famous scientist father, their atheist mother, a 500-mile Catholic pilgrimage, the sights and sounds of northern Spain, the characters we'll encounter, the fundraising efforts, our struggles, triumphs, interpersonal relationships, etc. etc. etc.  Yes, there will be plenty of fodder for another memoir.  And, if such a book inspired even one more person to donate to Global Fund for Women and/or GirlVentures, then I'd view the book's publication as a huge success.

However, memoir-writing can't --and shouldn't -- be the focus of this trip.  I'm going to do my best to blog, in entertaining detail, our adventures as we hike the Camino.  People will be able to follow along on this website and on my author Facebook Page.  If our fundraising goals are not met by the time we return from Spain, then I'll think about writing the memoir (I'd donate part of the author proceeds to the two nonprofit organizations).  In any event, that decision will have to come later.  We walk with the intent to walk, and to do what we can to raise money for two female-empowering nonprofit organizations.

Photo courtesy of GirlVentures
Speaking of raising money -- I believe we're now past the $3000 mark.  I'll be back on Wednesday to post the updated tally and other important Camino-related developments.


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