One of the questions I often get asked is, when I walked the camino in the early spring of 2007, did I intend to write a book about the experience? The answer is no, not only did I not intend to write a book, I did not intend to even keep a journal. It was my wife, Carroll, who wanted me to keep a journal and when all her entreaties failed, she enlisted our daughter Meredith to help persuade me. Even then I was stubbornly unconvinced and it was not until a few days before I left home that one of them presented me with a small notebook that I could carry in a pocket. I took it with me because that was easier than arguing.
When I ended up in Pamplona for five days because my unaccompanied baggage, my backpack, had not yet arrived (that’s another story), I had lots of time to wander around old Pamplona, make notes about what I saw and send them home via the Internet. We were emailing a lot because we were trying to track down the backpack. By the end of the five days, when I finally got underway, Carroll emailed me that there were a lot of people reading the emails that I was sending and to please keep them coming. That level of interest in what I was doing encouraged me to keep the journal going and to send messages home … and those emails became the framework for the book, although neither one of us realized that at the time.