We are a family on pilgrimage, and the Camino has guided us to where we are today.
In 2007 we walked the Camino for the first time. Back then we were still just the two of us, and our backpacks were filled with burnout and grief. The Camino surprised us, especially the message we heard as we walked: instead of “keep going” we heard “stop.” A few months after climbing the Alto do Cebreiro, we decided to leave our apartment in Madrid, give away or sell almost everything we had, and take a year-long sabbatical. The Camino was the first step of a long, slow, deep journey that has transformed us and made us who we are today.
During our sabbatical, we valued the importance of going on retreats as a necessary and key spiritual practice in order to maintain a sustainable rhythm of life. It was during one of those moments on retreat when we dared to dream, to connect with our deepest longings, and to plan out our life after that parenthesis. Writing a letter from the future – it was 2008 and we wrote pretending it was 2018 – we spoke about our twins, about homeschooling, writing books and leading retreats, walking the Camino every year and our home on the Camino de Santiago. None of these things were true at that time, but those letters became a compass to what is true today: our twins, homeschooling, books written, retreats led, becoming pilgrims, and our home on the Camino.
Our family is formed of four people: Mariano, Fanny, Teo, and Tomas. This picture is from 2019, when we completed the Portuguese Way, where we now live. As a family, we’ve decided to receive, host, and care for those people who are pilgrims in this life, and to continue learning about what it means to be pilgrims ourselves. About two years ago, we found a house on Km.15, and we are currently restoring the house next door – an old, rural Galician house that’s more than 200 years old – to turn it into a place of refuge, rest, care and hospitality for those who need it: Casa de Pan.