Midlothian, VA
Rhetoric and Gender Studies


Saturday Night Live, Existentialism, Political theory, McSweeney's, Beyonce, & The New Yorker

About Me

...100km later

March 28, 2018

I think it’s a testament to wool socks, a dedicated exercise regimen, and a sponsorship from Lululemon, that I made it through spring break without a single blister. My last post described how I planned to walk 100km along the Camino de Santiago over spring break on a pilgrimage with the Office of the Chaplaincy, and this post is about how I lived to tell the tale.

Day one of spring break was mostly spent in airports. Our group flew out of Richmond to a long layover in Philadelphia. As they say, when in the Philadelphia airport, do as the Philadelphia airporters do. This meant doing a culinary crawl involving smoothies and smashed fries, a journey that would take us through several terminals. 

We left Philadelphia for Madrid, and I spent most of the flight watching all the Oscar nominated films that I had wanted to watch but was too busy doing homework to watch during the semester. We spent something like 9 hours in the Madrid airport, and I mostly wandered around and ate too much food. In the afternoon, we flew to Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia. Our group got on a bus that took us to Sarría (about an hour and a half away), where we would begin our walk the next morning.

Image of hikers with dog on trail

Raining with a chance of canine friends

Our walking pilgrimage started off in a downpour, and it would continue to rain until we left Spain. I spent most of the first day concerned that I would develop blisters, but to my surprise, I was blister free by the end of the day. If I’m not mistaken, we walked/hiked about 15 miles on the first day. Highlight of the day: watching the sun come through the clouds. Low point of the day: falling on my knee, which still hurts, so I should probably make sure it’s just a bruise and not something more.

The days of hiking blended together with early mornings and breakfast, a hike to a cafe for lunch, and then making it to a pilgrim’s dinner in whatever town we were staying in for the night. I loved the conversations we shared along the trail itself, and the more intentional discussion topics we engaged in the evenings.

Image of hikers walking

One of our brighter days on the Camino

Some of the themes the pilgrimage explored were what it means to be on a journey, directing attention to the symbols, gestures, and relationships that develop along the way. As we moved along the Camino, I had the chance to reflect on some of these abstract descriptions of pilgrimage, as I experienced the realities of moving along a journey.

Arriving in Santiago de Compostela was a powerful moment — after our 100km walk, we had finally made it to our destination. Whether the destination was reaching the actual city, attending the pilgrim’s mass at the cathedral, or simply making it through the hike, I enjoyed the sense of contentment and accomplishment that our group shared. 

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

We spent our last day and a half in Santiago de Compostela, wandering around, having tapas and churros con chocolate, and I personally ate about 30 too many patatas fritas. Too soon, we were repacking one last time to head back home to Richmond.

I’ve loved the opportunities that University of Richmond provides in terms of experiential education. Study abroad is clearly one of those chances to enter into an experiential setting, but most classes offer opportunities to deeply engage in the subject matter. I’ve seen this in classes in many ways — my class took a trip to New York, one of my classes read about the Black Panther Party and then met with a Black Panther Party member a few days later, other classes help restore cemeteries, some create exhibitions for display in a University of Richmond gallery, and some involve service-learning. 

I love University of Richmond because I have been given the opportunity to explore the different dimensions of my life. Whether I’ve been setting career goals, or learning more about my faith, there has always been support for my journey, wherever I am.

—Cory, ‘19

Hey Spiders! My name is Cory, and I’m a sophomore and transfer student. I’m a double major in Rhetoric and Communication and Women, Gender, and Sexuaity Studies. My goal in life is to one day work at Olivia Pope & Associates, or at least work in crisis management or public relations. I grew up between Florida, Colorado, and Virginia, and similar to Cady Heron in Mean Girls, I was homeschooled. I love traveling, shopping at Target, spending time with my cat (named Soren Kittegaard), attempting to keep up with the Kardashians, reading Albert Camus, and hanging out with friends. Keep an eye out for some posts specifically about the transfer life! Sneak peek: so far it’s been fantastic.

Why UR?

I didn’t really get connected to University of Richmond until I was a freshman in college. I met some amazing alumni and visited the campus and honestly fell in love with everything about Richmond. Michael Scott once said in The Office, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take - Wayne Gretzky,” and I knew that I had to take a shot and apply as a transfer student. I’m thrilled to be a Spider, to be at a university that feels like home, and to conquer my arachnophobia for once and for all.