Ronnie & I graduated from our university's cinematography program together. I have to note before presenting his writing that when I sat down to consider who to ask to come along as the second camera operator, it wasn't so much a decision as it was just a fact that I'd be asking Ron. Some people are born with adventure in their veins. It's just that obvious. - Brittni
To walk is to allow oneself an opportunity at a greater awareness. There is an awareness of the self, an awareness of your surroundings, and ultimately the awareness that walking is all you really need to do. Walking days at a time, weeks even, is giving yourself away to the present, allowing yourself to become lost in the monotony, the vague, and the unexplainable. My whole life I have been conscious of my personal need for movement. I have walked across mountaintops, wandered through alleyways, and ran in countless races. But still my desire is not quenched; I am continually looking for the next path, the next challenge worth the endeavor. For me, that next path will be the Camino.
Often when I have been walking I have had a camera in hand. The camera allows the purest way to document a moment. It provides an opportunity to capture the essence of life itself, even if only in the briefest moments. I enjoy the mechanical nature of cameras, the ease in which you get lost looking through the viewfinder. I am still waiting for the perfect shot, and knowing that it is there, somewhere, drives me to keep looking. With a camera, you can capture the world in the unique way that you experience it. In this way I will capture what I see while on the Camino.
To have the opportunity to combine these two passions is an opportunity I cannot pass up. What better way to connect to the people around you than to walk among them? To share the struggles of the everyday, the aches, the exhaustion, the hunger, but in equal measure the elation and accomplishment. When walking you have little to do but enjoy your surroundings and to talk to those around you. These are the moments I am interested in capturing, the moments I want to be there for to see. What other trail draws so many cultures, ages, and personalities together? People often criticize walking as a solitary act, but walking on the Camino is walking to embrace the spirit of the people around you.
It will be a challenge no doubt. 490 miles will not come easily. And it shouldn’t. That what isn’t hard is rarely worth doing. Batteries will die. Gear will get soaked. Clothes will tear and bodies will be bruised. But you know, all of that is kinda what makes it fun for me. It gives me the chance to laugh when everything else is going wrong, and to realize at the end of the day, I are doing something worthwhile, something that will live beyond me.
My name is Ron Nelson, and I’ll see you on the trail.