The Walk that Changed My Life | University of California – Santa Barbara Undergraduate Application Essay

It is common in literature, poetry, and musical lyrics to use walking as a metaphor for life. This past summer, that metaphor took on a whole new meaning for me. In twenty-six long days, I walked about 700 kilometers across Northern Spain — from Pamplona to Santiago De Compostela. This journey is called the Camino De Santiago and is an ancient pilgrimage that originated over 1000 years ago. Arriving in Santiago De Compostela — after walking fifteen to twenty miles each day, after countless blisters and pulled muscles, after feeling so broken and beaten down that the end goal seemed unattainable — was sensational. I still get chills when I remember that moment. That is why walking the Camino De Santiago is my greatest accomplishment.

I remember clear as day the moment I decided to take on this challenge. I was sitting in a booth at BJ’s Restaurant and my mom asked if I would be interested in joining a pilgrimage in Spain over summer. I immediately agreed. I knew it would be tough, but when I decide to do something, nothing can stop me from attaining my goal. I began preparing myself emotionally and physically, but there was nothing I could have done to prepare myself for the adventure I was about to embark on. Finally, after…

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