Kwajalein trio took on Camino de Santiago
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The shadows of three Kwajalein residents in Arneguy, France, at the beginning of their 820-km Camino de Santiago walk to the “End of the World” in 2023 courtesy photo). (Photo Credit: James Brantley) VIEW ORIGINAL
Kwajalein trio took on Camino de Santiago
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Kwajalein residents Jenny Prim, left, Melissa Elkins, and Mandy Kennington, near the border of France, on their trek through Spain in fall 2023 (courtesy photo). (Photo Credit: James Brantley) VIEW ORIGINAL
Kwajalein trio took on Camino de Santiago
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Located high in France’s Leon Mountains, Kwajalein residents Jenny Prim, left, Mandy Kennington and Melissa Elkins reached the Iron Cross, or Cruz de Ferro, while traveling the Camino de Santiago in 2023. The landmark is a symbolic milestone for Camino travelers in more ways than one (courtesy photo). (Photo Credit: James Brantley) VIEW ORIGINAL
Kwajalein trio took on Camino de Santiago
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – From left: Kwajalein residents Jenny Prim, Mandy Kennington and Melissa Elkins visit the Eiffel Tower while on a fall 2023 journey to complete the Camino de Santiago (courtesy photo). (Photo Credit: James Brantley) VIEW ORIGINAL

As a teenager growing up in Germany, Jenny Prim read about the Camino de Santiago, or The Way of St. James, an almost 500-mile-long journey from the Pyrenees mountains in France through Spain.

“Ever since then, I dreamed about it – one day,” said Prim thinking back.

For Prim, the Kwajalein Hobby Shop director and spouse of the U.S. Army Garrison – Kwajalein Atoll police chief, Thomas Prim, she had her first chance three years ago before the pandemic paused her plans.

“In 2020, three former Kwaj moms and I planned on walking the Camino,” said Prim who was living in Alaska at the time. “Three weeks before our flight, we all went into lockdown.”

Fast forward three years to February 2023 when Melissa Elkins and Mandy Kennington walked into the Hobby Shop and met Prim for the first time. “I told them about my hope one day to be able to go. They quickly became excited about it and we decided to give it a try together.”

“We had a casual friendship before leaving,” said Elkins, the spouse of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nate Elkins, USAG-KA’s marine engineering officer, “only really seeing each other when we were all at the Hobby Shop or at other community events.”

“I had never heard of the Camino de Santiago before last spring,” said Kennington, spouse of Jason Kennington from the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade. “While at the hobby shop, my new friend Jenny started talking about this hike with the group of regulars who frequent the hobby shop. At first it was Jenny relaying how she didn’t get to go due to the pandemic and then how she was planning on going in 2024. She was hoping her friends would be able to go but either way she was going to hike it.

“I was intrigued and thought it was a cool idea. Then she asked if anyone wanted to go with her. I was like ‘Sure’ I would like to go on a hike in Spain. At this point I didn’t realize this would be a 7-week journey. I thought it was a two-week hike and still had zero idea of what the Camino entailed,” she said. The trio made plans to do the Camino two months later.

The Training

And while the three spent significant and overlapping time off island over the summer, they only had a few weeks to spend together to train for their journey and coordinate their pilgrimage.

“(Initially), the hike was more than a year away and I had time to plan or back out if I couldn’t make it work,” said Kennington. “I was ready for a break from Kwaj and the idea of going on a girls trip to Spain sounded exciting. At this point it was still kind of in its fairytale stage for me,” she said, admitting she went home and searched for the Camino online, binge watching videos from the hike. “I couldn’t get enough of the Camino. I still had zero idea how it was going to work out or if Jason could handle the kids with work.

“Then Jenny and Melissa threw me a curve ball – they moved up the date to August of 2023,” said Kennington. “I was about to leave for the summer to go home to see family for three months and the ladies wanted to leave a few days after I got back here.

“I didn’t know if I wanted to be away from Jason that long. I was also worried there were too many moving parts for me to go with the kids getting ready to go back to school,” she added.

“This is also where I learned how long the hike was actually going to take – many long weeks away from my family sounded unrealistic.”

Kennington said she went home sad that she wasn’t going to be able to go, but it was her husband who surprised her and said she should.

“He said if I was ever going to get to do something like this then now was the time and Kwaj was the best place to do it,” she said. He told her that he and the kids would be fine and that she should take this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

“Jason was my biggest supporter during this trip and truly had my back. Having support like that allowed me to do something I never thought possible. I will be forever grateful for him. I was back in for the hike and stoked!”

So, how do you train on a flat island for an 820 km trek from the Pyrenees in France to the coast of Spain?

“I attended as many MWR fitness classes that my work schedule would allow and walked endless rounds around the airfield,” said Prim. “Our island is flat and has a different climate. I wasn’t really prepared for the Pyrenees and all the smaller mountains and hills we came across.”

Elkins added that the only physical training the trio could do was walk laps around the island. “Sometimes we would start at 5 a.m., walk five miles, come home and get our kids ready for school, then go out and walk five more, then back home to get ready for work.

“It was hard to get the miles in and it didn’t end up mattering much anyway,” Elkins added. “Nothing could have prepared us for the terrain, elevation variations and weather that we encountered.”

Family Support

For the three moms who have nine children between them, being away from family was a struggle.

“I missed my family a lot,” said Elkins. “By about a week in, the length of time I had planned to be away really hit me. I texted with my husband daily, and we talked on the phone about every two-three days. It was hard to line up the time zones for calls, and sometimes rough terrain would leave me panting on the phone or needing both hands on my trekking poles. I did FaceTime with my kids about one a week. That was always a great pick-me-up, and I actually got to talk to my son in the States more than normal because that time zone change worked more in my favor.”

Prim added that she missed her family from the moment she left. “We are a very tight knit family. But I also knew that if anything was to happen, that there was our wonderful Kwaj family for support. The boys stayed busy with school, playing sports, and being active in their various clubs and groups.”

Prim said that she talked daily with her family on the phone or on FaceTime. “Before I left, I gave my family a map of Spain and by tracking my phone they were able to see exactly where I was and how much progress I had made. Every night they marked the location on the map.”

“Missing your family is pretty much a given,” said Kennington, who didn’t have international call service for the first few weeks. “My phone worked when I arrived in France but two days later once we crossed into Spain the plan switched and I had zero service. I didn’t get to speak with my family much. Jenny let me use her phone when I asked but I felt awkward asking.

“After two weeks into our hike, I got to FaceTime my family. It was one of the greatest gifts I could have ever received. I don’t think Jenny really knows how much that call meant to me.

Kennington said that it was the first time she had seen her kids in more than two weeks and her emotions were running high. “I stayed back to talk. I have never been away from my kids more than four days and that was only once. I think not having access was sort of a blessing and a curse. It was hard not getting to talk with them but it really allowed me to recognize the impact my family has on my life. That even though I share day to day with them, I don’t always appreciate those moments the way I should.

“Seeing their faces and hearing their voices was like salve for the soul,” said Kennington. “I cried like a baby for the next 10 minute. Thankfully, I only had one or two hikers pass me and then I got it together, caught up and glowed the rest of the day!”

But the trio not only had their families pulling for them and following their journey online, they had each other for support and leaned on each other throughout their journey right from the start.

“Most of the preparation was actually in the packing,” said Elkins. “The weight and distribution of the pack was the second most critical element next to the footwear and foot care.

“The three of us got together multiple times to dump our packs in front of each other and try to sort through what we really needed and what items we might be able to share. Even things like the container for deodorant and the bottle of ibuprofen were tossed to save weight.”

Lightening their backpacks and being judicial in what they were carrying with them would prove beneficial as the trio set out on day one up the Pyrenees.

“Straight up!” exclaimed Melissa Elkins. “The scariest thing for me was our first day of the trip. We braved a terrible rain storm heading up the Pyrenees that turned into ice and sleet. We were freezing, not prepared for this at all.”

Elkins explained that there was no shelter and they faced the potential of being stuck in the upcoming woods at dark. “We walked into a sheep field thinking we could see a shelter, but it was a locked trailer. We finally made the decision to walk back down about three miles. An albergue (hostel) owner was kind enough to take us in to warm up, but didn’t have a bed available for us. He made several calls and coordinated a taxi and a room for us. We were soaked to the bone and carried wet clothes the next two days.”

Elkins said they found out later there were some serious injuries into the woods they had not entered, one woman even falling and breaking her collar bone. “This was an extraordinary weather event for the season, we were told, and throughout the trip when it came up, fellow pilgrims who started within the few days that we did would gasp … ‘You went out in that?!’ We were extremely lucky.”

Experiencing a setback early on like that may prove daunting to some, but our trio marched on, even after hearing of Prims’ father’s death on day two of their trek.

“Ever since I heard about the Camino as a teenager, I felt that it was calling me. It is a spiritual way as well as a physical one,” Prim said. “Both need attention before and during that journey. I was able to deepen my connection with God and the church. It also gave me time to work through my Dad’s death and have time to mourn him. Many friends and family members sent us prayer requests. We prayed a lot – silently during the walk, or as a group, or by lighting candles in churches along the way.”

The physical aspect of the journey would strike all three, at different times and in different ways.

Giving up or pushing through the pain?

“I considered giving up,” said Elkins, “and the first time was actually really early on. Just over a week in I was in so much pain and missed my family so much. The weight of the length of time I had left really bothered me and I started to question why I was there. I wondered if I was wasting my time, I questioned if God might be needing me elsewhere and I was being selfish by taking this trip away from my life.

“I let Nathan know how I was feeling and expected him to propose a plan for me to start heading back home,” said Elkins. “Instead, he showered me with words of encouragement, and he and the kids began to pray over my struggles. ‘And we pray over you, Mandy and Jenny by name every single night. You’ve got this together,’ he told me over the phone as I cried.”

For Prim, still mourning the loss of her father, she questioned what she was doing there.

“There were a few days where I hurt so much in different body parts and was still so broken-hearted about my Dad’s death that I felt definitely not motivated to walk a single step further,” said Prim. “But what can you do with that heavy backpack in Spain’s backcountry and no bed for another six kilometers? I never was about to give up on the Camino entirely, but I sure wished the bed at the end of the day was a lot closer.

“There were tears and some not-so-proper words going through my mind questioning ‘What am I doing here?’ but every time when we thought this was such a horribly painful day, it ended beautifully with everything a pilgrim needs and more.”

For Kennington, she said that she never considered giving up. “I was worried when we got to Pamplona that I wasn’t going to be able to walk the next day. My knee was causing me a lot of pain and I could barely walk around the city, but I found a brace and the next day I was able to make it to our next stopping point. I really tried to only focus on the day I was in, if I looked too far ahead the trip became really taxing to think about. The goal was one foot in front of the other. If you do that repeatedly you can get anywhere you want!”

Kennington also shared that through all the pain, she laughed every day. “Laughter made the trek more doable,” she said. “Sometimes I laughed so hard I would cry and sometimes I laughed so I wouldn’t cry and sometimes in the finest of moments you would laugh and cry not sure which emotion was winning. If you could laugh through the pain and exhaustion, then you knew you were OK.”

Friendships Grow

Individuals who walk the Camino de Santiago, or any of the other eight routes or ways, experience highs and lows and friendships along the way. Our trio was no different.

“During the pilgrimage, we became extremely close,” said Elkins, “and our friendship will be a special one forever. By the end, fellow pilgrims commented on how we were ‘still together,’ as most people walk the Camino alone, or have stories of how their pair split up or one had to go home before the end. We didn’t know how rare it was for a trio of friends to start and finish together. There were really only a few challenges along the way related to our relationship, and not unexpected – learning how to communicate with each other and what our different strengths and weaknesses are. But I think we all agree that we wouldn’t have made it without having each other. We finished strong because we had each other.”

Prim only knew her new friends for about six months before going on the Camino. She said they liked each other quickly enough to agree to go on a seven-week journey together.

“I can’t really say I knew them before. Mandy and I were gone for a good part of the summer but that changed quickly on the Camino. We spent seven weeks, every day, every night, together. Through happiness, pain and tears, we shared meals and prayed together. We had to make decisions for each other and accept decisions that were made. Everyone had to be leading at times, following at others. We had to listen to each other and comfort each other.

“Walking the Camino with them will always be a highlight of my life,” said Prim. “I know those two always have my back.”

Having each other’s backs was a daily occurrence during their walk and when they weren’t walking, our trio lodged in some unique and Spartan surroundings and ate new and interesting foods.

“We stayed in albergues specifically for pilgrims,” said Prim. “Some are private; some are from a church or convent while some area from the community. Many former pilgrims volunteer there for a few weeks as hospitaleros (hosts at a hostel). We often didn’t pre-book our albergue. We wanted to have the Camino provide – to give ourselves totally to the way. That was not always easy or doable, because of the amount of fellow pilgrims who started at the same time as we did.

“Some places were clean, some less,” said Prim. “Some had bugs; most were fine. It was hard when there were only three or four showers for 100 pilgrims, but at the end, we always had what we needed.”

Elkins added that some of the hostels they stayed in during their trek were refurbished, old monasteries and churches that accommodated bunk beds. “Some were private, but by private it only means we pay the person who owns the facility – there was never anything truly related to privacy. We communed with fellow pilgrims who travel differently than tourists. You were only allowed your backpack in these places. A suitcase indicated that you were a tourist, not a pilgrim.”

She added that they cooked together in some places, slept in bunkbeds, sometimes on the floor and sometimes literally in beds pushed right next to each other. “We shared everything, that was the way of life. It had a purpose in the entire experience. We were given food by farmers, found and collected foods from the ground, and shared our last sips of water with each other in some of the harsher conditions,” she said.

“Clothes were hand washed,” Elkins said. “There is a laundry line outside of every albergue and it was sometimes a race to find space on it. We had a ritual of inspecting for bed bugs, staging our backpacks to prepare to leave the next morning in the dark and pressing in ear plugs to be able to sleep through the snoring. The largest bay we slept in held around 160 people but we typically tried to find locations that held 12 – 30.”

Kennington said that she was spoiled the first night of the trek with an amazing three-course meal, a gorgeous sunset, a semi-private room with a bathroom, and a lovely breakfast the following morning before the hike. “Everything from that point was a bit less but everything was an adventure in its own right,” she added.

“One church we stayed in only provided mats for sleeping on the floor,” said Kennington, “but, it was one of my favorite stays and we had a great dinner that we helped prepare. The goal for the day was finding a bed, hoping it was clean, with the smallest number of beds per room to minimize snores, flatulence and movement, and hoping there was an adequate toilet and shower ratio to beds. It was not usually the case, but we can’t have everything.”

New Foods

In this day and age, many people tend to rely on fast food. Our trio didn’t have that option, but they still found time to enjoy new and unique foods … and some funny stories about those foods.

Elkins tried raw marinated cod fish at a restaurant for the first time and loved it, she said. “I had tried mussels before, but in Spain I ate them so often they became normal. A sardine sandwich was a new one – literally just whole sardines with thin sliced tomato on bread – no mayo or dressing. I made the mistake of lifting the bread to see a school of fish looking back at me. It was delicious, though.”

As a European, Prim said that the food wasn’t new. “I sure enjoyed the taste of most of what we ate. The pilgrim’s menu was reasonably priced and we mostly could choose from different options. At one albergue, the pilgrims cooked, ate and went to mass together, which made it a very special evening.”

Kennington provided a litany of taste treats that she experienced on the trek, from chocolate croissants, coffee and paella. “Dinner could vary. Most pilgrim meals offered pasta, pork slices and potatoes and some kind of dessert which may be plain yogurt with a sugar packet. There was always wine and always bread.

“If we weren’t partaking in a pilgrim meal, we ate a restaurant,” she said. “Oftentimes we were not served any vegetables with our meals. Pasta sauce is unique in Spain – it’s more of a Campbell’s tomato soup in taste and texture and was a less-than-desirable option. But, sometimes you get what you get and don’t throw a fit as my daughter would say.

“Most nights I enjoyed trying all the food offered. Sometimes it was upsetting to my friends because I would order extra things just so we could try. It’s in my nature to want to experience everything I can and love to share when I am able. You could call me a pusher of good food! It’s a way to show my love, and I was only going to be there once so why not? In bigger cities we were able to get some really great meals but they were few and far between.”

While our trio made their way across northern Spain, they would meet many fellow world travelers and share their story of coming from the tiny Marshall Islands to experience this feat together.

A group of 18-year-olds she met exploring the world hold a special place in Elkins’ heart. “Four from America and one from England. They were all on a gap year exploring the world and the Camino was a part of that. They were a respectful, resourceful group of young people who put a lot into making wise decisions with their money and time. We had wonderful conversations with them about life and future plans. As we kept running into each other on the walk, we would refer to them as our ‘barn children’ because we were all sleeping in a converted barn the first night we met. They referred to us as ‘the mums.’”

“We met so many people on our walk,” said Kennington. “Some were just faces you passed occasionally exchanging hellos, nods, half waves or sometimes just an exhausted smile. We were all on the same path with different destinations for different reasons but each one of us was putting one foot in front of the other with the same goal – to finish! And where that was or how long it was going to take was different for everyone. Really, by taking that first step, wherever you started or wherever you ended, you were a pilgrim and that made us all united in some strange way.”

Kennington added “It was wild to walk into a major city and have strangers recognize you and wave you over for a drink or just to say hi. Strangers were no longer strange; you knew their faces, usually where they were from and sometimes their names. Names really didn’t matter. But the tribe you create on this journey is unique. It’s this beautiful web of people weaving in and out, day by day, week by week.”

One person in particular that Kennington recalled was Tracey. “She would kind of pop out of nowhere, have lunch or a drink, threaten to kill me and pop off again. Yes. I said that right. I think she threatened to kill me on three occasions. She would hug me, laugh, then make a joke of it. It was kind of funny and a little bit scary because she would give you this look that would make you think that just maybe she would. We joked about her putting her husband in a box so she could go on this trip and she jokingly referred to herself as the black widow of the Camino. I am not sure if Tracey made the entire journey but somehow I feel like she must have.”

The Marshall Islands Girls

Having the Marshallese flag on their backpacks was always a great conversation starter, said Prim.

“It is customary to don the flag from where you began your Camino,” said Elkins. “For us, that was the Republic of the Marshall Islands. I don’t think any of us were prepared for the number of questions about our flag, the RMI, Kwajalein and its relationship with the U.S.

“We actually came up with a big of short-hand information that was enough to satisfy most people in passing. But there were other times when we had very meaningful conversations with people about opportunities to work on Kwaj or support humanitarian missions on other Marshallese islands. There were many people who referred to us as ‘The Marshall Islands Girls’. It was pretty cool being able to bring awareness to the RMI.”

“Most people had zero idea where Kwaj or the Marshall Islands were located,” said Kennington. They thought it was fascinating that we came that far and always wanted to know why we were there. We had one guy recognize the flag sewn on the back of Melissa’s pack. He collected flags and just recently got one of the RMI. There were always follow-up questions and half the time people nodded like they understood but you knew they had no real idea. Some people Googled it and sometimes there were maps around but most of the time we just said it was between Australia and Hawaii.”

The Hardest Thing

The Camino de Santiago is not without pain and our trio suffered and survived seven weeks of walking in less-than-ideal conditions at times, all the while their minds and bodies were being tested daily.

“Being in pain,” exclaimed Elkins. “We didn’t really have time to heal or recover. The level of pain and injury we endured was more than what any of us thought we could work through. Had we been home in that kind of pain we would have been on the couch trying to rest. On the Camino, however, we just taped, wrapped, rubbed, cried and limped our way through it, day after day. It seriously never stopped hurting. Around the half way point we all kind of hit a wall of disappointment that we couldn’t acclimate to the physical demands. But we met some people who had done this Camino before, and they confirmed that there is really no way to get around the pain; you just discover better ways to manage it – like cold foot soaks and stretching well before bed.”

Kennington said the hardest thing for her was getting on the plane to leave for the trip. “I am not a huge fan of flying and there is always that little niggle of concern I would never see my family again,” she said. “The second hardest thing was climbing in or out of a top bunk after a long day of hiking, and the third hardest thing was dealing with my blisters. I got some pretty epic ones that blistered on top of blisters on top of blisters. It was just getting in your shoes and then getting over the pain which was usually gone after the first hour, or greatly decreased.

“The easiest was getting on a plane to leave for Kwaj,” said Kennington.

For Prim, the person who started this idea of the three of them taking the trip in the first place, the hardest part was a friend’s struggle with a cancer diagnosis.

“We had just learned about our friend Courtney Strouse and her recent diagnosis with cancer before we left and as we started our journey in Spain, she started her treatment back in the U.S. We prayed all along the way and showed support by wearing pink shirts. She kept encouraging us and followed our journey on Facebook. We will continue to pray for her healing and for her family to stand united throughout this hard time,’ she said.

The Best Part

Taking in the entire journey from start to finish in account, what would be the one thing our trio takes away from this experience?

For Elkins it was the personal experience. “Completing the Camino is special,” she said. “It’s nearly impossible to describe, so people who have not had the experience simply cannot fully understand – and that makes it just that much more special.”

Prim said that it was hard to pick just one part due to the fact that all the single experiences make the sum. “Some days it was the most beautiful sunrise after we walked already two hours in darkness, or the feel of the water pressure on my sore muscles in a hydrotherapy swimming pool. It could have been the moment we finally arrived at an albergue after crying hours before that we won’t make it anywhere – the sound of the nuns singing at evening mass – having a statue of Mary along the way whispering us encouragement – and reaching the kilometer 0.00 marker in Finisterre!”

“As I walked up to the 0-kilometer marker, I stood there hugging it for a picture looking back from where I came from and realized I had actually walked across a country,” said Kennington. “I had finished something. Anyone who knows me knows finishing something is a big deal. I start a thousand things and never feel worthy of finishing. As I walked away from the lighthouse marker at the ‘end of the world’, I finally understood why I was worthy. That I judge myself harder than anyone in my life and it’s okay to just be me. I am good enough.

“It’s a really rare thing to be able to accept yourself,” said Kennington, “and I finally felt worthy of my own acceptance. What I put out in the world is good enough and I should be proud of it, not embarrassed.”

Kennington also said that, “I learned that my family can survive without me. That if something should happen to me they will be okay. They missed me and were so happy to have me home, but everyone marched on while I was doing my own march. It gave me a huge sense of relief. It was freeing in a way I can’t fully describe and I feel blessed to have had this experience.”


So after nearly 500 miles, and months to reflect on what they accomplished together and individually … the million-dollar question is … Would you recommend this walk, and why?

“Absolutely,” exclaimed Prim. “You learn so much about yourself physically and spiritually, even if you consider yourself as an atheist. All the while you meet other people from all kids of backgrounds and immerse yourself in Spain’s country and culture. It is not easy, but definitely rewarding in all aspects of your life.

“The Camino provides,” added Prim. “It always does. If you are ready to let go, you might get surprised by the outcome.”

For Elkins, she said she didn’t know if she would recommend the route and distance they chose to just anyone. “It is an intensely demanding trek and probably 95 percent of the people who we met along the way agreed that it was more than they bargained for physically and emotionally.

“I would recommend that everyone embark on some kind of pilgrimage journey,” she added. “Had I known more about the Camino, I probably would have chosen a couple of plot points to get me through a week of hiking at a time. That’s what many people do. They walk for a week, then come back the following year, starting where they left off to walk another 200 km or so. I don’t think you ‘need’ the entire length of the walk to have a life changing experience via the Camino, but I would do the whole thing again in a heartbeat!”

And for Kennington who learned that she could do hard things, she responded with, “I would recommend this hike to everyone! This hike opens your heart to a new world around you. It allows you to unplug from the real world and reconnect with yourself.

“Most of us are so hung up on what the news has to say, who posted what on Facebook or Instagram, what the latest trend is or fad died. The Camino takes all that and lessens its importance. It connects you with all kinds of people from all over the world, all with a similar purpose and different reasons for being there.

“Ask yourself when was the last time you shared a meal with a stranger, shared a bathroom or shower experience?” said Kennington. “When was the last time you walked into a room unsure of who you were sleeping with that night. You learn to let go, to open up and accept that some things are out of your control.

“This hike may not be for everyone; it surely isn’t for the light of heart,” she added. “I would say go for it. There is nothing I can put in words that can truly express the entirety of this experience. You just have to experience it for yourself.”

Through our trio’s ups and downs, they always had each other’s backs, even near the finish line.

“A couple days outside of reaching Santiago (the official end of the original pilgrimage), I decide I wanted to call that my end and not continue the extra 90 km to Finisterre (the ‘end of the world,’ said Elkins. “I sat up that night trying to figure out the train system to get me to an airport and calculated the cost of changing my travel plans. I was absolutely certain that I could not endure another week of hiking. I was done and miserable.

“Luckily, my girls fought for me and I pulled it together,” she added. “When we reached the end of the world together, I was more grateful for the entirety of the journey that I ever could have imagined. It turns out, I was exactly where God needed me to be, with exactly the right people.”