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Guests in Gaia

Photo collage of Clay, Jackie, Laura, Jennifer, Esther and Renee in Portugal

Guests in Gaia

As Clay and I planned out the furniture and design for our flat, we knew we wanted a designated guest room to encourage our friends and family members to visit Vila Nova de Gaia, our suburb outside of Porto. 

We got our wish when two different sets of friends used our home as their launchpad for hiking the Portuguese Camino de Santiago. This centuries-old pilgrimage has many routes throughout France and Spain, hundreds of miles of which Jennifer has already explored. This time she met up with Laura to take off from Porto, giving us a chance to house them for a few days. 

While we were mostly busy working, we did enjoy hearing about their walks through our new city and writing down their notes of places we still needed to visit. 

They started their hike on Tuesday, then Esther and Renee showed up on Thursday. They’re all hiking together, but Renee and Esther’s hike will be 10 days compared to the month-long trek of Jennifer and Laura. 

We got to take Renee into Porto to celebrate the 25 de Abril celebration while we waited for Esther to arrive later that evening. They also got lots of exploring in within a couple of days, and we were even able to show them around our little neighborhood and some of our favorite restaurants. 

Since we’re only here for a couple of months this time, we’re excited that the timing worked out so were able to actually use our guest room as a guest room. And now we get to follow their adventures along the Camino!

Jackie Shelton, APR, is a strategic communications veteran who, after 30 years still has a hard time focusing on one particular aspect, so she has stopped trying.


  • Jennifer Davis
    April 29, 2024

    You and Clay are amazing hosts. I can’t wait to come again!! What a place! What a city! What incredible friends! Xoxo


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