Tom is an American doctor who goes to France following the death of his adult son, killed in the Pyrenees during a storm while walking the Camino de Santiago, a Christian pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain, also known as the Way of St. James. Tom's purpose is initially to retrieve his son's body. However, in a combination of grief and homage to his son, Tom decides to walk the same ancient spiritual trail where his son died in order to understand his son better. While walking the Camino, Tom meets others from around the world, all broken and looking for greater meaning in their lives. During his travels, Tom discovers the meaning of one of the last things his son said to his father: that there is a difference between "the life we live and the life we choose."