Jack Hitt's "Off The Road" was the tipping point for my decision to walk the Camino Frances
. I too highly recommend it. I also heard an interview with him, and a few quotes stand out:
"One of the cool things about the road to Santiago is that almost any motivation to go ends up being a great one."
"You think you went for one reason and you end up going for a whole multiplicity of other reasons and they're all fascinating. And that question never goes away and never gets fully or satisfactorily answered."
which ties in to:
"The motive for walking was to discover the motivation for walking."
Six years later I am still trying to discover truly the motivation for making the pilgrimage. I was named after Saint James, and my middle name, Christopher is after Saint Christopher, a very Catholic name. Many times when people heard that I was named for Saint James, they asked if I knew about the pilgrimage to the cathedral where his remains were interred. So I knew about the Camino de Santiago
for many years. In 2015, my mother passed away at 94; she lived a good, long life. On my return flight from the services, the people in the seats next to me were talking about the Camino de Santiago
. It was almost as if someone were tapping my on the shoulder saying, "It's time..." So I started researching, read this forum (a LOT), read Jack Hitt's book, heard the interview, and in April of 2016 made my first walk on the Camino Frances
. As many of you know, it is difficult to find appropriate words, it was a magical experience. It changes you in subtle ways, and I am reminded of a quote from the late Anthony Bourdain:
"Travel isn't always pretty. It isn't always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that's OK. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your mind and on your body. You take something with you, and hopefully you leave something good behind."
Thank-you Jack Hitt, and thank-you to all contributors of this forum. Buen Camino!