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Contact with People at Home


One of the attractions of the Camino is taking time out from everyday life. However real life includes a partner who I love very much and aging parents who (especially my mother) will be worrying for my safety.

Part of me wants to have no contact during the time I'm away, as I want to stay present with the experience of the Camino. However, I know that it is hard to be left at home worrying and I would like them to know I'm ok.

I would be interested to hear how other people have handled this.


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I phoned home every week from public boxes - also email as I generally found internet access at least every couple of days in the refuges without going out of my way
I kept in touch by phoning every 4 or 5 days. It is always difficult to stay behind and worry for a loved one.

Nice touch on your part to tell them how you are and to receive their news.
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Phone Contact


I purchased a Mobalphone before I left (mobalphone.com). It gave me a way of staying in contact with my family as I have an elderly parent. It also gave me a way to book a room in a village in if I chose to do so. And, my family could follow my progress across northern Spain.

I chose Mobalphone because you get 1 telephone number that never changes where ever you are in the world and that works on all networks.

You can assure no outside contact by leaving it off. You can assure minimal contact by giving the number only to the people you want to have contact with. And, regardless of the supposed romanticism of the notion that we are each an island to ourselves, we are not. We are connected with others on many levels.

If there will be someone at home left worrying, I don't think that is much of a gift to them when there is a way of making contact and reassuring them of your safety.

My husband and I have been walking several springs in Spain. We have grown-up children and old parents back home, and have not wanted to bring a mobile-phone. We have been phoning home every second or third day from public boxes to one person at home. The others should contact this person if they wanted to get in contact with us. This have been a good solution.

This year I will be walking alone, and will still not bring a mobile-phone. I will phone back home as we have done before, but now I will alternatively read and send e-mails. Then we can have contact both ways every third day, and I will be away from everyday life. Most of the time I will only have telephone-contact with one person back home. That is enough. The other members of the family must ask this person how things are going. I do not want to tell that story to several people over and over again, and many of the small and dayly problems back home, I do not want to know anything about. The person I phone, know that.
I also have an elderly parent who wants to be able to contact me, plus husband and adult children. So I take a mobile phone, but only switch it on at a certain time of day to receive calls and messages.

This allows my mother to call me if she wants, rather than waiting for me to call her. My partner and children send text messages which I check daily.

If I want to call family I use a phone card, as this is much, much cheaper than global roaming on a mobile.
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Contact with home

A really useful way to keep in touch with family (and the rest of the world) is to have a Blog. They are free, easy to set up and you can post your diary on it at any internet point along the way. People can read it and post comments. This way you don't have to repeat your story to everyone and you have a permanent diary to refer to long after you have finished your walk.
In 1999 when I was planning my first camino it was very difficult to find a pilgrim's diary in English and there were very few books. Now every man and his blog writes about the camino and over 400 books were published in 2005 alone!
We took one mobile phone after much thought on this topic, but turned it on once a day to pick up anything important, just in case. We left messages on our home and the other mobile saying that we were uncontactable except by texting to the one we took. It gave us our peace but kept the link in case of an emergency at home. We did ring now and again to talk to our (grown up) children, which they and we enjoyed. We didn't call anyone else.
Thank you for all the responses on this.
I appreciate both the practical suggestions and the managing of family expectations.

I realised that I need first to speak to my partner and hear his views on what he would like! And also to be clear that whilst I will want to hear his news, I don't want every detail of what's happening at home.

I think I will take a mobile phone and request texts with a phone call using phone card every few days.

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I did a lot of backpacking over the course of that year, and the cheapest option for phoning home by far for me was buying a long distance phone card in the country that I was in, and using it to make calls from pay phones


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Best 8)

excuse my ignorance - but do you buy the international phone card when you get to spain or when you are still at home? :? I so don't want to take my mobile phone (especially at the risk of being rung by some customer when you're trying to get away from work!), but want family to be able to reach me. If you buy the card in spain - where are they found? any info from the 'oldies" to we "newies" would be great :D
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Call Home

Hi Jane,
Here in South Africa we can buy what it called a "World Call" card for 50, 100 or 200 Rand. The card has a scratch off strip and underneath is a number (a bit like a credit card number) that you have to use when make calls home telephones in other countries. They work really well in Spain as the Telfonica system is quite sophisticated.
Using the card and sending emails from time to time was sufficient to keep in touch with my family back home.

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