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I will walk the Camino with “NO” money

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jimkaszynski

RIP 2014
Year of past OR future Camino
First step June 1st 2013
I have been highly criticized for this, and I haven’t even taken my first step! Before you hang me on the cross and put nails in my hands, let me explain. I know some of you thinking “This guy is crazy,”

I am going to try to tackle one of the biggest fears I have and that is to ask another person “Will you help me?” I have no problem helping another person in need and have done so my entire life.

So I am asking myself, do I have the humility to ask another person “Do you have any food to spare?” I will not ask for money only food. I will be camping out and walking alone for the 484-miles.

I have been asked, “You mean you are going to prey on other pilgrims who most likely don’t have a lot of food or money to spare anyway.” The answer is yes! I really believe most people in their heart are willing to help another in need! If I am wrong, I will be awfully hungry at the end of my journey. Hope to finish in 30-60 days.

A little about me, I will be 68 when I take my first step June 1st 2013. I am from the US but am retired and have been doing volunteer work the past few years in Mexico, Belize and now in Thailand.

I will have money before I take my step from St Jean Pied de Port and will have my money waiting for me when I finish in Santiago de Compostela, however, will do the walk without one penny in my pocket. If I remember right St. James did the same thing?

I will be writing about all the experiences I will be going through, the good, bad and ugly! I will have my camera to take photos and video along the voyage. By the way; the movie “THE WAY” is what inspired me to do this.
I am not doing anything for profit simply to share my experience strength and hope with others and hopefully can learn from the new life knowledge I will get from this expedition. My life is in very good balance today only because of what I have learned from others. So “Pass It On” is my motto! Isn’t that what life is all about?

I have all the correct equipment for my stroll, the right shoes, tent, sleeping bag and everything else. I am in good condition for my trip, physically, mentally and spiritually. I am not a religious person but am spiritually tuned in with life. I am not a Buddhist but do want to share with some of the people I meet on the way some of this beautiful culture that I have learned from the people of Thailand.

Now for you who have not written me off yet for being completely insane. You can watch my video where I talk directly to you. I made into two parts. You can go to my You Tube channel mrkaszynski to watch it. Furthermore, you can also check out my blog how I am preparing for the walk. I don’t do anything for profit; no ads!

Buy the way I have started what I call the “BIG HEARTS” gang that people can donate one penny a mile that I walk, which is only a total of $4.84, to go to my friend Farah in Kenya, who is starting a new orphanage. Wishing you all well from CRAZY…Jim
Part 1 [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLSTalyWS2o[/youtube] Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBY7vsFgtuY
 
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jimkaszynski

RIP 2014
Year of past OR future Camino
First step June 1st 2013
Re: I will walk the “CAMINO” with “NO” money!

Part 2...getting ready! Yes the insanity continues! :D [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBY7vsFgtuY[/youtube]
 

Freetime

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
0 currently. Shooting for 2014
Re: I will walk the “CAMINO” with “NO” money!

It's your Camino. Don't let anybody disuade you from your journey. At this point in my life I don't think I could do it your way.

I have read about people doing the same or nearly the same thing. I'm pulling for you from this end.

Good luck.

Added to this forum using Tapatalk 2
 

jimkaszynski

RIP 2014
Year of past OR future Camino
First step June 1st 2013
Re: I will walk the “CAMINO” with “NO” money!

HayTapatalk, thanks for your support. Not everyone feels the same way. "NOT KNOWING" is part of the adventure. Jim from Thailand
 

newfydog

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Re: I will walk the “CAMINO” with “NO” money!

jimkaszynski said:
If I remember right St. James did the same thing?

No he went to Santiago by boat, after his head was chopped off.
 
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jimkaszynski

RIP 2014
Year of past OR future Camino
First step June 1st 2013
Re: I will walk the “CAMINO” with “NO” money!

LOL...some people already think I lost my head already! :D
 
D

Deleted member 3000

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Re: I will walk the “CAMINO” with “NO” money!

qwerty.
 

marian55

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
camino de madrif
Re: I will walk the “CAMINO” with “NO” money!

A couple of years ago I spoke to 3 young christians, living in the southern part of Spain.
How we got in contact?
They passed the open door of my holidayhome in Belgium and said hello. I thought they were Franciscan friars. At that point I was getting a break from my work and asked them if they wanted a coffee. The three of them got a big smile. So we sat down and took a coffee/tea. They told me they came from France and were travelling by foot and hitchhiking. They did this because they lived without any money. They were no franciscan friars but followers of Francesco in a new rule.

So I asked them...without money...how do you pay your food?
One of them explained: like Francesco we knock on doors or ask people in the street when we are hungry.
Me: every day? He: yes every day.
Me: tonight you will not have to knock, because you can eat and sleep in our house. When was your last meal? He: 2 days ago. .....I hurried into my kitchen...for some fruit and cakes.

Later on we had a conversation about their way of life. One of them told me that having nothing of his own was no problem. Living in this group was challenging but he loved it. But after 5 years he still had severe heartbeats while knocking on a door. This was very very difficult for him...
I asked them if it was easy to find some food every day. Their response was, that it depended on the area where they were and the time of the year. Sometimes easy but sometimes difficult. Sometimes hospitality...sometimes being chased.

When they left ...the 3 of them left singing, thanking for the food, the drinks and hospitality. They thanked God for having found a friend.
They stayed long after that in my mind. 3 angels in my house....

I am curious what will happen!
Have a good camino!
 

jimkaszynski

RIP 2014
Year of past OR future Camino
First step June 1st 2013
Re: I will walk the “CAMINO” with “NO” money!

Thanks Marian55 & Falcon269 you are my inspiration! Jim
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
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Re: I will walk the “CAMINO” with “NO” money!

OK - I'll play Devil's Advocate. You might have heard this all before but here goes anyway.

Jim, I don't think you're mad. I think you are experimenting with human nature to test yourself. That is OK - not great for those you will be asking to sustain you - but OK.

I would give the shirt off my back to someone in real need, and I think my heart is in the right place. But you have told us that you are going to ask people to pay for your sustenance merely as a test for yourself. I think I would be very uncomfortable if I thought someone was testing me by asking me to pay for food when I knew that they had money aplenty waiting for them in Santiago!

I'm curious? Why did you choose the Camino as your testing ground? It costs a lot of money just to get to Spain. You could have donated this considerable amount of money to your friend's orphange.

The traditional albergues survive on the generosity of pilgrims, and their donations allow them to stay open. They provide hot water, heat in winter and a meal and this all costs money. (Perhaps you should hide a few Euro in your pack to share with them - like the 'Secret Millionaire' - even if you don't plan on staying there.

Why not walk closer to home - in Mexico or the States - and test your courage to ask for food, and the kindness of those people, rather than the people of a foreign country that is in deep financial straits?

The Buddha did not encourage begging. The begging bowls of the Monks - who lived a true mendicant way of life - were an opportunity for people to give but they did not have a stach of reserves waiting for them at the end of the day!

"A bhikkhu came to the Lord Buddha and complained about a great flock of noisy birds that came to roost at night in the forest surrounding his abode. The Buddha suggested that if he wanted them to go away he should go, many times throughout the night, and beg a feather from each bird. The birds, thinking, 'that monk wants a feather, and another, and another...,' left the forest and never returned. The Buddha then explained that begging and hinting were unpleasant even to common animals, how much more so to human beings."

PS:
It is wise to carry a credit card or some cash in case you have an accident or have to visit a hospital. As an American you don't qualify for the EHIC medical card so will have to pay upfront for treatment.
 
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evanlow

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Hi Jim,

I concur with Sil.

Spain is in a recession. They can use your money, especially it appears that you are able to afford it. It may not be much since you probably spend 20-30 euros a day but in the spirit for what the Camino gives to all pilgrims, this is the least we could do to gives thanks.

The other Jim (James) will appreciate that too! :D

-------
From another pilgrim not too far away from you in Singapore.
-------
 

RENSHAW

Official Camino Vino taster
Year of past OR future Camino
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks on the CF frequently.
Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
I have had countless difficulties on the Camino on my many walks and so I am eternaly greatfull to all of those thave have helped me. I have been pennyless more than once on the Camino.
I am currently writing from Castrojeriz which is 40km outside Burgos. On the main route through town is a Bar called ´La Taberna´
On page 77 in the guest book is your name and I have shown the Senora your face on your video - I have told her that you will be walking in June.................All you have to do is explain to the Señora and Señor what I have written here........... and show them your necklaces.
NOW , do not be afraid to ask for what is already yours .......... As you have already taken the first step in asking for help by means of our forum , I have paid for a Menue in your name in the Spirit of the Camino.........this IS NOT charity , but a way of repaying all those that have helped me. :D
 

sillydoll

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Year of past OR future Camino
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Guy- that was very generous of you and you know that you reap what you sow. I hope someone does the same for you - I know that you are a person in need!
 

tyrrek

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I've been asked for money (not food) on a couple of occasions on Camino by other apparent pilgrims, and have taken the decision to take people at their word and give a small amount to help towards accommodation etc. It does make me feel a bit uncomfortable though, so do have a clear idea of how to avoid coming across as pressuring people or putting them in an awkward position.

I think John Brierley mentions in his book having walked for several days in total silence. He had a sign around his neck explaining why he may not have appeared very sociable! A similar kind of approach may work in your situation and act as an 'invitation' rather than a 'request' to other pilgrims to offer sustenance. If people don't feel awkward they may well be very interested in your experience and buy you a bocadillo or whatever over a chat rather than trying to get away as quickly as possible. Then everyone's a winner.

Good luck and Buen Camino!
 

Freedrik

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Oct 2012
Having spent thirteen days on the Camino, I don't think you will have to search for kindness on the way. Kindness and love is well and alive along that path, you wont need to invoke a social experiment on fellow pilgrim's to see both.
 
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daesdaemar

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With respect, several things come to mind:
It sounds as if you can afford to pay your way. Is it really right to seek the charity of others if you really don't need it? Perhaps what people give to you may not go to someone who "really" needs it.
While I can understand your desire to seek out the goodness in others, it sounds like it may be a bit of an "experiment" on your part?
If you are blessed with the means to provide for yourself, then I wonder about the correctness of seeking charity that you don't really need?
I don't mean to offend. Just some thoughts that came to mind. If you want to do the Camino and really need the help, then you are in my prayers.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
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jimkaszynski said:
I really believe most people in their heart are willing to help another in need!
You are probably correct, but I don't think that what you describe of yourself indicates that you are in need. You would be imposing on others under false pretences to rely on other's generosity towards the needy when you don't appear to be so. Having seen both mendicant pilgrims and ponces on the Camino Frances when I walked, I think you risk being classified as the latter.

Like others here, I found the Spanish people I met incredibly generous in the main, as were most of the other pilgrims that I met, both in circumstances where they were clearly not well off themselves. My own view is that I should try and give back where and when I can, rather than take merely because the offer has been made by generous spirits.

As for being part of your social experiment, I would be upset to have been enjoined in that without any consideration. I expect others would feel the same.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Many thoughts bubbled up for me when I read the OP's post; however one stuck with me. The Camino invites us to a spiritual experience - and the face of the Divine is in the stranger. So the OP is offering the rest of us walking with him the opportunity for that encounter with the Divine, in a way. (The Divine has many ways to encounter us, mostly when we least expect it, as I'm sure we would agree.) One of the traits of this exercise that caught my attention is the absence of the commercial transaction; nevertheless there needs to be an exchange of value. If someone gives Jim food, hopefully they will receive a personal story in return - or some other similar person-to-person interchange.This will be an interesting journey. I look forward to reading his blog!
 

newfydog

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Re: I will walk the “CAMINO” with “NO” money!

sillydoll said:
OK - . I think you are experimenting with human nature......

I think I would be very uncomfortable if I thought someone was testing me by asking me to pay for food when I knew that they had money aplenty waiting for them in Santiago!

I agree with Sil. Be sure to tell these people who feed you that you have plenty of money for airfare, camera etc, that you just want to see if they meet your standards of generousity.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Yes
I agree that asking fellow Pilgrims for food when it is not actually needed is wrong at several levels.
I think that you should print something out on cards and had it to others so that they understand what you are doing.

Asking for help when it is not needed and not admitting it up front seems very wrong to me.
I would have no problem with helping a fellow pilgrim with food or money....I have done it many times without thought....but would feel as if I were scammed by this plan.
The sad part of this may be that someone who is really on a tight and strict budget will share their precious provisions as a act from the heart and have even less. :(
 
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OldDad

Member
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Camino Frances May 2011
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S42M207W8-A[/youtube]
 

sillydoll

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Oh dear, Jim!
You are not the first to walk the Camino 'penniless' and I'm sure you won't be the last.
The difference is that most who have planned it that way have been Christian pilgrims testing their faith in divine providence.
At least you are honest. You have admitted that you are not a religious person (and that you are not a Buddhist) so you are not seeking the divine, only confirmation that you can overcome a perceived weakness - asking people for help.

You say on the video clip that a video blog has never been done before. It has been done many times before - in many different languages. A quick search of YouTube will show you hundreds of video blogs filmed by pilgrims on the different Camino trails.

Why not set a time limit for your experiment? If you can ask strangers for food for 7 days I'm sure you will have proven to yourself that you can do it! Thereafter you can follow the normal tradition of communal dinners by offering your share of provision of food and leave the rest of the pilgrims in peace!

I remember one Forum member who planned on walking without money from England to Santiago in a medieval robe. He was very disappointed in the French people who treated him like an English imposter, often chasing him away from their doors!

Don't be disappointed in the people of Spain or the people on the Camino if they don't live up to your expectations. If this project fails, it won't be their failure - it will merely mean that it wasn't the right type of experiment for the Camino.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Am in complete agreement with Sil here regarding this topic.
Actually am quite angry after reading the original post ( ok my angriness also says alot about me ) but I would be very offended when you asked me for a little something when at same time you would be flashing your camera.
Am working on a daily basis with people who ( mostly due to their grave illnesses ) are on such a tight budget that buying alot of daily necessities is an eternal struggle.
I would suggest you to make a donation to an organisation in your local community in order to experience what true giving an taking is.
And seeing the dire economical situation in Spain I think it is are ABSOLUTE plight to give something back to all the generous people in that beautiful country!!!!
 

tyrrek

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Deleted as no longer relevant. :D
 

jimkaszynski

RIP 2014
Year of past OR future Camino
First step June 1st 2013
Hi Siliva, I am always open to other peoples view. I regularly consider I may be wrong, and they may be right? However, for the correct answer, I have learned how to reach into my heart, and it magically appears. I know my head can really mess things up.

Helping the orphanage came about after I made the decision to do the walk. I have been helping them in many ways financially and other ways. I spend at least 12 hours a day helping them plus other non-profits around Thailand and around the world. I do this because I want to!

It’s hard to explain why the “Camino” but I think it chose me, and I really don’t know why? Yes, I am not a religious person. However, I am very spiritual I have a connection with my higher power that I never thought was possible. Therefore, I decided to do the Camino…. I got the message!

In the middle of writing this, I took a break to do my daily exercise program and when I came back I saw the new post WOW! Everyone gave me your view with kindness. Thank you! Even for you who do not agree with me.

One thing I do want to clear up is at no time will I be walking under false pretenses. Everyone I talk to will know what I am doing.

Here is a promise, I make to you, “I will give back much more than I receive.” Yes even without money, I have something to give to the person who will be walking and may be thinking about problems in their past or future, and my life experience may benefit them and guess what his or her life experience can be a gift to me!

I think that is what it’s all about. When I came to Thailand, I volunteered at an orphanage for six months. It was very difficult living conditions. I call it living with rice and a lot of ants. I came to teach these beautiful kids about what life has to offer. I am in the middle of the sex trade industry, and these children have few options in life.

Here is the interesting part they taught me the true meaning of life! So we both won. Who would think me coming as a teacher and quickly become the student? I love this life thing; for sure, it’s not about money. I tried that and that did not bring me true happiness. I live on a low-income and am happier than I have ever been.

So this brings me to my walking with no money challenge. I will be 68 when I take my first step and have no time limit on my walk. I have all the right equipment and am in good physical shape.

Here is my problem do I have the courage to ask someone if they have any food to spare? To tell the truth it would be easier to “not ask” and walk hungry. This is the fear I am trying to overcome. Plus if I do ask, and they say no! Can I handle the rejection? My life is in very good balance right now, but I try to improve it every day by improve I mean tackling my fears. If I’m not growing I’m going. The Camino will I hope, keep me on my growing path.

Someone said I am running an experiment on my life; so true but not at the expense of others. Because they have a choice on how they feel. One of my greatest life lessons has been, I do not have the power to make someone feel good or bad. That is their choice. What I can do is share my life’s mistakes with another and only then; they can choose to change.

Anyway this is getting way too complicated for me. One thing I know that we are put on this earth to enjoy life, and if I am not I must change something. So simple, of course other people’s words and actions affect me but today; they know longer control me. What a huge difference this has made in my life.

So I guess I will let this life experiment continues and see what my lesson will be. I think the word; experiment means that you’re not sure what the results will be? Sounds like the Camino walk to me! Jim

I want to give special thanks to Renshaw who from the road in Castrojeriz wrote me a kind note offering to buy me (and he already paid for it) a Menue, not sure what that is but will find out. The thought far exceeds the money he paid for it. I will take you up on your offer! Thanks Renshaw.
 
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letendre

Member
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I will never do such a pilgrimage.
Christian charity or respect for people who welcome us is to participate in the local economy.
Spain is in great financial difficulty and especially the regions crossed by the way.
 

Pieces

Veteran Member
so now those who have take from those who don't just for fun ? I don't consider that insane but I do consider it selfish....

Point being you are not in need !
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Hola

Good luck to you on your quest. What I don't understand is why you are telling us about it, particularly if your ultimate goal is, as you say, greater humility. The Camino is for everyone who chooses to walk it - my advice is to just go and do it.

Buen camino!

John
 

jeff001

Active Member
This strikes me as not really different from the professional "beggars" we see on street corners in the US. If you really want to do this at least tell people the truth: that you really have enough money to buy your own food but are trying to see if you can get by convincing others spend their money for your food.
 

kaixo

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Norte 2012
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Prague/Geneva ?
Okay Jim you sound reasonable...so please remember that Spain is in an economic CRISIS!
If anything, take your money and SPEND it!
 
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newfydog

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RENSHAW said:
I am currently writing from Castrojeriz which is 40km outside Burgos. On the main route through town is a Bar called ´La Taberna´


Renshaw, if I may, I need to put your offer in perspective. La Taberna is my favorite place on the whole Camino. We stayed upstairs there twice. I put a Taberna stamp in my actual passport (OK, alcohol might have been involved).
They used to have a wonderful bird which would sit on your shoulder, and a nice dog to follow you to the next town. They gave us hugs goodbye when we last left. A nicer spot for a pre-paid meal could not be found.
 

Tukeram

New Member
Mate if you explained what you were doing before you asked me for money I would probably laugh & go on my way. If you extorted money from me before you told me what you were doing I'd probably chase you down the road with my poles.:)
 

CaminoJohn

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The premise of this whole thread is just so silly! I have "done" the camino three times all with different motives, people, experiences....on every single one I have seen, received, and I hope, given all sorts of generous things to all the many different people you encounter walking... locals and pilgrims alike...and the best is that the gifts continue when you finish the camino! Why would you ever need to "ask" for anything!? Silly, self absorbed BS...
 

evanlow

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Spain is not Thailand.
In Thailand many young guys serve as a monk for a short period of time like what military service is in other countries. It instill humility to the people at such a young age, even though the young chap may be the son of a millionaire.
The have the culture of giving food to the monks.
It is one part of the reason why Thailand is the land of smiles.

A meal in Spain cost more than a dollar. As mentioned earlier Spain is in a very bad recession.
If you are thinking of walking the Camino like a monk begging for food and lodging, it's a different thing. The culture is different, the people are different.

The case below is what the generiousity of the Camino is about. In your case, I think it is abuse. Enuf said.

Salvation in Spain

A blizzard of apple blossoms whirled around me, the sun warmed the dew away, a solitary cow munched away beside me and I started to cry. An hour earlier I had checked my bank balance: 14 cents. Three euros in my pocket, and 14 cents in my account. I had no credit card and it was the Saturday before a public holiday in the United States so it would be three days until frantic phone calls to family stateside would lead to money in my bank.

I was a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago in Bierzo, in northern Spain. I’d been walking the ancient path for three weeks, frugally spending along the way, but a series of travel mishaps had seriously compromised my financial situation. I had $1,000 worth of technology and hiking equipment, yet no money for anything more than a few apples, yogurt and bread.

Then Sharon appeared, a Canadian pilgrim with whom I’d walked a few days earlier. She looked at me, dropped her pack, and asked what was wrong. I fessed up to my embarrassing situation and she handed me 20 euros. “Don’t even think about paying me back,” she called out as she walked down the road.

Twenty euros! That would be several days of food. And I could always volunteer to clean the bathrooms at the pilgrim hostels along the way in exchange for a bunk. I stood up and started down the Camino, feeling cautiously hopeful.

After several hours of walking, I arrived at Villafranca del Bierzo, a town nestled in a deep valley surrounded by vineyards. The pilgrims’ hostel, Phoenix, was constructed on the same ground that held a hostel for pilgrims when the pilgrimage was in its heyday, around A.D. 1000. I ventured up to the old man with calming blue eyes and a soulful presence that told me he belonged there. I gushed my story, explaining that I had only 20 euros to last me for three days, and if I could possibly stay and do chores instead of pay?

He smiled at me, took me in his arms, and said, in Spanish, “Daughter, you don’t need to pay to stay in your own home.”

ANJULI GRANTHAM
Columbia, S.C
 

marian55

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This thread already proves how difficult it will become to ask for help and to get it.
...you will have to climb a high mountain friend. Good luck!
Many fears will wait you...to ask, being chased, being hungry . Hope there will be many blessings too. As it seems one star at least has already reached out to you.
 
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duncan pm

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I feel that this is most unfortunate and not in keeping respect for others. As Sil and others have explained, the spirit of sharing and generosity of spirit that one experiences along the camino will only be diminished by playing with people's kindness.
Having experienced Thailand and Spain I can tell you easily that a mendicant approach will be received very differently in each land.
I feel that it is glib and fatuous to take such a self-indulgent approach.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I haven't been a frequent poster as of late (and Sil and others have voiced my opinion) but I feel compelled to reply. Why? Because this "experiment" touches me on a very deep level.

There is no need for a social experiment or to act in order to experience wonderous acts of "random" kindness. The Camino pulls me back again and again - both as a pelegrina and as a hospitalera - because of the pure compassion and generosity that I have been fortunate enough to encounter. It is just there...this is the spirit of the Camino. And yes, Camino Angels as I like to call them appear when we most need them.

The Camino works in such wonderous ways, let it just happen (and let's hope that we may too become more compassionate and loving along the way).

I hope that you reconsider.
 

Al the optimist

Veteran Member
Thanks Evanlow for your post. I have taken the liberty of passing on the Anjuli quote to some of my friends with the following explanation:-
"I know this makes me sound like a big girls blouse, but it made me feel a bit emotional when I read this post on my Camino forum. it sums up the spirit shared by the walkers and epitomises the spirit of the Spanish people that makes me so fond of Spain."
Thanks for helping me explain the "pull" of the Camino to these non-walkers, who were generous enough to sponsor my walk with over £1200 for a local hospice for the terminally ill. Who knows you may tempt them into our world!
allan
 

TerryB

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jimkaszynski said:
One thing I do want to clear up is at no time will I be walking under false pretenses. Everyone I talk to will know what I am doing. . . . . . . . .

Someone said I am running an experiment on my life; so true but not at the expense of others. Because they have a choice on how they feel. One of my greatest life lessons has been, I do not have the power to make someone feel good or bad. That is their choice. What I can do is share my life’s mistakes with another and only then; they can choose to change.

Hi Jim,
Although you seem to be aware of the possible 'negative' effect your importunism will have on others, you do seem willing to make them feel guilty for a 'No' response. I would certainly feel bad at refusing ANYONE help when asked for it. That negative feeling would perhaps be carried over by me to someone else!
I think I am saying that you may be experimenting with the lives of others, as well as your own.

Two practical questions:-
1) Are you going to restrict your requests for help to other 'pilgrims'? If not it could cause bad feeling from locals towards pilgrims in genuine need.
2) Are you fluent enough in Spanish (and may be German!) to explain what you are doing and why?

Just trying to help you think through the consequences!

Blessings
Tio Tel
 

nalod

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Spend 4 weeks in a large city like Madrid and see what it is like to survive without any money for food, the Camino is to "safe" a target for you experiment.
 
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Terrri

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Luckily there isn't a questionnaire we have to fill out first justifying our own personal reasons for wanting to walk the camino. If there was one I am afraid most of us would be denied access. :mrgreen:

One person not spending money on the camino won't cause the collapse of Spain's economy. If that is your fear then maybe when you stay in the albergues you can donate a little extra and also maybe eat something other than just the pilgrim's menu so you too are helping Spain's economy along. The tourists are the ones helping Spain's economy not the pilgrims. :oops:

If you need to question whether someone is truly needy then maybe you need to question your motivation in helping others. I haven't walked the camino yet but part of the lure I believe is the mix of people I will meet along the way. :D
 

newfydog

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Terrri said:
The tourists are the ones helping Spain's economy not the pilgrims.


What??? Many of us are both. We have spent some serious money on our pigrimage trips.
 

Freedrik

New Member
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One thing I do want to clear up is at no time will I be walking under false pretenses. Everyone I talk to will know what I am doing.

So you are going to first tell them that you are looking for random acts of kindness along the Camino and then expect them to provide a spontaneous and generous act of kindness.

Jim, I am not sure what you expect to gain, I don't believe the way picked you as much as perhaps a passage out of a book you might have read. You can not ask for kindness, if you have to ask then is it really kindness or maybe even pity or annoyance?

I don't believe I would help you if you explained your intent. "If you walk it they (kind acts) will come"
 

Terrri

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newfydog, many are both but since pilgrims are walking and trying not to carry a heavy load they are not buying "trinkets" along the way. For me most of my money will probably be spent before I get to the beginning of my pilgrimage which means in my country - that is where I will buy my airfare and any gear I will need. I am looking to fly into the cheapest country not Spain. At an average expense of 20-30 euros a day (including food, travel and accommodation) that is way less than the cost of just a hotel stay. Even if pilgrims are in the country longer than most tourists I still think it is cheaper. And not the reason I am going. :D

If you had some extra food and you offered it to someone are you going to have strings attached? If someone told me he had lots of money but just took free food from me I couldn't say how I would feel because it has never happened to me. I do know that if it bothered me I would have to ask myself what my intentions were when I offered it.
 

amancio

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You will be avoided, eventually

while your idea may sound very romantic - in the 19th Century sense of the word "romantic", I can foresee you getting in trouble.

normally, you will keep bumping into the same people all the time. The first time, you might be lucky to get help. Maybe even the second time. But the third time, they are just going to think you are a "sponge" (gorrón in Spanish) and will most likely be avoiding you like a pest.

That is my view.
 
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Debinq

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hola Kazcynski
not sure whether this comment tack has already been made by someone else - but it strikes me that you could have avoided the (sometimes angry) criticism and negative comment it seems you have called up by waiting until there was actually some genuine experience to relate ... maybe you could have announced the experiment you carried out after your mendicant pilgrimage!

happy trails quand meme
Peter
 

mmonomm

Member
HI Jim,

i have walked the Camino 4 times.
and yes, it is about realizing how little you need, and how much sometimes you still can offer to others from the little you have :) so, go on!!! you'll experience Providence!!! and some hard moments, but i find it a good idea!!! that's what a pilgrimage is supposed to be!
 

Stephen Nicholls

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Terrri said:
The tourists are the ones helping Spain's economy not the pilgrims.

Absolutely untrue. There are MANY Spanish folk who rely on pilgrims for a large proportion of their income. Be generous. Many of us are very lucky in the UK, compared with the Spanish....

Buen Camino!

Stephen.
http://www.calig.co.uk/camino_de_santiago.htm
 

CaminoKris2013

Active Member
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Terrri, while I see your point that while on the Camino you won't be buying many trinkets, but many pilgrims may decide to stay not in aubergues but in casa rurales, b&b's and hotels which does help Spain. Also, pilgrims will also be buying food because in some cases dinners may not be provided in aubergues, helps as well. Not to mention the fact that pilgrims that travel from overseas whether the US or Australia, etc. will most likely spend a few extra days in Spain spending money on lodgings, food and most likely some souvenirs to bring back home with them.

CaminoKris2013
 

newfydog

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Stephen Nicholls said:
There are MANY Spanish folk who rely on pilgrims for a large proportion of their income. Be generous. ]

As it has been since the days of Godescalc.

The Spanish people have provided all sorts of charity to help pilgrims who can't afford an unassisted Camino. We go out of our way to not take advantage of that, but rather contribute to it.

It seems there is a bit of pride among many posters here on just how cheaply they can do the trip. there is nothing wrong with students and people of limited means staying in susbsidized lodging, beeing fed by volunteers etc., but I see all too often pilgrims who bought an expensive ticket, carry fancy gear etc. expecting such amenities.

If you can, spend some money. It does not make you any less holy to pay for restaurant meals, casa rurals, leave tips where appropriate, contribute in the cathedrals, tourist offices and pilgrim centers.

And if you can, don't flee after you finish.......wind down by seeing a bit more of Spain. It is a different, but wonderful place away from the Caminos.
 
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tyrrek

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newfydog said:
As it has been since the days of Godescalc.
What was that? Is that what they had before Compeed? Buen Camino! :D
 

newfydog

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Nah, Godescalc (the first pilgrim to Santiago in 951) didn't need that stuff. He was a Bishop, and travelled with a large entourage. I imagine he did no begging, and spent a fair bit of money on the local economy.

An interesting note is that in 1681, Louis XIV issued an interdiction forbidding the pilgrimage. He was upset about how much money was flowing from France in the the economy of Spain. If you want to emmulate the historical pilgrims, contribute to the cash flow.
 

kingscrown2014

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Hi Jim,
I watched your blogs....you seem to be a nice older thin man in some what good shape with a good heart.
You can walk the Camino for $20.00 a day, that is for food a bed with spare change in your pocket.

When you do a long distance walk plan on physical losing 10 pounds of weight and I see your thin to begin with.
If you miss a few meals you could become ill on your pilgrimage of finding yourself, then you could become a burden to others and Spain.
I am from the United States also and have walked the Camino twice and many other walks in diffrent countries.
I watched the movie THE WAY and one should allways remember it's just a movie from Hollywood... a story ( who walkes long distance with bluejeans on ?)
If you want to experience humility...maybe you could pick up trash on the camino path while you are walking and maybe help out in the kitchens feeding the other pilgrims.
Just a thought ...
But a person will do, what they have to do.
Good luck on your adventure.
 
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AJ

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kingscrown2014 said:
Hi Jim,
( who walkes long distance with bluejeans on ?)

A Spaniard I met on the Via Francigena in Italy was wearing bluejeans. He had walked from his home in Andalucia to Santiago and from there he was walking to Rome. He had a nearly new pack and a new jacket which had been given to him. He had hardly any money, but wasn't begging. He discreetly alluded to his situation and hoped people would be generous. People generally were generous.

This man was religious, genuinely humble and he was in need.
 
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Abbeydore

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Jim,

I wish you well, you don't seem like a bad chap to me, your smile is very infectious, I couldn't walk with you for too long though......... My Camino came to me & yours I'm sure will come to you; I'm sure. Spain is a lovely Country esp. this part; It will give a lot more to you than you'll ever be able to give back......that's why this forum is so good we know we'll never ever succeed......

You are very blessed you have your health, I hope it holds out too, we all suffer, if only sore feet or knees or what ever.

I hope you'll tell us a little about you "Camino' when it's over..........me I just try to lead a better life than I was before. Your smile gives me hope, thank you!!

David

ps If you were filming me while asking for a handout,
I think I'd probably ask you to sell the camera first. Buen Camino
 

dougfitz

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Jim, you are full of contradictions. Here are a couple:

Here is what you say on this forum:
jimkaszynski said:
So I am asking myself, do I have the humility to ask another person “Do you have any food to spare?”
And here is what you said elsewhere:
All the questions I ever had about life were answered!
Here is what you said on this forum:
jimkaszynski said:
I will be camping out and walking alone for the 484-miles.
Here is what you said elsewhere:
Now, how about the rest of the group who is going on this trek? For the ones who want to do the whole trip, we will take the first step together on June 1st, 2013.
Here is what you said on this forum:
jimkaszynski said:
I will not ask for money only food.
Here is what you said elsewhere:
I will try to send out a daily narrative with photos. That’s if I can find an internet cafe on the way, which should not be a problem.
The conundrum is how will you pay for the internet cafe. You are not begging for money, and the internet doesn't seem to me to be food. How will that work?

So, my question is, which Jim should we believe?

For others, the elsewhere quotes are from http://jimscaminodesantiago.wordpress.com/author/jimsthailandadventure/.

Regards,
 
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I have encountered mendicant pilgrims twice and did what I could to be of help and most of us have bought meals or slipped money to people along the way. There's no fuss about it-- this is just part of Camino life.

I fear that I was also a bit irked by Jim's presumptions and contradictions but, if he's decided that's what he wants to do, I don't suppose my opinions will matter. However, the Spanish economic situation does put albergues in a tight spot. Might I make a suggestion to Jim? that he be generous in his donativos on the sly? While training himself spiritually by taking his approach, ensure that he slips 30-50 euro a night into the donativo box, not only paying for himself but providing thealbergue with the ability to help others along the way. Jim does not seem to be poor himself (I am reluctant to say this, but if he can afford the flight, equipment etc..., such would seem to be the case) but others are, and really do need the help.

This way, he could benefit by the mendicant approach without doing damage to the network of Spanish and pilgrim hospitality along the way.
 

Priscillian

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Jim:
I heartily admire what you are attempting to do. Why? Because giving others the opportunity to help others is one of the greatest gifts we can bestow! (Forum members if you haven't watched Pay It Forward then I urge you to do so.)
I haven't read all the posts here. I don't need to.
You will be welcome here for a few days when you finish your Camino (I'll be putting you to work though!)
Tracy Saunders
 

sillydoll

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I watched pay it forward - wonderful movie. But I don't see what it has to do with Jim"s experiment to see if he can ask people for help?
After watching your video Jim, I think you haved a bigger problem - and that is being able to accept advice, even from those closest to you. You couldn't accept the advice of your closest and oldest friend (and are sad to have lost him because of what you are planning to do) so I dont think you'll take the advice given here by well meaning strangers.
I hope you"ll learn some Spanish, German, Portuguese, French, Italian, Dutch etc etc etc so that you can explain to foreign pilgrims what you are doing.
 
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Re: You will be avoided, eventually

amancio said:
while your idea may sound very romantic - in the 19th Century sense of the word "romantic", I can foresee you getting in trouble.

normally, you will keep bumping into the same people all the time. The first time, you might be lucky to get help. Maybe even the second time. But the third time, they are just going to think you are a "sponge" (gorrón in Spanish) and will most likely be avoiding you like a pest.

That is my view.
I agree with your view! I just completed the Camino Frances this week. During my journey, we had a person who was "doing the Camino" on 'no' money. Word spread up and down the Camino about this fellow...and people were very put-off by him. I saw him enter the plaza, looking like the flea bag he is, almost strutting as he entered. This is not, I believe, the general attitude of a pilgrim who has just completed the Camino.
So, my advice to our forum friend..."Get real, dude!" You are simply a con artist in pilgrim clothing! Random acts of kindness are for people really needing them!
 

sillydoll

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There are better ways to pay it forward on the Camino than only taking.

Plan on buying the necessary ingredients to make dinner in the albergues on as many nights as possible. Tell people you will buy the food if they will help you to prepare the meals. You can then share your food with other pilgrims.

Plan on staying at only donativo albergues but pay them the same as if you were staying in a small hotel, €30 - €50 per night.

Pay for all donativo meals as though you were eating in a cafe-bar - €10 - €12 per meal.

Look out for those pilgrims who obviously don't have money for food (there are many on the Camino) and offer to share your meals with them.

Learn how to do foot massages and carry oils with you. Offer to do foot massages in the albergues and on the road.

You are a creative person - think of all the ways you can make a positive difference on the Camino.
 

jastrace

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Hi Jim,

I know some of you thinking “This guy is crazy,”

"Crazy" is not the word that came to mind... "confusing" is what I was thinking.

Why do you need to travel from Thailand to Spain to do this?

do I have the humility to ask another person “Do you have any food to spare?”

How about: "do I have the humility to do this without external validation from others (including the online community?"

If humility development is the goal why not walk out your front door right now and head into the nearest rural Thai village and conduct your comfort zone expansion, with no blogs, no videos and no one to affirm your ascension into the ranks of the humble?
 

lynettefoo

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Definately agree with the last posting.

You dont need to tell everyone about this.

You can do all of this in Thailand which has alot of need including animal shelters if you run out of things to do in orphanages.

I just finished The Camino last week and it's a small community of walkers. You see the same walkers all the time and everyone shares information.

I can almost assure you that although everyone is very kind and generous, most people would avoid you like a plague.

I heard one story recently while I was walking about a guy who had no money and he was giving people massages. Most people just turned him down and avoided him.

There was a girl who played her musical instrument so that she could make money to go to the next town. That everyone gave willingly.

Anyway, all I can say is that you do your Camino your own way. Good Luck!
 
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falcon269 said:
A Camino to test others instead of yourself, simply follows the biblical admonition to "judge, lest he not be judged."
:? :?:
The quote is actually
"Judge not, that ye be not judged" (Matthew 7 v1)

Not quite sure how you are using it here :)

Personally I had kept off this thread, but will now make a comment:-

I would not want to be made a part of some-one else's 'experiment' without my permission, nor video-ed as part of that experiment.

As far as meeting the genuine needs of folk on the Camino - I would not want to ignore a genuine need, whether of another pilgrim or a local inhabitant. On one occasion this year we were asked for help by a very genuine local girl, on leaving the bread shop we gave her some money and the look of gratitude on her face as she then went in to buy food was very humbling.

Sorry to keep repeating the word 'genuine', but, IMHO, it seems important to make a distinction here
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
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evanlow said:
Hi Jim,

I concur with Sil.

Spain is in a recession. They can use your money, especially it appears that you are able to afford it. It may not be much since you probably spend 20-30 euros a day but in the spirit for what the Camino gives to all pilgrims, this is the least we could do to gives thanks.

The other Jim (James) will appreciate that too! :D

-------
From another pilgrim not too far away from you in Singapore.
-------


I passed through many Spanish villages that would probably have no industry or means of support if it were not for the Camino and I think it is wrong on so many levels to freeload on these people as an experiment to prove something to yourself about human nature, better to walk your Camino, pay your way and tip generously as it is peoples livelihoods you are playing with.
Enjoy your Camino but do the decent thing.

Buen Camino.
 

Priscillian

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Sil: as I said earlier I do think this gives people that Jim meets on his Camino a way to Pay it Forward insomuch as they are contributing something without expecting a payback. The payback, in my opinion, is the opportunity to help.
However, the point about Spain in crisis is a well taken one! We are in a serious mess. All of us! Jim, perhaps at some point in time in the future, once you have had a chance to process all that you have experienced, you can find a way of giving something BACK to the Camino and the people who have helped you complete it in this unique way you are choosing.
The offer still stands...and some serious grunt work needs doing around here!
 

Pieces

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prsonally I find there are causesmore worthy of paying forward and that even using the ter in relation to this topic is a misunderstanding of the concept it refers to
 
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Re: Re: I will walk the Camino with “NO” money

Pieces said:
personally I find there are causes more worthy of paying forward and that even using the term in relation to this topic is a misunderstanding of the concept it refers to
That is my view as well! Jim's approach is artificial as he is not really in need of any support and is simply opting to appear so. I would give him short shrift on the camino.
 

lynettefoo

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
29 September to October 12, 2012 (Leon to Santiago); 1 October 2013 to 18th October 2013 from St Jean Pied de Port to Burgos.
Ah Hah.. So I was not the only one who finished last week and heard the same story.

I actually saw the guy and he was kinda weird looking and looked very dirty.

I think you should just pay for your trip with the money that you have and if you want to help out, spend more money like I did and stay in 3 star hotels, eat good meals (not just the 10 e pilgrim menus which are usually terrible) and give back in your own way by helping other pilgrims such as sharing your head torch if someone didn't have one, giving clothing away if they needed it and you didnt, helping people with their blisters etc.

There are so many ways to do it but yours is not a need. It is an experiment and it seems like a self indulgent one to make you out to be a saint but you are far from it my dear.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
PingHansen said:
I can admire those who try for reasons of faith, whether as a "penance" or because they lack the funds to pay for it.

A person who does it for the heck of it, I'd call a leech. And not only that, but by abusing the goodwill of persons along the route, he may be ruining it for those who need it.


Well said.
 

kaixo

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2012
Norte 2012
Geneva/Le Puy/SJPP/Bilbao 2015
Prague/Geneva ?
Hi Jim...are you still following this thread? You have not made any comments for some time.

Here is a post from a different thread,
Re: What is the one albergue you would avoid? by wisepilgrim on 22 Jul 2012, 02:14
To all of this I would add one observation, and wonder if others have noticed the same. While visiting albergues for the app this summer the one thing I noticed more than ever was that they [the hospitaleros] almost always seemed more exhausted than ever before. Perhaps the work of being a full time hospitalero has caught up to the many of the private albergue owners, perhaps it is the crunch of the Spanish economy which has brought ever more pilgrims with ever less money. Perhaps it is the addition of so much competition in an already competitive market. I don't know for certain, but it is worth keeping in mind that they too are part of the human structure of the camino, and deserve an equal portion of the kindness that we share with one another. It is not an easy job to sustain when things get tough.
Good luck and know that every one of us will do our pilgrimage our own way. I love that about the camino!
With or without money is your choice. You have been offered some great advice by numerous pilgrims and I hope you see it as constructive not condemning.
Buen camino,
Anna Maria
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Addressing Jim directly, I would agree with Annamaria and I think that most of the comments are intended to be constructive (although perhaps one or two were phrased without much padding!!). While posters might not be in agreement with you (and most aren't), we are all trying to support others in their quests as we have learned that the Camino process is a valuable tool in doing so. Before you respond again (if you're still reading), sit on your thoughts for a day-- we are trying to be helpful.
 
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Jeff Stys

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (03, 04), VdlP (05, 06), Norte (07,08), Primativo (09), Frances (12)
I've been following this for a few days now and think I'm ready to chime in.

If indeed your biggest fear is asking another for help, why not make it a part of your camino experience in a more natural way? There will be many opportunities to ask for help (even when you might not really need it), no muss, no fuss.

Create a disciple of asking for help X number of times a day. Here's few suggestions.

Ask for directions
Ask if you can walk with a newly encountered pilgrim
Ask if you can borrow a bandaid for your blistered feet
Ask a local to recommend a good resturant
Ask if you can join a group of pilgrims eating at a resturant
Ask a local tourist office for recommended 'must sees"
Ask if a local or a pilgrim if they have any water to share
Ask if you can buy someone a drink or a coffee
Ask someone for assistance adjusting your backpack or rain poncho
Ask if someone can help you eat a big tin of cookies you just bought and couldn't possibly carry to the next town
Ask if someone needs your help
Ask a bartender about business or local traditions
Ask for the opportunity to listen to someone else's reason for doing the camino.
Ask for a bottom bunk
Ask for the local woman who has the key to the church. As for a tour.
Ask your bunk mate to wake you up if your snoring too loudly :wink:
Ask if you can borrow a little laundry soap
Ask for another slice of bread to go with your tapas.

I could go on and on. At home, I don't like to ask for help and rarely speak to people I don't know. I have strong introvert tendencies. One of the reasons I enjoy my time on the Camino is I'm forced to get beyond my day to day tendencies - I always shock myself how I will talk to everyone and how much I learn from the experience.

Buen Camino.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Our house is the only donativo place for pilgrims for many kilometers, so mendicants are a large portion of our "clientele." (we have an Argentinian man here this very day, he´s walked from Taizé in France with only 30 Euro in his pocket. A Canadian pilgrim, early on, gave this stranger his charge card, just in case of emergency. He hasn´t used it yet!)

There is beautiful generosity out there, and plenty of people pushing themselve to new limits. It is not so bad, coming here to overcome your deep fears, etc. etc. But more and more people are using the Camino as a stage (and fellow pilgs as a captive audience) for attention-seeking behavior and out-and-out stunts.

Simply walking or biking the Way is not enough. They have to do it on rollerskates, or a camel or a Segway or unicycle or better/stronger/faster/poorer than anyone ever did before. They´ve gotta make themselves stand out from the crowd and get noticed. These are "stunt caminos." The pilg often says he is only doing this to help a charity, or to make some deeply meaningful point. Supposedly he is proving something to himself, but evidently he has something to prove to everybody.

I have seen several well-off people experimenting with poverty on the camino -- a lovely, wealthy Brazilian girl on my 2001 camino showed herself she could get along with nothing, and charmed her way down the camino. Two French nuns walked without money two years ago, counting on fellow religious to keep them going. They ended up sleeping in vineyards and garages when local generosity didn´t stretch far enough.

These ladies did not announce what they were doing to a group of online strangers before they left, stirring up the pot with "wow, ain´t I crazy!" kind of comments. They did not ask for food and shelter while carrying a video camera, so they could broadcast themselves from the nearest café. It is the heroic "wowie zowie I am the first one!" kind of announcement that puts this "social experiment" into the Stunt Camino category.

I hope the camino is so overwhelmingly generous to the OP he can set aside his camera and his "experiment" pose and just walk in quietness and peace, and see how providence goes way beyond money, food, shelter, and games.
 

markss

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances from SJPP (3/10 & 10/10); Primitivo (6/12)
This topic was begging for a comment from Rebekah and here it is. I don't think anyone frequenting this forum possesses as sound a perspective as she consistently presents. Once again, well said!
 

jastrace

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2010, 2013, 2015, and 2017.
Camino Portuguese in planning (Sept 2018)
I will walk the Camino with "A batman costume"

Rebekah Scott said:
But more and more people are using the Camino as a stage (and fellow pilgs as a captive audience) for attention-seeking behavior and out-and-out stunts.
...
Simply walking or biking the Way is not enough. They have to do it on rollerskates, or a camel or a Segway or unicycle or better/stronger/faster/poorer than anyone ever did before. They´ve gotta make themselves stand out from the crowd and get noticed. These are "stunt caminos."

Stunt Caminos! :D I know that it is completely inappropriate to find the funny side of that, but the mischievous side of me can't help imagining someone doing the Camino by progressively launching themselves out of a cannon all the way to Santiago. :lol:

Next year, I will walk the Camino with "A batman costume". (I'll claim some higher purpose of course).

Sorry for offence caused... I'll try to be more serious next time.

Jason.
 
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soch

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camiño Portugués 2012
Rebekah Scott said:
Our house is the only donativo place for pilgrims for many kilometers, so mendicants are a large portion of our "clientele." (we have an Argentinian man here this very day, he´s walked from Taizé in France with only 30 Euro in his pocket. A Canadian pilgrim, early on, gave this stranger his charge card, just in case of emergency. He hasn´t used it yet!)

There is beautiful generosity out there, and plenty of people pushing themselve to new limits. It is not so bad, coming here to overcome your deep fears, etc. etc. But more and more people are using the Camino as a stage (and fellow pilgs as a captive audience) for attention-seeking behavior and out-and-out stunts.

Simply walking or biking the Way is not enough. They have to do it on rollerskates, or a camel or a Segway or unicycle or better/stronger/faster/poorer than anyone ever did before. They´ve gotta make themselves stand out from the crowd and get noticed. These are "stunt caminos." The pilg often says he is only doing this to help a charity, or to make some deeply meaningful point. Supposedly he is proving something to himself, but evidently he has something to prove to everybody.

I have seen several well-off people experimenting with poverty on the camino -- a lovely, wealthy Brazilian girl on my 2001 camino showed herself she could get along with nothing, and charmed her way down the camino. Two French nuns walked without money two years ago, counting on fellow religious to keep them going. They ended up sleeping in vineyards and garages when local generosity didn´t stretch far enough.

These ladies did not announce what they were doing to a group of online strangers before they left, stirring up the pot with "wow, ain´t I crazy!" kind of comments. They did not ask for food and shelter while carrying a video camera, so they could broadcast themselves from the nearest café. It is the heroic "wowie zowie I am the first one!" kind of announcement that puts this "social experiment" into the Stunt Camino category.

I hope the camino is so overwhelmingly generous to the OP he can set aside his camera and his "experiment" pose and just walk in quietness and peace, and see how providence goes way beyond money, food, shelter, and games.


Rebekah Scott's latest post confirms her as a word-wizard, with a rare degree of empathic attunement and astute observational skills. Powerful combination. However she did manage to ruin my breakfast this morning, as my coffee went cold as I devoured her latest post. I must get round to reading her book.
soch
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
falcon269 said:
Jim has not dropped by since the 20th, so more comment and advice may not interest him.
We're all getting it out of our system though, Falcon, and as you know these threads last for years. Any future pilgrims considering a similar approach may find the thread useful.

I think the balance of opinion is pretty negative, and although I take an 'each to their own' approach to Caminos, I would just be concerned that the right people were supplying food in the right way.

Many other American pilgrims seem to disapprove of Jim's approach. Is this a cultural thing about paying your way, or a sense of embarrassment that an American would be wandering round a cash-strapped European country begging for food? I have felt sorry for the occasional American vicariously being held responsible for decisions of their government. In fact 'you guys' are lovely pilgrims in my own experience! :D

Buen Camino!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
tyrrek said:
Many other American pilgrims seem to disapprove of Jim's approach. Is this a cultural thing about paying your way, or a sense of embarrassment that an American would be wandering round a cash-strapped European country begging for food
Tyrrek, I did a quick count, and I think that the disapproval is far more widespread than just others from the United States. Perhaps it speaks to a more universal dislike of both the stunning self-aggrandisement and what clearly would be taking advantage of the generous spirit of both fellow pilgrims and the local people we know support genuinely poor pilgrims.

My other concern is that should he follow through with his plan, once he starts it might be impossible to tell him apart from those really in need. I don't know how I would be able to tell. It appears to me that someone with his talents as a salesman would have some superficially sensible explanation for every anomaly one might detect, at least sufficient to pass muster with each new encounter.

My earlier post on his inconsistencies is some evidence that he has already tried it on with this forum. While that didn't take long to check, not everyone would be so inclined to do that, and might just be prepared to believe they have helped someone who is in real need. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I don't think it justifies his actions just to provide that opportunity.
 
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capecorps

Member
Jim,

As an inveterate lurker, I have seldom seen the stalwarts of this forum so upset.

I would seem the only way to win back the approbation and admiration of the forum is to indeed divest yourself of all your worldly goods and entitlements in fact as well as in fiction.

But never fear. I walked the Camino a few months ago for two months and of the literally hundreds of people I met, …… none had ever heard of this forum.

On a serious note, I owe the Spanish people a debt I can never hope to repay. I was the ungrateful recipient of their largesse in 1970 when I spent a year in Spain as a long haired hippy. Although I spent money like a drunken sailor on my Camino, my debt is not monetary.

It is their sheer goodness and generosity of spirit freely given, that I can’t repay.
 

Moratinos

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, 2002. Hospitalero.
Having waded through all these mostly spikey comments, here's mine - a day late - and several euros short.
Jim is all set to get his Camino off immediately on the wrong foot when he describes it variously as I seem to recall - an experiment, adventure and an exploration.

It is a pilgrimage.

Let him start with that in mind.
And he can always sell his camera to buy food, if he gets peckish. That's what poor people often have to do. He shouldn't expect to get much for it, however.

But that won't bother him, I'm sure. Worldly goods, and all that.
Enough to buy a buscuit or two, anyway.

I live right on the Camino. And if Jim persists in his "adventure," I suggest he takes the trouble to walk away from the Camino a kilometer or so North or South, to find "fresh" villages where pilgrims don't normally go, unless they are lost.
And then begs his bread there.
This is because there are comparatively few people living directly on the Camino.
And they get hit on all the time.
So Jim, remember to spread the load! The worst than can happen is they set the dogs on you. All part of the fun! And, if you still have your camera, you can film it!
¡Y Buen Camino!
 

Moratinos

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, 2002. Hospitalero.
I must beg Jim's pardon. I earlier suggested he described his plan as an "exploration," when he did not.
He described it, in fact, as an "expedition."

Which it is not, either.

It is a pilgrimage. Regardless of religion. Or so I think.
 

sundra

New Member
Hi Jim, last year when we did the Camino Francés we came across a German who travelled without money too. We gave him some cash and later when we talked to the other pilgrims at the albergue they adviced us not to do this as they too came across people who used the same method to collect money to travel cheaply!!! I don´t know wether this guy really didn´t have any money or only wanted to travel cheaply. People might have wrong impression on what your doing and it´s better to have some cash for any emergency situations!!!Anyway good luck and may St James guide your way too. Buen Camino!!
 

camo1990

New Member
If you really want to carry out this experiment and test yourself, donate all the money you have to a charity and then walk the Camino, this would prove much more. You will have passed on all of your current money and in return you may be repaid in food and shelter whilst on the Camino. By the sounds of it you have everythng you need and more, so having no cash should not be much of a problem for you to survive your current living.

If I met you on the Camino and you told me that you had just recently donated all of your money to charity, then I would feel that you were very kind and would gladly buy you a sandwich or pay for the albergue and a meal.

As for me, when I walked the Camino last year I found myself with no money for the last week (I spent the last of my money on my flight home - which meant I had to wait in Santiago for 6 days - and I spent money on accommodation for the 5 nights I needed shelter, saving 3 euros for the shuttle bus to the airport on my departure). I was literally penniless, my family couldn't help out as they already helped out enough with finances. I was actually scared because I knew I wouldn't be able to eat anything. Every pilgrim I had come to know and love had already left and it left me feeling alone, I would walk the streets and see other groups of "pilgrim families" and it made me miss my pilgim family so much, they were the people I had come to rely on, but they were gone and I was still there. Luckily, in Santiago there are lots of little shops with women who stand outside with plates of cake or biscuits offering a piece to people. I walked up and down these streets taking one piece from each plate saying "muchos gracias" and then walking on. Sometimes I would alternate my appearance by wearing my backpack or my hat or sunglasses so I could get several pieces. Once I had eaten my full I would start collecting more pieces for my evening meal. I did this for 5 days! I didn't know what else to do. This may sound like a good idea for anyone reading to save money, but no, the reason I shared this story was to tell people how guilty it made me feel doing this although it was merely a way for me to eat. The shame and guilt would make me cry and I felt that every piece I took was a little bit of money I was taking from the business owners, the employees and also the economy.

The way I paid this back was in April this year when I returned to the Camino (this time with sufficient funds) and when I got to Santiago I bought 1 full Santiago tart or 1 box of biscuits from each shop that I had taken little pieces of cake from. This was my way of saying thank you to them all for helping me to eat for 5 days (although I didn't feel very good physically).

Anyway, my point is, your experiment could backfire, and if you have a similar conscience to me then you may find yourself in deep self suffering from the feeling of guilt and shame, even more so knowing you have the money to pay for yourself. You should really think about all of the consequences of doing this, not only the positive outcomes but the negative too.


Sorry for the long post
 
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jastrace

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2010, 2013, 2015, and 2017.
Camino Portuguese in planning (Sept 2018)
Camo1990,

I'm not particularly emotional but I found your post moving. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Also kudos for your return to Spain and for your efforts to give back. I'm not implying you should have and I'm not implying it was necessary. But kudos just because you did. I thought it was considerate and good form.

Nicely done.

Jason.
 

jastrace

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2010, 2013, 2015, and 2017.
Camino Portuguese in planning (Sept 2018)
Hi Jim,

was thinking, you seem like you have time on your hands and an adventurous spirit. How about rather than flying to Spain, you begin your Camino from Thailand. Travel from Thailand by whatever means (just not one or two flights). Go via road, donkey, camel, scooter, ferry, train whatever from Thailand, through the middle east, through Turkey and around the top of the Med. Join up with any one of the Caminos that go through France then perhaps walk a bit from there. Take a friend to help film it. That would be a comfort zone expanding journey worth watching. I'd love to see that film mate.

Jason.
 

jeffnd

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
March/April 2014
Jim and I have exchanged a couple of emails before he posted here. I'm leaving SJPP a few days before him, but at my snail's pace there's a good chance we could run into each other. I told him that if we meet, I'll buy him coffee or a cold drink. I hope I do run into him, because he seems like a genuine person who's heart is in the right place.
 

Moratinos

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, 2002. Hospitalero.
On re-reading this post, and the many insightful comments, I feel obliged to ask another question: Given that Jim is an admitted non-believer - what possible reason did he have for choosing the Camino to perform his experiment in begging in the first place?

Wouldn't anywhere on earth do equally well to test the generosity of his fellow humans?

And... since he is an American I suggest, nicely of course, that he tests whether Charity Really Begins At Home or not, actually at home.

And so... I further suggest he might try switching his adventure to somewhere there, thus avoiding language problems (or, at least lessening them a bit!).

And...finally, if he's pondering a suitable destination for his expedition, why not try downtown Detroit?
He can be reasonably confident of a warm, maybe even exciting, welcome on many doorsteps there, as well as some splendid photo-ops!
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
daesdaemar said:
With respect, several things come to mind:
It sounds as if you can afford to pay your way. Is it really right to seek the charity of others if you really don't need it? Perhaps what people give to you may not go to someone who "really" needs it.

Perhaps, to avoid a personal conviction that you are free-loading, you should make generous donations in the traditional Albergues that run totally on the donations of pilgrims. To be honourable, and in the spirit of your experiment, you must keep knowledge of these donations to yourself.

My other thought was less kind. You must have cajones to do as you plan. (Cojones is a vulgar Spanish word for testicles or, denoting courage when used in the phrase "tener cojones" (equivalent to English "have the balls to").)
 
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Moratinos

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, 2002. Hospitalero.
.
Skilshaw makes a good point. Jim will need cajones when he goes begging.
This means "drawers" in Spanish, and he might be arrested if he doesn't have them.
 

jimkaszynski

RIP 2014
Year of past OR future Camino
First step June 1st 2013
Priscillian said:
Jim:
I heartily admire what you are attempting to do. Why? Because giving others the opportunity to help others is one of the greatest gifts we can bestow! (Forum members if you haven't watched Pay It Forward then I urge you to do so.)
I haven't read all the posts here. I don't need to.
You will be welcome here for a few days when you finish your Camino (I'll be putting you to work though!)
Tracy Saunders

Hi Tracy, thanks for your offer. I will see you when I finish. People are misunderstanding my intent. But it will all make sence when I finish. See you in July-August when I finish. My first step will be June 1st. My response to everyone will be posted later today. I have been on the road here in Thailand and not on the computer for awhile. Stay happy...Jim
 

jimkaszynski

RIP 2014
Year of past OR future Camino
First step June 1st 2013
Sorry about the delay on this response. I just attended a Spiritual retreat in Chiang Mia, Thailand and have been away from my computer, really different for me. However, you know what, I kind of enjoyed it.

Believe it or not…thank you for your suggestions. Some people did misunderstand my message. I have been accused of being selfish and in one way I am! I am doing this walk for myself, something very different for me. Most of my life I have been doing for others.

The asking people for food Issue: I think I will now “NOT” ask anyone for food. If someone decides to give me food of course I will accept it, but I won’t beg for food.

The best advice I got was that I should have not even shared this story with anyone until I completed the walk. However, I will make a promise to you. I will make the walk and finish it. After I finish I will share with you all about my preparation before the trek and during the walk, and after I finish and most important, what I do after the completion of this journey.

I really feel most of you when I finish, will be thinking “NOW I UNDERSTAND!”... Why I did this? So trust me, this will all make sense in due time.

I do live on a very low budget and have recently lived in extremely difficult living conditions helping the children of Thailand. Actually, that was most likely, more challenging the walk?

I will not start a debate or criticize any of the comments made about me. I just, "don’t go there" anymore. I value everyone's opinions even the ones who disagree with me. I am very open minded person and still consider you may be right, and I may be wrong!

However, if you have read my blog from the beginning, until now, you will see the flow of changes in my life, and I love it! Changes, mistakes and even doing things right all have a lesson in it, and I welcome that. For me, that is when I grow.

Now for Mr. Attorney that is what I call him who has picked every word I said and tried to find something wrong with my life's adventure. I was wondering which university you got your law degree, Harvard or Yale? I am just kidding around with you. Actually, I kind of like you, even if you don’t feel the same way about me. To answer some of his questions.

To explain the chain of events that led up to this. I watched the movie “The Way” and decided to do the walk. I am a recovering alcoholic and drug attic but have been in recovery since 1981. I don’t have a problem with other people drinking I just cannot drink one drink. Every time I drank I got married or ended up in jail. Lol

My original thought was to get a bunch of people in recovery to do this walk together. I then came to the thought of doing this with no money trying to overcome the fear I have of asking someone for help (food only I will be camping out).

So that is when I decided to do the walk alone so none of my group would feel obligated to feed me. It may not sound like it but my life is in good balance, and of course; it does get out of whack sometimes, but it is. The difference today, I can see it and do something to correct it.

I will be 68 when I take my first step, however, most of you do not know my past, and it has been filled with many ups and downs. I have had many adventures some of which many say were impossible plus many failures of which my greatest lessons came from. I did overcome a battle with cancer nine years ago plus spent several years in a wheel chair because of a spinal problem. So the question is “Did I have to go through these things to get to where I am today?”….YES!

For years, I asked myself. “What is my purpose in life?” First, I had to become genuinely happy from my heart and not just saying it from my head. I believe our creator put us on the good earth to be enjoying life, not suffer, but if I never had pain, I would not understand the meaning of pleasure. So what makes me feel complete? It is to share my life experiences (mostly mistakes) with another human and just maybe they will choose to change, and their lives may become better, and you know what that makes me feel good! Why, because someone passed it on to me, and I will do the same.

Now the question that was asked; you said, “you have found the answer for every question I have ever had or will have; who is the real Jim?” That is true! However, every day I have new questions and every day I get the answer, and it’s not always the answer I want, but it is the one I need. That is when growth takes place in my life.

One final question was about finding free internet. If I cannot find free Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, I will stop in the towns that have a library and use their free internet service.

You know I really do not know how this will turn out as some call an experiment, and that it is. I still feel that people will share their food with me because they are human beings and do have a concern for another person. If I am wrong, that in itself will be another life lesson, I will learn. I am taking your advice to carry my debit card in case of a medical emergency. However, hope never to use it. Jim

Hey, by the way, I will be only 68 when I start my walk. I keep imaging what step I will be taking at age 70? Imagination is still one of my greatest gifts; I can go anywhere any time. I love this life thing!

Below is a poem I received at the retreat I just attended. It is kind of my life story! If any of you get to Thailand, please look me up, I am in northern Thailand in Chiang Rai. I know some of you think “I want to stay far away from this "crazy''" guy.” Nevertheless, I’m not as bad as you may think. My heart is always open to everyone. So you’re invited!

I went to a little village yesterday only accessible by boat about a three-hour ride. They have never seen a foreigner before, my friend is helping them. They have no electric, phones and live off the land. Guess what they are happy! Another life lesson I learned and yes, this will help me on my walk.

The Journey Poetry By Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.
 

jimkaszynski

RIP 2014
Year of past OR future Camino
First step June 1st 2013
jeffnd said:
Jim and I have exchanged a couple of emails before he posted here. I'm leaving SJPP a few days before him, but at my snail's pace there's a good chance we could run into each other. I told him that if we meet, I'll buy him coffee or a cold drink. I hope I do run into him, because he seems like a genuine person who's heart is in the right place.

Thanks hope to meet you on "THE WAY" Some people are misunderstanding what I am trying to do. Yes, I know my heart is in the right place. I might take you up on that cup of coffee. Jim
 
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