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Making the commitment

Rmcgwn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
nADA
I walked from León to Santiago in 2016 and now I am considering walking from SJPP to León in May June. For some reason I find myself struggling with making the commitment. I have made reservations twice and cancelled because I don't feel totally committed to do all the preparations and then walk 500 kms like I did the first time. I know it's a big challenge. I am senior female solo traveller and I know one day I may not have the fitness or the energy like I have now. Not one to shy from challenges normally this is not usual for me. I know it's hard. I really like Spain and I speak at a solid intermediate level of spanish. Not much practice on the trail last time which was a bit of a disappointment. I had great experiences and some not so great last time which I try not to focus on but they are there somewhat. For others on their second camino or more, knowing the commitment necessary, did you find it hard the next time to totally commit? When I commit to anything I am in 100% but right now it's wavering around 75%.
 
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Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Hi @Rmcgwn, welcome to the forum!

Personally, I do not find hard at all to commit, and for the last 5 years, I simply know I'm ready to the next camino even before the current one ends.

That said, doing a camino is a great deed. What you consider a 'commitment' is very personal, and only you will know how much you are willing to commit. May I ask why do you call it a 'commitment'?

You can go to Spain, start walking and, if you don´t enjoy it, you can just get out of the trail and go enjoy a few days somewhere else (Pamplona, Burgos, Leon, all awesome places!). What/who do you feel you are commited to? Our lovely and understanding St James will definetely not be disappointed if you finish your camino somewhere else. No one will judge you.

A veteran forum member @davebugg always asks people to right down the reason why they are doing a camino. Maybe that could be good for you, and could help you get out of this 'undecided' moment.

Once that iks done, also consider a few questions:

- Do you HAVE to walk SJPP to Leon? There is no official start to a camino, SJPP is just a city that became popular/convenient as a place to start. Does your mind/heart tells you that that part needs to be done to be a full camino? If so, that is actually not true - the trail is great over there and totally worth to be done, but not mandatory at all.

- Would a shorter camino be easier to commit? Have you thought about walking the Portuguese or the Primitivo?

- Are you afraid of something that you can pinpoint?

No need to reply any of those questions, I just thought they could be useful to help you to give a step forward :) And anything you need, we are here to help!
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
You may walk any Camino or part of it, if it pleases you so. There is no rule or obligation. Perhaps the track between SJPP and León isn't quite your thing and you would be happier walking elsewhere? Or with company? Or doing something completely different?
Think about what it is YOU want, not about the level of commitment, and if you heart is secretly elsewhere, then so be it.

 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
I was writing something very similar! Also struck by the word "commitment", which makes it sound rather, well... not fun. More like an obligation. In my experience the minute something becomes a "should", it turns a chore... and of course there are a lot of "shoulds" in life, but the Camino needn't be one of them! So maybe replace the should with a "could"? It's completely up to you! Go for it if deep down that's what you really want to do... but maybe your heart just isn't in it at the moment, and that's completely fine too! Listen to your heart, and be good to yourself!
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Yours is a very subjective concern and I'm not certain of where you are coming from; it sounds like you are not really sure either. Here are a few of my thoughts which may or may not help at all.

Are you using the term "commitment" when you are really meaning "decision"? Commitment just really means a level of dedication to something or someone. For something like a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike or a 31 day Camino, or laying out cash for an expensive new hobby, or getting married, the commitment usually comes after the decision is made.

"I spent $3,000.00 on a new piano, I better be committed to taking piano lessons".

If you are hesitant, what is blocking your ability to make the final decision? Examples: Is it the concern that you may not be able to complete the Camino? Are you worried about being away from home and family? Is it a matter of spending the money when budgets are tight? Is it a matter of not caring for the types of accommodations, or crowds, or food, etc?

Committing to something is generally voluntary. But even if it is voluntary, it can be a struggle to stay committed. After you make the decision and then show up, it might be that you are only able to commit to one day, one hour, or even just one step at a time. Breaking down a seemingly overwhelming commitment into bite-sized chunks is sometimes an effective strategy to keep one going toward their goal.

You've done this before. You know what is involved and what walking a Camino is like. Was there something about your previous experience that you now dread experiencing again?

My thoughts are with you as you work to resolve the issues you are facing. I look forward to hearing more as you continue your planning. :)
 

angus55morrison

Uist beach
Camino(s) past & future
walked Camino Frances 2012, future June 26 2016 / Burgos to Santiago July 2017 future Camino Fran
Maybe you should just go for it ,i myself have been known to overthink my Camino . Even to the extent I'm going, I'm not going and basically talking myself from doing the Camino .As we all know the call of the Camino is very strong, as for intermediate Spanish I basically mimed my way across Spain.All the best whatever you decide, long may your road run . Buen Camino.
 

DebW59

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
I walked from León to Santiago in 2016 and now I am considering walking from SJPP to León in May June. For some reason I find myself struggling with making the commitment. I have made reservations twice and cancelled because I don't feel totally committed to do all the preparations and then walk 500 kms like I did the first time. I know it's a big challenge. I am senior female solo traveller and I know one day I may not have the fitness or the energy like I have now. Not one to shy from challenges normally this is not usual for me. I know it's hard. I really like Spain and I speak at a solid intermediate level of spanish. Not much practice on the trail last time which was a bit of a disappointment. I had great experiences and some not so great last time which I try not to focus on but they are there somewhat. For others on their second camino or more, knowing the commitment necessary, did you find it hard the next time to totally commit? When I commit to anything I am in 100% but right now it's wavering around 75%.
Would it help to give yourself permission to bow out or shorten the distance if at anyime it's too much? It is a daunting journey and you have already experienced what it can be like. I am doing the whole Camino Frances by myself for the first time this May. I am determined to do it and look forward to the challenge , physically and emotionally but I have never done anything like this before and am allowing myself to adjust as need be along the way. That may mean taking longer than I intended or not finishing at all. I'm just going to take one step at a time. I wish you the best. Buen Camino.
 

Rmcgwn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
nADA
Interesting how seeing everyone's comments gave me insight that I had not seen before. This past year I organized a two month trip to Spain which involved a huge amount of planning. I had a spreadsheet and had booked planes, trains, buses, tours across southern Spain and the western border and attended two spanish immersion schools. It was a huge undertaking. It went off brilliantly. I had something like 50+ items on the agenda organized for this period. I see it clearly but not until this very day. As soon as I started organizing for the Camino I would doubt myself in terms of Do I want to do this? I just got back as well from two months in Mexico and my husband relies on me to organize everything which I gladly do. I need a break from organizing and planning. I just wasn't seeing it or perhaps admitting it to myself. I may find the will in days or weeks and if it takes months then I will just do it then. I have had a real ah hah moment. Thanks for your comments. Still if there is anyone who found themself not quite able to make the commitment/decision for any reason for the sake of myself and others I would love to hear about your experience.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Via Tolosana
I may have misunderstood but it now seems to me the ‘commitment’ your worry about may have a lot to do with the ‘huge amount of planning’ involved in your previous trips? It does sound daunting, with a lot of effort and little pleasure involved?
That is just my perception of things. It is the Camino francés, with lots of other pilgrims and especially a lot of infrastructure catering to them. Apart from booking the plane (train) ticket and maybe the first night accommodation, I don’t see any need for ‘huge planning’? Even if you misjudged the amount of kms you can walk in a day, in this case it isn’t a problem as there is so much accommodation available, taxis or buses to take you somewhere if all else fails....
What is it you are really worried about?
As for my personal experience, my usual dilemna is ‘which Camino this year?’ There are so many to choose from... Also - and probably more important : ‘how many weeks can I reasonably be away for?’ as my husband is getting a bit fed-up with being abandoned every year... 😕
 
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lissie45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Frances 2019
I don’t get what needs organising? Even from the other side of the world all I’d organise is the long haul flights and maybe the train to the start and first nights accommodation ( jet lag is a killer with a 12 hr time difference). I’ve been to Spain before, speak some Spanish, it’s a very easy country to travel in. We say we want to walk the Frances, if that’s doesn’t work out, we will explore northern Spain via bus and train - can’t see a down side
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztan, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués. Future: Madrid (2019)
Interesting how seeing everyone's comments gave me insight that I had not seen before. This past year I organized a two month trip to Spain which involved a huge amount of planning. I had a spreadsheet and had booked planes, trains, buses, tours across southern Spain and the western border and attended two spanish immersion schools. It was a huge undertaking. It went off brilliantly. I had something like 50+ items on the agenda organized for this period. I see it clearly but not until this very day. As soon as I started organizing for the Camino I would doubt myself in terms of Do I want to do this? I just got back as well from two months in Mexico and my husband relies on me to organize everything which I gladly do. I need a break from organizing and planning. I just wasn't seeing it or perhaps admitting it to myself. I may find the will in days or weeks and if it takes months then I will just do it then. I have had a real ah hah moment. Thanks for your comments. Still if there is anyone who found themself not quite able to make the commitment/decision for any reason for the sake of myself and others I would love to hear about your experience.
Thanks @Rmcgwn for sharing your dilemma and your insights. You've got some really good replies and suggestions, which will hopefully help with your decision.

I'm also a planner and organiser by nature. I enjoy it, but it can be exhausting at times. Walking the Camino has really helped me to manage that instinct. I still use it to good effect at home and at work, but when I'm on a Camino, there's something really special about getting up each morning and just walking. It took a while, but I've finally learned to do the minimum amount of planning and to take each day as it comes. That has been quite liberating and life-enhancing for me. It's one of the things that I most look forward to when preparing for a walk. It has also helped me to deal with unforeseen circumstances such as injury or illness while on Camino - when there's no fixed plan, nothing is a disaster.

If you aren't ready to make a decision at the moment, don't put yourself under any pressure to do so. You'll know what to do when the time is right.

Wishing you well with your deliberations!
 

Henry B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016
You've walked a camino already! Fears about the trail are surely non-existant. Packing the right gear should be a piece of cake. Solo senior female walking....I met a 71 year old Americqn lady walking alone and loving it.The previous year she had walked 1400 miles on the Appalacian Trail alone for 6 months and that trail has no albergues. You are also, at the moment, planning to walk some of the most picturesque parts of the Camini Frances!
My first Camini was the Frances last year. This year will be the Portugese and next will be the Primitivo. I wish I'd started years ago but then I didn't ski until I was 49 and I am still hooked on it 18 years later.
Enjoy the journey.
 

JamesVT

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
As a young guy I lived out of a backpack for six years and traveled half the world. I loved the constant change of seeing new places and new people. Now, many years later after years of work, I’m preparing for the Camino in late April. Like Nuala, above, I’ve made some reservations and straight forward plans for the early going after landing in Paris, but I am mainly looking forward to just putting down one foot after another and walking across Spain. I see the Camino as a chance for renewal, thought, and a lot of writing poetry in my head. I’m not sure how to plan for that other than to just go to SJPD and get started. Making a decision about heading out on the Camino seems so personal, but my thought is that there can’t really be a “wrong” decision, only a decision that will be right for you when you need to make it. Buen Camino.
 

Liana

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP Central July 25, 2015
CP Coastal July, 5, 2016
CP Interior or Burgos to Santiago 9/18/18
I walked from León to Santiago in 2016 and now I am considering walking from SJPP to León in May June. For some reason I find myself struggling with making the commitment. I have made reservations twice and cancelled because I don't feel totally committed to do all the preparations and then walk 500 kms like I did the first time. I know it's a big challenge. I am senior female solo traveller and I know one day I may not have the fitness or the energy like I have now. Not one to shy from challenges normally this is not usual for me. I know it's hard. I really like Spain and I speak at a solid intermediate level of spanish. Not much practice on the trail last time which was a bit of a disappointment. I had great experiences and some not so great last time which I try not to focus on but they are there somewhat. For others on their second camino or more, knowing the commitment necessary, did you find it hard the next time to totally commit? When I commit to anything I am in 100% but right now it's wavering around 75%.

I just came across this and felt it spoke of how your feeling, which I can totally relate to as I began my third camino solo in September. Just try to go with an open mind and breathe!

"It is not the actual physical exertion that counts towards a man's progress, nor the nature of the task, but by the spirit of faith with which it is undertaken." - St Francis Xavier

I would vote for the Portuguese camino also and Bom Camino
 

Liam Ryan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016
My thoughts are that my work involves organising and managing. When I get on the Camino it has the 'power' to take all of that away and I just walk day to day with no great plan. Where I stop has been determined by a camino 'familie'; basically who I'd enjoy the evening with etc. The only commitment was to get back to whatever airport on time. But in reality the real commitment was to let go and let the Camino give me whatever it wanted to.
To me, and this is merely just my opinion, there is something magical about the Camino. I have no idea what it is and really my head is better off not knowing. My heart knows.
The very very best of luck and wishing you a blissful time !
 

Rmcgwn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
nADA
More good advice and observations. I know it's difficult to understand why someone would find it so hard to do something really easy. Book a flight, book a room and walk. I know I am totally capable and I have no fears or worries about walking alone. I have done it before and last year I hiked for two weeks in the Pyrenees. After the hike a group would share dinner and have wonderful evenings by the fire. Then we would go to our rooms. It was great.I want the comfort a nice private room with bath at the end of the day so to be sure I would book all my rooms before I start. It makes me feel good to have that done. I want to get up late because I am not an early riser. I want to walk leisurely knowing I have a nice room to relax in and have some quiet time. I don't want to walk another five KMS because there isn't a room available. This takes planning. But it's not just that. It's devoting your mind and energy to making it happen. As you can see I do travel but there is nothing like the Camino. I also travel only to Spanish speaking areas because learning the language is very important to me. Maybe I need down time this year as I have traveled a lot in the past few years. Thanks for the comments.
 

lizlane

Small Town Girl, Small Town World
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
In 2012, I was called to walk the Way of St. James. I am hoping this year will be the year when I get to honor that calling. Before when I had the money, I didn't have the freedom. Or when I had the freedom I didn't have the money. Then came loss of job, moving home to care for aging parents and this huge ache in my heart that has never left me since blubbering for hours watching YouTube videos of pilgrim's experiences.

There were times I gave up on ever getting to Spain. And the surrender to that nearly broke my spirit. The Bible states somewhere in Proverbs that hope deferred makes the heart sick and that has been my story for the past seven years. Totally heartsick and I've "committed" to making this happen in 2019 but I've been called since 2012 and committed since then. So I would encourage you to ask yourself is it an issue of commitment or one of calling?

We walk to make pilgrimage. Is it possible that you don't have your "commitment" level up to snuff because you're not committing to walking a pilgrimage path? Or even the route your Higher Power wants you on? If you're retired you have all the time in the world to do the whole French route. Nothing says you have to complete it in five weeks like the youngsters. Maybe you rushed your journey before.

I am extremely out of shape. I smoke. I've committed to changing these things so I can make it through my journey. I have a spinal deformity that will make carrying a pack challenging. I plan to take my time and stop in every village my body tells me too. It's not a race and after seven years, why would I want to complete it in a rush? May/June are my ideal timeframe because I want to walk while it's still cool. We can turtle our way together.
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
Everyone has given great advice with understanding and encouragement. But I hear you saying that you don't really want to go but worry that if don't go now your health or fitness level may have declined. Well that may or may not happen so live today fully. Do what brings you Joy now and when or if the day comes that Joy will be walking the Camino you will know it.
I am a petite woman of 73 and walked from St Jean to Santiago in alone May, 2018, brought a friend September 2018 and return in June 2019 to walk with my granddaughters. My point is that life is too short to not be doing what you love.
 

Rmcgwn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
nADA
In 2012, I was called to walk the Way of St. James. I am hoping this year will be the year when I get to honor that calling. Before when I had the money, I didn't have the freedom. Or when I had the freedom I didn't have the money. Then came loss of job, moving home to care for aging parents and this huge ache in my heart that has never left me since blubbering for hours watching YouTube videos of pilgrim's experiences.

There were times I gave up on ever getting to Spain. And the surrender to that nearly broke my spirit. The Bible states somewhere in Proverbs that hope deferred makes the heart sick and that has been my story for the past seven years. Totally heartsick and I've "committed" to making this happen in 2019 but I've been called since 2012 and committed since then. So I would encourage you to ask yourself is it an issue of commitment or one of calling?

We walk to make pilgrimage. Is it possible that you don't have your "commitment" level up to snuff because you're not committing to walking a pilgrimage path? Or even the route your Higher Power wants you on? If you're retired you have all the time in the world to do the whole French route. Nothing says you have to complete it in five weeks like the youngsters. Maybe you rushed your journey before.

I am extremely out of shape. I smoke. I've committed to changing these things so I can make it through my journey. I have a spinal deformity that will make carrying a pack challenging. I plan to take my time and stop in every village my body tells me too. It's not a race and after seven years, why would I want to complete it in a rush? May/June are my ideal timeframe because I want to walk while it's still cool. We can turtle our way together.
Your determination and courage is noteworthy. I will watch out for you on the trail should I go. While I don't have such an intense calling to the Camino I do have one.
 

Rmcgwn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
nADA
Everyone has given great advice with understanding and encouragement. But I hear you saying that you don't really want to go but worry that if don't go now your health or fitness level may have declined. Well that may or may not happen so live today fully. Do what brings you Joy now and when or if the day comes that Joy will be walking the Camino you will know it.
I am a petite woman of 73 and walked from St Jean to Santiago in alone May, 2018, brought a friend September 2018 and return in June 2019 to walk with my granddaughters. My point is that life is too short to not be doing what you love.
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Pro and Cons. It sound to me you may not see what your heart is telling you. Do you have like me a little devill sitting on your shoulder and doubting. Ask yourself why do you such a successful and seasoned pilgrim, after all you have done what many could not, find such a planing task be so overwhelming ?
What do you need to hear? I can say nothing what you do not know already.
I go soon on my second one. Well I am not as fit as I was last time and my route is not as well marked, but I am not in a race, I don’ t have to prove anything to nobody. I might evan take some surfing lessons 🏄🏾‍♀️ on the way or stay longer at a place I like. I have all the time in the world, well until my plane goes. So find that little devil that’s makes you doubt and give him or her a good kick in the behind.😉
 
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danielle aird

La vie est belle
Camino(s) past & future
May (2018); September (2018); May (2019)
I walked from León to Santiago in 2016 and now I am considering walking from SJPP to León in May June. For some reason I find myself struggling with making the commitment. I have made reservations twice and cancelled because I don't feel totally committed to do all the preparations and then walk 500 kms like I did the first time. I know it's a big challenge. I am senior female solo traveller and I know one day I may not have the fitness or the energy like I have now. Not one to shy from challenges normally this is not usual for me. I know it's hard. I really like Spain and I speak at a solid intermediate level of spanish. Not much practice on the trail last time which was a bit of a disappointment. I had great experiences and some not so great last time which I try not to focus on but they are there somewhat. For others on their second camino or more, knowing the commitment necessary, did you find it hard the next time to totally commit? When I commit to anything I am in 100% but right now it's wavering around 75%.
Hello, I was on the Camino with my granddaughter in May 2018 and I fell in love with it; I returned with a friend in September, I am going back on the Camino this May and am also a senior female. I am looking for a walking companion. If you would enjoy at least starting with a like minded person, please let me know. Cheers.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I had 27 years pass between my first camino and my second. I think that counts as a reasonable hesitation in making the commitment for a second camino.

After the first one, I knew I wanted to do it again sometime in the future. But that was "sometime in the future". I got into a relationship, got a job (and a career), got married, had kids, basically had other priorities. Then, a few years ago, I started thinking about the Camino again, more and more. But I still wasn't ready to make the commitment. It was something for "when I retire". But I had promised my son a trip when he turned 16 and he wanted to walk a Camino with me. When I retired, he didn't know if he would be in a place in his life where he would have the flexibility to walk. So he asked for a Camino for his trip. That's what got me to make the commitment.

It was about two years between my second and third caminos.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I never viewed anything about walking the Camino as requiring a commitment in any way. If you begin your walk and suddenly decide you don't like it, or whatever, you simply stop walking and either make alternative plans or go home.
The only thing walking the Camino requires is the time to do it, and some degree of disposable income, the degree of which is determined by individual budget.
That's it.
 
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Rmcgwn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
nADA
I've been thinking about why others don't see doing a camino as making a commitment. I can list some factors that affect me. Such as financial [ even with albergues this isn't a cheap trip getting gear, flights, other transportation and accommodations], time [leaving the family to go off on my own for weeks, not that I don't travel solo, I do, but there is a little guilt], trade off [short summer season here made it very short last time that I wish there were Caminos in Latin America in our winter season], airports [ I put up with the hassles of airports and security but I find it unpleasant. Last June I got stuck in Bilbao for 4 days because Vueling cancelled their flight literally as we were about to get on the plane and it took me 6 months of fighting to get compensation.]

The organizing part is based on my preference to have everything pre-booked. Once done it feels absolutely great because then I can go and just relax. But it can take 1 to 2 days of work to book, create my spreadsheet including destination, costs, meals available, checkout etc., I prepare my maps so offline I can see where I am, where I need to go and verify everything is in order. I have no desire to just go and get what I get at the end of the day. It is much cheaper doing it all myself, it's much more satisfying and I get what I want with few surprises. If I need to I can make changes but organizing is very liberating to me.

Remember I've been there before. I saw the bed races and that doesn't look like fun to me. I have chosen to take shorter walks this time which eliminates the concern for me to stop when I need to. I know what I am capable of and should something happen I can deal with it. I wonder if it's as easy as some think to just decide to stop and go do something else. First of all carrying hiking related gear doesn't bode well for a beach destination. Also I would think the budget would go out the window if you have been staying in albergues, hotels & B&B aren't in the same price range. I buy flights with changes permitted but there is still a cost involved. I wonder if anyone here has stopped midstream and how much more they spent doing so.

Now you may be thinking she doesn't really want to go and likely won't but actually that would be wrong. I am getting there so much so I have looked into flights and a new backpack. So it is likely to happen but I have analyzed it first, now I am ready to make go on to the final commitment in all aspects. The wavering seems to be knowing all that is involved for me to prepare not to mention the time, money, flights, family and logistics.
 
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lissie45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Frances 2019
I've been thinking about why others don't see doing a camino as making a commitment. I can list some factors that affect me. Such as financial [ even with albergues this isn't a cheap trip getting gear, flights, other transportation and accommodations], time [leaving the family to go off on my own for weeks, not that I don't travel solo, I do, but there is a little guilt], trade off [short summer season here made it very short last time that I wish there were Caminos in Latin America in our winter season], airports [ I put up with the hassles of airports and security but I find it unpleasant. Last June I got stuck in Bilbao for 4 days because Vueling cancelled their flight literally as we were about to get on the plane and it took me 6 months of fighting to get compensation.]

The organizing part is based on my preference to have everything pre-booked. Once done it feels absolutely great because then I can go and just relax. But it can take 1 to 2 days of work to book, create my spreadsheet including destination, costs, meals available, checkout etc., I prepare my maps so offline I can see where I am, where I need to go and verify everything is in order. I have no desire to just go and get what I get at the end of the day. It is much cheaper doing it all myself, it's much more satisfying and I get what I want with few surprises. If I need to I can make changes but organizing is very liberating to me.

Remember I've been there before. I saw the bed races and that doesn't look like fun to me. I have chosen to take shorter walks this time which eliminates the concern for me to stop when I need to. I know what I am capable of and should something happen I can deal with it. I wonder if it's as easy as some think to just decide to stop and go do something else. First of all carrying hiking related gear doesn't bode well for a beach destination. Also I would think the budget would go out the window if you have been staying in albergues, hotels & B&B aren't in the same price range. I buy flights with changes permitted but there is still a cost involved. I wonder if anyone here has stopped midstream and how much more they spent doing so.

Now you may be thinking she doesn't really want to go and likely won't but actually that would be wrong. I am getting there so much so I have looked into flights and a new backpack. So it is likely to happen but I have analyzed it first, now I am ready to make go on to the final commitment in all aspects. The wavering seems to be knowing all that is involved for me to prepare not to mention the time, money, flights, family and logistics.
I can’t imagine booking every night, I rarely do that when I travel anyway, but I would never do it on the Camino because I don’t know when my body is going to break, and I want the flexibility to listen to it. At most I’d call ahead a day or so. Anyway if you are worried about budget I thought the cheapest places don’t take reservations.

Regarding changing plans, I don’t see that as difficult at all. As we are flying from the other side of the world we will have some non walking stuff, so that will be waiting for us in Santiago. Otherwise if I’m bored of my clothes, Spain has shops. I do agree that it would be cheaper than albergues.

You say you are senior so I assume you’re not leaving children behind, the rest of the family can survive without you, it sounds like you are only thinking of a month?
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
The organizing part is based on my preference to have everything pre-booked. Once done it feels absolutely great because then I can go and just relax.
One way of relaxing on that part of the planning is to book just the first 2 nights. Then, from that day on, you book at night the place where you want to go on the next day - you are still guaranteeing a bed, not worrying about find a place, but reducing the amount of pre-planning in LOADS and allowing some room for adjusting to rest days, camino families, last minute changes, etc, etc.

I wonder if anyone here has stopped midstream and how much more they spent doing so.
Plenty of people change their minds, and some have posted about it here in the forum. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it´s not. I have two acquaintances that gave up on the camino (one Brazilian, one Australian, in different ocasions) because after a few days they realized it was not for them. Then they just took the money they had and went to Bilbao and to Madrid, if I remember well. Stayed in albergues, of course they could not spend more than their initial budget, but they seemed satisfied.

But I totally get you - I also feel a lot of pleasure in planning. I also have full time work, limited leave, family and everything else to balance. In the end of the day, if it´s not time to go, that's it. Take your time, and once you feel like you have the energy again, go for it. Santiago will be there.
 

Richard Smith

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2014
I was a planner.
I spent 30 years running computer operations for a large organisation and all changes had at least one "plan B" if things went wrong and a "roll-back plan" if we needed to abandon and recover back to the start with no loss. I also organised multi-day camping walks for family and friends, informally using the same approach because that was what I did if something was important.
On the CF I experienced the joy of living in the moment. We were walking to the next village we liked, often chosen around lunchtime. The Camino provided much rich experience this way. Now that I have retired I have joined a bush-walking cub and sometimes enjoy being a follower, finding new walks but not needing to plan for all the contingencies.
I still have my 'planning hat' in my tool kit, can use it if situation or importance requires. But I now also enjoy unplanned rolling experiences, taking it as it comes.
One thing I learned, as the teams became more numerous and more specialised, and we were working around the clock with night/day teams and standbys in case of illness, is that plan is a verb and not a noun. The 'Plan' is almost certain to change due to events/slow downs/improvements but if we have 'Planned' together, and workshopped the variations, then everyone knew the interactions and what their part and their hand-off was.
And in the end it comes down to Fit For Purpose. Sometimes we need strong controls and committed resources, and sometimes its nice to go with the flow and see where it leads.
Life is a journey, not a destination.
 

Rmcgwn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
nADA
There are some good insights given here. I can see everyone has there own experiences or assumptions about what they will experience. All is useful.

I do definitely choose comfort over cheap which is why I like having a nice room booked well in advance and not settling for what I can get on the go. This cuts into the family travel budget which is why I am "aware" of my expenditures and I feel a bit selfish using up more than my fair share. So making changes and spending more money for flights or clothing would be a last resort for me. These are reasons I have to decide on the financial commitment necessary and stick to it.

As for flexibility, I got a ride last time when I was hit with a nasty cold and rested up in my scheduled stop and the next stop so that's not an issue. Lots of taxis and buses and kind hosts if need be. As well, reservations can be changed but I've never had to do that on my many journeys. And I have had lovely rooms, in excellent locations and good food because I did my research ahead of time. This is part of the time commitment I refer to. I know there are those that like the sense of freedom not booking in advance gives them. Lousy accommodation or bad food can make for a bad experience and a crappy end to a day. Idealistically it can be endured but I would rather enjoy the whole experience. Having everything done ahead also would mean I could saunter out of my accommodation at 10:00 or 11:00 if I want [yes I verify checkout times] after a nice sleep in and leisurely breakfast. I have no desire to be told to get up by 7:00 or 8:00 or earlier in some cases if the bed race has heated up. I think I actually have more flexibility and it's worth considering as an alternative.

I suppose another part of the time commitment also refers to being away from home. My husband has never made me feel I shouldn't do what I want. Because he is so understanding I don't want to take advantage. I have gone from two weeks to two months in past trips so this isn't something new. But I am just aware that he would rather have me home and that he misses me. Several of our friends find me going off on my own either unusual, they think it's dangerous or if truth were told, they would say selfish. As well I know some family members don't approve which they have that right but I have to be aware that not everyone agrees this is a good idea. I respect their opinions & take it all into account making the commitment.

These are all part of making the decision/commitment in doing another Camino. With all that said I now have heard and thought about what has been said. I know how I will do my Camino, I know when it would happen. Assuming it to be the case perhaps I will have the chance to meet some of you on the way and we can talk more. Thanks to everyone for your words of encouragement, your understanding, sharing your experiences and hearing what I wanted to share.
 

lissie45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Frances 2019
Having everything done ahead also would mean I could saunter out of my accommodation at 10:00 or 11:00 if I want [yes I verify checkout times] after a nice sleep in and leisurely breakfast. I have no desire to be told to get up by 7:00 or 8:00 or earlier in some cases if the bed race has heated up. I think I actually have more flexibility and it's worth considering as an alternative.

I suppose another part of the time commitment also refers to being away from home. My husband has never made me feel I shouldn't do what I want. Because he is so understanding I don't want to take advantage. I have gone from two weeks to two months in past trips so this isn't something new. But I am just aware that he would rather have me home and that he misses me. Several of our friends find me going off on my own either unusual, they think it's dangerous or if truth were told, they would say selfish. As well I know some family members don't approve which they have that right but I have to be aware that not everyone agrees this is a good idea. I respect their opinions & take it all into account making the commitment.
I totally get the check out times - isn't midday the usual check out time (outside of municipals)? It is in the rest of Spain - and I think its brilliant. For me sharing a room or a shower isn't a big deal - having to leave early morning definitely is!

If your husband misses you - can he not travel to you? I get he may not want to walk the Caminio - but maybe he could meet up with you in the larger towns/Santiago - best of both worlds maybe?

I actually don't think anyone in your extended family has the right to disapprove of your behavour. If any do in mine then they are not silly enough to tell me - because they would be totally told to keep out of my business. The only person that gets a say about my travel is my partner. I wonder if they would extend the same judgement if it was your husband was travelling and you staying home - one guesses not...
 

danielle aird

La vie est belle
Camino(s) past & future
May (2018); September (2018); May (2019)
I totally get the check out times - isn't midday the usual check out time (outside of municipals)? It is in the rest of Spain - and I think its brilliant. For me sharing a room or a shower isn't a big deal - having to leave early morning definitely is!

If your husband misses you - can he not travel to you? I get he may not want to walk the Caminio - but maybe he could meet up with you in the larger towns/Santiago - best of both worlds maybe?

I actually don't think anyone in your extended family has the right to disapprove of your behavour. If any do in mine then they are not silly enough to tell me - because they would be totally told to keep out of my business. The only person that gets a say about my travel is my partner. I wonder if they would extend the same judgement if it was your husband was travelling and you staying home - one guesses not...
I also travel without my husband and some people think we don't love each other! If you love a bird, open the cage; if he loves you, he will return... The only trouble with starting late on your hike at certain times of the year is the burning sun above in the middle of the day. I love the early start because I get most of my hiking done before the heat. My husband did not renew his passport after the age of 72. He said he was quite happy at home, having travelled all over the world; he certainly would not enjoy the Camino. He stayed in enough youth hostels in the early 60's and he is a very private person. He has never tried to stop me from travelling; I am away about 3 months a year. Strange thing: it occurred to me recently that if he was not there, (I hate to sound morbid but I mean that if he was dead) travelling solo would be no fun at all. I guess it means that with our communications, even if it is not every day, he is with me always in spirit. I would miss him even more if I was away and, travelling solo just would not be the same anymore.
 

Rmcgwn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
nADA
Your introspective response hits a cord. We can't know how it will be in the future. I don't know what I would do if I was in that situation. However in the meantime it is nice having the rock/anchor there at home knowing you have someone outside the Camino. I'm sure you aren't the only one to wonder if you would do another Camino in the event of losing a partner. I think I would, because it may be the one place that could get me through it. You have said what many have wondered.
I would go in late May and based on my two months in Spain last year, one month in Basque country, I know the heat is later in the day. And I do enjoy a leisurely start. Someone mentioned that check-out time in Spain is 12:00 but it varies anywhere from 9:30 to 2:00. What I haven't checked on is the hours breakfast is served [not the dorms but in hostals, pensions & hotels] I recall León to SdC that it was later than I expected because the Spanish aren't generally early risers. Often I was the first in the restaurant. I can only hope that's the case.
 

Lachance

Me llamo Deb
Camino(s) past & future
Part Francese 2016
I did part of the CF several years ago. Had planned to do it all in 5 weeks starting from St Jean, then had to cut it short after 2 weeks. I was female senior solo traveller too. My experience was similar to yours. I have wonderful memories but no burning desire to go back. Yet every now and then, the email from Ivar has me here reading the stories. Sometimes I toy with the idea of finishing the CF or trying another route, but it's not likely. I don't feel the kind of yearning others have. There are lots of other interesting challenges.
 
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