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Post-Camino life changes

K Turner

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
August-October 2019 CF
My husband (ExiledSW) and I just wanted to share some big changes in our lives since returning from our Camino in October 2019. This forum showed us tremendous support before and during the journey, and we are grateful to everyone here. (My apologies for the post's length!)

Three weeks ago, we became full-time residents in our renovated 1992 pop-up camper. It has been a challenge living in such a small space, what with two adults, a 17 year old, three dogs, and a snake. We talked about doing something like this for years, but after our life-changing experience on the Camino, we knew the time was right to start the process. We cleaned out our 2,200+ square foot home, put it up for sale in January, and sold it in under 24 hours. Our youngest is graduating high school at the end of May, so we are staying locally in the pop-up until then. After that, we are moving 1700 miles/2735 km away. We are going to build a small cabin on a few acres of land.

We currently live in a city of over a million people. I grew up 2,000 miles away in a rural area, while my husband is a born and raised local here in the southwestern United States. We have been here nearly 18 years and as time passed, we realized we just aren’t happy in our surroundings.

During our Camino, we learned so much about ourselves and about one another, even after twenty years together. Living out of our backpacks for six weeks, having no idea where we would sleep each night, where we would eat, it was a challenge, mentally, physically, and emotionally. We also learned that the stuff that filled our home is exactly that: just “stuff.” We were perfectly happy simply having what was in our packs. Everything else takes up space as unnecessary luxuries. Once we were home and took a look around, we questioned why we had all this stuff that truly does not make a difference in our lives.

It was time to let go. We had a yard sale, sold items online, and made dozens of trips to local charity shops. There were times when we fought emotions, wanting to hold onto some items that had been with us for years, such as things given to us by friends and family. We kept a couple things, but we donated nearly everything after coming to the realization that it wasn’t about an object itself: it’s about the story and memory behind it. We do have a storage unit, since the camper can’t hold much and it will be a couple months before the big move. It is for basic furniture and household items, and is amazing to see how little is left after getting rid of at least 80% of what was in our home.

Many people have asked us if we are sad to have said good-bye to our home and most of our belongings. Honestly, we expected to feel that way a bit, but have been pleasantly surprised to find we do not feel that way at all. We loved our house and what we had, but it was time for them to serve someone else. It is amazing to not feel weighed down by all these things, and incredible we didn't realize we felt that way in the first place. There are challenging times ahead, to be certain, but we are ready.

It was the Camino though that helped us realize our priorities, and it was where we found the courage to set our new path into action.

Edited to add our new camper door decal!
 

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Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.
Unique engravings about the Camino de Santiago from Gabriel and other art objects.

Juspassinthrough

in our minds, we're vagabonds, you and I
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Inglés 2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Camino Aragonés (2023?)
My husband (ExiledSW) and I just wanted to share some big changes in our lives since returning from our Camino in October 2019. This forum showed us tremendous support before and during the journey, and we are grateful to everyone here. (My apologies for the post's length!)

Three weeks ago, we became full-time residents in our renovated 1992 pop-up camper. It has been a challenge living in such a small space, what with two adults, a 17 year old, three dogs, and a snake. We talked about doing something like this for years, but after our life-changing experience on the Camino, we knew the time was right to start the process. We cleaned out our 2,200+ square foot home, put it up for sale in January, and sold it in under 24 hours. Our youngest is graduating high school at the end of May, so we are staying locally in the pop-up until then. After that, we are moving 1700 miles/2735 km away. We are going to build a small cabin on a few acres of land.

We currently live in a city of over a million people. I grew up 2,000 miles away in a rural area, while my husband is a born and raised local here in the southwestern United States. We have been here nearly 18 years and as time passed, we realized we just aren’t happy in our surroundings.

During our Camino, we learned so much about ourselves and about one another, even after twenty years together. Living out of our backpacks for six weeks, having no idea where we would sleep each night, where we would eat, it was a challenge, mentally, physically, and emotionally. We also learned that the stuff that filled our home is exactly that: just “stuff.” We were perfectly happy simply having what was in our packs. Everything else takes up space as unnecessary luxuries. Once we were home and took a look around, we questioned why we had all this stuff that truly does not make a difference in our lives.

It was time to let go. We had a yard sale, sold items online, and made dozens of trips to local charity shops. There were times when we fought emotions, wanting to hold onto some items that had been with us for years, such as things given to us by friends and family. We kept a couple things, but we donated nearly everything after coming to the realization that it wasn’t about an object itself: it’s about the story and memory behind it. We do have a storage unit, since the camper can’t hold much and it will be a couple months before the big move. It is for basic furniture and household items, and is amazing to see how little is left after getting rid of at least 80% of what was in our home.

Many people have asked us if we are sad to have said good-bye to our home and most of our belongings. Honestly, we expected to feel that way a bit, but have been pleasantly surprised to find we do not feel that way at all. We loved our house and what we had, but it was time for them to serve someone else. It is amazing to not feel weighed down by all these things, and incredible we didn't realize we felt that way in the first place. There are challenging times ahead, to be certain, but we are ready.

It was the Camino though that helped us realize our priorities, and it was where we found the courage to set our new path into action.
After my 1st Camino in 2017, I too found that I needed to do a significant house cleaning and down sizing. For me though, it was between my ears. What I found as I finished up was that even a lifelong Humanist like me had a spiritual side, long missing but happily rediscovered. Buen Camino to you all, it seems as if yours continues as does mine.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
Living life more purposefully with less, well done guys for making the first step to absolute freedom. I'm going through a similar epiphany and direction of travel and reading your accont reinforces any doubt that hasn't crept in yet but when it does I'll use your story as a beacon of light. Ultreia 🤠
 
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Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Very happy for you.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hi K. you are definitely not the first to make life changing decisions follow a Camino Experience, although I can not recall a couple making such momentous changes as those that you are contemplating. Not sure how the 17 year old will manage for the next 8-10 weeks. Best of luck with your new Camino.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I’m right there with you and absolutely understand. 💕.

Like you, I sold my house to my youngest son two years ago and built out my ford sienna minivan and have been traveling the western US not missing much of the ‘stuff’ I left behind. The Camino taught me how to live with less and be so much happier.

When I get home I’ll post photos.

I loved reading your story. Good for you!
Annie

PS: Did you attend the RTR?
 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Year of past OR future Camino
April-May 2019
My husband (ExiledSW) and I just wanted to share some big changes in our lives since returning from our Camino in October 2019. This forum showed us tremendous support before and during the journey, and we are grateful to everyone here. (My apologies for the post's length!)

Three weeks ago, we became full-time residents in our renovated 1992 pop-up camper. It has been a challenge living in such a small space, what with two adults, a 17 year old, three dogs, and a snake. We talked about doing something like this for years, but after our life-changing experience on the Camino, we knew the time was right to start the process. We cleaned out our 2,200+ square foot home, put it up for sale in January, and sold it in under 24 hours. Our youngest is graduating high school at the end of May, so we are staying locally in the pop-up until then. After that, we are moving 1700 miles/2735 km away. We are going to build a small cabin on a few acres of land.

We currently live in a city of over a million people. I grew up 2,000 miles away in a rural area, while my husband is a born and raised local here in the southwestern United States. We have been here nearly 18 years and as time passed, we realized we just aren’t happy in our surroundings.

During our Camino, we learned so much about ourselves and about one another, even after twenty years together. Living out of our backpacks for six weeks, having no idea where we would sleep each night, where we would eat, it was a challenge, mentally, physically, and emotionally. We also learned that the stuff that filled our home is exactly that: just “stuff.” We were perfectly happy simply having what was in our packs. Everything else takes up space as unnecessary luxuries. Once we were home and took a look around, we questioned why we had all this stuff that truly does not make a difference in our lives.

It was time to let go. We had a yard sale, sold items online, and made dozens of trips to local charity shops. There were times when we fought emotions, wanting to hold onto some items that had been with us for years, such as things given to us by friends and family. We kept a couple things, but we donated nearly everything after coming to the realization that it wasn’t about an object itself: it’s about the story and memory behind it. We do have a storage unit, since the camper can’t hold much and it will be a couple months before the big move. It is for basic furniture and household items, and is amazing to see how little is left after getting rid of at least 80% of what was in our home.

Many people have asked us if we are sad to have said good-bye to our home and most of our belongings. Honestly, we expected to feel that way a bit, but have been pleasantly surprised to find we do not feel that way at all. We loved our house and what we had, but it was time for them to serve someone else. It is amazing to not feel weighed down by all these things, and incredible we didn't realize we felt that way in the first place. There are challenging times ahead, to be certain, but we are ready.

It was the Camino though that helped us realize our priorities, and it was where we found the courage to set our new path into action.
I too finished the Camino in October. Have you dried out yet?! My path is very similar. I experienced similar emotions and satisfactions regarding the letting go of my job, my beautiful apartment, my possessions. Like you, letting them go on their journeys with a blessing. I’ve been traveling as well. In Central America at the moment, hunkered down until travels again are safe. Looking forward to another Camino. Thanks for sharing. I feel a kinship. Maybe we passed one another.
 

Jay Es

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 2017 the del Norte, home via the Portuguse to Vigo, Planning a Via de la Plata for October 2018.
My husband (ExiledSW) and I just wanted to share some big changes in our lives since returning from our Camino in October 2019. This forum showed us tremendous support before and during the journey, and we are grateful to everyone here. (My apologies for the post's length!)

Three weeks ago, we became full-time residents in our renovated 1992 pop-up camper. It has been a challenge living in such a small space, what with two adults, a 17 year old, three dogs, and a snake. We talked about doing something like this for years, but after our life-changing experience on the Camino, we knew the time was right to start the process. We cleaned out our 2,200+ square foot home, put it up for sale in January, and sold it in under 24 hours. Our youngest is graduating high school at the end of May, so we are staying locally in the pop-up until then. After that, we are moving 1700 miles/2735 km away. We are going to build a small cabin on a few acres of land.

We currently live in a city of over a million people. I grew up 2,000 miles away in a rural area, while my husband is a born and raised local here in the southwestern United States. We have been here nearly 18 years and as time passed, we realized we just aren’t happy in our surroundings.

During our Camino, we learned so much about ourselves and about one another, even after twenty years together. Living out of our backpacks for six weeks, having no idea where we would sleep each night, where we would eat, it was a challenge, mentally, physically, and emotionally. We also learned that the stuff that filled our home is exactly that: just “stuff.” We were perfectly happy simply having what was in our packs. Everything else takes up space as unnecessary luxuries. Once we were home and took a look around, we questioned why we had all this stuff that truly does not make a difference in our lives.

It was time to let go. We had a yard sale, sold items online, and made dozens of trips to local charity shops. There were times when we fought emotions, wanting to hold onto some items that had been with us for years, such as things given to us by friends and family. We kept a couple things, but we donated nearly everything after coming to the realization that it wasn’t about an object itself: it’s about the story and memory behind it. We do have a storage unit, since the camper can’t hold much and it will be a couple months before the big move. It is for basic furniture and household items, and is amazing to see how little is left after getting rid of at least 80% of what was in our home.

Many people have asked us if we are sad to have said good-bye to our home and most of our belongings. Honestly, we expected to feel that way a bit, but have been pleasantly surprised to find we do not feel that way at all. We loved our house and what we had, but it was time for them to serve someone else. It is amazing to not feel weighed down by all these things, and incredible we didn't realize we felt that way in the first place. There are challenging times ahead, to be certain, but we are ready.

It was the Camino though that helped us realize our priorities, and it was where we found the courage to set our new path into action.
Awesome. Good Luck with your new life.
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
When the time is right
What a lovely and inspiring post. Thank you for taking the time to write and sharing. I’ve yet to do a Camino but the planning and training with my backpack have given me the energy to purge my « stuff ». Wishing you and your family great fun in building your cozy cabin. Part of me is a bit envious. ❤️

Ultreia y suseia 😊
 
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
The Camino is a strong teacher. Less is more.
 
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K Turner

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
August-October 2019 CF
I’m right there with you and absolutely understand. 💕.

Like you, I sold my house to my youngest son two years ago and built out my ford sienna minivan and have been traveling the western US not missing much of the ‘stuff’ I left behind. The Camino taught me how to live with less and be so much happier.

When I get home I’ll post photos.

I loved reading your story. Good for you!
Annie

PS: Did you attend the RTR?

I had to look up what "RTR" meant, sorry! That would have been fun!

It sounds like you have been on quite the journey! I look forward to seeing pictures.

Buen Camino!
 

K Turner

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
August-October 2019 CF
Has anyone heard from our OP?? This post came back from a recent "like" and I did a brief "re-read" of K's original post. So I wonder how she got on with COVID 19. Fingers crossed.
Hello! Thank you so much for this! I am doing well. How about yourself?

An update on a few things I've talked about:

My best friend passed away a few days after I wrote the post above. Though restrictions were in place, I was able to attend when she was buried next to her son (he died in 2017 at 15). During my Camino last year, I placed rocks at the Cruz de Ferro for both of them. I miss them beyond measure but am at peace.

My youngest was to graduate in May, at which time we planned to do our cross-country move. We ended up doing it the first week of April, since school was canceled. Our little off-grid cabin is around half done, so we are still in the old pop-up camper. It's a challenge, with three grown people, three dogs, and a snake! But we are making it work, even without power or heat. We eventually had internet put in though! Thank goodness solar charges our phones, LOL. We love the area, the people, and daily visits from wildlife.

I am so grateful for the lessons I learned on my Camino, and for such a great community here!

And now I'm off to pick up my son at the airport for a five day visit! He joined the military this year and graduated basic training. I haven't seen him in almost nine months. I am so excited I can hardly stand it!

Buen Camino!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
G'day @K Turner
Sorry to hear about your friend, but as you say you were able to attend the funeral and say your goodbyes. I would think that those rocks lifted a burden from your back and your mind.
Wow - three of you in the pop-up camper, more than a little crowded. Hopefully the "house" will be finished before the worst of the winter sets in. I am not going to ask about the snake.
On-line education via the internet has become the norm for many high school and college/university students this past 6 to 9 months. Our students (across the country) are either celebrating or commiserating their secondary school results. Overall I think there has been an improvement in performances. Reading between the lines (radio and newspaper results) I know that the class of 2020 is far better grounded than some in the community would have believed (in many cases they organised their own tutorial study classes).

How am I, well I finished the chemo back in mid-May. According to my doc's I have come out of it very well, my hair has even grown back!!!? Now its a case of way and see, hopefully I get 4 or 5 more good years.

Best wishes for a happy and holy Christmas and a 2021 that provides a window through which we see the start of the end of COVID19. Cheers
 
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