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The Introverted Pilgrim

2020 Camino Guides

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
So Dave if we ever cross paths on a Camino, I will just nod and smile and keep walking!
Very funny! Being a self described introvert who leans heavily on the extreme, I wonder how you ever found tourself a spouse! 😉
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018 neither successful
Dave,
Thank you for your post. I, too, am an introvert by nature (Meyers Briggs INFJ type). I have had to work very hard at being social in group settings. When I took the Meyers Briggs personality inventory, one of the descriptions of my personality type explained that as introverts we can and do work in social settings. This is not our preferred setting; it will drain our internal batteries very quickly. We need those quiet times by ourselves to recharge these inner batteries.

One of my hardest challenges is small talk. After the customary introductions, I run out of things to say and then comes the awkward silence. But wait an hour or two later after I’ve had time to internally process the situation, and I’ve got a lot I could have said.

My Camino is coming up this June and July. I am relishing some stretches alone along The Way. For those times when social interaction is needed, I’ll work hard at being open and friendly. But, when the “battery” starts getting low, I will have to retreat and observe from a safe distance. The flip side of that is once I get to know someone, then I can let down my guard. I then can engage in some personal conversation or let out my sense of humor.

Thanks, Dave, for your post. Hopefully it will open the eyes to some or many that we are not anti-social. We just need our time to recharge and process.
I'm an INTJ and have always had to find some place to be alone with my self, or reading a book.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via dela plata, via Francigena
Thank you Dave. This was another of those aspects of the Camino causing anxiety, pre-trip. I am not a natural joiner-in, so was wondering whether I would survive what seems like a social free for all. Glad to know I am not alone.

How did you manage in reality, without offending people or becoming ‘that mean guy’?
cheers
Glenda
Don’t worry Glenda, I’m confident you’ll work it out. You can choose to join the noisy table at dinner or not, and no one will be offended. You can walk alone or respond to a friendly ‘Buen Camino’ or not. Especially in the evenings, it’s generally understood that people have their own routine and should be left to rest. Good luck
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018 neither successful
@davebugg thanks for this thread. I used to be active on Leslie's discussion board (as UnkleHammy) and don't like how it was shut down.

I've also been here for several years too.

I am also an introvert and when I have to interact with people, I say internally to myself that "it is time for mode B operation". Which means that I will try, with increasing mental stress to "appear" like the others are. I still need "me time". In real life I have always been able to ignore those around me and dedicate myself to work. It helps that I have discovered software and have been a programming for over 40 years now. (Additionally it pays well and there are many software types that are also introverted.)

It is rare for me to initiate a conversation, however I am usually willing to participate in a conversation. In the last 7 decades I have developed many short things to say that I use to get out of talking to others. Some of these conversation stoppers are more impolite than others, which is not all that good.

I have I minor complaint on this discussion board and that is that when I see something that is as well written (and many time from the heart) as items are on this thread, there is no way to give an item a "double like"!
 

ISABEL linares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances,camino del norte,camino frances
Well said Dave. I am very much the same as you have described. If my wife is away on a business trip I can happily go for days without speaking to another person. I have always been very comfortable with my own company.

My wife is the polar opposite of me. Opposites atrack? If not for her I would happily live in a cabin out in the woods, 500 miles from the nearest human and make semi-annual supply runs.

The challenge at all times is to not appear to be rude or aloof as extroverts find us puzzling to say the least!

My happiest days on the Camino is when I can't see another person anywhere. My wife generally finds people to chat with during the day as we have vastly different walking paces
.
We generally stay in private rooms as I really can't stand bunk rooms at all. They are simply endured when no other option exists.

So Dave if we ever cross paths on a Camino, I will just nod and smile and keep walking!
Well you never never know if you meet David in the Camino you might decide to go for a glass of vine and some tapas.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
I have been an introvert pretty much from birth, but I think that I am becoming less so as I get older. I walk alone, whether in the mountains or on camino, but I enjoy occasional encounters with other camino introverts, such as @Bradypus and @timr. Part of why introversion is particularly natural for me on camino is my feeling that, as a religious/spiritual pilgrim, I am moving outside of the contemporary common understanding of what a camino is about. I am not a tourist nor an "on holiday social" person. On four longer camino routes I have never cooked a meal with another pilgrim, although I have occasionally shared lunch foods. I tell myself that, as a vegetarian and a solitary, I cannot cook with others or take up common cooking facilities just preparing food for myself. But I don't really want to. I have enjoyed common meals in albergues but find them challenging. For example, on the VdlP, a meal was prepared at an albergue: a simple stew with a vegetarian option and pilgrims chose in advance whether to identify as vegetarians. I was not too thrilled to see the vegetarian portion eagerly consumed by meat eaters as an additional dish. They never considered that what they left would have to suffice for the vegetarians present: much easier for me to just eat alone. On the other hand, I enjoyed everything about the very simple traditional albergues, like Granon and San Anton, where the pilgrim spirit is so visible, in spite of the total lack of private space. I guess I would say that, in my daily life, I am an introvert, largely solitary, but on camino I am a pilgrim, trying to be open to however I experience that.
Thanks, Albertagirl, for this.
Two points: One is I, too, am a vegetarian, and have been amazed for decades that carnivores who declare they can't possible stop eating meat, gorge themselves on the vegetarian selection without a second thought.
Lastly, I particularly embrace your sentence ending "...I am an introvert, largely solitary, but on camino I am a pilgrim, trying to be open to however I experience that."
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
Well said Dave. I am very much the same as you have described. If my wife is away on a business trip I can happily go for days without speaking to another person. I have always been very comfortable with my own company.

My wife is the polar opposite of me. Opposites atrack? If not for her I would happily live in a cabin out in the woods, 500 miles from the nearest human and make semi-annual supply runs.

The challenge at all times is to not appear to be rude or aloof as extroverts find us puzzling to say the least!

My happiest days on the Camino is when I can't see another person anywhere. My wife generally finds people to chat with during the day as we have vastly different walking paces
.
We generally stay in private rooms as I really can't stand bunk rooms at all. They are simply endured when no other option exists.

So Dave if we ever cross paths on a Camino, I will just nod and smile and keep walking!
I have a Forum Member badge on my backpack, so please say 'hi' if you do see me. I love it when I meet a fellow Forum member. :)
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
@davebugg thanks for this thread. I used to be active on Leslie's discussion board (as UnkleHammy) and don't like how it was shut down.

I've also been here for several years too.

I am also an introvert and when I have to interact with people, I say internally to myself that "it is time for mode B operation". Which means that I will try, with increasing mental stress to "appear" like the others are. I still need "me time". In real life I have always been able to ignore those around me and dedicate myself to work. It helps that I have discovered software and have been a programming for over 40 years now. (Additionally it pays well and there are many software types that are also introverted.)

It is rare for me to initiate a conversation, however I am usually willing to participate in a conversation. In the last 7 decades I have developed many short things to say that I use to get out of talking to others. Some of these conversation stoppers are more impolite than others, which is not all that good.

I have I minor complaint on this discussion board and that is that when I see something that is as well written (and many time from the heart) as items are on this thread, there is no way to give an item a "double like"!
Good to see you here :)

I most certainly recognize your username from the other group. I never participated in it very much, and the short time I would read through it, things seemed very quite activity wise. I wasn't aware that it shut down, though. Bummer.

I hope some of the others make their way here, too. :)
 

Barobins

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés fall/winter 2019
Or why I would rather walk barefoot over fingernail and toenail clippings, piled onto a bed of thorns, that are covering the stony path into Molinaseca, than to stay at a place like Orisson.
What happens at Orisson????
-a fellow introvert
barbara
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
What happens at Orisson????
-a fellow introvert
barbara
People are invited, at dinner, to introduce themselves and share their reasons for walking. So they work their way around the room for everyone to speak.

Captive audience.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
People are invited, at dinner, to introduce themselves and share their reasons for walking. So they work their way around the room for everyone to speak.
The same happens at dinner in Beilari in SJPDP. I spent four days there while recovering from a prolapsed spinal disc about 20km short of there on a walk from the UK. As someone who is both introverted and shy in social situations I found that part of my stay quite uncomfortable but the warmth of the welcome, the generosity and the compassion of Joseph, Jakline and my fellow pilgrims made up for that many times over. Enough that I was delighted to find a bed for the night there a year or so later on my next Camino.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
People are invited, at dinner, to introduce themselves and share their reasons for walking. So they work their way around the room for everyone to speak.

Captive audience.
I stayed at Orisson once: first day, first pilgrimage. I know that I said something when it was my turn. But I have no idea what I said. It cannot have been particularly profound, as I had no idea why I was there.
 

Barobins

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés fall/winter 2019
People are invited, at dinner, to introduce themselves and share their reasons for walking. So they work their way around the room for everyone to speak.

Captive audience.
That would be stretching my comfort zone...especially if it was one of the first nights...
 
D

Deleted member 29041

Guest
Introvert, hm, that is me as well. I am usually able to hide it pretty well, but it is getting harder as even the lesser-used routes are getting crowded. Using the lesser-used routes starts out fine, but the congestion on the last part has become so bad that I can no longer walk in peace. I very much suspect that my next Camino also will be my last.

Why? Well, apart from being moderately introvert, I have this thing called stress that evidently will not let go, even though I am on retirement now. Thus I have a need to get away from it all and enjoy a bit of solitude on the Camino, intermixed with a moderate level of interaction with other pilgrims, and enjoying a quiet evening on town. Problem is, that "a moderate level" and "quiet" no longer seems to be possible, even off-season. If I have to be honest with myself, doing a Camino is beginning to stress me. o_O Well, I guess that I finally will be able to kick the habit :p

Alas, 'twas time to stop anyway - I am quickly running out of RC relatives to walk for ("Vicarie pro"), one more, and then the remaining part are agnostics, so that is no longer a valid excuse ;)

I have enjoyed the Camino, but I guess it's time to start walking places like Lapland again. In fact, I am looking forward to it ☺
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Well I enjoyed that commentary immensely. I may lie somewhere between introvert and extrovert as we all do. I walk alone. Have been invited to join groups but I still prefer my own thoughts. But then I crave company. So many lovely people I have met on three Camino. Watching the Way. Again and the longing begins. end of August 2020.
You, too, may be an ambivert.
 

Mark316

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020
Not sure if I’m an introvert or not, but I do know it takes me a long time, sometimes never, to make a new friend. It’s a process of sorts, and at anytime along the process the whole thing may come to a screeching halt.

After 61 years, for me, I tend to make friendships with people of similar backgrounds, hobbies, political leanings and so on. I can immediately make half of any group avoid me by saying I believe in God, I’m conservative, I’m a Navy Veteran I own weapons, I ride motorcycles, I’m a geek and so on. Those attributes usually insure a first encounter will be the last. 😀

If a person can get past that, they will quickly realize that after they have told me everything about their lives I’m not in any hurry to reciprocate. No one walks up to a stranger in a hometown restaurant, invites themselves to sit down and spills their guts, why would the think that’s fine on the Camino.

My purpose on the Camino is a private and not meant for general consumption and it’s definitely not to satisfy the needs of other who crave social interaction....which is not to say you won’t find me respectful, pleasant and polite. My interaction with others until we get to know each other very well is much like an iceberg...1/3 can be seen and 2/3rds hidden.

As for me, where you are from and why you are on Camino is your business, not mine. I won’t ask you that casually. If I do I’ve realized I want to take a next step down that road to friendship to which you are free to exit. If we remain on the same road and we both see it going somewhere you take small steps, slowly.

Group functions, not for me. Standing up and telling strangers details about my life, not for me. Incessant chatter about meaningless subjects, not for me. I just don’t have that need and I’m not going to feel bad for being who I am, nor should anyone else.

The best advice I got was from a good friend who invited me to spend an evening with his professional skate boarding friends. I told him I would not fit into that young crowd and he said “you be you”. I remained true to who I knew I was and had a great time with a few. 😀

You be you, whatever that may be. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not to fit in. If someone doesn’t like you, that’s one less person to deal with leaving more time for someone for someone who may.
 

vwzoo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
Note: Undoubtedly there will be some unintentional flub up I've made while trying to write down my thoughts on this topic, but it is not intended to offend anybody. And I do hope that nothing written is meant to convey an attitude of unfriendliness or unwillingness to help others or lend a hand.

Hi. My name is David, and I am a non-recovering Introvert.

I do Camino Pilgrimages for myself. Generally, it is for religious and spiritual reasons; I do not do them for social interactions. . . . . which is an odd thing to say, given the fact that, depending on the Camino and the time of year one walks a Pilgrimage, you will be surrounded by lots of people who are also doing their Camino walks.

I just generally don’t enjoy talking to strangers. It is not because I am an antisocial guy, it is simply a symptom of the fact that I am an Introvert. . .or more Introverted than Extroverted. I am an Innie, not an Outie. It is just a fact that my comfort level is better served by slowly getting to know someone, which is often diametrically opposed to Camino-life realities.

And no. . I have no more control over being an Introvert, any more than someone can control the need to breathe. It is not something that can be cured, like a disease or short-term illness; it is just part of how I am hard-wired.

Don’t get me wrong. . . being an Introvert does not inform HOW I behave toward others; it is about how I feel and react inside to being around groups and strangers. If someone screeches their fingernails on a chalkboard, I cannot control the gooseflesh reaction. . . but I can control whether I cringe or groan or show any other voluntary reactions.

Large groups, at parties or ‘get togethers,’ will find me either MIA or sitting back in the shadows, observing the group dynamic. Always being “on” when surrounded by people is simply too mentally exhausting for me. That exhaustion is multiplied many times over on Camino, when surrounded by new communal cohorts and asked the same questions every..single..day.

Q: Why are you doing Camino? I’m on a mission from God.

Q: Where are you from? A great place on Earth.

Yup. . just like those two sample questions. Sometimes, I almost feel like I should print out business cards containing the typical questions with my answers so that I can just hand them out and avoid being corralled into an involuntary interrogation. But I know that folks do not look at 'breaking the ice' questions as anything other than harmless conversation. Well, except for those who fancy themselves as Camino Philosophers and relish bending the ear of any hapless Pilgrim with what is really just a load of metaphysical bovine feces. Add vino, and. . .well . . .

I do not like feeling a need to appear to be open around new folks. . . I know I am not required to do so, but I also know that it is easy for people to assign negative motives if I am not. Humans, as a species, ARE social creatures. Some of us, however, are not.

This is why the dorm life of an alburgue is challenging to me, even though I will stay in albergues a lot of the time... ( plus I had enough of it in the Army in barracks). Or why I would rather walk barefoot over fingernail and toenail clippings, piled onto a bed of thorns, that are covering the stony path into Molinaseca, than to stay at a place like Orisson. Or that the notion of a ‘Camino Family’ is equivalent to a case of food poisoning.

Look, I intellectually understand that most folks don’t have the same ‘temperament’ as me. I do not begrudge that one little bit. I just do not emotionally and psychologically understand how anyone can enjoy social interactions in so open or easy a manner.

Maybe this will help folks understand that not everyone sitting by themselves, alone, needs a social ‘rescue’. It is certainly worthwhile to reach out to that person to see if such is warranted. . . pilgrims should look out for each other. Just consider not being offended if the offer is declined :)
Note: Undoubtedly there will be some unintentional flub up I've made while trying to write down my thoughts on this topic, but it is not intended to offend anybody. And I do hope that nothing written is meant to convey an attitude of unfriendliness or unwillingness to help others or lend a hand.

Hi. My name is David, and I am a non-recovering Introvert.

I do Camino Pilgrimages for myself. Generally, it is for religious and spiritual reasons; I do not do them for social interactions. . . . . which is an odd thing to say, given the fact that, depending on the Camino and the time of year one walks a Pilgrimage, you will be surrounded by lots of people who are also doing their Camino walks.

I just generally don’t enjoy talking to strangers. It is not because I am an antisocial guy, it is simply a symptom of the fact that I am an Introvert. . .or more Introverted than Extroverted. I am an Innie, not an Outie. It is just a fact that my comfort level is better served by slowly getting to know someone, which is often diametrically opposed to Camino-life realities.

And no. . I have no more control over being an Introvert, any more than someone can control the need to breathe. It is not something that can be cured, like a disease or short-term illness; it is just part of how I am hard-wired.

Don’t get me wrong. . . being an Introvert does not inform HOW I behave toward others; it is about how I feel and react inside to being around groups and strangers. If someone screeches their fingernails on a chalkboard, I cannot control the gooseflesh reaction. . . but I can control whether I cringe or groan or show any other voluntary reactions.

Large groups, at parties or ‘get togethers,’ will find me either MIA or sitting back in the shadows, observing the group dynamic. Always being “on” when surrounded by people is simply too mentally exhausting for me. That exhaustion is multiplied many times over on Camino, when surrounded by new communal cohorts and asked the same questions every..single..day.

Q: Why are you doing Camino? I’m on a mission from God.

Q: Where are you from? A great place on Earth.

Yup. . just like those two sample questions. Sometimes, I almost feel like I should print out business cards containing the typical questions with my answers so that I can just hand them out and avoid being corralled into an involuntary interrogation. But I know that folks do not look at 'breaking the ice' questions as anything other than harmless conversation. Well, except for those who fancy themselves as Camino Philosophers and relish bending the ear of any hapless Pilgrim with what is really just a load of metaphysical bovine feces. Add vino, and. . .well . . .

I do not like feeling a need to appear to be open around new folks. . . I know I am not required to do so, but I also know that it is easy for people to assign negative motives if I am not. Humans, as a species, ARE social creatures. Some of us, however, are not.

This is why the dorm life of an alburgue is challenging to me, even though I will stay in albergues a lot of the time... ( plus I had enough of it in the Army in barracks). Or why I would rather walk barefoot over fingernail and toenail clippings, piled onto a bed of thorns, that are covering the stony path into Molinaseca, than to stay at a place like Orisson. Or that the notion of a ‘Camino Family’ is equivalent to a case of food poisoning.

Look, I intellectually understand that most folks don’t have the same ‘temperament’ as me. I do not begrudge that one little bit. I just do not emotionally and psychologically understand how anyone can enjoy social interactions in so open or easy a manner.

Maybe this will help folks understand that not everyone sitting by themselves, alone, needs a social ‘rescue’. It is certainly worthwhile to reach out to that person to see if such is warranted. . . pilgrims should look out for each other. Just consider not being offended if the offer is declined :)
I totally understand where you are coming from. Before I went besides the physical challenge of course, the absolute most challenging aspect for me was my problems with groups and crowds. I was in the Navy on submarines years ago so I knew I could handle it, but I work rotating 12 hr shifts in my job and I love the alone night shifts and dread the people filled dayshifts. The walk for me was a spiritual quest and I was hoping I was up, able and had the faith to get through the people and physical challenge. The crowded places, Papalona, Burgos, and Santiago were overwhelming at times, but the time alone under the stars before the sun came up, sitting in the quiet churches, hearing the stones crunch under my boots as I heard from God, watching the sun set on the ocean in Muxia were life changing. I got through the people part, and met some very special people that touched me as well.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
I'm an extrovert, for the most part. However I relate to a lot of what you say. I very much prefer to walk alone and really do not long to be part of a "camino family." Sometimes I'll spontaneously join up with people at the end of the day in a cafe who I have met before. However I am very happy to set up my bed at the albergue and then eat dinner, have a glass of wine, explore the town, etc. alone. That's paradise for me. I'm not great at small talk and I don't like big groups.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Jill, you just described me:
I very much prefer to walk alone and really do not long to be part of a "camino family." Sometimes I'll spontaneously join up with people at the end of the day in a cafe who I have met before. However I am very happy to set up my bed at the albergue and then eat dinner, have a glass of wine, explore the town, etc. alone. That's paradise for me. I'm not great at small talk and I don't like big groups.
A bit of fun...
Ah wonderful. Thank you, Chris!
Sadly that first list is how society at large treats introverts, as though it is a flaw. I guess we're all supposed to be like bubbly cheerleaders? I'm happy to be 'too serious.'

That is one of my major reasons for wanting to do the Camino, and now you say it is not a "cure" yikes
There is nothing to 'cure,' and nothing wrong with being energized by quiet and solitude. In fact it is a wonderful gift that allows depth and ease in situations that would drive an extrovert around the bend. Walk with your head high!
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
I'm walking the Camino in June/July this year on my own. I prefer to walk alone but I'm such a people pleaser and hate causing offense of any kind that I'm afraid I will compromise my own experience by talking to people so that I din't appear rude or because it's the expected thing to do.
Here's my stock line to ditch people, "Hey, it was great talking to you! I'm gonna take a break here and I'm sure we'll see each other again down the road."
It's an obvious - but not unfriendly - goodbye. I've yet to have anyone say, hey, good idea, I'll take a break here, too.
 
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JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
After 61 years, for me, I tend to make friendships with people of similar backgrounds, hobbies, political leanings and so on. I can immediately make half of any group avoid me by saying I believe in God, I’m conservative, I’m a Navy Veteran I own weapons, I ride motorcycles, I’m a geek and so on. Those attributes usually insure a first encounter will be the last. 😀
I don't know about the rest of it, but you had me at motorcycles. What do you ride?
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Here's my stock line to ditch people, "Hey, it was great talking to you! I'm gonna take a break here and I'm sure we'll see each other again down the road."
It's an obvious - but not unfriendly - goodbye. I've yet to have anyone say, hey, good idea, I'll take a break here, too.
As I've suggested, I find that just answering the usual questions does the trick pretty well --

I started in Monte-Carlo/Lourdes

I've been walking for XYZ days (an unreasonably large number)

I haven't had a serious blister since 1994

I'm walking for a complex combination of reasons that are religious, spiritual, health, Catholic, and personal

---

Most people run away ; and the ones that don't ? Well, those are the good guys, and they usually have something interesting to hear and/or to say, usually both -- though sometimes I am the first outright and blatant Camino zealot they've come across, and they need to hear what the zealotry is like, first-hand, so that they can work out their own relationship with the Way, better informed, but on their own terms.

And if the umpteenth zillionest question about blisters can lead to that ? Yeah, I'll answer it.

We were all novices at one point, and it's it's mistaken not to care about and for the needs of the novices.

---

And FWIW, that "I'm gonna take a break here and I'm sure we'll see each other again down the road" line ? It's a good one, but sometimes people stick, and do see you down the road again, and again, and again -- and sometimes even just take a break at the same time, but careful not to invade your space. And occasionally, some of them can just refuse to go away, and yet you might realise that by exception they're right, and you're not -- I stuck to the Catalan painter on my 1994 for 3 days and it was perfectly good, then the Salamancan English teacher stuck to me for 3 and ditto.

We can't be grumpy and alone all the time !!!
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Most people run away ; and the ones that don't ? Well, those are the good guys, and they usually have something interesting to hear and/or to say, usually both -- though sometimes I am the first outright and blatant Camino zealot they've come across, and they need to hear what the zealotry is like, first-hand, so that they can work out their own relationship with the Way, better informed, but on their own terms.
Very good to read you saying this. Too often posts in Camino debate seem to be arguing that everything is relative and any strong personal stance is unacceptably "judgmental" - using that term in a wholly negative pejorative sense. I much prefer to encounter honesty and a willingness to defend one's position provided it is done with courtesy. You do not have to agree with someone to show them respect!

We can't be grumpy and alone all the time !!!
Perhaps not but I am having some success with the project :cool:
 

calamity37

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Camino Frances
Note: Undoubtedly there will be some unintentional flub up I've made while trying to write down my thoughts on this topic, but it is not intended to offend anybody. And I do hope that nothing written is meant to convey an attitude of unfriendliness or unwillingness to help others or lend a hand.

Hi. My name is David, and I am a non-recovering Introvert.

I do Camino Pilgrimages for myself. Generally, it is for religious and spiritual reasons; I do not do them for social interactions. . . . . which is an odd thing to say, given the fact that, depending on the Camino and the time of year one walks a Pilgrimage, you will be surrounded by lots of people who are also doing their Camino walks.

I just generally don’t enjoy talking to strangers. It is not because I am an antisocial guy, it is simply a symptom of the fact that I am an Introvert. . .or more Introverted than Extroverted. I am an Innie, not an Outie. It is just a fact that my comfort level is better served by slowly getting to know someone, which is often diametrically opposed to Camino-life realities.

And no. . I have no more control over being an Introvert, any more than someone can control the need to breathe. It is not something that can be cured, like a disease or short-term illness; it is just part of how I am hard-wired.

Don’t get me wrong. . . being an Introvert does not inform HOW I behave toward others; it is about how I feel and react inside to being around groups and strangers. If someone screeches their fingernails on a chalkboard, I cannot control the gooseflesh reaction. . . but I can control whether I cringe or groan or show any other voluntary reactions.

Large groups, at parties or ‘get togethers,’ will find me either MIA or sitting back in the shadows, observing the group dynamic. Always being “on” when surrounded by people is simply too mentally exhausting for me. That exhaustion is multiplied many times over on Camino, when surrounded by new communal cohorts and asked the same questions every..single..day.

Q: Why are you doing Camino? I’m on a mission from God.

Q: Where are you from? A great place on Earth.

Yup. . just like those two sample questions. Sometimes, I almost feel like I should print out business cards containing the typical questions with my answers so that I can just hand them out and avoid being corralled into an involuntary interrogation. But I know that folks do not look at 'breaking the ice' questions as anything other than harmless conversation. Well, except for those who fancy themselves as Camino Philosophers and relish bending the ear of any hapless Pilgrim with what is really just a load of metaphysical bovine feces. Add vino, and. . .well . . .

I do not like feeling a need to appear to be open around new folks. . . I know I am not required to do so, but I also know that it is easy for people to assign negative motives if I am not. Humans, as a species, ARE social creatures. Some of us, however, are not.

This is why the dorm life of an alburgue is challenging to me, even though I will stay in albergues a lot of the time... ( plus I had enough of it in the Army in barracks). Or why I would rather walk barefoot over fingernail and toenail clippings, piled onto a bed of thorns, that are covering the stony path into Molinaseca, than to stay at a place like Orisson. Or that the notion of a ‘Camino Family’ is equivalent to a case of food poisoning.

Look, I intellectually understand that most folks don’t have the same ‘temperament’ as me. I do not begrudge that one little bit. I just do not emotionally and psychologically understand how anyone can enjoy social interactions in so open or easy a manner.

Maybe this will help folks understand that not everyone sitting by themselves, alone, needs a social ‘rescue’. It is certainly worthwhile to reach out to that person to see if such is warranted. . . pilgrims should look out for each other. Just consider not being offended if the offer is declined :)
Oh I so agree with you.....!!!
 

Abigail Kelly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago/Fis/Muxia 2017
A Coruna/Santiago 2017
Portuguese Coastal/Variante Espiritual 2019
Large groups, at parties or ‘get togethers,’ will find me either MIA or sitting back in the shadows, observing the group dynamic. Always being “on” when surrounded by people is simply too mentally exhausting for me. That exhaustion is multiplied many times over on Camino, when surrounded by new communal cohorts and asked the same questions every..single..day.
Oh my God you just described me :eek: lol.. well said and my feeling exactly 🙃
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I have been an introvert all my life. I have walked many caminos. Far as I know, I have never offended anyone by not wanting to be their next best friend. Most adults know when someone wants to be left alone.

Extroverts, or people just jazzed-up at starting their Caminos and feeling a little scared about starting their adventure, cling together into "families" at the start. They let down the walls they built up at home, and they often find wonderful commonality among themselves.

But I find a lot of pilgrim togetherness exhausting. I see a lot of pilgrims for most of the year. That is why I walk, usually on off-season or less-traveled paths. To take a break from the Human Noise. Silence is what energizes me -- silence and walking and contemplating. I never start out looking to meeting Cool Pilgrims. I'm escaping them!

I advocate long-distance caminos, because as days go on and my spirit is refreshed, my awareness is piqued. I become more open to the people and creatures and environment around me. I am better able to connect and share the Way with other pilgrims, and enjoy their stories and experiences. I remember why pilgrimage is so vital to us as a society, and why faith still matters in this "oh-so-sensible" world. I remember why I believe in helping other people make the Camino ... it pulls them out of themselves, shakes out the kinks and crumbs, and packs them back into a stronger, brighter package. This is a process. It takes a good bit of time, and sometimes grace. And even us introverts sometimes have to unbend and open up and change, dammit.

I am not sure Introverts/extroverts labels really fit everyone, but wth. Some come here for quiet, some for company. Sometimes we find enlightenment both ways.
 

Sher

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning first Camino May (2019)
Note: Undoubtedly there will be some unintentional flub up I've made while trying to write down my thoughts on this topic, but it is not intended to offend anybody. And I do hope that nothing written is meant to convey an attitude of unfriendliness or unwillingness to help others or lend a hand.

Hi. My name is David, and I am a non-recovering Introvert.

I do Camino Pilgrimages for myself. Generally, it is for religious and spiritual reasons; I do not do them for social interactions. . . . . which is an odd thing to say, given the fact that, depending on the Camino and the time of year one walks a Pilgrimage, you will be surrounded by lots of people who are also doing their Camino walks.

I just generally don’t enjoy talking to strangers. It is not because I am an antisocial guy, it is simply a symptom of the fact that I am an Introvert. . .or more Introverted than Extroverted. I am an Innie, not an Outie. It is just a fact that my comfort level is better served by slowly getting to know someone, which is often diametrically opposed to Camino-life realities.

And no. . I have no more control over being an Introvert, any more than someone can control the need to breathe. It is not something that can be cured, like a disease or short-term illness; it is just part of how I am hard-wired.

Don’t get me wrong. . . being an Introvert does not inform HOW I behave toward others; it is about how I feel and react inside to being around groups and strangers. If someone screeches their fingernails on a chalkboard, I cannot control the gooseflesh reaction. . . but I can control whether I cringe or groan or show any other voluntary reactions.

Large groups, at parties or ‘get togethers,’ will find me either MIA or sitting back in the shadows, observing the group dynamic. Always being “on” when surrounded by people is simply too mentally exhausting for me. That exhaustion is multiplied many times over on Camino, when surrounded by new communal cohorts and asked the same questions every..single..day.

Q: Why are you doing Camino? I’m on a mission from God.

Q: Where are you from? A great place on Earth.

Yup. . just like those two sample questions. Sometimes, I almost feel like I should print out business cards containing the typical questions with my answers so that I can just hand them out and avoid being corralled into an involuntary interrogation. But I know that folks do not look at 'breaking the ice' questions as anything other than harmless conversation. Well, except for those who fancy themselves as Camino Philosophers and relish bending the ear of any hapless Pilgrim with what is really just a load of metaphysical bovine feces. Add vino, and. . .well . . .

I do not like feeling a need to appear to be open around new folks. . . I know I am not required to do so, but I also know that it is easy for people to assign negative motives if I am not. Humans, as a species, ARE social creatures. Some of us, however, are not.

This is why the dorm life of an alburgue is challenging to me, even though I will stay in albergues a lot of the time... ( plus I had enough of it in the Army in barracks). Or why I would rather walk barefoot over fingernail and toenail clippings, piled onto a bed of thorns, that are covering the stony path into Molinaseca, than to stay at a place like Orisson. Or that the notion of a ‘Camino Family’ is equivalent to a case of food poisoning.

Look, I intellectually understand that most folks don’t have the same ‘temperament’ as me. I do not begrudge that one little bit. I just do not emotionally and psychologically understand how anyone can enjoy social interactions in so open or easy a manner.

Maybe this will help folks understand that not everyone sitting by themselves, alone, needs a social ‘rescue’. It is certainly worthwhile to reach out to that person to see if such is warranted. . . pilgrims should look out for each other. Just consider not being offended if the offer is declined :)
I am an introvert as well and most of the people I met on the Camino were introverts. One thing I loved about the Camino and the people I met is that we were all extremely independent. Introverts are helpful but they don’t push their help on others in an unsolicited aggressively helpful way. That’s how I look at it at least. Most days I walked by myself with short interruptions of pleasant interactions with people that I had met earlier on the pilgrimage. I do love hearing people’s stories and there were many opportunities for that in the evenings. I flourished in an environment of no “news weather and sports” conversations. I hate those and I’m really bad at it. I felt blessed to have had some incredible conversations with some amazing people who I am ever so grateful to take a piece of them with me for the rest of my life.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018 neither successful
This morning at breakfast I was using my tablet and someone sat down at a nearby table. He then decided that he had to talk to me. I quickly finished breakfast so that I could get out of there and left befor finishing with my tablet.
 

Sher

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning first Camino May (2019)
Ever noticed that introverts are by far the most gregarious in online fora?
I thought that too. I notice for me one reason is that it takes me a while to collect my thoughts and think about what I want to say so that’s easier to do in writing. Another reason is that online no one interrupts me LOL that actually happens quite a bit in face to face conversations.
 

Sher

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning first Camino May (2019)
I highly recommend “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking”, by Susan Cain. Not just for introverts, as extroverts might benefit from reading it.

I walk alone. I enjoy conversations with one or two on meaningful topics. I hate touchy feely group-speak.
And if you don’t have time to read the book just watch the Ted Talk by Susan Cain that’s pretty good also.
 

LoriLosch

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to SJPP (Sept 2018)
So perfectly said! Love it.

I can relate. Apparently my outside appears extroverted, but my inside is definitely introverted. Like the proverbial duck gliding along the water peacefully, when in reality its little webbed feet are furiously kicking below the surface. What's visible and what's reality are in total opposition.

The social aspect was one of my biggest fears. And one that I hoped to overcome while walking. But I didn't. What I did was embrace that part of myself.

Practically speaking for all you fellow introverts who are embarking, these were my hacks:

1. I naturally walk pretty fast, so I could quite easily just pass people on the trail with a friendly "buen camino" rather than a long forced conversation.
2. Books. Books. And more books! I think I read 10 in 30 days. Lol. 75% of the time I ate with my book as company. Suited me just fine. The other 25% of the time, I ate with people I found to be really awesome and wanted to genuinely spend time with them. Nothing was ever forced.
3. Love yourself. Be you. Do you. You are awesome.
4. Don't compare your insides with other's outsides. More people than you realise are in fear. You are not alone. You are not an odd-ball.

Thanks for the post!

PS) @davebugg ... I loved your "metaphysical bovine feces" wordsmithing, by the way! LOL!
 

Rolotom

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances
Note: Undoubtedly there will be some unintentional flub up I've made while trying to write down my thoughts on this topic, but it is not intended to offend anybody. And I do hope that nothing written is meant to convey an attitude of unfriendliness or unwillingness to help others or lend a hand.

Hi. My name is David, and I am a non-recovering Introvert.

I do Camino Pilgrimages for myself. Generally, it is for religious and spiritual reasons; I do not do them for social interactions. . . . . which is an odd thing to say, given the fact that, depending on the Camino and the time of year one walks a Pilgrimage, you will be surrounded by lots of people who are also doing their Camino walks.

I just generally don’t enjoy talking to strangers. It is not because I am an antisocial guy, it is simply a symptom of the fact that I am an Introvert. . .or more Introverted than Extroverted. I am an Innie, not an Outie. It is just a fact that my comfort level is better served by slowly getting to know someone, which is often diametrically opposed to Camino-life realities.

And no. . I have no more control over being an Introvert, any more than someone can control the need to breathe. It is not something that can be cured, like a disease or short-term illness; it is just part of how I am hard-wired.

Don’t get me wrong. . . being an Introvert does not inform HOW I behave toward others; it is about how I feel and react inside to being around groups and strangers. If someone screeches their fingernails on a chalkboard, I cannot control the gooseflesh reaction. . . but I can control whether I cringe or groan or show any other voluntary reactions.

Large groups, at parties or ‘get togethers,’ will find me either MIA or sitting back in the shadows, observing the group dynamic. Always being “on” when surrounded by people is simply too mentally exhausting for me. That exhaustion is multiplied many times over on Camino, when surrounded by new communal cohorts and asked the same questions every..single..day.

Q: Why are you doing Camino? I’m on a mission from God.

Q: Where are you from? A great place on Earth.

Yup. . just like those two sample questions. Sometimes, I almost feel like I should print out business cards containing the typical questions with my answers so that I can just hand them out and avoid being corralled into an involuntary interrogation. But I know that folks do not look at 'breaking the ice' questions as anything other than harmless conversation. Well, except for those who fancy themselves as Camino Philosophers and relish bending the ear of any hapless Pilgrim with what is really just a load of metaphysical bovine feces. Add vino, and. . .well . . .

I do not like feeling a need to appear to be open around new folks. . . I know I am not required to do so, but I also know that it is easy for people to assign negative motives if I am not. Humans, as a species, ARE social creatures. Some of us, however, are not.

This is why the dorm life of an alburgue is challenging to me, even though I will stay in albergues a lot of the time... ( plus I had enough of it in the Army in barracks). Or why I would rather walk barefoot over fingernail and toenail clippings, piled onto a bed of thorns, that are covering the stony path into Molinaseca, than to stay at a place like Orisson. Or that the notion of a ‘Camino Family’ is equivalent to a case of food poisoning.

Look, I intellectually understand that most folks don’t have the same ‘temperament’ as me. I do not begrudge that one little bit. I just do not emotionally and psychologically understand how anyone can enjoy social interactions in so open or easy a manner.

Maybe this will help folks understand that not everyone sitting by themselves, alone, needs a social ‘rescue’. It is certainly worthwhile to reach out to that person to see if such is warranted. . . pilgrims should look out for each other. Just consider not being offended if the offer is declined :)
I am an innie who wants to be an outtie.I travel a lot solo throughout Europe and stay in hostels. I envy those who so easily slip into social conversations with others. On the occasion when I do make a connection, I usually make a bond....and often stay in touch. That’s probably why I crave it so much!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Ever noticed that introverts are by far the most gregarious in online fora?
That's because the extroverts are rarely at home relaxing...but usually out and about being gregarious in public!🕺
 
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yakremark

Sister Kay Kramer CDP
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Sept. 2012)
CF (Oct-Nov. 2014)
I really understand that, Chris. :)

On my last Frances camino in 2018, I met a guy named Clovis, who is from Massachusetts. I met him on the Express Bouricott shuttle while traveling from the Biarritz airport to St Jean.

It was a mostly full van, and we were seated next to each other. He started trying to converse, and I politely gave him short answers to his questions. It then occurred to me that I did not want to start that Camino appearing to be rude, so I politely asked him some followup questions: Home. . family. . where are you staying in SJPdP. .

For some reason, I warmed up to him. It was odd, because I didn't feel the need for a companion, but something just 'clicked'. After we both had checked into our lodgings, we met up later in the early afternoon, and I gave him a tour of St Jean as we walked.

I found out that he was walking to Roncesvalles over Napoleon the next morning, as I was going to do, and that after spending the night in Roncesvalles at the Collegiate alburgue, he was getting a bike from a rental company and would be riding to Santiago.

We parted company as he had other dinner plans. The next morning, I started over Napoleon and saw him as I was taking a before-midmorning break or bocadillo and Fantas. We sat and chatted, got some pictures together, then he took off on his walk. I left a half-hour later.

I caught up with him about 5 miles prior to Loepeder and the downhill to Roncesvalles. His daypack harness had ripped apart (very flimsy sack) and he was trying to repair it enough to walk with. I stopped and dug out my Sea-to-Summit daypack and loaned it to him. My intent was to keep walking alone. . . I was also filming the step-by-step GoPro video of the entire walk that's on YouTube as a Hyperlapse.

It ended up we walked the rest of the way together. It worked because Clovis seemed to recognize my need for quiet as we walked, and conversations just felt comfortable, albeit sparse.

At Roncesvalles we did hang around for a bit after dinner, and attended the Pilgrim Mass. The next morning, I saw him getting dressed (he was on the same floor) as I passed by, and we said our goodbyes, as I headed out to Pamplona (yup, real long day, but I enjoy the people watching there at night).

I ate some breakfast in Burgette, and as I was walking back to the street from the bar, I heard a loud hello, and saw Clovis riding up on his bike rental. We chatted and decided to maintain contact with each other via WhatsApp. . . which became a nightly base-touching during his 12 day ride to Santiago.

Since that time, we have maintained a friendship and keep in regular contact. In all of the Camino, in all of my years backpacking, I have never made a long-term friend. Funny how life goes. :)
Dave, what is the link for your hyperlapse on youtube?
 

Mar Oregon

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping to walk in 2020
I’m one of the ‘innie’ crowd for as well. Always have been. What I know about myself is that I like myself and that I rarely get lonely when I am alone. I do best with lots of alone time because this is what recharges my batteries.

I have dealt with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder all of my life. Attending meetings, parties or other social get togethers was extremely difficult for me because I could not stay focused on the conversations, especially if they were of no interest to me. Whenever someone made a comment or asked me a question, I would have to drag my thoughts back to the present from wherever they had gone. You would say ‘So what do you think about global warming, or the latest Meryl Streep movie or craft brewed beer?’ And I’d have to stop wondering how many seeds are in the average sized dill pickle and try to act like I was actually paying attention or even knew what you just asked. It was exhausting.!!! Small talk? Big groups?NO THANKS.
Now that I have medications which help greatly I can actually keep up with and contribute to conversations and I can do it well. But, guess what? I still like being by myself and I actually enjoy my own thoughts which are now much less likely to wander.
I am not opposed to talking to people for brief moments but I have no desire to get to know every person I meet. I already have a family and have no need to attach myself to someone rather than be alone. I like my solitude.
 

The Kolbist

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
past: Frances, inland Portuguese, Fatima
future: Del Norte, coastal Porugues, Englis
I'm one of those who relish the moments of being alone. I work from home alone except when wife is around. I am more comfortable not talking to anybody at work. All my life, alone is my gold standard. In the camino, I always walk with my wife but she's always faster than me so a rosary and the views of both the countryside and the city is what keeps me going and it's perfect for me. Having said that, when you get to the albergues which is most of the time unavoidable as small towns do not have a lot of albergues, I dont mind meeting friendly pilgrims and have dinner with them and share a laugh or two. Usually, we dont see them ever again. However, maybe God has a plan of letting you meet your "Camino Family" by design and thats what happened to us. Now we call a Priest, a Spanish woman, an atheist Kiwi, our camino family who we still get in touch even today. We met a lot of people in the camino and some of them have touched our lives in one way or the other. In my perspective, I am an introvert who hates parties and social gatherings by default and in the camino, there's plenty of time for myself but occassionally I would welcome other friendly pilgrims who came from different cultures and background. Ultreia!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
Introversion is just part of how my personality 'is'.
Hi Dave, thank you for opening this subject and for waking me up. I enjoyed your initial post and subsequent comments on it. I relate to many of the things that you have said and if I ask most of the people who know me well to describe my personality then they will say that I 'am' introverted.

Before derailing this topic too much here are a couple of notes for myself, to remember as I comment:
There are no shoulds.
My truth may not be your truth or The Truth.

I love learning and one of the reasons that I loved my Camino last year and why I want to return is that the Camino provides me with an environment to try out different personalities. When I am at home, people know who I 'am' and so it is very difficult for me to be anything else because they constantly pull me back to what they know. On the Camino, on the other hand, no one knows (that I am a dog) and so I can choose to be who ever I wish and I take that opportunity to experiment.

You see, in my world, my personality was created by a bunch of somewhat random things that happened to me, mostly as a child, and the decisions that I made about those happenings. In my world, I was not born with a personality, the personality that I acquired was developed along the way.

I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with my personality, despite my tongue in cheek comment in brackets above. It is just that the personality that I developed was, if you like, accidental and acreted from my decisions about the actions of others. As a result of my love of learning, I am curious about how life might be if I had a personality that I designed rather than one that just happened along accidentally.

I understand that most of the world disagrees with me on this and that many people who have thought about the subject of personality think that either they were born with the personality that they have or if they developed some or all of it along the way then what they have acreted is permanent and so they may as well accept it as it is. Mostly, people don't think about this subject at all.

Some people do think about it, accept briefly that it may be possible to create their own personality and then recoil in fear when faced with designing themselves from nowhere. Indeed, some philosophies suggest that our acreted personality can take on a life of its own and actively struggle to maintain itself.

Anyway..... The purpose of writing this is not to get too deep but rather to suggest that not everyone 'is' a certain personality. Nor is everyone 'hard wired'. I know that you didn't say this directly in any of your statements but it sits behind your thoughts of Who You Are. I accept that in your world, you are this way (fixed personality). This is neither good nor bad, although you are definitely in the majority on this. Indeed, I often fall back and start acting as if I 'am' a certain way. Fortunately, there are neat people like you around to wake me up every now and then with trigger phrases.

Many years ago, I was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident and as a result suffered compound fractures to my right leg that put me in hospital for four months. Immediately after the accident I felt no pain, shock I guess. Then in the ambulance ride to hospital I felt such pain that I wondered how I would survive it. Soon after arriving at the hospital they gave me enough drugs that the pain felt irrelevant. However, within a few days they withdrew the serious drugs so that I would not develop a dependency and so the pain returned in all its glory.

Initially, I tried to fight the pain, believing that if I willed it enough and if I was strong willed enough that I could make the pain go away. Obviously, this didn't work in any manner. One day, as I lay there, I thought "I want to be a writer one day. Perhaps this accident and this pain is actually an opportunity for me. With luck, this will be the only time in my life when I will feel such pain and so if I take this opportunity to examine and describe the pain that I was feeling then I may be able to use that later in my writing".

So, I started to seek out the pain rather than trying to recoil from it or block it. I examined it as one might examine some object or thing outside of oneself. I actively sort to describe it in any aspect that I could think of.

As I did this, something unexpected happened. The pain remained, in all its glory and grossness but instead of the feeling of pain being something to recoil from it became just another feeling. It was no longer "painful".

Just to be clear, I have not become someone who seeks pain or some sort of masochist. It is just that in this one instance I discovered that thinking differently led to new knowledge. I discovered for myself that actively examining pain could reduce its painfulness.

That leads to why did I drop this seemingly irrelevant anecdote into this conversation? I did that to illustrate that thinking beyond what most people think can open up new knowledge.

Once again, thank you Dave for sharing your thoughts and for waking me up.

Doug
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF last 150 to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
Attempting to avoid being interrogated by people is another thing I try to cope with. People ask me "What do you do?" I try to avoid it and say that I am retired, which is true as I am now 79yo. They don't take the hint and follow up with "What did you used to do?" I will reluctantly say that I used to be a doctor but not any more. Then they usually press on and ask "What sort of doctor were you?" And so on. I have reluctantly had this conversation many times before they move on with the rest of the interrogation, such as "Are you married, where do you live, do you have any children, etc,?" We are nearly all interested in other people so these questions are perfectly normal and if one is sensitive and an 'innie' then one can read the other persons response to such questions and know how to respect that. Less sensitive people just press on and are quite unaware of the impact of their questions.
Interesting............

I've hardly ever come across that type of questioning. Quite the opposite in fact.
That's the wonderful thing about meeting people on the Camino, you don't really have to talk about your life 'back home'..........

I'd run a mile under that type of interrogation! :) And totally avoid them.............
 

Meara

It's only rock n' roll but I like it
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles May 2020
"Q: Why are you doing Camino? I’m on a mission from God"

With this response you run the risk of an extrovert exclaiming with much (unwanted? ) enthusiasm 'cool, a Blues Brothers quote'...

For the purpose of this discussion I'd say I'm a solitary extrovert. 🙃
 

Island

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugués 2019
Pilgrims' Way 2020
Via Francigena 2020
Florida Trail
Appalachain Trail
Perfectly said. While I am normally quite social and extroverted, my pilgrimage walks have been more of a journey inward. I don't begrudge those who want a different experience and I think I'm probably an outlier among pilgrims but I completely understand your comments @davebugg about opting out of some of the socialization. Thanks for sharing.

I'm also reminded of a rather funny experience on the CP last year. A pilgrim Jacques and I walked in silence alone together for the better part of the day. We ate lunch at adjacent tables separately and I read. An outgoing peregrino sat down with Jacques despite other open tables and Jacques just stood up, said "nope" in English, walked out and I never saw him again. I miss Jacques but I understood his need to be alone.
 
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  • November

    Votes: 17 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 6 0.5%
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