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Thinking of walking Camino Frances in summer 2021... in need of advice

Sam_Sillaman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2021)
Hi all,

I am currently a grad student in the United States in my last year of studies. Over the past year or so, I've become infatuated with walking the Camino. I'm 26 and have never walked the Camino before, but I did study in Spain for a semester in undergrad and have been looking for a good excuse to go back ever since; I guess that could explain my recent obsession.

Anyway, as I'm finishing up my grad degree, I'm re-entering the job market and I hope to have employment working at a university as an academic advisor or counselor someday soon (my degree is in higher education/college student affairs). I'm torn about if this coming summer 2021 (assuming Americans are able to travel to Spain by then) is a good time for me to walk the Camino or not. Some people I've spoken to say to go as soon as I can because, "You'll never get any younger." and, "There's no perfect time for anything so why wait?" and, "Being between jobs is a perfect time to walk!" While others, like my mom lol, have said things like "You should really focus on getting a job right away after graduation in May" or, "You'll never get any job offers if you tell them in an interview you'll be gone for two months over the summer!"

So, I'm asking what you all on here think is the best move. Should I just go for it, assuming I have the funds saved up by the time next April rolls around and that international tourism is once more a thing? Or should I postpone until I've established myself in my new career after a few years? It is also worth mentioning :
1) that since I will (hopefully) be working in student affairs on a college campus that my summers will be relatively light when it comes to work most years
2) if I go, I'm planning to do the full Camino Frances from SJPDP to Muxia (+a week or so of extra travel around Spain; approx. 2 months total for the entire trip)

Thank you in advance for your input! I really appreciate it :)
 

mark connolly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
sept 2016 CF
sept 2017 Lourdes to SJPDP via Piemonte
SJPDP to SDC via CF
2019 CF (God willing)
The regret for the things we do is tempered by time, It is the regret for the things that we do not do is inconsolable. Do it, and you won't regret it.

Buen camino

Mark
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
I walked parallel one year with a young German lady who had just graduated from law school. She was walking the camino because she reckoned that once she’d got a job, and started her career, she may not get the chance ever again until she was retired. That’s an awful long time! Chatting to her at the beginning of the camino, along the way, and at the end, it seemed to me that she learned quite a lot about life in those few weeks. I’d say go for it.
 

Bilbo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
One started september 2020 ,Frances from sjpdp
Did my Camino starting last September after redundancy, thing is when you start a new job, it and life gets in the way.
I also think go for it, also because it changes the way you look at life and may take you in a direction that you are blind to pre Camino.
At the moment I spend alot of time thinking about the amazing experience I had last year.
Can't wait for the next one
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Hi all,

I am currently a grad student in the United States in my last year of studies. Over the past year or so, I've become infatuated with walking the Camino. I'm 26 and have never walked the Camino before, but I did study in Spain for a semester in undergrad and have been looking for a good excuse to go back ever since; I guess that could explain my recent obsession.

Hi Sam and welcome to the forum. I see that this is your first post - thanks for sharing your Camino thoughts with us.

As @martin1ws said, you won't get unbiassed advice here, but hopefully we'll be able to help with your deliberations. Only you can decide what's right for you.

If you've a strong desire or calling to walk the Camino (or something else), it probably won't go away. Most of us here are old enough to know that for sure. So, if you're still feeling that desire as you near the end of your studies, perhaps pay attention to it and ask yourself what's holding you back. That might help you get to the core of things.

I'm re-entering the job market and I hope to have employment working at a university as an academic advisor or counselor someday soon (my degree is in higher education/college student affairs).
It sounds like you've been on a journey and that your future work will have an element of helping people on their journeys ....... might walking the Camino be a very natural and positive part of all that? And if so, does that help you with your mom's concern that "You'll never get any job offers if you tell them in an interview you'll be gone for two months over the summer!" Walking a Camino could fit perfectly into that transition .... but of course only you can know and decide that.

Wishing you well with your thoughts and plans. Nuala
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
Hello Sam,

welcome to the forum!

If I was in your position and had to made a transition from university to work, why wait?
I heard from the Camino in confirmation class and had to wait until I was 49 (made myself the promise to walk a long-distance hike until I'm 50). The most walkers I met were age 20-30, so you fit perfectly.

Sometimes the journey of a Camino changes the perception of life and the meaning of life itself to the walker.
And be aware: the Caminos are very addictive. If you are "done" with it, maybe Camino will not be done with you ;)

Hope you make it and stay safe and sound.

BC
Roland
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
Hi all,

I am currently a grad student in the United States in my last year of studies. Over the past year or so, I've become infatuated with walking the Camino. I'm 26 and have never walked the Camino before, but I did study in Spain for a semester in undergrad and have been looking for a good excuse to go back ever since; I guess that could explain my recent obsession.

Anyway, as I'm finishing up my grad degree, I'm re-entering the job market and I hope to have employment working at a university as an academic advisor or counselor someday soon (my degree is in higher education/college student affairs). I'm torn about if this coming summer 2021 (assuming Americans are able to travel to Spain by then) is a good time for me to walk the Camino or not. Some people I've spoken to say to go as soon as I can because, "You'll never get any younger." and, "There's no perfect time for anything so why wait?" and, "Being between jobs is a perfect time to walk!" While others, like my mom lol, have said things like "You should really focus on getting a job right away after graduation in May" or, "You'll never get any job offers if you tell them in an interview you'll be gone for two months over the summer!"

So, I'm asking what you all on here think is the best move. Should I just go for it, assuming I have the funds saved up by the time next April rolls around and that international tourism is once more a thing? Or should I postpone until I've established myself in my new career after a few years? It is also worth mentioning :
1) that since I will (hopefully) be working in student affairs on a college campus that my summers will be relatively light when it comes to work most years
2) if I go, I'm planning to do the full Camino Frances from SJPDP to Muxia (+a week or so of extra travel around Spain; approx. 2 months total for the entire trip)

Thank you in advance for your input! I really appreciate it :)


You're asking the wrong people.
I can't imagine anyone here saying "Don't Go" :eek:
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
Hello Sam,

And be aware: the Caminos are very addictive. If you are "done" with it, maybe Camino will not be done with you ;)

Hope you make it and stay safe and sound.

BC
Roland

Very good point.
Caminos should come with an addiction warning!
If you walk one........you might decide to give up your career altogether.........until you have walked ALL the Caminos, at least once :rolleyes:
 

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)
Some people I've spoken to say to go as soon as I can because, "You'll never get any younger." and, "There's no perfect time for anything so why wait?"
Many of us are walking long caminos well past retirement age, so I wouldn't give the concern that you'll 'age out' too much weight.

That said, if you have space between grad school and work it's a perfect time for a reflective walk. As others have said the Camino gives you a different perspective on life, and it's a perspective that would serve you well in your chosen profession.

One is to take a month or 5 weeks to walk a a relatively long Camino once you graduate, and then if your summers are light workwise after that, you can still walk shorter caminos if you feel it still calls you. Word to the wise: as others have said, there are many beautiful things about the Camino that make it addictive. And I would say it's a healthy addiction. But just so you know: many of us who are repeat offenders were only going to walk one Camino.

Whenever you go, buen Camino!
And in the meantime, warmly welcome here and happy planning.
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Podiensis/Le Puy (2019)
Camino Frances (2019)
Camino Norte (post covid)
Hi all,

I am currently a grad student in the United States in my last year of studies. Over the past year or so, I've become infatuated with walking the Camino. I'm 26 and have never walked the Camino before, but I did study in Spain for a semester in undergrad and have been looking for a good excuse to go back ever since; I guess that could explain my recent obsession.

Anyway, as I'm finishing up my grad degree, I'm re-entering the job market and I hope to have employment working at a university as an academic advisor or counselor someday soon (my degree is in higher education/college student affairs). I'm torn about if this coming summer 2021 (assuming Americans are able to travel to Spain by then) is a good time for me to walk the Camino or not. Some people I've spoken to say to go as soon as I can because, "You'll never get any younger." and, "There's no perfect time for anything so why wait?" and, "Being between jobs is a perfect time to walk!" While others, like my mom lol, have said things like "You should really focus on getting a job right away after graduation in May" or, "You'll never get any job offers if you tell them in an interview you'll be gone for two months over the summer!"

So, I'm asking what you all on here think is the best move. Should I just go for it, assuming I have the funds saved up by the time next April rolls around and that international tourism is once more a thing? Or should I postpone until I've established myself in my new career after a few years? It is also worth mentioning :
1) that since I will (hopefully) be working in student affairs on a college campus that my summers will be relatively light when it comes to work most years
2) if I go, I'm planning to do the full Camino Frances from SJPDP to Muxia (+a week or so of extra travel around Spain; approx. 2 months total for the entire trip)

Thank you in advance for your input! I really appreciate it :)

I’ve quit 2 jobs I order to walk Caminos. There will always be jobs, pandemics happen, life is short and omg you’re so young. Two months is perfect. However keep in mind (speaking from my experience, but I’m sure others would agree) who you are at the beginning of your Camino vs. who you are after walking into Santiago could be vastly different. It will change you. Any plans you think you have afterwards could shift based on who the Sam will be, post-Camino 😊
 
Last edited:

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I will approach this from another angle, perhaps not so relevant to your situation. You did not mention if you have any experience with trekking with a backpack fora longer period of time. If not it might be a good idea to try this nearer to home. So you will have an idea if you like this way of living.
If you know this already than I would advice you to do like all other posters have said. Just go for it, you will love it
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
CF (17) Sarria - Portomarín
CF (17) SJPdP - SdC
CF (18) SJPdP - Fisterra
CP (19) Porto - Muxia
@Sam_Sillaman one of my sons finishes his graduate studies in December. He is in full job search mode. We have traveled a lot as a family, but he only has had a few trips abroad on his own. I would have advised him to take some time and travel now before he starts his career, but the elephant in the room (pandemic) is limiting our mobility. So what has my son done? ... He has decided to take a job here for a couple of years, and then try to relocate to Dublin for work in a couple of years. It is his plan for now. But, his new job, long time girlfriend, etc. (aka LIFE) may change their plan to relocate to Dublin. Does LIFE get in the way or do we just live it on a different path? I do not think there is a straight line in life, at least not one that is interesting.

My friends daughter just moved to Seville for a year while she studies for the LCAT. She is going to teach English. She was able to get a work visa, and bypass the travel restriction. I do not believe she has health insurance that covers the VID.

The simple is answer is go! Think about how that semester in Spain changed you. The Camino may be even more profound. I know that it has changed my life. I cannot wait to return. Make plans ... plans are made to be broken.

BUT, BUT, BUT, right now the barrier is HOW ... will it be possible by summer. I remain cautiously optimistic that there will be a vaccine available in the next year. BUT, will it be available in time for Camino season? ... who knows. Will the travel restrictions be lifted in time for Camino season? ... who knows. Will you be able to obtain travel insurance that covers the vid? Planning months ahead in this environment is difficult.

Does this sound like the thoughts that are bouncing around in your head (don't go, go, don't go)?🤔 No matter what you decide, it will be right for you. The Camino will be there next year, and the year after. It is your decision. You just have to prioritize and balance your goals. Develop alternative plans and evaluate their risks and feasibility.

¡Buena suerte! 👣 :D :cool:
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Now is too soon to make a decision that closes off your options. My recommendation is to proceed as though both plans may happen, because they might! One thing perhaps missing from your consideration is that your chosen industry (US higher education) is under terrific economic stress from the pandemic, which makes any job searches in academia a fraught prospect. I would not assume that finding a paid position will be a certain, easy, or quick thing. So: any step you take that reduces your competitiveness in this market should be made with eyes wide open. If the hiring is seasonal, be careful of any travel timing. Plan to be available for interviews on their schedule, not yours. If I'm an employer, I'd want you to start within 2 weeks, not 2 months downstream. (People who are hiring have already been working short-staffed during the hiring process.)
You have a lifetime ahead of you to walk the many pilgrim paths that spread across Europe; please don't box yourself in to thinking there's only the C. Frances, which can only be walked in one go.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Hi all,

I am currently a grad student in the United States in my last year of studies. Over the past year or so, I've become infatuated with walking the Camino. I'm 26 and have never walked the Camino before, but I did study in Spain for a semester in undergrad and have been looking for a good excuse to go back ever since; I guess that could explain my recent obsession.

Anyway, as I'm finishing up my grad degree, I'm re-entering the job market and I hope to have employment working at a university as an academic advisor or counselor someday soon (my degree is in higher education/college student affairs). I'm torn about if this coming summer 2021 (assuming Americans are able to travel to Spain by then) is a good time for me to walk the Camino or not. Some people I've spoken to say to go as soon as I can because, "You'll never get any younger." and, "There's no perfect time for anything so why wait?" and, "Being between jobs is a perfect time to walk!" While others, like my mom lol, have said things like "You should really focus on getting a job right away after graduation in May" or, "You'll never get any job offers if you tell them in an interview you'll be gone for two months over the summer!"

So, I'm asking what you all on here think is the best move. Should I just go for it, assuming I have the funds saved up by the time next April rolls around and that international tourism is once more a thing? Or should I postpone until I've established myself in my new career after a few years? It is also worth mentioning :
1) that since I will (hopefully) be working in student affairs on a college campus that my summers will be relatively light when it comes to work most years
2) if I go, I'm planning to do the full Camino Frances from SJPDP to Muxia (+a week or so of extra travel around Spain; approx. 2 months total for the entire trip)

Thank you in advance for your input! I really appreciate it :)
Assuming that you have the funds saved up and that there are no impediments to international travel, I would go. I'm not so much swayed by "You'll never get any younger." There is no perfect age to walk the Camino and being younger is not necessarily an advantage. And I'm not sure I buy "There is no perfect time for anything". But there is definitely a point to "Being between jobs is a perfect time to walk." Once you are settled in a job that you want to keep, it may be a while before you are once again in a position to take a couple of months off. As well, looking for a job after you have walked a Camino does have advantages. You will likely have a better sense of yourself and what you are looking for. And it does serve as evidence that you can see something through. :) In Spain, I'm told, people who walk the Camino often put it on their resumes.
 

GailGwyn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
part Camino Frances (2013), Part Camino Norte (2014)Camino Frances (2019)Camino Portuguese (2020)
Hi all,

I am currently a grad student in the United States in my last year of studies. Over the past year or so, I've become infatuated with walking the Camino. I'm 26 and have never walked the Camino before, but I did study in Spain for a semester in undergrad and have been looking for a good excuse to go back ever since; I guess that could explain my recent obsession.

Anyway, as I'm finishing up my grad degree, I'm re-entering the job market and I hope to have employment working at a university as an academic advisor or counselor someday soon (my degree is in higher education/college student affairs). I'm torn about if this coming summer 2021 (assuming Americans are able to travel to Spain by then) is a good time for me to walk the Camino or not. Some people I've spoken to say to go as soon as I can because, "You'll never get any younger." and, "There's no perfect time for anything so why wait?" and, "Being between jobs is a perfect time to walk!" While others, like my mom lol, have said things like "You should really focus on getting a job right away after graduation in May" or, "You'll never get any job offers if you tell them in an interview you'll be gone for two months over the summer!"

So, I'm asking what you all on here think is the best move. Should I just go for it, assuming I have the funds saved up by the time next April rolls around and that international tourism is once more a thing? Or should I postpone until I've established myself in my new career after a few years? It is also worth mentioning :
1) that since I will (hopefully) be working in student affairs on a college campus that my summers will be relatively light when it comes to work most years
2) if I go, I'm planning to do the full Camino Frances from SJPDP to Muxia (+a week or so of extra travel around Spain; approx. 2 months total for the entire trip)

Thank you in advance for your input! I really appreciate it :)
Go for it! Just imagine the 'life experiences' you'll be able to bring to any employment in the future.
 

Pingüigrino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Aragones, Vasco del Interior, Baztanes. (Frances Winter, La Plata, Camino de Invierno, Mozarabe, Norte, Primitivo.)
I think it could be a good idea to wait some years until you have settled down. Then wait some more years until you have your own family. Then wait some years until the kids dont need you.
Then, thats the moment to hurry up, just before your grandchildren miss their grandmother and after you realize that you lost a great opportunity to be young forever, when you were 26 years old.
No moment like present moment.
Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPP-Burgos, 2014 Burgos-Leon, 2018 Leon-Santiago
Go.

I was employed in academic settings in the US for many years, and the most I could do was to save up vacation time in order to walk segments of the Frances for a couple of weeks at a time. It gets costly to return to Spain every few years to walk, not to mention the fact that the experience gets somewhat fragmented and sometimes rushed. On the plus side I learned more than I thought possible about travel in Spain.

Now I’m retired and am doing other Caminos, and will be back when the time is right.

If the stars align and you have the time and the funds to go, you should do it and not look back.
Welcome to the Forum.

All the best,
Paul
 

Sam_Sillaman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2021)
Wow! I really had not expected such a high rate of response on this. Thank you all, that have replied, so much for your thoughtful responses. They have certainly given me a good bit of needed perspective. I guess it is also worth mentioning that I do have prior work experience as a K-12 Art teacher. The comment that higher education is in financial straits definitely does not fall on deaf ears. However, my K-12 teaching license is not set to expire until 2024, so that is my back up option (Btw I’m still very passionate about teaching art, so it’s a great “back up” in comparison to many folks’ plan B’s which they only find barely palatable). So there is that. I’m also a fairly avid hiker and have done a few longer distance backpacking trips in the Grand Canyon, so I’m not too worried about the Camino not being my thing once I get there.

If those details change how any of you might view the situation, I’m happy to hear your take.

Thanks again!
 

Sam_Sillaman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2021)
I think it could be a good idea to wait some years until you have settled down. Then wait some more years until you have your own family. Then wait some years until the kids dont need you.
Then, thats the moment to hurry up, just before your grandchildren miss their grandmother and after you realize that you lost a great opportunity to be young forever, when you were 26 years old.
No moment like present moment.
Buen Camino.
This really gets to the point lol 😂 I do have a long term partner and he and I both are pretty settled on not having kids. Largely due to being able to then use the extra time and money to travel a lot while we’re still relatively young. That is a really big priority for us. BUT your point is still very valid. Even at 26 I know life only gets more complicated as the years tick by. My parents are in their mid sixties now, so I could easily see their age and health keeping me tied to one place in another 10 years or so. I’m their only kid so I’m expecting to shoulder that pretty much on my own when the time comes.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(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
Wow! I really had not expected such a high rate of response on this. Thank you all, that have replied, so much for your thoughtful responses. They have certainly given me a good bit of needed perspective. I guess it is also worth mentioning that I do have prior work experience as a K-12 Art teacher. The comment that higher education is in financial straits definitely does not fall on deaf ears. However, my K-12 teaching license is not set to expire until 2024, so that is my back up option (Btw I’m still very passionate about teaching art, so it’s a great “back up” in comparison to many folks’ plan B’s which they only find barely palatable). So there is that. I’m also a fairly avid hiker and have done a few longer distance backpacking trips in the Grand Canyon, so I’m not too worried about the Camino not being my thing once I get there.

If those details change how any of you might view the situation, I’m happy to hear your take.

Thanks again!
Hi,

For many, the first Camino is experienced as a lifechanger, as stated by several replies to you. Many get it too late in life. I can attest to that. (Do the whole thing, not only parts of it).

So the question is, do you want a lifechanger at the age of 27 or 57? ;)

Buen Camino!
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I tend to disagree somewhat with the advice you are getting here. I've been through this sort of quandary a number of times with myself and my children. I agree with @Kitsambler 's advice to keep both options open, and to not get boxed into thinking there is only one way to do the Camino, and that you must make a now-or-never type of decision.

I love the Camino, but I cannot say my life was transformed by it. Enhanced, yes, but my career, my children, my education, my community have been far more transformational. The Camino is a wonderful extra but does not have to be the central element of a full life!

I think that some job opportunities (or other condition) are worth postponing your Camino for. It would need to be a good opportunity. In that case, I would suggest trying to compromise on the starting date (a 3-week Camino can be very satisfying). If that isn't possible, then consider that if the job doesn't meet your expectations in a year's time, you will seek another job and try to squeeze in a vacation between them. But maybe something else fascinating will come up and the Camino gets deferred again. That. Is. OK.

There is a cute phrase or aphorism to justify any decision, so don't take such words too seriously.

Decisions such as this are not right or wrong. After the fact, you might find things weren't quite what you expected or wanted, but you make the best decision you can at the time. This sometimes means taking a job (for various possible reasons) that defers other plans. For others of us, it means forgoing a Camino for a year or 5, or even 10, because of family or career reasons. Believe it or not, we can still have a lot of fun and satisfaction in old age - maybe it is a good thing to save some exciting adventures for then!

The important thing (for me) is to accept that I cannot do everything, know why I make a particular choice, and then enjoy the benefits of that choice without constantly looking backwards at the road not taken - whether it was the adventure road or the safer road.

Many people say "Go" because they didn't and regret it. I say "go or don't go, depending on the options, but don't view either choice as a lifetime commitment."
 

NYSE

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances & Camino Finisterre/Muxia April 2019
Hi all,

I am currently a grad student in the United States in my last year of studies. Over the past year or so, I've become infatuated with walking the Camino. I'm 26 and have never walked the Camino before, but I did study in Spain for a semester in undergrad and have been looking for a good excuse to go back ever since; I guess that could explain my recent obsession.

Anyway, as I'm finishing up my grad degree, I'm re-entering the job market and I hope to have employment working at a university as an academic advisor or counselor someday soon (my degree is in higher education/college student affairs). I'm torn about if this coming summer 2021 (assuming Americans are able to travel to Spain by then) is a good time for me to walk the Camino or not. Some people I've spoken to say to go as soon as I can because, "You'll never get any younger." and, "There's no perfect time for anything so why wait?" and, "Being between jobs is a perfect time to walk!" While others, like my mom lol, have said things like "You should really focus on getting a job right away after graduation in May" or, "You'll never get any job offers if you tell them in an interview you'll be gone for two months over the summer!"

So, I'm asking what you all on here think is the best move. Should I just go for it, assuming I have the funds saved up by the time next April rolls around and that international tourism is once more a thing? Or should I postpone until I've established myself in my new career after a few years? It is also worth mentioning :
1) that since I will (hopefully) be working in student affairs on a college campus that my summers will be relatively light when it comes to work most years
2) if I go, I'm planning to do the full Camino Frances from SJPDP to Muxia (+a week or so of extra travel around Spain; approx. 2 months total for the entire trip)

Thank you in advance for your input! I really appreciate it :)
When I decided to walk the Camino I was on the other side of the career spectrum (near retirement). Something very powerful, a feeling, I guess, told me to retire early and walk the Camino. I retired three years earlier than I might have done and walked the Camino in 2019, starting just days after I left the job. It was the best decision I've ever made. And now looking how 2020 unfolded, it makes my decision that much more important to me. Trust me, life is long and there will be plenty of time to make money, but little time to do what you truly want to do.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
My parents are in their mid sixties now, so I could easily see their age and health keeping me tied to one place in another 10 years or so.
You will find that many who are responding to you here are in that age group or older! My own mother just turned 90, and I'm thinking that I might have to start worrying about her health - I certainly didn't worry about it when she was only in her 60s!
I hope that both of your parents are healthy and don't require your immediate attention.
 
Last edited:

Sam_Sillaman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2021)
I am hoping things might be in a better place by Spring of next year. However, if we're still dealing with travel restrictions and quarantining on either side of a trip by then, I will definitely be staying put. I'd only entertain going when things are (relatively) back to normal again. It's totally possible this issue resolves itself by way of the pandemic forcing me to postpone.
 

Damico Walking

Ready, and waiting, to walk
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese coastal route May 2020 (not to be)
Portuguese coastal route TBD post COVID-19
I tend to agree with @C clearly in that keep both options open, make a choice, and don't second guess your decision for years to come. I thought originally to say just go, but having read many of the posts I feel there are a few things to keep in mind:

As @nathanael mentioned, due to the current situation, you may be required to quarantine for a period of time which may affect your finances as well as your experience.

Make sure you book your flights directly with an airline since changes or refunds will be much easier if needed.

Due to the pandemic, you may not have the experience you have read about or hoped for.

And life changes constantly. Who knows where you will be at in life at a later time, even only a year later.

The advice I would give my daughters would be: Make your choice. Make it as flexible as possible to allow for unexpected happenings, good and bad. Be sure you understand the reality of the path you are taking, not the ideal or fantasy you may have in your mind. Be happy with your chosen path. It is your life to live in your own way.

I wish you luck, prosperity, adventure, and happiness. Maybe even seeing you on the Camino.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Hi all,

I am currently a grad student in the United States in my last year of studies. Over the past year or so, I've become infatuated with walking the Camino. I'm 26 and have never walked the Camino before, but I did study in Spain for a semester in undergrad and have been looking for a good excuse to go back ever since; I guess that could explain my recent obsession.

Anyway, as I'm finishing up my grad degree, I'm re-entering the job market and I hope to have employment working at a university as an academic advisor or counselor someday soon (my degree is in higher education/college student affairs). I'm torn about if this coming summer 2021 (assuming Americans are able to travel to Spain by then) is a good time for me to walk the Camino or not. Some people I've spoken to say to go as soon as I can because, "You'll never get any younger." and, "There's no perfect time for anything so why wait?" and, "Being between jobs is a perfect time to walk!" While others, like my mom lol, have said things like "You should really focus on getting a job right away after graduation in May" or, "You'll never get any job offers if you tell them in an interview you'll be gone for two months over the summer!"

So, I'm asking what you all on here think is the best move. Should I just go for it, assuming I have the funds saved up by the time next April rolls around and that international tourism is once more a thing? Or should I postpone until I've established myself in my new career after a few years? It is also worth mentioning :
1) that since I will (hopefully) be working in student affairs on a college campus that my summers will be relatively light when it comes to work most years
2) if I go, I'm planning to do the full Camino Frances from SJPDP to Muxia (+a week or so of extra travel around Spain; approx. 2 months total for the entire trip)

Thank you in advance for your input! I really appreciate it :)
Very simple answer. GO. Do the things that you need to do when you are young. Looking back on life, I find I have more regret about what I did not do rather than what I did do. Wish I had heard of the camino when I was young. Would have walked them all by how plus a few other pilgrimages. Of course, this is on the proviso that it is safe to do so. Covid well under control or a vaccine. I am working on the belief that all will be fine by late March/early April and then I am off
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(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
@Sam_Sillaman

Interesting graffiti on the Camino:

"Where are your dreams? Live them before you die".

Spansk på camino.JPG
 

Harland2019

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April/May "2019"
I guess my view would depend upon why you want to walk it apart from the reason that you have become infatuated with walking the Camino. Whilst I didn't walk it until I was 72 there was a walk in the UK that I always wanted (not infatuated) to do - The Pennine Way. Having started work at 16 it had to wait until I retired. Although it would only take 3 weeks at your age it would have been unfair to my wife/children - would your partner go with you? Either way that could be a good reason to go to confirm your relationship (would put in a smiley face here if I knew how!).
If my son/daughter had asked my advice and they were in work then I would have suggested that they walk it during their holidays and do it over a few years. The full Camino Frances in one go will still be there when you have the available time or a boss that thinks it is a really good idea.
The above needs to be read in the understanding that I am not religious, I did it for a really good walk! I am not sure how so many people think it changes their lives but I guess that is based on their beliefs. I will do it again when it is safe to do so if only to recheck out the wine and food.
 
Camino(s) past & future
October (2021)
There was a time when traveling around the world seemed to some as not fitting into the mindset of the same people who held down steady jobs. However, with what I've seen in the past 10+ years, notifying a potential employer (within a reasonable amount of time) that you were planning on doing the Camino while you were at this stage in life, would actually make your resume (I think it's called a CV in Europe?) and job potential look BETTER! It shows that you are educated, aware of things outside of your day-to-day life, can set goals, want to stay healthy, can manage your time, the list could go on and on ... so don't be worried about how this will affect your job search :)
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
I am hoping things might be in a better place by Spring of next year. However, if we're still dealing with travel restrictions and quarantining on either side of a trip by then, I will definitely be staying put. I'd only entertain going when things are (relatively) back to normal again. It's totally possible this issue resolves itself by way of the pandemic forcing me to postpone.


A very smart decision Sam Sillaman, my hope is that many other people will feel the same way in the near future.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Forget all the what I did or what I should have done advice. That is another person’s life not yours.You will know the answer when the moment comes . You just need to gather the courage to say it out loud.
Look around you and tell me what is certain except the future is certainly more uncertain then it has been in a long time.
You have said it in 5 different ways . You want to go. So go about your life and finish school and look for a job and hopefully get a job and who knows when things will open up again.
Don’t wait on anything. Go live. When travel opens and it is safe to go take a moment and breath and see what your breath tells you. You will know in an instant. Until then live in this moment and see where life, your dreams and your actions take you. Maybe your breath will say Camino on that day and maybe it won’t. Who knows just don’t stop doing anything and let life unfold until that day comes.
 

JP

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014 & 2017
Camino Portuguese 2016
Camino Del Norte 2019.
I walked my first Camino when I was 59 years old and I want to do a fourth one when Covid-19 is over or controlled. If I had known about the Camino Frances when I was in my 20's, I am sure my life would be completly different now. The Camino is a great place to find yourself.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016), Norte (2017), Portuges (2018), Mozarabe (2019), Primitivo (2019), Via de La Plata (2
Hi all,

I am currently a grad student in the United States in my last year of studies. Over the past year or so, I've become infatuated with walking the Camino. I'm 26 and have never walked the Camino before, but I did study in Spain for a semester in undergrad and have been looking for a good excuse to go back ever since; I guess that could explain my recent obsession.

Anyway, as I'm finishing up my grad degree, I'm re-entering the job market and I hope to have employment working at a university as an academic advisor or counselor someday soon (my degree is in higher education/college student affairs). I'm torn about if this coming summer 2021 (assuming Americans are able to travel to Spain by then) is a good time for me to walk the Camino or not. Some people I've spoken to say to go as soon as I can because, "You'll never get any younger." and, "There's no perfect time for anything so why wait?" and, "Being between jobs is a perfect time to walk!" While others, like my mom lol, have said things like "You should really focus on getting a job right away after graduation in May" or, "You'll never get any job offers if you tell them in an interview you'll be gone for two months over the summer!"

So, I'm asking what you all on here think is the best move. Should I just go for it, assuming I have the funds saved up by the time next April rolls around and that international tourism is once more a thing? Or should I postpone until I've established myself in my new career after a few years? It is also worth mentioning :
1) that since I will (hopefully) be working in student affairs on a college campus that my summers will be relatively light when it comes to work most years
2) if I go, I'm planning to do the full Camino Frances from SJPDP to Muxia (+a week or so of extra travel around Spain; approx. 2 months total for the entire trip)

Thank you in advance for your input! I really appreciate it :)
Hi Sam and welcome to the parralel universe that is the Camino.

I have scrolled through a few of the replies and to no-one's surprise the general view is go for it. While my heart is totally in accord with the emotion I feel that 2 big things need to be addressed before you commit to April 2021.

First there is the great unknown that is the Covid virus situation. I believe that it is unrealistic to believe that it is going to be under control by April 2021 and so you will have to consider the possible disruption caused by sudden lock-downs and the possible closing of borders. By their very nature Pilgrim Albergues are potentially a ripe breeding ground for the virus.

Secondly 2021 is a Holy Year (first for 11 years) which means the competiton for bedspace is going to be crazy. A huge part of the Camino experience is the opportunity for quiet contemplation and to absorb the intense beauty of the countryside, the architecture and the history....you cannot do that in a scrum.

I hope that whatever you decide your Camino experience is amazing.
 

habanerocat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances
2014 Camino Frances again
2015 The Rheinsteig
I haven't read all the posts, but go.

The age profile is mostly young and older people. Midlife is busy with work and Kids. You may not get the chance again.
 

Nocheechako

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances in 2015 & 2016. Portuguese, Muxia next.
Hi all,

I am currently a grad student in the United States in my last year of studies. Over the past year or so, I've become infatuated with walking the Camino. I'm 26 and have never walked the Camino before, but I did study in Spain for a semester in undergrad and have been looking for a good excuse to go back ever since; I guess that could explain my recent obsession.

Anyway, as I'm finishing up my grad degree, I'm re-entering the job market and I hope to have employment working at a university as an academic advisor or counselor someday soon (my degree is in higher education/college student affairs). I'm torn about if this coming summer 2021 (assuming Americans are able to travel to Spain by then) is a good time for me to walk the Camino or not. Some people I've spoken to say to go as soon as I can because, "You'll never get any younger." and, "There's no perfect time for anything so why wait?" and, "Being between jobs is a perfect time to walk!" While others, like my mom lol, have said things like "You should really focus on getting a job right away after graduation in May" or, "You'll never get any job offers if you tell them in an interview you'll be gone for two months over the summer!"

So, I'm asking what you all on here think is the best move. Should I just go for it, assuming I have the funds saved up by the time next April rolls around and that international tourism is once more a thing? Or should I postpone until I've established myself in my new career after a few years? It is also worth mentioning :
1) that since I will (hopefully) be working in student affairs on a college campus that my summers will be relatively light when it comes to work most years
2) if I go, I'm planning to do the full Camino Frances from SJPDP to Muxia (+a week or so of extra travel around Spain; approx. 2 months total for the entire trip)

Thank you in advance for your input! I really appreciate it :)
Your Mom isn't going to like what I have to say. :) As a father, I have encouraged all my children to travel as often as they can. I did not have my first international trip until I was 35. And I did not have my first international adventure (Camino) until I was 46. Reasons included: financial, attachments, and commitments. All three of my daughters have walked the Camino before they were 19 with my youngest doing it at 13. Enjoy your journey.
 

Sanman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Portuguese Camino (Cluny, Le Puys), Hadrian's Wall, West Highland Way
Hi all,

I am currently a grad student in the United States in my last year of studies. Over the past year or so, I've become infatuated with walking the Camino. I'm 26 and have never walked the Camino before, but I did study in Spain for a semester in undergrad and have been looking for a good excuse to go back ever since; I guess that could explain my recent obsession.

Anyway, as I'm finishing up my grad degree, I'm re-entering the job market and I hope to have employment working at a university as an academic advisor or counselor someday soon (my degree is in higher education/college student affairs). I'm torn about if this coming summer 2021 (assuming Americans are able to travel to Spain by then) is a good time for me to walk the Camino or not. Some people I've spoken to say to go as soon as I can because, "You'll never get any younger." and, "There's no perfect time for anything so why wait?" and, "Being between jobs is a perfect time to walk!" While others, like my mom lol, have said things like "You should really focus on getting a job right away after graduation in May" or, "You'll never get any job offers if you tell them in an interview you'll be gone for two months over the summer!"

So, I'm asking what you all on here think is the best move. Should I just go for it, assuming I have the funds saved up by the time next April rolls around and that international tourism is once more a thing? Or should I postpone until I've established myself in my new career after a few years? It is also worth mentioning :
1) that since I will (hopefully) be working in student affairs on a college campus that my summers will be relatively light when it comes to work most years
2) if I go, I'm planning to do the full Camino Frances from SJPDP to Muxia (+a week or so of extra travel around Spain; approx. 2 months total for the entire trip)

Thank you in advance for your input! I really appreciate it :)

I took a year off after university to travel when all my friends went to work. It was an experience of a lifetime and I re-entered the workforce smarter, stronger and more prepared. Walking the camino is work - but a different kind and you will be so much better for it. My 2 cents - work will always be there waiting, but your dreams may not - all in!
 

Robi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May/June 2018
Do not go if there is no vaccine against the disease yet and if there are restrictions related to the disease.
The Camino is beautiful and addictive but if there is a possibility of getting sick, transmitting the disease to someone or getting stuck on a trip without the possibility of returning home, then it is better to wait for better times.
I was at Camino in 2018, I was supposed to go again this June. I had to give up though.
I plan to go next fall, if the vaccine is found by the summer and if I can get vaccinated.
I don’t think it’s realistic to expect a vaccine before late spring or even summer.
Get ready for the trip, practice but I think the chances of traveling in April are very small.
Especially since you mention the possibility that in the future you will have more time in the summer so you can come to the Camino at a safer time.
 

howardd5

New Member
I understand your situation completely . I feel that you going to the Camino will broaden your outlook on many levels .Once you start a new job you will never have the 5-6 weeks you will want away , Although having hiked on the Camino you will never be the same and perhaps ,like me ,you will be drawn to go again ( and again) .You will meet some many people that are so different from you and enjoy their outlook on life as you share yours . Be happy with your decision and don't look back . As for me , i regret what i did not DO more than the things i did .
Hi all,

I am currently a grad student in the United States in my last year of studies. Over the past year or so, I've become infatuated with walking the Camino. I'm 26 and have never walked the Camino before, but I did study in Spain for a semester in undergrad and have been looking for a good excuse to go back ever since; I guess that could explain my recent obsession.

Anyway, as I'm finishing up my grad degree, I'm re-entering the job market and I hope to have employment working at a university as an academic advisor or counselor someday soon (my degree is in higher education/college student affairs). I'm torn about if this coming summer 2021 (assuming Americans are able to travel to Spain by then) is a good time for me to walk the Camino or not. Some people I've spoken to say to go as soon as I can because, "You'll never get any younger." and, "There's no perfect time for anything so why wait?" and, "Being between jobs is a perfect time to walk!" While others, like my mom lol, have said things like "You should really focus on getting a job right away after graduation in May" or, "You'll never get any job offers if you tell them in an interview you'll be gone for two months over the summer!"

So, I'm asking what you all on here think is the best move. Should I just go for it, assuming I have the funds saved up by the time next April rolls around and that international tourism is once more a thing? Or should I postpone until I've established myself in my new career after a few years? It is also worth mentioning :
1) that since I will (hopefully) be working in student affairs on a college campus that my summers will be relatively light when it comes to work most years
2) if I go, I'm planning to do the full Camino Frances from SJPDP to Muxia (+a week or so of extra travel around Spain; approx. 2 months total for the entire trip)

Thank you in advance for your input! I really appreciate it :)
 

CMD

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago next week
You're asking the wrong people.
I can't imagine anyone here saying "Don't Go" :eek:
Go girl. I wanted to do (at least part of) the Camino in 1996 when I was 58 but was told I was ‘too old’. I put the thought of the Camino to the back of my mind but it never stopped calling me. Then, in 2019, when I was 81 and my friend was 75, we walked from Sarria to Santiago and that stretch of road only made me more determined to go back and do more. We had arranged to do Camino Portuguese this year in May but everything was cancelled due to virus. The Camino continues to call and we both hope to set off again in May 2021, all being well. So I say to you DO IT WHILE YOU CAN, working life can wait but the Camino will keep calling you. Buen Camino.
 

Skiwhizz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago August 2018 - completed
Sarria to Santiago with family - planned April 2019
If I was an interviewer and you said you were going to do El Camino, I would be impressed. It is not exactly a holiday and says more about your commitment and you bringing positive change to your life and to your career. My very biased opinion of course...good luck with any decision you make and may the road rise before you in every case!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
If you decide to go, it will be life-changing, partly because it is the camino and partly because it will be formative of who you will be in your later life. I was in my early 20's and in graduate school when, one Easter season, I got the urge and said, to myself and to anyone who would listen, "Next year in Jerusalem." I saved and I planned and the next Easter I spent in Israel. I had a one month pilgrimage: two weeks in Israel (on a church bus tour) and two weeks wandering in England visiting some of the historical sites of the Anglican church. Twenty years later, I took a year off before begining my doctoral studies and spent four months of it travelling in East Africa. Twenty-five years after that, I heard about the camino de Santiago and was called to walk it in my late 60's. Answering a call is a choice. Whatever you feel your call to be, consider that you are chosing your life pattern: to respond or perhaps to seek a safer choice. It is up to you.
 

Sam_Sillaman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2021)
Go girl. I wanted to do (at least part of) the Camino in 1996 when I was 58 but was told I was ‘too old’. I put the thought of the Camino to the back of my mind but it never stopped calling me. Then, in 2019, when I was 81 and my friend was 75, we walked from Sarria to Santiago and that stretch of road only made me more determined to go back and do more. We had arranged to do Camino Portuguese this year in May but everything was cancelled due to virus. The Camino continues to call and we both hope to set off again in May 2021, all being well. So I say to you DO IT WHILE YOU CAN, working life can wait but the Camino will keep calling you. Buen Camino.
Wow! I am so impressed by your tenacity. I certainly hope I’m still in condition to do such incredible physical feats when I’m in my 80’s. Thank you for you perspective.
 

Leigh Macklin

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances {2016}, Portugese {2017}
I hope the covid situation is resolved by 2021, but it seems unlikely. Educator to educator:

1) Please remember that if you are teaching you will still have summers to walk the camino (or other trails/pilgramages).
2) If you are in teaching or in higher ed it is suprisingly easy to get sabaticals. You just have to plan your finances accordingly.
3) Once employed, see if your employer offers something like 4/5. You work for 4 semesters at 80% pay and the 5th semester is covered by the 20% withheld. That makes the planning/restraint much easier to handle.

Best of luck finishing your formal studies.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
Forget all the what I did or what I should have done advice. That is another person’s life not yours.You will know the answer when the moment comes . You just need to gather the courage to say it out loud.
Look around you and tell me what is certain except the future is certainly more uncertain then it has been in a long time.
You have said it in 5 different ways . You want to go. So go about your life and finish school and look for a job and hopefully get a job and who knows when things will open up again.
Don’t wait on anything. Go live. When travel opens and it is safe to go take a moment and breath and see what your breath tells you. You will know in an instant. Until then live in this moment and see where life, your dreams and your actions take you. Maybe your breath will say Camino on that day and maybe it won’t. Who knows just don’t stop doing anything and let life unfold until that day comes.
Beautifully put my friend!
 

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