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What is your perspective on this rather metaphysical question?

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I am pondering a massive life-change... it's been on my mind for several years. The scales are tipping as I grow beyond weary with my work and into the realm of quotidian frustration. I am considering cashing my chips and "commuting my pension" to a registered savings plan inside of 2 years from now... there's a slight difference here between whether I will retire or resign. I have 2 years until my earliest possible retirement date. But I can finish out those 2 years from anywhere int hw world as long as I have good/fast/reliable wifi.

SoI have my eye on a small bucketful of properties in NW Spain. I'm not looking for a new job... just a simplified version of my current one. ON cashing out, I could actually decide to become an adjunct and teach solely online until I'm about 60... and then take that pension...

So that's the background. I am miserable. I loathe the location where I live. LOATHE it. I've been here 21 years and it has not grown on me, nor I on it. It's insular, provincial, growing too quickly into a city while resisting doing so (meaning, people here resent "outsiders" and don't take kindly to "difference" of any sort).

The only thing that gives me comfort is the thought of Spain. I am pretty quick to pick up languages... I do need to see written what I am hearing... but I can function fluently in French and that makes reading in Spanish not too difficult. I think even at my advanced age I could become reasonably functional.

So here's the thing... in your own feelings about camino, do you think that we are attracted to it in a glorified manner (because it is a vacating of our usual lives) or do you think that camino is actually very much like everyday life, just simplified?

I think I love the routine, the simplicity... for how I shall manage my every day. But I also value the depth of the cultures around me in Spain, and the history that makes me feel young instead of weary...

Thoughts?

If you've thought of moving to Spain, have you cautioned yourselves that "camino is not real"? If you have moved t Spain did you ever think "Wha the hell have I done?" and if so, how did you deal with it? And those still dreaming and planning... what do you dream of and worry about?

buen camino mi amigos/as
Faye
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
You will find what all of us find, that you will take your bags with you when you move.

Best to clean out your bags before you go.

Perhaps slightly more helpfully; if your intent in moving is to escape something then you will most likely find that you have taken that something with you.

If, on the other hand, you are content where you are and see an opportunity to grow somewhere else and follow that insight then you are more likely to also be content in the new environment.

Of course, this is a generalisation and your experience may vary from this.

Best of luck 👍
 
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NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
As someone who has packed up my life and moved to new places, several times, I can say that, for me, it’s not necessarily that hard to do. It takes effort, fortitude and money. Some places are delightful, others not so much. The actual village/town/neighbourhood can make the difference.

If you hate where you live, the sooner you find a place to live that you like, the better you are in the longer term. The older we are when we move, the harder it can be to integrate.

The bigger concern may be financial. Make sure whatever decision you make won’t come back to bite you after retirement. Research the immigration rules and issues for expats in Spain. Do the math on costs. I think there have been earlier discussions on this forum on this topic.

Can you do this on a trial basis?

Is there another place in your home country where you would like to live, if Spain isn’t the answer?

Random thoughts...
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Changing jobs
By chance over 4 years and 2 caminos I met 2 people who moved to Spain to teach. English was the first language for both of them, and I think was the subject they taught.
One of them, American, taught in a school in Madrid, the other from Liverpool taught at a school in Pamplona. I think both had jobs organised before moving.
The only issue for teaching if you want to teach in person (not online) is that you would probably have to move to a larger town with a school. In the smaller places the populations seem to be much older, and we seldom saw children. You can live anywhere if you want to teach online.
Smaller places always appeal to me, but can be hard to find all the services you need.

Changing Locations
You have walked many times, are there particular towns that speak to you? That feel as though you would like living there?
I've worked in different places and roles, and have adapted to different locations, countries and roles fairly easily. I think it helps to have an open mind, it wont be the same, but different is just fine and often quite exciting.
From a practical viewpoint I think it is easier if you already speak the language.
Weirdly enough its the little things that can be tricky - like finding a new hairdresser, doctor, dentist - that sort of thing.

Changing Lifestyle- Being an outsider.
I have recently moved away from a large city to a rural fishing village up north. A very different lifestyle for sure, but it is the place I was born, most of my family and friends are here, and I already had the cottage for 20 years. I am definitely considered a local here.
But it has been interesting for me to find out that some of the other residents here that I call my friends, took a long time to feel accepted. Smaller places can be like that. They came here with their husbands who were attracted by the access to fishing. I have made a point of bringing them along to things to help them integrate. It seems to be easier if a 'local' helps you.
Sometimes you have to put yourself out there, join groups, go places, do things. If you have a job at a school, I think that makes things easier as you will instantly have work mates.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Ingles 2018
Not easy because there are some many "personal" factors. My migration from London to Vancouver 17 years was a success but, not comparable to your situation.
You write with real conviction that you loathe where you are now, I would say, you only live once so go for it assuming there will not be significant financial consequences if the relocation does not go as planned?
 

MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
What a dynamic time, opportunity, and future experience ahead for you. I have traveled extensively. I have done what you are contemplating twice - once for a few years in France and another time for a few years in the Middle East. What I learned is that I can be happy anywhere. However, some places demand more effort to enjoy your surroundings.
My recommendation is that if you are not choosing a major city to live in - and don't already have a favorite location - then spend a lot of time choosing where you will live.
We both have a degree of fluency in French. It is funny to me that you are considering living in Spain. My next location where I would like to live is in Italy. Romance languages have a lot of similarities, but there is a reason they are distinct languages and will take time. However, it is evident that you enjoy learning languages and this is not a concern.
Take your time, pick your city, and go. You will have a great experience IF you want to enjoy it. There will be challenges, but each and every one of them is something you can handle.
Lastly, living in Spain is not the Camino and never will be. That is just my opinion, but I would certainly not have that expectation.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
As someone who has packed up my life and moved to new places, several times, I can say that, for me, it’s not necessarily that hard to do. It takes effort, fortitude and money. Some places are delightful, others not so much. The actual village/town/neighbourhood can make the difference.

If you hate where you live, the sooner you find a place to live that you like, the better you are in the longer term. The older we are when we move, the harder it can be to integrate.

The bigger concern may be financial. Make sure whatever decision you make won’t come back to bite you after retirement. Research the immigration rules and issues for expats in Spain. Do the math on costs. I think there have been earlier discussions on this forum on this topic.

Can you do this on a trial basis?

Is there another place in your home country where you would like to live, if Spain isn’t the answer?

Random thoughts...
Oh... if I could only return to my hometown -- which is in BC... but it is out of the question: costs are impossible. And the nature of my work is that it is not transferrable (and I am too expensive as a hire for any given institution -- basically, they can get 2 junior members for the price of one of me, and work those junior members into the ground).
I can go north of where I am now, but that would cost about 3x as much as moving to Spain.... and would present some of the same problems with neighbours hostile to a health situation in a permanent dependent beyond my control -- but more readily accepted in Spain where disability existing *in* community is a given...

I could, perhaps, when my PP is released from the locked offices in Dublin go to rent a little apartment in a favoured region for a year... I won't be back in the office until the fall of 2022 at the earliest.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
By chance over 4 years and 2 caminos I met 2 people who moved to Spain to teach. English was the first language for both of them, and I think was the subject they taught.
One of them, American, taught in a school in Madrid, the other from Liverpool taught at a school in Pamplona. I think both had jobs organised before moving.
The only issue for teaching if you want to teach in person (not online) is that you would probably have to move to a larger town with a school. In the smaller places the populations seem to be much older, and we seldom saw children.
You have walked many times, are there particular towns that speak to you? That feel as though you would like living there?

Oh, I would not have to teach in Spain -- a perk my job is that post retirement we are allowed to work as adjuncts. I have a retired colleague who lives in Berlin and still teaches for us, having picked up stakes after her retirement.
I could pretty easily work it to teach my entire current load online -- I just would not have service, mentoring, or research commitments anymore.
Towns I love: Astorga, Ponferrada, Villafranca de Bierzo, anywhere from Tui to Padrón...
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
@Faye Walker
Have you read @Rebekah Scott 's book, "A furnace full of God?" She moved from the United States to rural Spain (Moratinos, on the Frances) and has some reflections in the book on the process of settling in there. As a writer, she has continued on with her profession,, as well as developing many connections with the Camino.
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Hi @Faye Walker .

I think we have all had those dreams.

Having lived in 5 countries and moved house about 25 times it's not the physical move that is the issue.
It's actually refreshing and exciting.

My only concern is that living in Spain would make it 'every day' rather than something special.

Pat and I have discussed this too. I would love to live in Burgos for example. But how long would it take before I tired of the neighbours, the local laws, the frustration with this or that...........?

I suppose what I'm saying is that the grass is always greener.

We have a small 2nd home in Bangkok. I love Bangkok. In short doses.
Pat is from Bangkok. Within a few weeks she misses Sydney and starts to resent some of the day to day 'dramas' of living in Bangkok.

Don't get me wrong though. In your case........... I would move. 100% :)

Give yourself a year, 2 years whatever.
Maybe set yourself some goals around what you want life in Spain to be for you.

If you are not happy there. Move again!
Life's too short.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2019
So here's the thing... in your own feelings about camino, do you think that we are attracted to it in a glorified manner (because it is a vacating of our usual lives) or do you think that camino is actually very much like everyday life, just simplified?
There are as many answers to this question as there are people. It depends on what your daily life entails, and whether you like it or loathe it, and how you walk the camino.

@Dougnut has a point that's actually pertinent to your question. Glorifying the camino based on how it feels to step out of daily life is a trap: if someone moves there based on that experience, the landing will be hard indeed, because once they move it becomes daily life. And wherever they go, their mind and heart go too.
 

William Garza

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
Would the move bring about a...The.. quieting of your soul.
Its not yours to be unhappy..to burden your mind,body and spirit.to be sure we all have our day to day stuff to carry...but...

But in the final cut? Seek your happiness
...however you find it..I hope it fills your heart mind and spirit with a fierce and abiding joy!

Imagine the contentment of a quiet satisfied person.
 

woody66

This is my boy !
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Hi Faye!
It's obvious to me from your post how sad you are and i think you defo need to make a move.
Wherever you plan to go you want it to be a place as William says to allow the quieting of your soul only you can find this.
My opinion is i hope not to simplistic a response and it mirrors yours, but here it is.
Once you are financially secure ( lack of funds is a worry you don't need )be it by retiring or resigning your good to go.
As you said in your previous post pick a spot you fancy and rent!
That's what we did place seemed great but wasn't, so moved again and found a place where we fitted!
Time renting in a new place allows you to find the good, the bad and the crazies!!
Woody
 

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
Faye - how honest and open a post. Ah, burn out - good for you for being honest with yourself (and us).

Spain? Permanently?

I wintered in Spain last year, was there for quite a few months, and what I found is that it palls ... in the end it was only that it was much warmer than the UK that kept me over there. I found that the Brits I met out there were not in any way my tribe - they were all perfectly pleasant and kind but institutionally right wing. Mind you, I don't speak Spanish so did not mingle with the locals.

It may be different were you to move somewhere on the Camino, just remember that the pilgrims are gone next day so very fleeting relationships.

Then there is the being single abroad, you are nearly always alone. When you go to an art gallery or museum or stunning building, open to the public you do so as a ghost ... you walk along in silence as couples and families pass by, chatting and laughing, but you are silent and alone and there is no one to turn to to share what you are experiencing or looking at. You stop going to restaurants and always carry a book with you to a cafe so that you appear self-contained - it can be difficult.

Your main problem seems to be that you hate where you live, that the place and the people give you no joy? Then why not move?

So - to me it seems that you have the end of working life burnout, which is normal really .. your problems in order are 1. burnout. 2. where you live. 3. your job.
1 gets sorted by sorting 2 and 3 and to me 2 is the most important and easiest to sort quickly - so move somewhere nicer - and downsize at the same time.
 
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
If it was me, I would go to Astorga and rent a place for a year, and take my time settling in and getting a good feel for what works and what doesn't. Astorga is an ideal place for this, there's a lively expat community in the surrounding area, it's a camino town with an Amigos group that's beyond compare, the locals are friendly, cultural attractions abundant, the climate relatively mild, and the scenery knockout. If you are still enchanted after a year, start looking at places for sale.
 

Don Camillo

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 04-16
Norte/Primitivo 09-16
VdlP/ Sanabres 02/3-17
Levante 09/17,
Ruta de la Lana 09/18
Similar thoughts a couple of years ago but reality bites. It was new's a couple of weeks ago that Spain would require a provable income of £24 K (per adult) a year in order to settle in the country. Your finance's are your business alone but for a retiring Brit this means that the the state pension received at 67 yrs (even if you receive the max) will not cut it so a private pension will be needed. Commuting a pension needs to be a fully considered and informed decision. On another level I recall meeting a solitary and elderly ex-pat who was desperate to talk to a Brit. He had retired to an inland village and now realised that he actually was in a minority of one in a village that did not actually care. He spoke Spanish but it was evident that he was not accepted even after a decade plus. He explained that moving back to blighty was not without issues - Brexit had brought on the pain. That said I had colleagues that retired to the Spanish Costas and, last I heard , they were/are happy as Larry. You pay's your money and makes your choice. Good luck in whatever your choice might be. Don
 

JamesVT

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019
I am pondering a massive life-change... it's been on my mind for several years. The scales are tipping as I grow beyond weary with my work and into the realm of quotidian frustration. I am considering cashing my chips and "commuting my pension" to a registered savings plan inside of 2 years from now... there's a slight difference here between whether I will retire or resign. I have 2 years until my earliest possible retirement date. But I can finish out those 2 years from anywhere int hw world as long as I have good/fast/reliable wifi.

SoI have my eye on a small bucketful of properties in NW Spain. I'm not looking for a new job... just a simplified version of my current one. ON cashing out, I could actually decide to become an adjunct and teach solely online until I'm about 60... and then take that pension...

So that's the background. I am miserable. I loathe the location where I live. LOATHE it. I've been here 21 years and it has not grown on me, nor I on it. It's insular, provincial, growing too quickly into a city while resisting doing so (meaning, people here resent "outsiders" and don't take kindly to "difference" of any sort).

The only thing that gives me comfort is the thought of Spain. I am pretty quick to pick up languages... I do need to see written what I am hearing... but I can function fluently in French and that makes reading in Spanish not too difficult. I think even at my advanced age I could become reasonably functional.

So here's the thing... in your own feelings about camino, do you think that we are attracted to it in a glorified manner (because it is a vacating of our usual lives) or do you think that camino is actually very much like everyday life, just simplified?

I think I love the routine, the simplicity... for how I shall manage my every day. But I also value the depth of the cultures around me in Spain, and the history that makes me feel young instead of weary...

Thoughts?

If you've thought of moving to Spain, have you cautioned yourselves that "camino is not real"? If you have moved t Spain did you ever think "Wha the hell have I done?" and if so, how did you deal with it? And those still dreaming and planning... what do you dream of and worry about?

buen camino mi amigos/as
Faye
You had me at “I loath the location where I live.” My wife and I have both had the experience of needing to pack up and leave to save our souls and sanity. I fled Washington, D.C. (a city I loathed) many years ago to escape the daily chaos and violence of anti war protests and right wing reaction. I went to India and lived quietly for years, hiking, traveling, and spending time in monasteries. My life changed, slowed down, and I eventually returned to the U.S. with the sense that I could live my life how and wherever I wanted if I mindfully listened to my own self about what I really needed. After a few years I met my wife, and we lived together happily except for the fact that she “loathed” the town we were living in for it drabness, self-preoccupation, and obsession with money and status. We gave up good job and good incomes and moved to a life in the country, living in an old farmhouse on a dirt road where we garden and walk in woods and fields every day with our dogs. It is a life we imagined and dreamed of before we moved and changed our lives. This place and our day here evokes some of what the Camino offers: quiet, simplicity, beauty, and spaciousness. My thought for you is that the places where we are planted sometimes are the wrong place for us. A new city, town, or country can invigorate and offer refreshing new perspectives and hope. If you can figure out how to support yourself, at least minimally, I say go to Spain. Restart your life. Leave a city you loathe and find the new place where each day offers a sense of adventure, purpose, and beauty. Your new life will not be perfect, of course, but you will have unchained yourself and gained much in self respect.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I had a look at the OP's earlier messages to get a better idea of the situation. As I understand it, she has an EU passport so Brexit issues are irrelevant.

My last employer provided a retirement seminar. It was geared to expats. One decision of many that they have to make is whether to stay put in their current country of residence, move "back home" or move to somewhere sunnier and perhaps with cheaper living costs. One piece of advice that I found very useful: We don't have to make such plans that have to last forever. We can, and should, review them at any time and change them when deemed appropriate. After a year, after five years, whenever.

This comment by @Don Camillo resonated with me: On another level I recall meeting a solitary and elderly ex-pat who was desperate to talk to a Brit. He had retired to an inland village and now realised that he actually was in a minority of one in a village that did not actually care. He spoke Spanish but it was evident that he was not accepted even after a decade plus. He explained that moving back to [England] was not without issues. I have no direct personal knowledge of such situations but I've heard about similar evidence and situations and it's not only anecdotal. It's good if you can keep your options open to "return" when you become very old and/or become more dependent on help of one sort or another.

Best of luck!
 
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Martin 888

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019, Camino Frances 2020, Camino del Norte 2021
This is a subject that many of us dream about but most never actually pursue, siding with the ‘devil they know’. I have moved many times including a big move of continents and we have lived for years now in a country where neither of us were born. The small city we spend most of the year in at the moment I cannot stand.....great house, wrong town....so I thoroughly empathize with your predicament.
The caution I would offer is this......make sure that your vision for your new place is as compelling as it would be if you loved the town where you live today. Would you do this if you were happy where you are now?....if so, then go for it! If it is not as compelling, it then begs the question whether this is an ‘escape’ you are mounting here and northern Spain, because of your obvious love of all things Camino, is the best place you can think of to ‘run to’. If it is the latter, then I would strongly suggest that you ‘test market’ your vision by picking a spot, renting a place for a while and see how you get on but make sure in the early going that you have a ‘return ticket’ if things don’t work out.
BTW.....is your name really ‘Walker’ or is that Camino thing ?
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Firstly, I wouldn’t rush into it, that’s for sure. Secondly, I’d be talking to a financial and, other counsellor. It’s not likely that anyone on this forum can advise you on such weighty and highly personal issues. Certainly not by exchanging a few messages like this.
So, really... if everyone goes back to the original question... it is not “what should I do?“ ... it is, “do you think we, collectively on our Camino forum with our longing to return, our love for Spain.... see Spain in all its facets, or only through longing for a simplicity that is not there outside of Camino?”

I don’t need to worry about citizenship; I have an EU passport. I am not a Brit. I do have some complicated things at home that will either get sorted and make a move possible, or they won’t and I will stay where I am to hold those things together. Those things are other people’s lives, so no lectures on that needed either.

Work/income I can solve; ... but there’s no way to afford life where I am on an early exit. In Spain, I would still live comfortably.

But all that is really only the background to WHY I am asking the question. I might have asked for a bazillion reasons, and I did not want forum members to think my question came from a place of judgement about “daydreams” — and now I am really short forming what I think the hazard of the question might be in someone else’s perspective.

I will buy Rebekah‘s book.... I’d not realize it was about making the leap, and had thought it was more about a literal leap of faith.

Am totally interested in hearing from others who have been expats anywhere...

I am not afraid of moving. Prior to this life, I had moved almost 30 times in almost 30 years... 2 countries, many cities... Where I live now is the only place I have never felt ”at home”. My job is not transferable, but it is portable. I have options. Spain appeals... other people (precisely 2) are complicated here at home and their needs for care factor in. But I don’t seek advice about any of that. It’s just the background noise.

If I were to travel for a year in Spain on sabbatical I could not answer my own question because I would still be in “vacation” mode. So it really is that metaphysical question I am after.

(And thank you to folks who have privately messaged me. I am thinking about your observations.)

[edited because I was typing on a glass keyboard earlier].
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2021
You probably should reflect on the fact that in the location where you want to go, there is probably someone who could write the exact same post - just changing the particulars but leaving the sentiment intact. There is nothing wrong with change or moving to a new location. After a successful and rewarding career, I retired at 65 and never looked back. I didn't move (although there are a lot of places that I would like to move to). I found out that what I really liked was the ability to "just go" when I felt like it. My "old" place became less boring because I always have some "new" place to look forward to sampling - while at the same time retaining my anchor spot. Do whatever is best for you but perhaps you don't need an upheaval as much as the ability to see more often.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
This is a subject that many of us dream about but most never actually pursue, siding with the ‘devil they know’. I have moved many times including a big move of continents and we have lived for years now in a country where neither of us were born. The small city we spend most of the year in at the moment I cannot stand.....great house, wrong town....so I thoroughly empathize with your predicament.
The caution I would offer is this......make sure that your vision for your new place is as compelling as it would be if you loved the town where you live today. Would you do this if you were happy where you are now?....if so, then go for it! If it is not as compelling, it then begs the question whether this is an ‘escape’ you are mounting here and northern Spain, because of your obvious love of all things Camino, is the best place you can think of to ‘run to’. If it is the latter, then I would strongly suggest that you ‘test market’ your vision by picking a spot, renting a place for a while and see how you get on but make sure in the early going that you have a ‘return ticket’ if things don’t work out.
BTW.....is your name really ‘Walker’ or is that Camino thing ?
hey Martin, thanks for that response... it gets to some of the matter... which is about perception... I have a geographic location closer to home that I could “run to” but Canada being what it is, the cost is prohibitive until much later.
I have a very long name, and Faye is part of it, but Walker does indeed refer only to my love of the activity.
Cheers,
fw
 
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Martin 888

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019, Camino Frances 2020, Camino del Norte 2021
hey Martin, thanks for that response... it gets to some of the matter... which is about perception... I have a geographic location closer to home that I could “run to” but Canada being what it is, the cost is prohibitive until much later.
I have a very long name, and Faye is part of it, but Walke does indeed refer only to my love of the activity.
Cheers,
fw
Ha ha.....I thought it was too much of a coincidence! Canada is my adopted home country too. If you do go for it, it is such an inspirational idea, write a blog or something so all those who dream and don’t act can follow your adventure ! Oh and I would pick Villafranca del Bierzo in a heartbeat !
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
If it was me, I would go to Astorga and rent a place for a year, and take my time settling in and getting a good feel for what works and what doesn't. Astorga is an ideal place for this, there's a lively expat community in the surrounding area, it's a camino town with an Amigos group that's beyond compare, the locals are friendly, cultural attractions abundant, the climate relatively mild, and the scenery knockout. If you are still enchanted after a year, start looking at places for sale.
Thanks, Rebekah... That is seeming like what I will do. perhaps from January of 2022... flats there are very inexpensive from a Canadian dollar perspectiv. Where I live, people charge $1500 a moth for 1 bedroom in a basement. More if there is parking...

There is so much I love about Astorga, but a moment in time crystallized it for me: watching a little guy, maybe 3 years old strolling the main plaza one night, looking every bit the tiny Conde... and when he reached the end of the square, and older man picked him up, turned him around and sent him back to stroll his way back to wherever his parents were sitting. It was clear that his village was a family.... that nobody would deny that child his adventure or leave him to become lost...

And I want to live in a world like that even though I have no skin in the game at my age... neither mother to a small child nor a grandmother (yet).

In Your contacts, do you know anyone familiar with the medical system there? I take a drug by injection each month... wildly expensive here, far less so in the EU.... and it requires a biologics nurse to do the injection, and an immunologist to oversee my patient history. As long as I could take a train to Leon if that is where I would have to go, it would be OK. So if anyone knows about such things... I’ve not been able to figure that part out yet. The drug, if it helps, is omalizumab. I think Europeans are familiar with these things.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
As much as your pain is in the near-term, I think it would be helpful if you could look further downstream. I know that's hard and sometimes impossible. You'll have a window, from about 60 to about 75, when you have both your money and your health. What happens after that? What will the medical insurance situation be? Who are the friends -- and where are the community connections -- that will sustain you when you are temporarily sick, or permanently disabled? Who will drive you to medical appointments and treatment sessions? Friends and connections need to be formed before we have to call upon them.

And the walking the Camino is real life, by the way.

Blessings on your Journey.
 

Felice

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
Not quite sure what it is that you are looking for, but here are my thoughts on being an expat.

In 1982, my husband and I left the UK for a 4 year period in the Sultanate of Oman. We loved every moment of it. We loved the countryside, the people, the simple life style, the other expats who were so accepting. And although we were sad to leave, we felt that going back would be a mistake as the place was obviously developing and moving on.
In 1989, we were back again, this time with 2 children. Yes, the country had changed, but it felt so good to be back, it felt like going home again. This time we stayed 3 years.
In 2002, we were back again. Again, it was like coming home. Things were still simple in places if you chose where to go.
Gradually, things changed. Well loved places were flattened and replaced by malls where global chains were dominant. The people became less friendly and welcoming, more resentful of the presence of 'unbelievers' The small irritations became more prominent - why would the women never look anyone in the eye and the men refuse to shake my hand and defer to my husband.
So by the time it was time for my husband to retire, I was more than ready to return to the UK.

I suppose what I'm saying is that places do not stay still and what draws you to one in the first place may disappear over time. I know that the Camino towns and villages have undergone massive changes over recent times and will continue to evolve; whether that is for better or worse will depend on your view point.

Choose your city carefully; big enough for people to be open to other ways of doing things but small enough not to get totally lost. Friends of ours who spent a life time as expats - the wife is originally from S America - moved to a small town in the English midlands a couple of years ago. They are moving somewhere bigger as soon as they can because the wife found it far too difficult to be accepted. She was used to life in London or big cities and small town provincial life did not suite her at all.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
So, really... if everyone goes back to the original question... it is not “what should I do?“ ... it is, “do you think we, collectively on our Camino forum with our longing to return, our love for Spain.... see Spain in all its facets, or only through longing for a simplicity that is not there outside of Camino?”

I don’t need to worry about citizenship; I have an EU passport. I am not a Brit. I do have some complicated things at home that will either get sorted and make a move possible, or they won’t and I will stay where I am to hold those things together. Those things are other people’s lives, so no lectures on that needed either.

Work/income I can solve; ... but there’s no way to afford life where I am on an early exit. In Spain, I would still live comfortably.

But all that is really only the background to WHY I am asking the question. I might have asked for a bazillion reasons, and I did not want forum members to think my question came from a place of judgement about “daydreams” — and now I am really short forming what ai think the hazard of the question might be in someone else’s perspective.

I will buy Rebekah‘s book.... I’d not realize it was about making the leap, and had thought it was more about a literal leap of faith.

Am totally interested in hearing from others who have been expats anywhere...

I am not afraid of moving. Prior to this life, I had moved almost 30 times in almost 30 years... 2 countries, many cities... Where I live now is the only place I have never felt ”at home”. My job is not transferable, but it is portable. I have options. Spain appeals... other people (precisely 2) are complicated here at home and their needs forgive in. But ai don’t seek advice about any of that. It’s just the background noise.

If I were to travel for a year in Spain on sabbatical I could not answer my own question because I would still be in “vacation” mode. So it really is that metaphysical question I am after.

(And thank you to folks who have privately messaged me. I am thinking about your observations.)

I firmly believe that through ‘Camino eyes’ ‘we’ see Spain with a simplicity that is categorically not there.

I have lived as an ex-pat in the US, Poland and Spain (Barcelona). I now live in a part of the UK noted for its tourist economy, it is rural, picturesque and appears ‘simple’ - compared to the cities, certainly.

There are at least three parallel populations which rarely meet. The multi-generational locals; the ‘incomers’ who the locals generally avoid and the ‘tourists’ who the first two groups seem to regard as prey.

In my experience it’s easiest to ‘fit in’ in more cosmopolitan areas. As a gross generalisation, and in my opinion, rural Spain would be very difficult indeed.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Thanks, Rebekah... That is seeming like what I will do. perhaps from January of 2022... flats there are very inexpensive from a Canadian dollar perspectiv. Where I live, people charge $1500 a moth for 1 bedroom in a basement. More if there is parking...

There is so much I love about Astorga, but a moment in time crystallized it for me: watching a little guy, maybe 3 years old strolling the main plaza one night, looking every bit the tiny Conde... and when he reached the end of the square, and older man picked him up, turned him around and sent him back to stroll his way back to wherever his parents were sitting. It was clear that his village was a family.... that nobody would deny that child his adventure or leave him to become lost...

And I want to live in a world like that even though I have no skin in the game at my age... neither mother to a small child nor a grandmother (yet).

In Your contacts, do you know anyone familiar with the medical system there? I take a drug by injection each month... wildly expensive here, far less so in the EU.... and it requires a biologics nurse to do the injection, and an immunologist to oversee my patient history. As long as I could take a train to Leon if that is where I would have to go, it would be OK. So if anyone knows about such things... I’ve not been able to figure that part out yet. The drug, if it helps, is omalizumab. I think Europeans are familiar with these things.

I agree with Reb about checking out an area for a time although I would pick Ponferrada for many of the same reasons she mentioned as well as the fact that it has more to often being a larger city but not too large. In 2020 I lived for 2 months in Ponferrada and 8 months in Villares de Orbigo 16 km before Astorga so I know the place well.

Regarding the medical system and medicine, pm me and I'll fill you in on my experience. Not all medications reimbursed in your home country will necessarily be covered in Spain.
 
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Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Thanks, Rebekah... That is seeming like what I will do. perhaps from January of 2022... flats there are very inexpensive from a Canadian dollar perspectiv. Where I live, people charge $1500 a moth for 1 bedroom in a basement. More if there is parking...

There is so much I love about Astorga, but a moment in time crystallized it for me: watching a little guy, maybe 3 years old strolling the main plaza one night, looking every bit the tiny Conde... and when he reached the end of the square, and older man picked him up, turned him around and sent him back to stroll his way back to wherever his parents were sitting. It was clear that his village was a family.... that nobody would deny that child his adventure or leave him to become lost...

And I want to live in a world like that even though I have no skin in the game at my age... neither mother to a small child nor a grandmother (yet).

In Your contacts, do you know anyone familiar with the medical system there? I take a drug by injection each month... wildly expensive here, far less so in the EU.... and it requires a biologics nurse to do the injection, and an immunologist to oversee my patient history. As long as I could take a train to Leon if that is where I would have to go, it would be OK. So if anyone knows about such things... I’ve not been able to figure that part out yet. The drug, if it helps, is omalizumab. I think Europeans are familiar with these things.


See page 212. As in the UK (a cousin has very hard-to-control asthma) the drug is administered in a hospital setting. Leon is, as you know, a big place it’s almost certain suitable specialists would be found at a hospital there. As for the economics, I’ve no idea thankfully - God bless the NHS.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra

See page 212. As in the UK (a cousin has very hard-to-control asthma) the drug is administered in a hospital setting. Leon is, as you know, a big place it’s almost certain suitable specialists would be found at a hospital there. As for the economics, I’ve no idea thankfully - God bless the NHS.
Perfect! Thank you!! I knew there’d be an efficient finder for me!!
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
There are as many answers to this question as there are people. It depends on what your daily life entails, and whether you like it or loathe it, and how you walk the camino.

@Dougnut has a point that's actually pertinent to your question. Glorifying the camino based on how it feels to step out of daily life is a trap: if someone moves there based on that experience, the landing will be hard indeed, because once they move it becomes daily life. And wherever they go, their mind and heart go too.
Yes, this is the suspicion I had at the back of my brain, but I wanted to know if others shared it. I have enough long-term living in distant locations to know that daily life is daily life anywhere... but is daily life “better” some places than others? (Maybe I am still persuaded by some of Max Weber’s arguments about what shapes a country’s daily life... and those of Pierre Bourdieu as well... and so... is daily life in Spain something I can live with? I think Rebekah has a practical answer for that... and if I can figure out my shots... I can follow that wisdom to find out for myself about the quotidian on the ground... and improve my Spanish. Never a bad thing.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Firstly, I wouldn’t rush into it, that’s for sure. Secondly, I’d be talking to a financial and, other counsellor. It’s not likely that anyone on this forum can advise you on such weighty and highly personal issues. Certainly not by exchanging a few messages like this.
Not asking for that advice. See my other posts. Readers assumed I was seeking advice about moving, when I am seeking insight about perceptions we might have when we make decisions. This is a community board in which we can test each other’s perceptions to gain more insight because we do share some experiences, and outsider orientations (mostly) to life in Spain...
The philosopher in me is persuaded by historical cultural arguments/studies about social strucutres; the social scientist in me is persuaded by field worK. @Rebekah Scott has given an answer to me that I think could satisfy both tendencies.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I am pondering a massive life-change... it's been on my mind for several years. The scales are tipping as I grow beyond weary with my work and into the realm of quotidian frustration. I am considering cashing my chips and "commuting my pension" to a registered savings plan inside of 2 years from now... there's a slight difference here between whether I will retire or resign. I have 2 years until my earliest possible retirement date. But I can finish out those 2 years from anywhere int hw world as long as I have good/fast/reliable wifi.

SoI have my eye on a small bucketful of properties in NW Spain. I'm not looking for a new job... just a simplified version of my current one. ON cashing out, I could actually decide to become an adjunct and teach solely online until I'm about 60... and then take that pension...

So that's the background. I am miserable. I loathe the location where I live. LOATHE it. I've been here 21 years and it has not grown on me, nor I on it. It's insular, provincial, growing too quickly into a city while resisting doing so (meaning, people here resent "outsiders" and don't take kindly to "difference" of any sort).

The only thing that gives me comfort is the thought of Spain. I am pretty quick to pick up languages... I do need to see written what I am hearing... but I can function fluently in French and that makes reading in Spanish not too difficult. I think even at my advanced age I could become reasonably functional.

So here's the thing... in your own feelings about camino, do you think that we are attracted to it in a glorified manner (because it is a vacating of our usual lives) or do you think that camino is actually very much like everyday life, just simplified?

I think I love the routine, the simplicity... for how I shall manage my every day. But I also value the depth of the cultures around me in Spain, and the history that makes me feel young instead of weary...

Thoughts?

If you've thought of moving to Spain, have you cautioned yourselves that "camino is not real"? If you have moved t Spain did you ever think "Wha the hell have I done?" and if so, how did you deal with it? And those still dreaming and planning... what do you dream of and worry about?

buen camino mi amigos/as
Faye
I know you say you do not want moving advice but I think as someone who as I say below was in a similar place and time they are intertwined completely. The spiritual, the romantic and the practical.
Just my opinion:
You have alot to consider. I was in a very similar situation that you are in a decade ago. I was in an intolerable work situation also. I chose to quit way before I had planned. In terms of economics it was the worst decision I ever made. I was in my prime earning years and my pension was cut by about 70% and my potential Social Security earnings were cut by a little more than a third if I would have worked the next 7 years. I also had to dip into my savings as my new profession teaching English was barely enough for rent after I relocated. I stayed home for a year and then walked the Camino. Yes it was a life altering experiences. I have now walked 5 Caminos and closing in on 5000K walked. I will walk the VDLP hopefully in October, hopefully.
I believe that your Camino experience and the idea of living in Spain are not that connected except in two areas, geography and to an extent the connection that Spanish people have spiritually to the Camino. It may or may not be a romantic notion that living in Spain is part of the Camino experience or the Camino is like living in Spain and EVEN more importantly like life. The pilgrim experience is one part of your life. If you live in Spain it may become a larger slice because you can step out your door and walk. There are lessons to be learned on the Camino that you can take into your daily life, like less is more, you should seek what you need and not what you want, kindness, generosity and love. But when you think about it these things it reminds me of the book a while ago called (to paraphrase) The Things I Learned In Kindergarten. These wonderful ways to live have been taught to us by our parents and others who wanted us to live a good and giving life. Life has just sucked much of this out of many of us and the Camino has helped to restore them.
I think you should separate the two thoughts. The Camino and it's effect on you and your "Camino" relationship to Spain and the reasons why you do want to live in Spain regardless of the effect the Camino has had on you. If there was no Camino would you still want to live here?
I myself moved to Mexico in 2013. I picked Mexico over other countries mainly for 2 reasons, its proximity to my children in Texas and California and the fact that I have many relatives in Mexico and feel very comfortable here. I can tell you I would have moved in 2015 except that I went to a restaurant for dinner one day and ended up talking to this wonderful woman at the next table and we ended up married. haha
My advice to you would be to examine is Spain really where I want to be? The answer is you will not know that until you live there a while. How much income can I generate for the rest of my life from pensions, investments etc. How can I enter the Spanish Health Care system. If I can enter it like a Spaniard can do I need supplemental insurance. What are my transportation needs and if I need a car what are the expenses incurred that may be different from my country. This will apply to everything. How much patience do I have to navigate the Spanish (you will have this everywhere) bureaucracy. Believe me growing up with one type of bureaucracy and then having to face a whole new one would test the patience of a saint.
Knowledge is power.
I would also leave you with three more suggestions.
Check out different areas of Spain and live there for at least a few weeks. You can work remotely and if you rent from AirBnB's you will have internet access.
Do not buy anything for at least one year. Please, please, please. I worked in real estate for a couple of years in Mexico and I can tell you that 95% of people who bought had at least 6-12 months experience living in the area they bought.
So do not buy anything for at least 1 year. I would also do a great deal of research finding a trusted lawyer, familiarizing yourself with real estate laws, valuations etc. Also I believe, something to check out, that Spaniards, especially in rural areas do not do home inspections. If someone can verify this it would be appreciated. I can tell you that once you are in an older home (or even an not so old one) a good cleaning, a fresh coat of paint and some minor repairs can do a wonderful job of masking nightmares that lurk beneath the surface.
Finally I would tell you to check out other countries. You are familiar with France, maybe that may be a place to go. I can tell you after spending a few months on Camino and life in Portugal I personally would have moved to Portugal now for at least a year to check things out. My kids are now both in New York and if I lived in Portugal it would be a wash in terms of time and money to travel to see them from Mexico or Portugal. Many more people speak English there and I believe that overall the people in Portugal are about the kindest and most generous and friendly people I have met anywhere. So check out some places other than if you want and remember your situation and mindset today may quite possibly be different in a few short years. So do not rush, take your time and romance and the Camino are nice but they are just a part of life. There is a whole lot more of life you have to look at then just the Camino.
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I am pondering a massive life-change... it's been on my mind for several years. The scales are tipping as I grow beyond weary with my work and into the realm of quotidian frustration. I am considering cashing my chips and "commuting my pension" to a registered savings plan inside of 2 years from now... there's a slight difference here between whether I will retire or resign. I have 2 years until my earliest possible retirement date. But I can finish out those 2 years from anywhere int hw world as long as I have good/fast/reliable wifi.

SoI have my eye on a small bucketful of properties in NW Spain. I'm not looking for a new job... just a simplified version of my current one. ON cashing out, I could actually decide to become an adjunct and teach solely online until I'm about 60... and then take that pension...

So that's the background. I am miserable. I loathe the location where I live. LOATHE it. I've been here 21 years and it has not grown on me, nor I on it. It's insular, provincial, growing too quickly into a city while resisting doing so (meaning, people here resent "outsiders" and don't take kindly to "difference" of any sort).

The only thing that gives me comfort is the thought of Spain. I am pretty quick to pick up languages... I do need to see written what I am hearing... but I can function fluently in French and that makes reading in Spanish not too difficult. I think even at my advanced age I could become reasonably functional.

So here's the thing... in your own feelings about camino, do you think that we are attracted to it in a glorified manner (because it is a vacating of our usual lives) or do you think that camino is actually very much like everyday life, just simplified?

I think I love the routine, the simplicity... for how I shall manage my every day. But I also value the depth of the cultures around me in Spain, and the history that makes me feel young instead of weary...

Thoughts?

If you've thought of moving to Spain, have you cautioned yourselves that "camino is not real"? If you have moved t Spain did you ever think "Wha the hell have I done?" and if so, how did you deal with it? And those still dreaming and planning... what do you dream of and worry about?

buen camino mi amigos/as
Faye

Since you can work from anywhere, I would consider testing the waters by renting a place in Spain and seeing how that worked out.

Living in Spain, imo, will be very different than walking a Camino through Spain. I believe I could live anywhere. That said, I do love spending time with my grandchildren, children, friends and neighbors. It would be more difficult to nurture those important relationships from Spain.

Your comments do not state any type of personal relationships that might keep you in your current location. You also do not mention the type of person you are ie: gregarious to reticent. The answer to those questions could have an impact on how well you might adjust to a new culture/environment.

Big decision, I would refer back to my first paragraph and good luck.
 

MinaKamina

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Jacobspad 2017
I'm reminded of two friends who dreamed of The Big Life Change.

The one who was very specific and meticulous in his planning - up to the house where he planned to live after retirement - never made it to the dreamland of Galicia. I guess all that planning was a way to postpone the jump into the unknown. He loved the idea, but not the action.

The other one took a job opportunity that came along. It happend to be in Scotland. Rented out her home, rented a place to stay and started the job. After a year or so, sold her home and bought a place near the ocean.

The big difference I think, was the job. A job in real life, not in isolation on the internet, pulls you into action, brings you in contact with people, creates a social structure. The friend who moved to Scotland had a bumpy ride btw, some call it a learning process, but she found her own way of doing it step by step.

I knew them at different times, yet when I project them in my mind next to one another HE appeared to be determined and set for success, and SHE was chaotic and emotional, but she was the one who made it.
 
Military adage: The best assignment you'll ever have is the next. Once there you'll realize it was the one you just left!”
I love most everything about the Camino and have bookended each one by spending time prior to starting out and finishing.
When I walked the CP, l stayed in the Algarve. It was concrete and steel, exPat Brits everywhere and not what I thought it might be. As I walked to SDC from Porto, the people changed, the scenery changed and my attitude became relaxed and refreshed. The same can be said of my stops in SDC, Finisterre and Muxia. Finisterre felt like I was caught in a blender of local businesses, tourists and pilgrims. Little to draw me to remain. Muxia, on the other hand has exactly the environment i’d consider nearly perfect: beautiful beach, nice shops, restaurants and equally refreshing and semi-secluded countryside where a cottage provides a cozy home.
Enjoy your journey.
Arn
 

Barbara

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
I don't think i can advise you on such a personal matter. All I can suggest is asking yourself "who or what are my hostages to fortune" Could be people, could be more material things. Could simply be that you have pets that would be hard to move. Then take unbiased professional financial advice. Free advice, even mine, is worth what you pay for it. Nobody has a working crystal ball, but at least some consideration of the risk /benefit ratio of rental versus sale and purchase is called for. And yes, i moved from UK to France and for me it worked. I'm considering splitting my time between there and somewhere warmer but much daunted by the above hostages. Because no way could I part with the cats, dogs, and donkeys. Everything else, yes. It's all just things . Except perhaps husband 😁.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Hi Faye, I agree with @David, in that you have been very up front in revealing yourself to those of us who have read your honest post.
I have read many of the responses and all of them impart good wisdom in one way or another. Some nembers have given you a window into their own personal experiences, as well. You have lots of great information to ponder...good luck in your quest!
 
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Yes, I got a lot of advice -- some of which is helpful, some of which cannot be because of things I cannot reveal on a public board.
I don't really need *advice* on moving or staying...
I am much more interested in the reflections on whether Camino is as we perceive it to be, or if the is just a projection (maybe which sustains us in whatever circumstance outside). Many of us here are "repeat offenders" (LOL) who have taken multiple pilgrimages...
I received so much more than just the cultural education I went to seek with known purpose on my first go.
Hard realities where I live are that the culture here is not conducive to maintaining the deeper camino gifts.
I think this might be true for many who are on the "Care givers" list. My dependent is mobile, but not an object... the cats I have already found out are eligible to enter Spain with just their veterinary health checks.
Other responsibilities... open question. My mother is amenable to going with me as I am her primary support, but she is not an EU citizen. I am via my father. Dad is long dead and the post-nuptial allowance expired shortly after he died when none of us was considering this....
Spouse would have to tough it out solo about 3/4 of the year until retirement. We've done a commuter marriage before. It's not the worst thing ever.
And I totally appreciate the idea of using my next sabbatical to test the perceptual issues. And the information on omalizumab in the EU.
I'm just not looking for career advice, a financial planner, or a spiritual guide. I already know my own company.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I do think that our experience of Spain is coloured by the fact that we are walking through it. We are brushing up against Spanish life but not really getting the full flavour. The slower we walk, perhaps the more we taste, given that we take more days to get done so have more brushing up against. It would be easy to assume that it is what we perceive it to be, but community politics, gossip, and acceptance are deep waters and not necessarily easy to tread - which is a global phenomenon not specific to anywhere.

That said, Spain is beautiful and there are worse places to be.

I spent some time in an old neighbourhood in a French city a few years ago. I’m introverted enough that being solitary was fine. But it did take the neighbours about a month before they clued in that I was not a typical tourist and started talking to me.
 

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
Faye - your “do you think we, collectively on our Camino forum with our longing to return, our love for Spain.... see Spain in all its facets, or only through longing for a simplicity that is not there outside of Camino?”

Well, to me the answer is a resounding NO. We do not 'see' Spain, or even normative Spaniards when on Camino as the Camino is an experience outside normal time and place. We pass through it, do not live it as a resident does. The Camino could be anywhere, in any country - it just happens to be there in Spain.
(I have long wished for the remains of St James to be moved to St Jean so that my Caminos could be in France! ;)).

Move to any town in Spain off Camino and you might as well be in your home town, same humans, same problems, just probably the weather would be more pleasant.
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016, Norte 2017, Primitivo 2017, Norte 2019, Primitivo 2019.
Hello there! Your post brought up some emotions for me that spoke to my own need to make a change. First, I feel envy, envy that you can move and I can’t! But wait, guess what? You can move and I can move, too! I have talked about moving to Spain or Portugal for years now, but sometimes it just feels like a fantasy, especially now that the whole world is on hold. My plan was/is to visit different cities and start spending 3 months at a time in different areas, deciding where I would want to stay longer, or if I would want to stay longer. But, for now we’re stuck at home. Ugh. But it won't last forever.

I am closer to retirement age than you are. In a couple of years I will be able to take Social Security and with that, and a little more I have saved, I will be able to live a decent, but frugal, life in Spain. I don't have an EU passport, but I think I can retire there, or Portugal, pretty easily.

Here are my random thoughts on moving to Spain/Portugal:

There are the philosophical questions: am I glorifying the Camino and attaching those feelings to a potential life in Spain? do I really want to go to Spain or do I just mistakenly believe if I move to Spain my life will be one big Camino? To clarify my thoughts, I’m breaking it down into two issues: 1) my desire to have a life like the one I have on the Camino and 2) my desire to move to Spain for other reasons?

So the first issue: will my life in Spain be like one big Camino? Of course not. But it will be more like the Camino than the life I have here! In Spain, I can walk every day, I can have coffee in a café, and I can eat dinner in a festive atmosphere on the Plaza Mayor! I can take a train to another city! I can simplify my life, get rid of many of my possessions, and have an adventure!

The second issue, that of moving to Spain for other reasons, not related to the Camino: Faye, I hear you saying that you think can create a better life for yourself in Spain, with its depth of culture, long history, and affordability, things you don’t have, and can’t have, in Canada. Those things are separate from the desire to have a full-time Camino life, so you’re being realistic. These are factual, rational reasons to move to Spain!

For me, I would add to the list of things I want but don’t have, and can’t have, for myself as a US-er: to live somewhere that is affordable, that has public transportation, that is safe, that is walkable, that lends itself to never getting in a car again, a place that would allow me to easily travel around Europe. And I wouldn’t mind having a better climate! (From what I can tell, there is no place in Spain that has a worse climate than Ohio!)

Btw, when we were in Ponteverde together, on a cold, rainy evening in November, we stood on the steps above the plaza, watching the children play, and the adults gather easily, I remember wanting to move to that city right there and then. That was my moment.

Of course, you know I have no personal experience with being an expat, but everyone has an opinion so here’s mine: Go for it! And keep me posted so we can get together occasionally, maybe walk the Portuguese again!

One last thing: I read Rebecca Scott’s book and it is excellent. I highly recommend it.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
During our last walk, my wife and I stayed over in Pamplona for several days. Very quickly, we lost our identity as “pilgrims” and were just strangers in a foreign town. Overnight, Pamplona changed from being an adventure to simply being a city where folks were living, working, struggling, etc. just like everywhere else in the world. I loved it, but my wife not so much.

So I’d say “yes,” the Camino area is romanticized by us all. Will you like what you find once that magic is worn away? You won’t know until you actually do it. And as others have advised, the move doesn’t have to be forever...
 
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300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Hello there! Your post brought up some emotions for me that spoke to my own need to make a change. First, I feel envy, envy that you can move and I can’t! But wait, guess what? You can move and I can move, too! I have talked about moving to Spain or Portugal for years now, but sometimes it just feels like a fantasy, especially now that the whole world is on hold. My plan was/is to visit different cities and start spending 3 months at a time in different areas, deciding where I would want to stay longer, or if I would want to stay longer. But, for now we’re stuck at home. Ugh. But it won't last forever.

I am closer to retirement age than you are. In a couple of years I will be able to take Social Security and with that, and a little more I have saved, I will be able to live a decent, but frugal, life in Spain. I don't have an EU passport, but I think I can retire there, or Portugal, pretty easily.

Here are my random thoughts on moving to Spain/Portugal:

There are the philosophical questions: am I glorifying the Camino and attaching those feelings to a potential life in Spain? do I really want to go to Spain or do I just mistakenly believe if I move to Spain my life will be one big Camino? To clarify my thoughts, I’m breaking it down into two issues: 1) my desire to have a life like the one I have on the Camino and 2) my desire to move to Spain for other reasons?

So the first issue: will my life in Spain be like one big Camino? Of course not. But it will be more like the Camino than the life I have here! In Spain, I can walk every day, I can have coffee in a café, and I can eat dinner in a festive atmosphere on the Plaza Mayor! I can take a train to another city! I can simplify my life, get rid of many of my possessions, and have an adventure!

The second issue, that of moving to Spain for other reasons, not related to the Camino: Faye, I hear you saying that you think can create a better life for yourself in Spain, with its depth of culture, long history, and affordability, things you don’t have, and can’t have, in Canada. Those things are separate from the desire to have a full-time Camino life, so you’re being realistic. These are factual, rational reasons to move to Spain!

For me, I would add to the list of things I want but don’t have, and can’t have, for myself as a US-er: to live somewhere that is affordable, that has public transportation, that is safe, that is walkable, that lends itself to never getting in a car again, a place that would allow me to easily travel around Europe. And I wouldn’t mind having a better climate! (From what I can tell, there is no place in Spain that has a worse climate than Ohio!)

Btw, when we were in Ponteverde together, on a cold, rainy evening in November, we stood on the steps above the plaza, watching the children play, and the adults gather easily, I remember wanting to move to that city right there and then. That was my moment.

Of course, you know I have no personal experience with being an expat, but everyone has an opinion so here’s mine: Go for it! And keep me posted so we can get together occasionally, maybe walk the Portuguese again!

One last thing: I read Rebecca Scott’s book and it is excellent. I highly recommend it.
You know I think you are BEES KNEES, right?

I am leaning now to: rent that apartment --wherever - in Astorga or Ponferrada or Pontevedra or Vigo... and see how it goes in 2022 .... See if Beloved can pull himself together enough to join me for a bit and see how the locals respond to that.

Then... depending on my other dependent's health... make decisions from there.

Spouse can join later. He is lucky to have his own EU papers too.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Faye, I don’t know if this is relevant...
First time I walked through Cacabelos, I stayed in an Albergue right on the Camino, in the old part of town. Hung out with other pilgrims right there, had a great time.
Second time I walked with my husband. We needed some supplies, so we left the old town and walked into the “real” Cacabelos. I had 2 reactions: One, I felt uncomfortable in the “real” Cacabelos, somewhat disoriented, and felt better when I crossed back into “Camino Cacabelos.” Two, I realized that I spent most of my time in Spain in the “Camino Bubble” — I had little real contact with everyday Spanish life, even when I was in the midst of it.
For a short time, this realization made me feel I was ready to give up the Camino, that it is a sort of mirage. Fortunately this feeling wore off as we walked on, and the next year we walked another Camino.
But by then I knew in my heart that I could never move to Spain based on my experiences on the Camino. I would have to spend a lot of time there outside the Bubble, to see if I thrived in the “real” Spain. (Not the place/time to delve into the question of what reality really is😉).
Apologies if this is not what you’re looking for. Best of luck!
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
“do you think we, collectively on our Camino forum with our longing to return, our love for Spain.... see Spain in all its facets, or only through longing for a simplicity that is not there outside of Camino?”
I'd agree with David that most of us on the forum do not see Spain in all its facets. At least, even if we "see" it, we don't understand it very well. Further, I don't think the forum members see or understand anything collectively except a common (but variable) interest in the Camino.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016, Norte 2017, Primitivo 2017, Norte 2019, Primitivo 2019.
You know I think you are BEES KNEES, right?

I am leaning now to: rent that apartment --wherever - in Astorga or Ponferrada or Pontevedra or Vigo... and see how it goes in 2022 .... See if Beloved can pull himself together enough to join me for a bit and see how the locals respond to that.

Then... depending on my other dependent's health... make decisions from there.

Spouse can join later. He is lucky to have his own EU papers too.
And I think you are the Bees Knees, too!

Btw, I volunteered as an Hospitalera in Ponferrada a couple of years ago, so I was there for two weeks. It's a lovely city and I got to know an American woman who has lived there for a while who would be a great resource for you if you pick that city.

I'm excited for you! Big hugs!
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I'd agree with David that most of us on the forum do not see Spain in all its facets. At least, even if we "see" it, we don't understand it very well. Further, I don't think the forum members see or understand anything collectively except a common (but variable) interest in the Camino.

Yes, I think that is probably so.
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Faye, I don’t know if this is relevant...
First time I walked through Cacabelos, I stayed in an Albergue right on the Camino, in the old part of town. Hung out with other pilgrims right there, had a great time.
Second time I walked with my husband. We needed some supplies, so we left the old town and walked into the “real” Cacabelos. I had 2 reactions: One, I felt uncomfortable in the “real” Cacabelos, somewhat disoriented, and felt better when I crossed back into “Camino Cacabelos.” Two, I realized that I spent most of my time in Spain in the “Camino Bubble” — I had little real contact with everyday Spanish life, even when I was in the midst of it.
For a short time, this realization made me feel I was ready to give up the Camino, that it is a sort of mirage. Fortunately this feeling wore off as we walked on, and the next year we walked another Camino.
But by then I knew in my heart that I could never move to Spain based on my experiences on the Camino. I would have to spend a lot of time there outside the Bubble, to see if I thrived in the “real” Spain. (Not the place/time to delve into the question of what reality really is😉).
Apologies if this is not what you’re looking for. Best of luck!

It is insightful, and I think I'm OK with being outside the bubble. I have lived in Dublin long term, in Paris long term... spent a month living in Barcelona in an apartment (doing my shopping, my cooking and working with colleagues there) -- as much as I love it, I know it is too busy for me and too expensive.

I'm going to set about in late summer to find a place to rent starting January 2002.

I'd think about going "home" to Dublin .. but I can't afford it! Holy smokes!! Even Cashel, where there is family, is too expensive for me.
 

JamesVT

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019
I am pondering a massive life-change... it's been on my mind for several years. The scales are tipping as I grow beyond weary with my work and into the realm of quotidian frustration. I am considering cashing my chips and "commuting my pension" to a registered savings plan inside of 2 years from now... there's a slight difference here between whether I will retire or resign. I have 2 years until my earliest possible retirement date. But I can finish out those 2 years from anywhere int hw world as long as I have good/fast/reliable wifi.

SoI have my eye on a small bucketful of properties in NW Spain. I'm not looking for a new job... just a simplified version of my current one. ON cashing out, I could actually decide to become an adjunct and teach solely online until I'm about 60... and then take that pension...

So that's the background. I am miserable. I loathe the location where I live. LOATHE it. I've been here 21 years and it has not grown on me, nor I on it. It's insular, provincial, growing too quickly into a city while resisting doing so (meaning, people here resent "outsiders" and don't take kindly to "difference" of any sort).

The only thing that gives me comfort is the thought of Spain. I am pretty quick to pick up languages... I do need to see written what I am hearing... but I can function fluently in French and that makes reading in Spanish not too difficult. I think even at my advanced age I could become reasonably functional.

So here's the thing... in your own feelings about camino, do you think that we are attracted to it in a glorified manner (because it is a vacating of our usual lives) or do you think that camino is actually very much like everyday life, just simplified?

I think I love the routine, the simplicity... for how I shall manage my every day. But I also value the depth of the cultures around me in Spain, and the history that makes me feel young instead of weary...

Thoughts?

If you've thought of moving to Spain, have you cautioned yourselves that "camino is not real"? If you have moved t Spain did you ever think "Wha the hell have I done?" and if so, how did you deal with it? And those still dreaming and planning... what do you dream of and worry about?

buen camino mi amigos/as
Faye
The forum, as always, provided lots of sound, thoughtful advice. Such a generous group of adventurers. I neglected to wish you the very best of luck whatever you choose to do!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
is daily life “better” some places than others? (Maybe I am still persuaded by some of Max Weber’s arguments about what shapes a country’s daily life... and those of Pierre Bourdieu as well... and so... is daily life in Spain something I can live with? I think Rebekah has a practical answer for that... and if I can figure out my shots... I can follow that wisdom to find out for myself about the quotidian on the ground... and improve my Spanish. Never a bad thing.
Am totally interested in hearing from others who have been expats anywhere...
I am from the US, went to University in Canada, lived in New Zealand for over 10 years, and now am living in Myanmar (and have been off and on for about 16 years).

So you ask a very good question, and I'm not at all sure there's only one answer. The way I see it from my own experience is that daily life is rich everywhere — and whether it's better or not is totally subjective, based on all sorts of variables.

I always loved daily life in New Zealand. Daily life here has been more of a struggle to love, for complicated reasons both internal and external. But I've come around to that. So it's been completely possible to move on the continuum from 'bad daily life' to 'good daily life' without the country actually changing.

I think your practical ideas are really conducive to doing your own fieldwork —
And collecting your own data to see where you fall on that continuum from good to bad.
 

Jean Ti

Active Member
I am pondering a massive life-change... it's been on my mind for several years. The scales are tipping as I grow beyond weary with my work and into the realm of quotidian frustration. I am considering cashing my chips and "commuting my pension" to a registered savings plan inside of 2 years from now... there's a slight difference here between whether I will retire or resign. I have 2 years until my earliest possible retirement date. But I can finish out those 2 years from anywhere int hw world as long as I have good/fast/reliable wifi.

SoI have my eye on a small bucketful of properties in NW Spain. I'm not looking for a new job... just a simplified version of my current one. ON cashing out, I could actually decide to become an adjunct and teach solely online until I'm about 60... and then take that pension...

So that's the background. I am miserable. I loathe the location where I live. LOATHE it. I've been here 21 years and it has not grown on me, nor I on it. It's insular, provincial, growing too quickly into a city while resisting doing so (meaning, people here resent "outsiders" and don't take kindly to "difference" of any sort).

The only thing that gives me comfort is the thought of Spain. I am pretty quick to pick up languages... I do need to see written what I am hearing... but I can function fluently in French and that makes reading in Spanish not too difficult. I think even at my advanced age I could become reasonably functional.

So here's the thing... in your own feelings about camino, do you think that we are attracted to it in a glorified manner (because it is a vacating of our usual lives) or do you think that camino is actually very much like everyday life, just simplified?

I think I love the routine, the simplicity... for how I shall manage my every day. But I also value the depth of the cultures around me in Spain, and the history that makes me feel young instead of weary...

Thoughts?

If you've thought of moving to Spain, have you cautioned yourselves that "camino is not real"? If you have moved t Spain did you ever think "Wha the hell have I done?" and if so, how did you deal with it? And those still dreaming and planning... what do you dream of and worry about?

buen camino mi amigos/as
Faye
I would do a 1 year pilot project, rent an apartment in Spain. Then reevaluate my option after a certain period.

I am from YUL and did a YYZ pilot project, for a 2 years duration I did not like it and came back...

All in all I satisfy myself because I did the test.
 

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
It is insightful, and I think I'm OK with being outside the bubble. I have lived in Dublin long term, in Paris long term... spent a month living in Barcelona in an apartment (doing my shopping, my cooking and working with colleagues there) -- as much as I love it, I know it is too busy for me and too expensive.

I'm going to set about in late summer to find a place to rent starting January 2002.

I'd think about going "home" to Dublin .. but I can't afford it! Holy smokes!! Even Cashel, where there is family, is too expensive for me.

Hey, Fay - apologies for my first post that got your residency completely wrong. First I assumed you were UK (on a global forum - how British Imperial!!) .. then Eire - but I see you are actually in Canada.

I too have thought about Spain, and for me the driving imagery and energy have been my Camino experiences - when I wintered last year down on the Med coast a different reality appeared. I too have been a wanderer, in my 'childhood' years at sea and six times round the world (mainly bars and looking for girls, to be honest). I have lived in France twice, the second time for eight years, and loved it. Speaking French it was fairly easy to integrate somewhat, at least I thought so, until I found that accepting the supper invitation from one village family separated me from half the village as there was a feud between two big family groups - So disliked that I had accepted that invitation that a few nights later when I went to cycle home from the village to my country house a few kms away I rode down the hill but when I put my brakes on the front wheel came off, I went over the handlebars and apart from the many skin tears on my face received a concussion that put me out of action for a long time - some teenagers from the other group had removed the quick release front axle whilst it was locked up and I was indoors! - so in small places we just do not know the long term undercurrents, nor possible repercussions .... tricky.

also, I am still hale and hearty but 73 in a couple of weeks and I have noticed in the last year or so that my mind has changed. I am less adventurous, slightly anxious .. a sign of age I think. I have always had motorcycles for fun and some months ago bought a small one, just for local stuff but to my surprise I found that I had lost my nerve, I no longer had that carefree, throttle open, attitude, so had to sell it. And now, when I think of moving abroad my concern is health facilities as it is pretty certain that if I stay alive I shall get older and, eventually, frail. So from now on, apart from jaunts to Camino, it is stay home in the UK for me. You are much younger - but be warned, those years, those feelings, they will come, unexpectedly creep up on you.

But I see that your residencies abroad have always been cities, and cosmopolitan ones .. so if you do choose to move to Spain, and to Camino, it may pay to bear that in mind, but I am sure that you have thought of that, it is perfectly obvious that you have a good and sharp mind ... but Hey! - there is always Santiago you know!
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
It is insightful, and I think I'm OK with being outside the bubble. I have lived in Dublin long term, in Paris long term... spent a month living in Barcelona in an apartment (doing my shopping, my cooking and working with colleagues there) -- as much as I love it, I know it is too busy for me and too expensive.

I'm going to set about in late summer to find a place to rent starting January 2002.

I'd think about going "home" to Dublin .. but I can't afford it! Holy smokes!! Even Cashel, where there is family, is too expensive for me.
Here is my (our) plan: Renting an apartment in f.ex. Alicante for 3 months with option, maybe move on to another city (we need to see the sea). We will keep our apartment in Norway. The savings in cost of living alone, + no car expenses, will largely pay the rent, hopefully.

We will until further, not repatriate. We benefit from being in the EU system, so healthcare etc. is taken care of. But we could just as well move to Creete, Hellas (the correct name of the country Greece). Why?

Back to the metaphysical aspect: If we dream of a permanent Camino life, I believe we will make a big mistake. The Camino is not a daily-life experience. It is a walk-thru thing, as many here have stated. I am trying to be very realistic to myself on it, not romancing it. If I want to walk, I'll take a train/plane to Pamplona and start going. We will move bc. of high cost of living here and a better climate there. We are 67 & 69.

Maybe I'll try to live in SdC too. Who knows?
 
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lindam

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
Oh, I would not have to teach in Spain -- a perk my job is that post retirement we are allowed to work as adjuncts. I have a retired colleague who lives in Berlin and still teaches for us, having picked up stakes after her retirement.
I could pretty easily work it to teach my entire current load online -- I just would not have service, mentoring, or research commitments anymore.
Towns I love: Astorga, Ponferrada, Villafranca de Bierzo, anywhere from Tui to Padrón...
Fellow Canuck here (from Toronto), having lived in Spain for nearly 7 years now. My husband I moved here after falling in love with Spain during our first Camino. Just wondering if you hold an EU passport? If not, you may want to do some research into the various options available in order to obtain residency in Spain. If your plan is to apply for residency with the ability to work remotely, you may find this very difficult if not impossible to obtain. Feel free to ask any questions you might have related to relocating to Spain from Canada.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Fellow Canuck here (from Toronto), having lived in Spain for nearly 7 years now. My husband I moved here after falling in love with Spain during our first Camino. Just wondering if you hold an EU passport? If not, you may want to do some research into the various options available in order to obtain residency in Spain. If your plan is to apply for residency with the ability to work remotely, you may find this very difficult if not impossible to obtain. Feel free to ask any questions you might have related to relocating to Spain from Canada.
Yes, as I said multiple times upthread. I and my family hold EU passports. It simplifies things. I am very fortunate and grateful that I have such a privilege to entertain my ideas without worrying about *that*.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
So here's the thing... in your own feelings about camino, do you think that we are attracted to it in a glorified manner (because it is a vacating of our usual lives) or do you think that camino is actually very much like everyday life, just simplified?

I think I love the routine, the simplicity... for how I shall manage my every day. But I also value the depth of the cultures around me in Spain, and the history that makes me feel young instead of weary...

Thoughts?

If you've thought of moving to Spain, have you cautioned yourselves that "camino is not real"? If you have moved t Spain did you ever think "Wha the hell have I done?" and if so, how did you deal with it? And those still dreaming and planning... what do you dream of and worry about?
I'm seeing two questions here: What attracts us to the Camino? and What's it like to move to Spain. I'll try and answer both, probably neither satisfactorily.

I think there are a lot of different things that call people to the Camino and many are drawn by combinations of things. Some people like to step out of their everyday lives to a time and place that can give them distance and perspective. Those same people often like the simplicity of the Camino. Both are different sides of the same coin - a chance to focus on what is important. I think that is a big part of what draws people to walk the Camino at significant times in their life: times of loss, times of transition, times of taking stock, times when you might want to ask yourself the big questions.

Having experienced the Camino, many of us find ourselves returning because it has much to offer beyond the chance to sort through big experiences and transitions. It gives us a chance to live our true selves without being pulled by the expectations of others. It gives us a chance to live in the moment and experience the centering that gives (there's a reason many people find mindfulness practices help their mental health). And, of course, it gives us a chance to experience great companionship with many wonderful people from around the world, delightful Spanish culture, healthy activities and all sorts of wonderful things of a more physical and less metaphysical nature.

How much of this one would experience just living in Spain and not walking the Camino, it's hard to say. I suppose, in part, it would depend on what one did while living in Spain. Of course, there would be the opportunity to experience Spanish culture. And, if one relocated to a place on the Camino, there would be something of a chance to connect regularly with other pilgrims - more so if one set oneself up as a hospitalera. But the chance to live a life of simplicity, to get perspective, to take stock and think of the big questions - I'm not sure that is essentially easier in Spain than elsewhere. I think that is more about what you do with your life and less about where you live it.

As for the question of "What's it like to move to Spain?" - I lived there for a year and a half. It was over 30 years ago and I was in my mid-20s. I was teaching English in Madrid. I didn't think of cautioning myself that "The Camino is not real" because that wasn't what I was living in Spain to try and capture. (If you are, I don't think Madrid is the place to do so.) So my experience is hardly relevant to what you are planning. But I did have a great time, met great people, got a chance to see a lot of Spain and enjoy its culture, and had fond memories that drew me back some 26 years later to walk with my teenage son from Roncesvalles to FInisterre. If you want to know about the experience of retiring to Spain - something very different from what I did - as others have mentioned already, Rebekah Scott's A Furnace Full of God is a good book to read. In a slightly more lighthearted vein and a different part of Spain you might check out Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools by Victoria Twead.

That's the best I can do.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Thank you to all who read and responded so thoughtfully.
I was originally attracted to Camino in order to know Spain better... and I have found that the walking pace over such an incredible distance cannot do justice to each location. So many I want to go back to and stay for a month!
Do I see Spain through the tint of Camino? Yes, I think inevitably so at this point, but I do long to know more, see more, breathe more... and I should like to be in the NW because of the apparent Celtic connection between Ireland and Galicia (I know there are those who think it just overblown legend. I should like to see and know more on the ground myself, but I am persuaded thus far that it is “real”). I also like seasons, and snow... and mountains.
I certainly do not expect my daily life to be absent of challenges anywhere, but I am hopeful that the cultural evidence I have seen in Spain will make for easier living for the person for whom my heart beats.
I can’t exit my work *quite* yet, but off board chats and comments here have me more set on finding a place to rent starting January 2022... see how it goes.
There is, I think, no way to test my questions except on the ground, but some of you adventurers and expats (why do we not say “immigrants”?) have given me some good insights and ideas.
For all that and more, I thank you.
 
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LesR

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
I am pondering a massive life-change... it's been on my mind for several years. The scales are tipping as I grow beyond weary with my work and into the realm of quotidian frustration. I am considering cashing my chips and "commuting my pension" to a registered savings plan inside of 2 years from now... there's a slight difference here between whether I will retire or resign. I have 2 years until my earliest possible retirement date. But I can finish out those 2 years from anywhere int hw world as long as I have good/fast/reliable wifi.

SoI have my eye on a small bucketful of properties in NW Spain. I'm not looking for a new job... just a simplified version of my current one. ON cashing out, I could actually decide to become an adjunct and teach solely online until I'm about 60... and then take that pension...

So that's the background. I am miserable. I loathe the location where I live. LOATHE it. I've been here 21 years and it has not grown on me, nor I on it. It's insular, provincial, growing too quickly into a city while resisting doing so (meaning, people here resent "outsiders" and don't take kindly to "difference" of any sort).

The only thing that gives me comfort is the thought of Spain. I am pretty quick to pick up languages... I do need to see written what I am hearing... but I can function fluently in French and that makes reading in Spanish not too difficult. I think even at my advanced age I could become reasonably functional.

So here's the thing... in your own feelings about camino, do you think that we are attracted to it in a glorified manner (because it is a vacating of our usual lives) or do you think that camino is actually very much like everyday life, just simplified?

I think I love the routine, the simplicity... for how I shall manage my every day. But I also value the depth of the cultures around me in Spain, and the history that makes me feel young instead of weary...

Thoughts?

If you've thought of moving to Spain, have you cautioned yourselves that "camino is not real"? If you have moved t Spain did you ever think "Wha the hell have I done?" and if so, how did you deal with it? And those still dreaming and planning... what do you dream of and worry about?

buen camino mi amigos/as
Faye
I understand the imperative of removing yourself from your current unsatisfactory position, but I wonder what you are looking for...

Is it an unending camino? or are you anticipating becoming embedded in the northern Spanish lifestyle with only passing contact with camino lifestyles...

If the former, is living in a northern Spain community going to deliver that?

Perhaps you should be asking fellow countrymen (and women) who have moved to Spain to become part of the industry that services the camino experience. From my limited discussions, I rather suspect that it is not really an unending camino experience, but rather a quite spartan lifestyle, with hard work and financial insecurity without necessarily becoming embedded in the local community.

I wish you well in your endeavors, but hope that you will think hard and deeply about what it is that you are seeking, and be clear how that vision will be realised.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
There is, I think, no way to test my questions except on the ground, but some of you adventurers and expats (why do we not say “immigrants”?) have given me some good insights and ideas.
For all that and more, I thank you.
www.expatforum.com
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
It looks like a useful resource. I see that numerous posters, many of them British, address the thorny issue of obtaining cover under the public health care insurance system when moving to Spain, and it deals with current situations. Most of it is of a practical nature though, not metaphysical. Outsiders often assume that "everyone" is covered by "the" public health care system in "Europe". Not so. And I'm speaking from frustrating experience in our family and not only on the basis of what I know generally.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Again, thanks for practical stuff, a kind of prize in the cracker-jack box; some of it is very useful, and much will be more useful for other people who stumble into the thread.

The more metaphysical questions about perception and cultures in Spain probably require falling into the accidentally perfect company on an actual camino, and then a much longer stay than I have yet had in any location in Spain.

In other words, I need to do fieldwork and to take along my old copy of Esquisse d’un Théorie de la Pratique.... and do some mapping and sketching of practices myself. If the mapping shows that the different circumstances and attitudes will benefit my small family, then I will start to make the move in 2023 After having done the groundwork in 2022.

COV allows time for reflection on bigger questions... it’s almost the *only* thing it offers (and only to a few of us who are very lucky indeed).
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Year of past OR future Camino
yes...
@Faye Walker - so many thoughtful replies! For my two-penneth worth I think your idea of renting is a great one! And you should 100% seize the moment. Feeling miserable where you are must be awful and sometimes restless feet just wont stop still.

My husband visited France for a cycling holiday with 3 friends when he finished university... over 40 years ago. As a young man, fresh out of education he fell in love with the country that summer and vowed to return. 14 years ago we moved. It has not been without it's problems but one by one problems resolve themselves. It was a culture shock and also our holiday french was nowhere near good enough to cope but it is now. Being able to work will be a huge bonus for you as I think this is an area where many expats stumble... so big tick for that!

We sometimes get homesick. There are times when distance is an issue... my mother in law died a few weeks ago and I have never felt so far from home and isolated in my life... and I dont even regard the UK as home anymore.

I fell in love with Southern Spain in the 1980's and would love to move there now but the idea of changing country again is a little daunting... complicated even more so with Brexit... and of course we do love our life here in SW France. So for now we make do with visiting as often as we can and spending winters there... it's a good compromise for us at the moment.

You sound like your mind is made up... and maybe just asking your question was enough for you to decide it was right! Good luck with your move... we all love a good adventure don't we?
 
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Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2021)
If it was me, I would go to Astorga and rent a place for a year, and take my time settling in and getting a good feel for what works and what doesn't. Astorga is an ideal place for this, there's a lively expat community in the surrounding area, it's a camino town with an Amigos group that's beyond compare, the locals are friendly, cultural attractions abundant, the climate relatively mild, and the scenery knockout. If you are still enchanted after a year, start looking at places for sale.
Exactly the town I was thinking!

If you want some clangor and clang of a big Spanish city, Leon is a bus/train ride back for a weekend of shopping at El Cortes Ingles or several good outdoor equipment stores, dining out and concerts -- hard to remember events where music and people were allowed to safely combine! :).

Astorga beautifully laid out for city walking, not too big nor is it hamlet/village sized. Also packed to the gills with history and archeology. (April 2002, of my best meals accompanied by a fascinating retired British spy and I at an Astorga restaurant which generously opened at pilgrim friendly 7pm.). And frankly, the elevation at 2,850 feet, eliminating meseta heat but, frankly, if you would not consider wintering in overcast and rainy Seattle, think twice about Astorga in the winter.

It t'were I, so there I would be!

Also... Castrojeriz, a close second; many drawbacks but crikey, I love that town!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2021)
I keep walking a Camino ...and flying back to the USA. Autumn 2021 (and that's redolent of overweening optimism) will find me on a fourth Camino.

Thinking April - November 2022 residence in Porto, Portugal, with launchings of walks into mountains in Eastern Portugal, weekends in Lisbon, Camino up to Santiago. It does mean a Type I Visa paperwork folderol, but this option calls to me as a jumping off point for as-yet unexplored cities of western and southern Spain and a toe dip into Algarve.

Now in my mid-70's, I'd like to avail myself of my pretty good health to do as much as I can before I can't do much at all.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Exactly the town I was thinking!

If you want some clangor and clang of a big Spanish city, Leon is a bus/train ride back for a weekend of shopping at El Cortes Ingles or several good outdoor equipment stores, dining out and concerts -- hard to remember events where music and people were allowed to safely combine! :).

Astorga beautifully laid out for city walking, not too big nor is it hamlet/village sized. Also packed to the gills with history and archeology. (April 2002, of my best meals accompanied by a fascinating retired British spy and I at an Astorga restaurant which generously opened at pilgrim friendly 7pm.). And frankly, the elevation at 2,850 feet, eliminating meseta heat but, frankly, if you would not consider wintering in overcast and rainy Seattle, think twice about Astorga in the winter.

It t'were I, so there I would be!

Also... Castrojeriz, a close second; many drawbacks but crikey, I love that town!
Yes, Astorga is my favourite town along the Francés, and that’s along a route of towns that I generally really enjoy.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
You want philosophical, I got philosophical.
The Camino is for real. Being a pilgrim is much like being in a play, a dance, or some other kind of performance -- it's very real, compelling, totally absorbing and sometimes revelatory. It is very real for as long as it lasts. And then it's over.

Moving to Spain, or specifically moving to a camino place and participating in its daily round and enabling the pilgrims, is a whole 'nother thing. You're not the dancer or the actor any more... you have become part of the scenery, the lighting, choreography, the drama itself. You aren't doing the camino for a while, you are becoming the camino!

This doesn't meant you get extra mystical camino revelations, or fewer everyday frustrations and daily grind. Living in Spain (The Camino is in SPAIN) has its own massive list of daily inanities that drive expats up the walls and send almost all of them running for the exits within a few years. You get the usual challenges of adult life, but with the added excitement of a second language, demanding "pilgrims," and all the locals' expectations, too. It is NOT an easy road. Spain pushes back hard sometimes. And often, you get so sick of pilgrimage, pilgrims, Santiago, St. James, yadda yadda yadda you hear the pilgrim knock on the door and you want to just hide behind the sofa until they go away!

You shut the doors sometimes, and take a drive into the mountains or to the beach. You sit and look at the tympanum of the Romanesque church for a half hour. You share a bottle of Ribeiro and eat a too-large piece of sheep's cheese with friends. You immerse yourself in the weekly marketplace, the Misa, the hot thermal spring... and you know why you did this, why It's so worth it.

Still. I always tell the dreamers and philosophers and hospitaleros who want to come here to live that they gotta be in love with SPAIN, not just the Camino. You gotta have independent income, because the Camino will probably never support you. And you must have a deep and well-cultivated inner life -- a spirituality. This is not a project to take on alone. It is for strong, good, kind, cultivated and well-funded people who are completely flexible.

The Camino, and Spain are demanding and sometimes cruel mistresses. The pilgrim -- and the immigrant pilgrim -- must adjust to the Way, and never expect the Way to adjust to them. That's just how it is.

Thus ends the sermon.
 

Dilbin

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Irun to Santander del Norte
I am pondering a massive life-change... it's been on my mind for several years. The scales are tipping as I grow beyond weary with my work and into the realm of quotidian frustration. I am considering cashing my chips and "commuting my pension" to a registered savings plan inside of 2 years from now... there's a slight difference here between whether I will retire or resign. I have 2 years until my earliest possible retirement date. But I can finish out those 2 years from anywhere int hw world as long as I have good/fast/reliable wifi.

SoI have my eye on a small bucketful of properties in NW Spain. I'm not looking for a new job... just a simplified version of my current one. ON cashing out, I could actually decide to become an adjunct and teach solely online until I'm about 60... and then take that pension...

So that's the background. I am miserable. I loathe the location where I live. LOATHE it. I've been here 21 years and it has not grown on me, nor I on it. It's insular, provincial, growing too quickly into a city while resisting doing so (meaning, people here resent "outsiders" and don't take kindly to "difference" of any sort).

The only thing that gives me comfort is the thought of Spain. I am pretty quick to pick up languages... I do need to see written what I am hearing... but I can function fluently in French and that makes reading in Spanish not too difficult. I think even at my advanced age I could become reasonably functional.

So here's the thing... in your own feelings about camino, do you think that we are attracted to it in a glorified manner (because it is a vacating of our usual lives) or do you think that camino is actually very much like everyday life, just simplified?

I think I love the routine, the simplicity... for how I shall manage my every day. But I also value the depth of the cultures around me in Spain, and the history that makes me feel young instead of weary...

Thoughts?

If you've thought of moving to Spain, have you cautioned yourselves that "camino is not real"? If you have moved t Spain did you ever think "Wha the hell have I done?" and if so, how did you deal with it? And those still dreaming and planning... what do you dream of and worry about?

buen camino mi amigos/as
Faye
Regardless of where we go in life the first person we meet is ourselves. I hated coming home to where I live now but that has changed as I got to know and accept myself. Now it's OK. As for the Camino and Spain. It's the dream really. I would however remind myself that it is constantly changing and the crowds are getting bigger each year. 2 yrs ago we walked a 3 day historic route from
 
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Dilbin

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Irun to Santander del Norte
Regardless of where we go in life the first person we meet is ourselves. I hated coming home to where I live now but that has changed as I got to know and accept myself. Now it's OK. As for the Camino and Spain. It's the dream really. I would however remind myself that it is constantly changing and the crowds are getting bigger each year. 2 yrs ago we walked a 3 day historic route from
From La Caridad through Vegadao which was mind blowing. There were only 3 of us who had met on the way and we only met one other pilgrim en route. So my own dream would be to live somewhere on or near the lesser know routes. Time will make these routes popular but in the meantime its "far from the maddening crowd "
 

PlutseligPilegrim

Rota Vicentina, fisherman’s trail, is sweet...
Year of past OR future Camino
St Olav’s way Novgorod - Åbo
- Stiklestad - Nidaros (2019)
Via del a plata from Cadiz (2019)
I am pondering a massive life-change... it's been on my mind for several years. The scales are tipping as I grow beyond weary with my work and into the realm of quotidian frustration. I am considering cashing my chips and "commuting my pension" to a registered savings plan inside of 2 years from now... there's a slight difference here between whether I will retire or resign. I have 2 years until my earliest possible retirement date. But I can finish out those 2 years from anywhere int hw world as long as I have good/fast/reliable wifi.

SoI have my eye on a small bucketful of properties in NW Spain. I'm not looking for a new job... just a simplified version of my current one. ON cashing out, I could actually decide to become an adjunct and teach solely online until I'm about 60... and then take that pension...

So that's the background. I am miserable. I loathe the location where I live. LOATHE it. I've been here 21 years and it has not grown on me, nor I on it. It's insular, provincial, growing too quickly into a city while resisting doing so (meaning, people here resent "outsiders" and don't take kindly to "difference" of any sort).

The only thing that gives me comfort is the thought of Spain. I am pretty quick to pick up languages... I do need to see written what I am hearing... but I can function fluently in French and that makes reading in Spanish not too difficult. I think even at my advanced age I could become reasonably functional.

So here's the thing... in your own feelings about camino, do you think that we are attracted to it in a glorified manner (because it is a vacating of our usual lives) or do you think that camino is actually very much like everyday life, just simplified?

I think I love the routine, the simplicity... for how I shall manage my every day. But I also value the depth of the cultures around me in Spain, and the history that makes me feel young instead of weary...

Thoughts?

If you've thought of moving to Spain, have you cautioned yourselves that "camino is not real"? If you have moved t Spain did you ever think "Wha the hell have I done?" and if so, how did you deal with it? And those still dreaming and planning... what do you dream of and worry about?

buen camino mi amigos/as
Faye
A camino is, also after an adaptive process of approx 14 days......everything but everyday life....

(I’ve done many longer Caminos now so the repetitive pattern is experienced based)

But you mention “simplified” and that’s important and brings value in understanding transformative force behind a camino of say 5 weeks..

When only “chore” is mochachilla on you’re back , two feet and singular steps in succession into unfolding new landscape...?

This rather special “everyday setting” ommits and allows our psyche to operate differently. Compared to life back home ,everyday camino scenery and impulses is a massive paradigm shift. A paradigm shift that gives opportunities for new types of reflections and a more open mind.

Even more so, a mind ready for subliminal impulses maybe normally totally surpressed and unavailable.

Along route these impulses are able to pop up and present them self. And it’s time and space a plenty to velcome whatever there is that strikes chords in our thought -processes.

I call these gifts “Camino-moments” .

For me they can bee triggered by occurrences with fellow pilgrims or like in an “ambush”.... solitude/stillness of walking by my self allowing it to surface and presenting it self..without

That is magical and priceless.


Video from Faro-Via Algarviana-Rota Vincentina-Lisboa-Santiago




«A simplified live as a pilgrim»
 

Sharonih

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (SJPdP to Santiago) March 15, 2018
I am pondering a massive life-change... it's been on my mind for several years. The scales are tipping as I grow beyond weary with my work and into the realm of quotidian frustration. I am considering cashing my chips and "commuting my pension" to a registered savings plan inside of 2 years from now... there's a slight difference here between whether I will retire or resign. I have 2 years until my earliest possible retirement date. But I can finish out those 2 years from anywhere int hw world as long as I have good/fast/reliable wifi.

SoI have my eye on a small bucketful of properties in NW Spain. I'm not looking for a new job... just a simplified version of my current one. ON cashing out, I could actually decide to become an adjunct and teach solely online until I'm about 60... and then take that pension...

So that's the background. I am miserable. I loathe the location where I live. LOATHE it. I've been here 21 years and it has not grown on me, nor I on it. It's insular, provincial, growing too quickly into a city while resisting doing so (meaning, people here resent "outsiders" and don't take kindly to "difference" of any sort).

The only thing that gives me comfort is the thought of Spain. I am pretty quick to pick up languages... I do need to see written what I am hearing... but I can function fluently in French and that makes reading in Spanish not too difficult. I think even at my advanced age I could become reasonably functional.

So here's the thing... in your own feelings about camino, do you think that we are attracted to it in a glorified manner (because it is a vacating of our usual lives) or do you think that camino is actually very much like everyday life, just simplified?

I think I love the routine, the simplicity... for how I shall manage my every day. But I also value the depth of the cultures around me in Spain, and the history that makes me feel young instead of weary...

Thoughts?

If you've thought of moving to Spain, have you cautioned yourselves that "camino is not real"? If you have moved t Spain did you ever think "Wha the hell have I done?" and if so, how did you deal with it? And those still dreaming and planning... what do you dream of and worry about?

buen camino mi amigos/as
Faye
If you are financially stable and the world is open then I would say yes. I don’t know where you are from but I would suggest take the 2 year leave with the plan to retire after that.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Thanks, Rebekah... That is seeming like what I will do. perhaps from January of 2022... flats there are very inexpensive from a Canadian dollar perspectiv. Where I live, people charge $1500 a moth for 1 bedroom in a basement. More if there is parking...

There is so much I love about Astorga, but a moment in time crystallized it for me: watching a little guy, maybe 3 years old strolling the main plaza one night, looking every bit the tiny Conde... and when he reached the end of the square, and older man picked him up, turned him around and sent him back to stroll his way back to wherever his parents were sitting. It was clear that his village was a family.... that nobody would deny that child his adventure or leave him to become lost...

And I want to live in a world like that even though I have no skin in the game at my age... neither mother to a small child nor a grandmother (yet).

In Your contacts, do you know anyone familiar with the medical system there? I take a drug by injection each month... wildly expensive here, far less so in the EU.... and it requires a biologics nurse to do the injection, and an immunologist to oversee my patient history. As long as I could take a train to Leon if that is where I would have to go, it would be OK. So if anyone knows about such things... I’ve not been able to figure that part out yet. The drug, if it helps, is omalizumab. I think Europeans are familiar with these things.
I am familiar with the system in Astorga, due to a horrible toe situation. The clinic there and the nurses and docs couldn’t have been more thorough. A very good facility.
 

leichecerca

Can’t stay away
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Finisterre: May 2018
Camino Frances: April-May 2018
Camino Frances: April-May 2017
You want philosophical, I got philosophical.
The Camino is for real. Being a pilgrim is much like being in a play, a dance, or some other kind of performance -- it's very real, compelling, totally absorbing and sometimes revelatory. It is very real for as long as it lasts. And then it's over.

Moving to Spain, or specifically moving to a camino place and participating in its daily round and enabling the pilgrims, is a whole 'nother thing. You're not the dancer or the actor any more... you have become part of the scenery, the lighting, choreography, the drama itself. You aren't doing the camino for a while, you are becoming the camino!

This doesn't meant you get extra mystical camino revelations, or fewer everyday frustrations and daily grind. Living in Spain (The Camino is in SPAIN) has its own massive list of daily inanities that drive expats up the walls and send almost all of them running for the exits within a few years. You get the usual challenges of adult life, but with the added excitement of a second language, demanding "pilgrims," and all the locals' expectations, too. It is NOT an easy road. Spain pushes back hard sometimes. And often, you get so sick of pilgrimage, pilgrims, Santiago, St. James, yadda yadda yadda you hear the pilgrim knock on the door and you want to just hide behind the sofa until they go away!

You shut the doors sometimes, and take a drive into the mountains or to the beach. You sit and look at the tympanum of the Romanesque church for a half hour. You share a bottle of Ribeiro and eat a too-large piece of sheep's cheese with friends. You immerse yourself in the weekly marketplace, the Misa, the hot thermal spring... and you know why you did this, why It's so worth it.

Still. I always tell the dreamers and philosophers and hospitaleros who want to come here to live that they gotta be in love with SPAIN, not just the Camino. You gotta have independent income, because the Camino will probably never support you. And you must have a deep and well-cultivated inner life -- a spirituality. This is not a project to take on alone. It is for strong, good, kind, cultivated and well-funded people who are completely flexible.

The Camino, and Spain are demanding and sometimes cruel mistresses. The pilgrim -- and the immigrant pilgrim -- must adjust to the Way, and never expect the Way to adjust to them. That's just how it is.

Thus ends the sermon.
Thanks Rebekah! Best answer of the thread. Gets right to the heart of Faye’s question. Agree that the Camino is a (wonderful) tourist bubble, but likely not the “real” Spain (I say this based on spending two weeks volunteering in Santiago... I did not feel especially welcomed by locals even though I speak decent Spanish). But I second all the posters who said to GO FOR IT -- much better to try and be disappointed, than to regret not trying for the rest of your (in the words of Mary Oliver) One Precious Life.
 
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Rako

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 2018
In 2018 I quit my job (wasn't old enough to "Retire"). Have not regretted it.

You only live once, and you are past the mid-point of your life. You better go do something you love soon!

Imagine yourself in 20 years. What stories would you like to tell?
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
In 2018 I quit my job (wasn't old enough to "Retire"). Have not regretted it.

You only live once, and you are past the mid-point of your life. You better go do something you love soon!

Imagine yourself in 20 years. What stories would you like to tell?
Thank you -- agreed.
To be fair; I did not always find my work so unsatisfying. It's recent collisions in economy and politics putting pressure on young people, and compelling them to purchase the *very expensive* gamble on what is sold as the "ticket to a better future" when in actuality the university is definitely not supposed to be a jobs-training endeavour, and we live in a world in which "better futures" are determined largely by privileged pasts, not by educational attainments. I dislike being complicit in this false bill of goods... and I tend to agree with the book that came out just as I was getting established in my career that argues -- per its title -- that universities have become "No Place to Think".
I dislike where my work caused me to crash land... a small city resistant to change and resentful about "new comers" (which is a polite way of being racists about the influx of young people from South Asia in the tech sector). The racism here stretches back a long way -- the target when I moved here was "those people downtown" -- it took me literally 3 years to figure out that they meant the Portuguese community.
I had lived most of my life prior to this place in very "cosmopolitan" places, very multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-lingual. The shock of the insularism here never ceases to floor me.
Practical considerations taken into account, I think it will take me 2 years to get out of here. But I have cleared with my family that I will rent something in Spain starting January 2022. And I've shown my son some properties that interest him.... he has training as a sommelier as well as in French cookery. The properties hit those marks in unique ways...
In 2 yrs I can manage a full leap. I hope.
 
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movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015
Not to stray from OP, but passports are key to the topic. Regarding EU passport holders (maroon), it was my understanding that since Brexit, holders must must apply for the original blue British passport.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Not to stray from OP, but passports are key to the topic. Regarding EU passport holders (maroon), it was my understanding that since Brexit, holders must must apply for the original blue British passport.
I am afraid this is a misunderstanding.

The colour of a passport is irrelevant. A little known fact: A long time ago, all the countries belonging to the EU volunteered to align the colour schemes for their passports with the exception of Croatia who kept their deep blue passport cover. The EU doesn't issue passports, and strictly speaking, "EU passport" is a misnomer.

As far as I can tell, the OP doesn't have a British passport so the colour of very old, old and new British passports is irrelevant anyway. Holders of British passports issued before 2021 or so, wether they have a single nationality or dual nationalities, can of course continue to travel with their burgundy coloured British passports to Spain.
 
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movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015
Remember this? Where is all the wisdom that became knowledge - and where is all the knowledge that became information?
 

JMarshall

New Member
I am pondering a massive life-change... it's been on my mind for several years. The scales are tipping as I grow beyond weary with my work and into the realm of quotidian frustration. I am considering cashing my chips and "commuting my pension" to a registered savings plan inside of 2 years from now... there's a slight difference here between whether I will retire or resign. I have 2 years until my earliest possible retirement date. But I can finish out those 2 years from anywhere int hw world as long as I have good/fast/reliable wifi.

SoI have my eye on a small bucketful of properties in NW Spain. I'm not looking for a new job... just a simplified version of my current one. ON cashing out, I could actually decide to become an adjunct and teach solely online until I'm about 60... and then take that pension...

So that's the background. I am miserable. I loathe the location where I live. LOATHE it. I've been here 21 years and it has not grown on me, nor I on it. It's insular, provincial, growing too quickly into a city while resisting doing so (meaning, people here resent "outsiders" and don't take kindly to "difference" of any sort).

The only thing that gives me comfort is the thought of Spain. I am pretty quick to pick up languages... I do need to see written what I am hearing... but I can function fluently in French and that makes reading in Spanish not too difficult. I think even at my advanced age I could become reasonably functional.

So here's the thing... in your own feelings about camino, do you think that we are attracted to it in a glorified manner (because it is a vacating of our usual lives) or do you think that camino is actually very much like everyday life, just simplified?

I think I love the routine, the simplicity... for how I shall manage my every day. But I also value the depth of the cultures around me in Spain, and the history that makes me feel young instead of weary...

Thoughts?

If you've thought of moving to Spain, have you cautioned yourselves that "camino is not real"? If you have moved t Spain did you ever think "Wha the hell have I done?" and if so, how did you deal with it? And those still dreaming and planning... what do you dream of and worry about?

buen camino mi amigos/a1. Behold the turtle. It makes no progress unless it sticks its neck out.
2.
I am pondering a massive life-change... it's been on my mind for several years. The scales are tipping as I grow beyond weary with my work and into the realm of quotidian frustration. I am considering cashing my chips and "commuting my pension" to a registered savings plan inside of 2 years from now... there's a slight difference here between whether I will retire or resign. I have 2 years until my earliest possible retirement date. But I can finish out those 2 years from anywhere int hw world as long as I have good/fast/reliable wifi.

SoI have my eye on a small bucketful of properties in NW Spain. I'm not looking for a new job... just a simplified version of my current one. ON cashing out, I could actually decide to become an adjunct and teach solely online until I'm about 60... and then take that pension...

So that's the background. I am miserable. I loathe the location where I live. LOATHE it. I've been here 21 years and it has not grown on me, nor I on it. It's insular, provincial, growing too quickly into a city while resisting doing so (meaning, people here resent "outsiders" and don't take kindly to "difference" of any sort).

The only thing that gives me comfort is the thought of Spain. I am pretty quick to pick up languages... I do need to see written what I am hearing... but I can function fluently in French and that makes reading in Spanish not too difficult. I think even at my advanced age I could become reasonably functional.

So here's the thing... in your own feelings about camino, do you think that we are attracted to it in a glorified manner (because it is a vacating of our usual lives) or do you think that camino is actually very much like everyday life, just simplified?

I think I love the routine, the simplicity... for how I shall manage my every day. But I also value the depth of the cultures around me in Spain, and the history that makes me feel young instead of weary...

Thoughts?

If you've thought of moving to Spain, have you cautioned yourselves that "camino is not real"? If you have moved t Spain did you ever think "Wha the hell have I done?" and if so, how did you deal with it? And those still dreaming and planning... what do you dream of and worry about?

buen camino mi amigos/as
Faye
I am older than you. I regret much more what I did not do than what I did. As for the Camino, the spirituality it elicits in Pilgrims is awe inspiring. Will that spirituality remain if you are actually living for months is N.W. Spain? Or might that spirituality lead you a different reality on life and yourself. And how might you change with your constant contact with the land and its people? Why not try it? Everyone has their own description of the effect the Camino has on them and few have said it was negative. If you lived there that spirituality might lead you to a life you could not possibly imagine until you experienced it.
You could always decide to move elsewhere!
I think life is to be experienced.
 

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