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"Working from home" along The Way(s)?

katkins_in

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Podiensis
St Guilhem
Stevenson
Caminho Portuguese
Kevin, from Indiana, the US, here.

I have had the great fortune to have walked three pathways in France in the past decade (Le Puy to Conques, Chemin Stevenson, Chemin de St Guilhem) with a few friends. I tell people these walks have been among the best things I've done in my life.

This year, however, I am settling for a different experience. As you may know, we in the US don't tend to get a lot of time off from work... so I am hoping to spend the Summer walking various pathways in Europe and the UK, but in an odd fashion: walking in the mornings, finding lodging around 1-2pm, and then "working from home" during the workday in the Eastern US.

On weekends I will probably walk full long days.

From my experience, I would say I can walk about 15-20K in the first 5 hours of the day.

My main questions are:
1) Does stopping mid-day make it more likely I can find places to stay without reserving ahead?
2) Although I have an unlimited international 5G cellular data plan, work is better/easier if I have reasonably solid WiFi
2a) is WiFi available in small towns -- at Auberges, hostels, donativos, etc?
2b) will it be possible to find places where no one minds if I sit and work for a couple of 4 hour stretches, from 2-10pm, or 1-9pm? Libraries? Cafe's? Hostels, donativos... other places I haven't thought of? Coworking spaces that aren't too expensive? (spending half a day working in a cafe or relaxed outdoor restaurant (and buying food and drinks) is fairly common in college towns in the US, like where I live )
3) Am I correct in guessing that I will fall behind, day by day, from most new friends I meet?
4) (Should I try to spend the weekdays in bigger towns/cities instead of walking, and just walk on weekends? I'd rather walk every day if I can... I'm not really a city person.)
5) Any suggestions (other than "don't do it")? (After I retire, I hope to walk again in the more normal, communal, pilgrimage way! But for now, this is the best I can do, to be here and to walk...)
6) Where should I walk? :) I am currently walking the Camino Portuguese with friends (on vacation, not working) and will end in Santiago... I prefer green and cool to hot and brown. I love mountains. I love water (well, not rain so much as bodies of water and rivers). I am thinking of spending August in Scotland, or somewhere else in the UK, and coming back to the Camino Francaise in September. But I know very little about pathways in the UK. (I will probably post that as a separate question after looking for ideas in the forums.) I might be able to stay on this side of the ocean until October... I'm open to anyplace beautiful.

I just want to walk and walk and walk. Breath and see beauty. Meet fellow travelers. (and keep my job...)

Cheers and thanks in advance!

Kevin
 
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Richard of York

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021, 2022
Hi Kevin, welcome to the forum.

As someone who worked almost every day while walking the Francés last year, let me share my experiences

1) Does stopping mid-day make it more likely I can find places to stay without reserving ahead?
Yes

2) Although I have an unlimited international 5G cellular data plan, work is better/easier if I have reasonably solid WiFi
2a) is WiFi available in small towns -- at Auberges, hostels, donativos, etc?
Yes almost always. I stayed mostly in hotels to have a decent night's sleep, for peace and quiet for working and, well, frankly I was working so could afford it... €30 or less is common outside the bigger towns. Can't vouch for donativos but you get cell coverage pretty much everywhere in Spain

2b) will it be possible to find places where no one minds if I sit and work for a couple of 4 hour stretches, from 2-10pm, or 1-9pm? Libraries? Cafe's? Hostels, donativos... other places I haven't thought of? Coworking spaces that aren't too expensive? (spending half a day working in a cafe or relaxed outdoor restaurant (and buying food and drinks) is fairly common in college towns in the US, like where I live )
Yes I often worked in or outside bars, using their wifi. I'm thinking of making a photo collage thing of all the wifi password notices I took photos of. The best is a desk in a hotel room, especially first thing in the morning if you are a lark like me.

3) Am I correct in guessing that I will fall behind, day by day, from most new friends I meet?
No, fit the work around the walking. You're only going to be walking maybe 7 hours a day.

4) (Should I try to spend the weekdays in bigger towns/cities instead of walking, and just walk on weekends? I'd rather walk every day if I can... I'm not really a city person.)
Your choice shouldn't be made on ability to work, you will be able to everywhere.

5) Any suggestions (other than "don't do it")? (After I retire, I hope to walk again in the more normal, communal, pilgrimage way! But for now, this is the best I can do, to be here and to walk...)
Do it.
Don't think about work while walking, if you can. I had to be able to answer emails on my phone en route, so I never switched off completely, but I never worried about work and never even told my customers what I was up to. My working day is CET/GMT so you have the advantage of having the mornings off.

6) Where should I walk? :) I am currently walking the Camino Portuguese with friends (on vacation, not working) and will end in Santiago... I prefer green and cool to hot and brown. I love mountains. I love water (well, not rain so much as bodies of water and rivers). I am thinking of spending August in Scotland, or somewhere else in the UK, and coming back to the Camino Francaise in September. But I know very little about pathways in the UK. (I will probably post that as a separate question after looking for ideas in the forums.) I might be able to stay on this side of the ocean until October... I'm open to anyplace beautiful.
Yes, post the question elsewhere. But ideas for the UK would certainly include these:
https://www.countryfile.com/go-outd...s-national-trails-history-and-walking-routes/
If you're not familiar with the UK, basically the further west and north from London you go the more dramatic the scenery and the fewer people there are, but Great Britain is a crowded island so you are always close to civilisation.
 

LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
@Richard of York walked the Frances last year while WFH.

August in Scotland will be full of midges! Just so you come prepared. Still beautiful though. Maybe the West Highland Way, and then hike up Ben Nevis, and maybe go over to Isle of Skye?

Another great option would be the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way aka Welsh Camino. Can be done in 12 days, goes along the north coast of Wales from Flintshire to Bangor then heading south along the Llyn Peninsula until Aberdaron, and a boat ride to Bardsey Island. Full of history of medieval pilgrims walking the pilgrimage to Bardsey/the island of 20,000 saints and Welsh saints of St Winefride and St Beuno. You will pass “the Welsh Lourdes”, some amazing waterfalls (Aber Falls), and breathtaking coastal paths. Along the way, you collect stamps on your pilgrim passport, and you get a certificate (like a compostela!) in Aberdaron. Apart from around Aber Falls, I had good signal on my mobile phone throughout and you will stay in places with Wi-Fi. Hope the photos below can do it some justice.
 

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katkins_in

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Podiensis
St Guilhem
Stevenson
Caminho Portuguese
@Richard of York walked the Frances last year while WFH.

August in Scotland will be full of midges! Just so you come prepared. Still beautiful though. Maybe the West Highland Way, and then hike up Ben Nevis, and maybe go over to Isle of Skye?

Another great option would be the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way aka Welsh Camino. Can be done in 12 days, goes along the north coast of Wales from Flintshire to Bangor then heading south along the Llyn Peninsula until Aberdaron, and a boat ride to Bardsey Island. Full of history of medieval pilgrims walking the pilgrimage to Bardsey/the island of 20,000 saints and Welsh saints of St Winefride and St Beuno. You will pass “the Welsh Lourdes”, some amazing waterfalls (Aber Falls), and breathtaking coastal paths. Along the way, you collect stamps on your pilgrim passport, and you get a certificate (like a compostela!) in Aberdaron. Apart from around Aber Falls, I had good signal on my mobile phone throughout and you will stay in places with Wi-Fi. Hope the photos below can do it some justice.

Thank you!
The North Wales way looks gorgeous, my kind of scenery! (Plus, I'm a fair part Welsh but have only been in the country for a few days, a long time ago.)
 
Time of past OR future Camino
March 2019
April 2022
My husband and I walked from outside Sarria to Santiago (Camino Frances) in early April. He had to stay connected strongly enough to interpret medical imaging and issue reports. We stayed in modest hotels and had wifi everywhere. Other than his having to schlep two laptops in a special backpack and get our carry-on bags transported, it was no problem.
 
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Katherine Radeka

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2022, 2023)
I just finished the Camino Frances doing exactly this. The biggest issues were the weight of the electronics and the quality of the Internet connection.

A smartphone alone wasn’t going to cut it. So we carried laptops plus chargers, etc. Heavy stuff.

That led to the need to send our packs forward every day (but our laptops stayed in our daypacks with us).

Internet connectivity wasn’t good enough for video calls and even audio calls were dicey, even in places like Pamplona and León.

I couldn’t easily download large files. Basic email was fine but I had trouble using our cloud system to access our company and client records. Our cloud-based project management system would time out.

Those wonderful stone buildings soak up a lot of signal. More than once I found myself sitting in a stairwell to get a stable connection.

I had the best Internet in small villages, and in coffee shops where I could sit close to the router.

Finally it might be different for you since it’s not your first Camino but I found that it was hard to focus as much as I thought because of the time needed for logistics: showers, laundry, shopping, finding meals, etc.

That said, it was the only way I could do a Camino for the foreseeable future, and I don’t regret it. I just have a lot to catch up on starting next week.
 
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Richard of York

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021, 2022
For work I don't need anything streaming. All I need is access to a work-provided database and my current British mobile provider is fine. I had to change provider last year because of Brexit, British companies are no longer forced to provide the same services in the EU as in the UK, so I found one that did. "3" didn't provide the best UK coverage, but it was cheap. And if you're roaming it makes no difference. They used to pride themselves on where you could roam for free, not just the EU. Anyway that all stopped so I now use plusnet which seem ok but I have to limit my YouTube time and it didn't work at all in Israel earlier this month
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
have never worked and done a camino so I have no experience or wisdom. I usually walk only about 20-25k a day and have a pretty good pace so often I arrive early in albergues. I have noticed that in many albergues, especially larger ones (but not always) as the strength of wifi goes considerably down as the arrival of pilgrims goes considerably up. As anywhere that wifi is available the closer you are to the WIFI source the better the signal. I am acutely aware of this as my wife demands a call to make sure I am alive every day and I use whatsapp to speak to video call. I also use it to call my girls just to check in with them every few days. I like to see their faces as well. Bad wifi or waiting to long to call can make even a whattsapp audio call difficult.
 

Harington

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
Kevin, from Indiana, the US, here.

I have had the great fortune to have walked three pathways in France in the past decade (Le Puy to Conques, Chemin Stevenson, Chemin de St Guilhem) with a few friends. I tell people these walks have been among the best things I've done in my life.

This year, however, I am settling for a different experience. As you may know, we in the US don't tend to get a lot of time off from work... so I am hoping to spend the Summer walking various pathways in Europe and the UK, but in an odd fashion: walking in the mornings, finding lodging around 1-2pm, and then "working from home" during the workday in the Eastern US.

On weekends I will probably walk full long days.

From my experience, I would say I can walk about 15-20K in the first 5 hours of the day.

My main questions are:
1) Does stopping mid-day make it more likely I can find places to stay without reserving ahead?
2) Although I have an unlimited international 5G cellular data plan, work is better/easier if I have reasonably solid WiFi
2a) is WiFi available in small towns -- at Auberges, hostels, donativos, etc?
2b) will it be possible to find places where no one minds if I sit and work for a couple of 4 hour stretches, from 2-10pm, or 1-9pm? Libraries? Cafe's? Hostels, donativos... other places I haven't thought of? Coworking spaces that aren't too expensive? (spending half a day working in a cafe or relaxed outdoor restaurant (and buying food and drinks) is fairly common in college towns in the US, like where I live )
3) Am I correct in guessing that I will fall behind, day by day, from most new friends I meet?
4) (Should I try to spend the weekdays in bigger towns/cities instead of walking, and just walk on weekends? I'd rather walk every day if I can... I'm not really a city person.)
5) Any suggestions (other than "don't do it")? (After I retire, I hope to walk again in the more normal, communal, pilgrimage way! But for now, this is the best I can do, to be here and to walk...)
6) Where should I walk? :) I am currently walking the Camino Portuguese with friends (on vacation, not working) and will end in Santiago... I prefer green and cool to hot and brown. I love mountains. I love water (well, not rain so much as bodies of water and rivers). I am thinking of spending August in Scotland, or somewhere else in the UK, and coming back to the Camino Francaise in September. But I know very little about pathways in the UK. (I will probably post that as a separate question after looking for ideas in the forums.) I might be able to stay on this side of the ocean until October... I'm open to anyplace beautiful.

I just want to walk and walk and walk. Breath and see beauty. Meet fellow travelers. (and keep my job...)

Cheers and thanks in advance!

Kevin
How wonderful! But you are aware of the Schengen 90 days in every 180 restriction, aren't you?
 

Slowninja

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese 2019 and 2022
6) I prefer green and cool to hot and brown. I love mountains. I love water (well, not rain so much as bodies of water and rivers). I am thinking of spending August in Scotland, or somewhere else in the UK, and coming back to the Camino Francaise in September. But I know very little about pathways in the UK. (I will probably post that as a separate question after looking for ideas in the forums.) I might be able to stay on this side of the ocean until October... I'm open to anyplace beautiful.

Cheers and thanks in advance!

Kevin
Just a heads up that August is school holidays time in UK and generally more expensive than the rest of the year.

I'm going to suggest the South West coast path in UK. 500 miles of green and blue with varied terrain. You will be in and
out of signal, so it will pay to plan ahead for WiFi.
 

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Leemac40

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sarria to Santiago
Kevin, from Indiana, the US, here.

I have had the great fortune to have walked three pathways in France in the past decade (Le Puy to Conques, Chemin Stevenson, Chemin de St Guilhem) with a few friends. I tell people these walks have been among the best things I've done in my life.

This year, however, I am settling for a different experience. As you may know, we in the US don't tend to get a lot of time off from work... so I am hoping to spend the Summer walking various pathways in Europe and the UK, but in an odd fashion: walking in the mornings, finding lodging around 1-2pm, and then "working from home" during the workday in the Eastern US.

On weekends I will probably walk full long days.

From my experience, I would say I can walk about 15-20K in the first 5 hours of the day.

My main questions are:
1) Does stopping mid-day make it more likely I can find places to stay without reserving ahead?
2) Although I have an unlimited international 5G cellular data plan, work is better/easier if I have reasonably solid WiFi
2a) is WiFi available in small towns -- at Auberges, hostels, donativos, etc?
2b) will it be possible to find places where no one minds if I sit and work for a couple of 4 hour stretches, from 2-10pm, or 1-9pm? Libraries? Cafe's? Hostels, donativos... other places I haven't thought of? Coworking spaces that aren't too expensive? (spending half a day working in a cafe or relaxed outdoor restaurant (and buying food and drinks) is fairly common in college towns in the US, like where I live )
3) Am I correct in guessing that I will fall behind, day by day, from most new friends I meet?
4) (Should I try to spend the weekdays in bigger towns/cities instead of walking, and just walk on weekends? I'd rather walk every day if I can... I'm not really a city person.)
5) Any suggestions (other than "don't do it")? (After I retire, I hope to walk again in the more normal, communal, pilgrimage way! But for now, this is the best I can do, to be here and to walk...)
6) Where should I walk? :) I am currently walking the Camino Portuguese with friends (on vacation, not working) and will end in Santiago... I prefer green and cool to hot and brown. I love mountains. I love water (well, not rain so much as bodies of water and rivers). I am thinking of spending August in Scotland, or somewhere else in the UK, and coming back to the Camino Francaise in September. But I know very little about pathways in the UK. (I will probably post that as a separate question after looking for ideas in the forums.) I might be able to stay on this side of the ocean until October... I'm open to anyplace beautiful.

I just want to walk and walk and walk. Breath and see beauty. Meet fellow travelers. (and keep my job...)

Cheers and thanks in advance!

Kevin
What an amazing plan, I'm sure you will find a way to make it work! Taking full advantage of the working from home situation! West Highland Way, Great Glen Way, Sir John Muir way are just a couple of walks in Scotland and at that time of year you'll have loads of companions walking with you ..... Midges!!! Best of luck on your adventures and enjoy!
 

Leemac40

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sarria to Santiago
@Richard of York walked the Frances last year while WFH.

August in Scotland will be full of midges! Just so you come prepared. Still beautiful though. Maybe the West Highland Way, and then hike up Ben Nevis, and maybe go over to Isle of Skye?

Another great option would be the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way aka Welsh Camino. Can be done in 12 days, goes along the north coast of Wales from Flintshire to Bangor then heading south along the Llyn Peninsula until Aberdaron, and a boat ride to Bardsey Island. Full of history of medieval pilgrims walking the pilgrimage to Bardsey/the island of 20,000 saints and Welsh saints of St Winefride and St Beuno. You will pass “the Welsh Lourdes”, some amazing waterfalls (Aber Falls), and breathtaking coastal paths. Along the way, you collect stamps on your pilgrim passport, and you get a certificate (like a compostela!) in Aberdaron. Apart from around Aber Falls, I had good signal on my mobile phone throughout and you will stay in places with Wi-Fi. Hope the photos below can do it some justice.

View attachment 128496 View attachment 128497 View attachment 128498 View attachment 128499 View attachment 128500
This sounds amazing, added to bucket list with the added benefit of bringing my pup, is it possible to camp?
 

katkins_in

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Podiensis
St Guilhem
Stevenson
Caminho Portuguese
How wonderful! But you are aware of the Schengen 90 days in every 180 restriction, aren't you?
Yes... the UK isn't part of the Schengen though, is it? If so... I'll have to head home a bit earlier than hoped!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2015, 2022?
Hi, Kevin, welcome to the forum. This is a great question since more and more people are working "from home." Having a job that allows you to do both at the same time is a lucky thing.

I'll share an experience with you, take it as you wish.

On Camino #2, at one albergue with comfortable rooms, a nice bar, and shaded seating on the terrace, I encountered one pilgrim who was conducting business on his phone.

He was a real estate agent and, apparently, this was a big deal which he had been working on for a while. He was at the bar, talking kind of loudly, and quite animated.

The problem for me was that his conducting his business on the phone totally destroyed the Camino pilgrim atmosphere in the room - I'm sure all here understand what I'm talking about. God bless him that he was able to continue his business while on the Camino, but . . . 🙄

So, I guess I'm just saying that if you want to do it, do it! But for the sake of the other pilgrims who have purposefully left their business behind, please do your business dealings in a very separate space.

Buen Camino, count your blessings, don't let business and pleasure cross into each other's lane.

PS - This same bar, that same day, was when I met the lady with the neon green backpack. As obnoxious as the day was long, she complained about everything on the Camino. EVERYTHING!! After trying my darndest to be a good listener, I realized there was nothing I could do and, eventually, moved on to more congenial companions. Throughout the rest of that Camino, I would occasionally get into conversations with fellow pilgrims, and talk about this obnoxious pilgrim with a neon green backpack would come up - pilgrims would, out of nowhere, ask me if I had run into her. Yes, on more than one occasion! She was the reverse of a Camino Angel!! Hahaha, what a place!!
 
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LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
This sounds amazing, added to bucket list with the added benefit of bringing my pup, is it possible to camp?
Yes, all very dog friendly. All the pubs I went to were dog friendly too. Almost all buses allow dogs to go in, with the exception of no 12 along the Llyn Peninsula - I don't know why this particular bus route refused to let dogs in, they had an A4 sign to say no dogs except service dogs. The first time, the driver let us get onboard, and that was when I noticed the sign. The second time, they didn't let us in :(

Camping is allowed in campsites or if on privateland - with permission of landowner, that's the legal stuff. If you have a van, you can do a section and then take a bus to pick up your van and move it along the route, village pubs are great for parking, and each small village I passed had: free parking and public toilet (very clean, I was impressed!). The little churches you pass in the small villages will have contact number for church warden and/or parish priest, and if you explained nicely that you're doing the camino, they would often come to open the church door for you. I didn't try but probably they might let you camp too? Some of them would have a small kitchen with tea/coffee facilities in return for donation so it was really nice spot for lunch.
 
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TallSimon

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(Norte)
Hi,
I agree with the comment about Scottish midges, they are a nuisance that can wreck a holiday. I live in Scotland, some areas have limited mobile phone and wifi reception, the more remote areas are typically the best looking and also have the limited reception. O2 and Vodaphone have good coverage in the area that I live in, but the other providers are patchy. Many hotels, hostels, campsites etc have wifi, but you will also be at peak tourist season so you will be competing for accommodation especially along the busier walking routes. With planning all things are possible.
 

Leemac40

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sarria to Santiago
Yes, all very dog friendly. All the pubs I went to were dog friendly too. Almost all buses allow dogs to go in, with the exception of no 12 along the Llyn Peninsula - I don't know why this particular bus route refused to let dogs in, they had an A4 sign to say no dogs except service dogs. The first time, the driver let us get onboard, and that was when I noticed the sign. The second time, they didn't let us in :(

Camping is allowed in campsites or if on privateland - with permission of landowner, that's the legal stuff. If you have a van, you can do a section and then take a bus to pick up your van and move it along the route, village pubs are great for parking, and each small village I passed had: free parking and public toilet (very clean, I was impressed!). The little churches you pass in the small villages will have contact number for church warden and/or parish priest, and if you explained nicely that you're doing the camino, they would often come to open the church door for you. I didn't try but probably they might let you camp too? Some of them would have a small kitchen with tea/coffee facilities in return for donation so it was really nice spot for lunch.
Thanks for all the amazing advice and alerting me to this Camino, I have always wanted to go walking in Wales and this sounds perfect 👍 no transport unfortunately but have tent will travel.....by foot of course (or bus if need be!)
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I have not read all of these replies to the OP, but enough of them to be amazed at all the encouragement received, complete with details provided in sharing their own experiences of working while walking. I never would have thought so many have done this and juggled both successfully...kudos!
 
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Leaderene

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
Camino Portuguese
Camino Ingles
There is so much great walking in the UK - check out the Pilgrim's Way - https://www.pilgrimswaycanterbury.org/the-way/
There are a lso a number of ong distance paths, some of which have already been mentioned - https://ldwa.org.uk/ldp/public/ldp_public_home.php
i am sure whatever you do, you will find some amazing walking.
I lead walks on the Camino with small groups of women and tend to walk in May/early June and then late Sept/early Oct. At other times I walk in the UK
Have fun
 

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