'You're doing what?', says my brother. 'Walking from London to Santiago.' 'Why?' 'Because I want to go on pilgrimage, rather than walk a pilgrim trail. That entails closing my front door behind me.' 'How long will it take?' 'No idea.' 'Can I have a list of where you'll be staying?' 'No.' 'Why not?' 'Because I don't know where I'll be staying.' 'Doesn't sound like much of a holiday.' Such is my family farewell when I set off on my 2,075 km pilgrimage in March … [Read more...] about Pilgrimage as a series of holy days
camino de Santiago
That's an unequivocal ‘yes’ from me. I resume walking, aged 59, when I’m in such poor health I’m in danger of becoming housebound. Three years and over 4,500 kilometres later, I’m fitter, healthier, and stronger than I’ve ever been. And the corollary of that is I’m also happier and more fulfilled than I’ve ever been. I’d be telling a big fat porkie pie (lie) if I said I knew exactly what the connection between walking and wellness is. We have, however, known about it for a bloody long … [Read more...] about Can we walk into wellness?
In one word: 'no'. But one word does not a blog post make, so I shall continue. Since 2014, I've walked the Camino Frances, Ingles, Portugues, Sanabres, the Le Puy route in France, and from my home in London to Santiago. I've seen a lot of pilgrims walking the Camino in their own way. Were they doing it the right way or the wrong way? I don't know because I've stopped judging others. I haven't done that since my first Camino in 2014. That was when I learnt the wisdom of St Matthew's … [Read more...] about Is there a right way to walk the Camino?
Walking is the most natural, most primal activity on the planet. And it can teach us much of a profound and life-enhancing nature. I'd like to claim that thought as my own, but, as is so often the case, the ancient Greeks got there first. Diogenes, the one known as "the cynic", proclaimed: 'It is solved by walking'. This has come to mean that the answer to a problem can usually be found by a practical experiment. For me though, it's also true that the problems going round and round in … [Read more...] about Top ten things walking has taught me: # 1
Early in 2016, I decide to listen to my instinct. It tells me that the next step in my quest to recreate my relationship with the dyspraxia that has shaped my life is to walk the 2,000 kilometres from London, down through France and across Spain, to Santiago de Compostela. That's a big deal for anyone. It's an even bigger deal for me. My dyspraxia means that I have no sense of direction and I can't read a map nor use a compass. But I’ve learned not to argue with my instinct, so off I … [Read more...] about What would Winnie-The-Pooh do?
Industrialist Henry Ford had the answer to that. 'Whether you think you can or you can't - you're right.' Sometimes the only thing stopping us from achieving a dream, such as walking a Camino pilgrim route, is ourselves. We allow ourselves to be confined by what we believe about ourselves. If we become too attached to these self-beliefs, they can confine us. They can deprive us of our ability to act beyond them, to behave in different ways. Let me give you an example. Do we want to … [Read more...] about Could you walk the Camino de Santiago?