Many people we meet are facing critical choices in their lives. How do they decide? The Camino provides the time and space to ponder the next direction.
For me, Judi, this is a great transition from years of teaching, tied to schedules, time tables, and meetings to a time of freedom and total choice. A mentally and physically challenging adventure completely out of my comfort zone will propel me into the next phase of my life.
Others we met are at different crossroads. One woman, recently divorced, now faces a move from her home to another state, loss of her adult children living with her, as well as her beloved dogs. Living alone for the first time in her life, she feels very afraid.
Several adults are walking the Camino with a parent. A man who is well-established in his career has accompanied his recently widowed mother on this pilgrimage. Both are considering what changes the future will bring and what dreams they can manifest. Others just entering adulthood are capping their childhood years by doing the Camino with a parent, relying on each other in new ways and building more mature relationships. Other young adults are doing a gap year on their own before entering the university, broadening their interests, gaining stamina and self-reliance, and a more global view.
For me, Barbara, the next phase is outwardly not so dramatic since I’ve already been retired for five years. With a milestone birthday looming in the next few months, though, I’m keenly aware that this next phase brings possibilities for me to make each day richer and to savor home and family. This has been a journey of deciding what’s superfluous and what’s truly worthwhile.