I suffer from the finding my way syndrome. Who else gets this?

We do the same thing day after day. Go to work, take care of our families and pets and house, and do it all again the next day. And the next.

Our financial situation isn’t improving as well as we’d like it to. We struggle to pay for the basics: food, housing, utilities, gas and insurance for the car. And let’s not even talk about the credit card debt that we struggle to clear up.

Life doesn’t get any easier. How can I find my way out of this?

Is it Time to give up on the Fairy Tale?

I feel like I’ve been dealing with cabin fever from Covid and grief as the things I care most about leave me.

There has to be more out there. I need to find my way.

My struggle

I really like my job. It’s a great company with amazing compensation.

My reality is even with decent pay, I’m living in one of the most expensive areas of Canada, the Greater Vancouver Area, and it’s been very clear to me that I can’t afford to retire in Canada.

My struggle is loyalty to my company versus my desire to leave Canada.

I need to find an affordable place to retire. With a better climate!

The struggle torments me daily. For my own sanity I have to leave the area, but I hate to leave the company that has been so supportive to me.

I compromised and made a decision to retire and leave Canada when my senior dog, Shadow, passed away. Not that I wanted her to leave me anytime soon. And I never told anyone that was my plan.

Sadly that day came in early January, 2023.

The should I go or should I stay struggle has ended for me.

Next stop: finding my way.

Camino de Santiago

When I was younger I lived in Spain for awhile working as an au pair. I’ve always known about the Camino de Santiago, but I mostly knew it as a religious pilgrimage. Pilgrims walk a path across Northern Spain to reach the city of Santiago.

Beyond that I didn’t give it much thought. I’m not a religious person. This pilgrimage was not on my radar. Though going back to Spain definitely was.

The Way

About a year and a half ago I signed up for Amazon Prime that comes with free access to TV shows and movies. I put a search in for Spain and found a movie called The Way, starring Martin Sheen.

I was a teenager in the 70s and remember Martin Sheen playing creepy characters. He played a pedophile in The Little Girl who Lives Down the Lane starring Jodi Foster. Then he played an escaped psycho who kidnaps a teenager (Linda Blair) in Sweet Hostage.

The movie The Way changed my opinion of Martin Sheen! His character’s son, played by his real son Emilio Estevez, passes away in a freak accident at the beginning of his camino. Dad goes to France to claim the body and decides to walk the camino for his son.

I definitely recommend watching the movie. It’s available on Amazon Prime and I’m sure it must be on Netflix as well.

It’s also going to be re-released in theaters on May 16! Check out this interview with Emilio Estevez on MSNBC. You have to unmute the video.

And another interview on YouTube about The Way being re-released.

My heart is calling me back to Spain

After watching the movie The Way, it really resounded with me. This was something I needed to do. I’ve been wanting to travel back to Spain and now I’m being called to walk the Camino de Santiago.

I started reading blogs and watching YouTube videos from pilgrims. Little by little I began purchasing the items I’d need to walk the Camino. I needed everything from a backpack to blister prevention.

Shortly after Shadow passed, I ordered my credential. This is like a passport that pilgrims carry to collect stamps from various establishments along the Camino – restaurants, albergues, churches, etc. When we arrive at the pilgrim’s office in Santiago we show our credential as proof of our journey, and receive a compostela – a certificate of completion.

There are several caminos a pilgrim can walk to reach Santiago. I’ll be walking the Camino Frances that is about 800 km long, and it takes about 5 to 6 weeks to complete.

Finding my way

In the interview, Emilio Estevez talked about how people are hitting the reset button and deciding what’s important to them.

I completely agree!

This is why I’m choosing retirement. The Camino is calling me and I have to walk to Santiago while I’m still physically capable of doing so.

I’m not walking the Camino for religious reasons. For me, it’s a healing journey. Shadow is the most recent loss in my life and she’s one of the reasons why I’m walking. The Camino is supposed to be a place for healing and letting go of sorrows. I’ll be walking the Camino in hopes of finding clarity, finding my way.

There are many reasons why pilgrims walk the Camino de Santiago: religious, spiritual, health, exercise, adventure, healing, figuring out your life, leaving behind past burdens. Some pilgrims receive the answers they seek and other pilgrims say it was just a really long walk.

Sauntering my way

I plan to be in Spain mid-September, 2023. I’ll probably be in either Madrid and/or Valencia areas for a week or so before heading north to St. Jean Pied de Port, France where I’ll begin my Camino.

I expect I’ll be sauntering along the path and enjoying my Camino. This is not a race.

I’m still putting my exit Canada plan into place. I have a lot of moving parts.

Buen Camino!

Published by Cheryl @ The Lifestyle Digs on May 11, 2023.

More reading:

The creepy Martin Sheen movies

Watch these movies on YouTube with some great acting by Martin Sheen.

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