Linda Simmen from Ontario, Canada has completed the Camino for Good Virtual Camino! Way to go, Linda!
Hear from Linda about her Virtual Camino experience:
Hi, my name is Linda Simmen – (Linda Hotte Simmen on Facebook). I am 66, married. I discovered solo traveling, hiking, trekking approximately 6 years ago. I live in Ontario, Canada.
What motivated you to walk the Virtual Camino?
The inability to walk a planned Camino, the Portuguese Way, in October of 2020. I have been walking/hiking every year since 2014.
How has this worked for you?
It was great fun, I walk regularly and thought why not? I liked the idea that it supports albergues. I also truly loved the stamps … way more than I ever collected live and the photos brought back many memories.
Did the COVID outbreak have an impact on your commitment?
Of course! It became hard to walk with others because of the threat of exposure to COVID – therefore, the majority of my walking was solo. When walking with a friend, we both wore a mask which made it a little difficult to chat and breath, yet we managed and enjoyed the company. With that said, my commitment to completing my Virtual Camino was a great motivator.
When did you start using the Camino for Good app?
I started September 2nd, 2020 after seeing a Facebook post.
How many days did it take you to “walk the Camino”?
Ended November 7th, 2020 (certificate says 10th) That is 67 days. However, I took 19 days off sporadically because as you know one must enjoy one’s surroundings and the local wine haha Therefore, it took 48 days.
How many miles do you average in a day?
I work with kilometres; I walked anywhere from 5 to 24 kms … to average I would say 18ish! I have to admit I also cycled some stretches!
3. How does the weather impact your walking?
At home here I tend to be a fair-weather walker. I don’t mind wind or snow … not a fan of rain. However, when on the actual Camino, I walked every day regardless of temperatures or weather.
What are some other challenges you faced?
Needing to hit a washroom … with COVID and facilities being closed, there were times where I needed to improvise or run home haha
4. What has walking done for you spiritually?
I continue to find this to be an interesting question. I have always been Spiritual as opposed to religious and so to be outdoors walking in/with the elements enhances that experience. You notice the birds sing, the various colours of blue in the sky … pink or red at dawn or dusk. I love clouds, their shapes and density – whether they roll by fast or slow and the colours from pure white to extreme dark. Depending on the time of year you notice trees, leaves, bright colours or leafless … hmmm in short when you pay attention, when you are in the moment, you see and feel LIFE all around you. You never feel alone. Makes the heart glad!
Walking is a great medicine for the state of mind. There is a quote that I actually have tattooed on my arm after completing the Camino Frances in 2016, “Solvitur Ambulando” Latin and translates to “It is solved by walking” it is often attributed to Saint Augustine – this resonated so much with me and continues to do so. Therefore, my drug of choice is walking!
Any movement is better than none … walking is easy on the body (providing you wear the right shoes and dress for the weather) and I can attest that it has/is keeping me in great shape!
5. What was most enjoyable about the Camino for Good experience?
Reminiscing! Walking the original Camino changed me in many ways, I found myself to “be” my best self while on the Camino and so remembering those sentiments/feelings while participating virtually, thanks to Camino for Good, I can honestly say it was a great experience!
Thank you Camino for Good! Brilliant idea!
Thank you to Linda for sharing your story and for supporting Camino for Good.