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Strangers again (and a message to new me ...

Strangers again (and a message to new members)

Jul 23, 2022

The railway station of Santiago de Compostela, minutes before boarding the train to Madrid. 

In black and white; not just because it shows what is vital in a more timeless fashion, it also expresses my feelings of leaving the Camino adventure behind. 

Many of backpackers on the platform must feel the same. There is not much talk, nor laughter.

Strangers again. Nobody breaks the social code of not talking to others. 

In less than four hours I arrive in Madrid. I enjoy the changing landscape and fall back in hiking routines. I calculate: some 500 kilometers, that’s a lot of walking. About 20 stages, maybe less, because most of this route looks flat. The sun will be a challenge; walking to the southeast, I wouldn’t like to have it in my eyes most of the day. 

In Madrid I stop at a drugstore. Still shopping like a pilgrim, I spend minutes to study the blister protection tools on display. And I must be the only one in the shop to get excited to find travel size tubes of tooth paste. 

Tomorrow I will leave the Camino lifestyle a little bit further behind me, and join the anonymity of the big city. I will buy a proper size tube of toothpaste, wear just one layer of socks, and leave my walking sticks in the hotel room. 

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For members and supporters:

Thank you, new members. We have a small but growing group of 16 now. The structural monthly support makes it possible to spend more time on writing. With each subscriber on Substack and with each new member on Buy me a Coffee, I become a little bit more independent of other sources of income. It means that I can then share more with all readers. 

And thank you “supporters” (that is BMC-speak for all other forms of support). We are with 50 now, BMC also has the mysterious number of 49 “followers”. It seems to leave one supporter that doesn’t follow me. I can’t tell you what the difference is, but I hope you follow me when you support (or have supported) me. There is a lot on BMC that I don’t understand yet. 

Increasingly, I use Buy me a Coffee for short updates, quick thoughts, or just a picture. The longer articles are for Substack, which remains the main communication channel. 

Please write to me about any thoughts that you have on the themes that I write about, the frequency, style, or anything else that you would like to share. This is a journey for me and I realize that my themes often change. I easily switch between an analysis of the climate crisis to sharing personal travel experiences, or anything else that gets my attention. If I stick to my planning (which is never a given) you may expect updates from the island in August, hopefully some walks in September, and more focus on environment, nature, and sustainability in autumn.  

I hope you will continue to join me on my journey.

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Still here?

Then I have a selfie from the Starbucks in Madrid where I am typing this now. (I changed back from Zumo de Naranja to coffee, convincing myself that adapting to normal life isn’t that hard to do)

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