The last word for the end

It took me some time to write this few words. The two feet already anchored in my new life, it is time to officially end this blog. I want it to remain the blog of an extraordinary year; the blog of a big 90°  turn in my life. 

 Gone from a place I was feeling completely  misplaced to slowly go toward a life more aligned with who I really am. I did what many people are qualifying  of « daring, risky »: I left my job for the unknown. It is true it requires some guts. Also when the energy to do so is present, it is a sign strong enough to authorize ourselves to listen to it.

« If your’re this successful doing work you don’t love, what could you do with work you do love? «   Tama J.Kieves   This Time I dance

I had a fantastic year, with deep joy and some more difficult moments. I would have never imagine that this decision would require so much work on myself. Equally, I would have never imagine I would learn so much about myself! It is worth it, now I own few keys which allow me to progress not faster, but truer and better.

« When you fill at the darkest point, remember the darkness is surrounded by lot of light. » G.U

I feel a profound gratitude toward all the people who crossed my path this year. The ones who open their door to me, who hosted, fed and welcome me as I was; where I was. It has been some laugh, it has been some tears. At the end, it remains Love with a capital L. And this « thank you  » which comes from the deepest place in my heart and that I write in big because I feel like screaming it or singing it: T H A N K    Y O U.

There is another groupe of friends I would like to particularly thank. They don’t necessary know each other, but the day before I jumped into the unknown I asked each of them individually « Please, would you accept to support me during this special year ». Of course I knew they would accept! However, by asking out load for it and hearing this YES, I liberated myself from my fear of unknown. I felt reassured: « I can account on this team of friend in any kind of situation. » Unconsciously it is so powerful! So…a H U G E  T H A N K   Y O U to you my « support team », you did a great job!  Thank you for you regular messages, your cards, your emails, the conversations on skype, your hospitality and your kindness. Each of you, with your own style, has been present and has contributed to the success of this year.

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These last weeks, while I am starting a new phase of life I realised that I haven’t finished to look for my way, to refine my project, to learn. I will continue to move forward at my own rhythm and  explore, in order to live a happy life.

« Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. » Rainer Maria Rilke

And naturally, I will continue to use my pen, my camera, my feet, my 5 senses, my sensibility and my analytical skills.

Here are the different blogs where you can continue to read me:

  • FLOT d’INSPIRATION my new blog, my space of freedom to share the words which come.
  • The blog  Place to B, for articles about ecology and citizenship (sorry I wrote only in French so far).
  • The blog and the newspaper Tout Va Bien (Everything Is Okay), where I am volunteer journalist
  • And I hope in some other newspapers soon!

Thank you for following me in my adventure.



In Andean Argentina

I am walking ahead of the group. We are hiking in the Andes. We are 4 french: 3 guys I met at the hostel and myself. This moring a lady told us about this trail which goes up the crest.

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The earth is green and red, depending on the stratum and above all it is extremely crumbly. From far away the crest appears as fine and fragile as  lace. From time to time I stop and wait for the rest of the group who films, takes pictures and jokes. At the beginning of the crest Vincent opens the way, there is a bit of wind, I don’t feel reassured, but I follow. Everyone speaks a lot, I don’t feel confortable at all. We do a small break, someone asks « Everyone’s ok? », my legs are shaking. I answer that I am not. Indeed I feel suddenly so tall…too tall, as if I was miles above the ground that I am treading upon. I have the impression that if a gust of wind makes me loose my equilibrium, my hands would need so much time to reach the ground and stabilise that I would have most probably tumble down the mountain already. I say « I know it is in my head but… » Someone cuts me « It doesn’t matter, use your hands too! On all fours, let’s go ! ».


So I do: I use my hands to help myself and try to not think  about the risks I am exposing myself to. On the middle of the way there is a big stone. I sit there and for a moment listen to my companions. And finally I  gather my thoughts: I am determine to finish this crest on my 2 legs. I study the ground as if I was  taming the slope on the right, and the slope on the left. Then I focalise my gaze on the little track, just wide enough for one foot. I straighten up and I progress completely focused. One step after the other. I walk slowly, up to the end of the crest. It feels like I am doing my first steps again. I feel determined, focused, bit prouder at each one of my steps and then it feels like a liberation. I surpassed myself! I fight my fear and I won. To the point that I am tempted to go back by the same way, just to savoure the fact that I -can -do- it!

I haven’t felt such a sensation of surpassing myself since a long time and I like it. It gives me the taste of risks and success. And what actually remains deeply anchored in me from the experience is this learning: to success it is imperative to focus on my way…only on my way.


A Feel Good moment 

It is my second day in Galicia. This morning I started early and I am now running out of water. As I arrive in a small village, in the courtyard of a farm there is a colourful table full of fruits, biscuits and juices. It is a donativo for the pilgrims. 

I enter, take my water bag out of my bag and go to the tap. At this moment, one of the owner appears and comes to help me. He is warm and welcoming, his name is Simon and after introducing each other we have a nice conversation about the French part of the camino, his cats and his donativo project. He offers me some banana bread, which I happily taste. 
I start to feel cold, and tell him that it is time for me to walk again. He opens his arms to hug me and tells me: « Have a good life, give lot of love on the camino and after ». I smile in his arms and answer « Thank you, I will, I will ». And then, to my surprise he continues to hug me. My inner voice goes  » Hey you! We are not friends, what are you doing ?! » and 2 seconds later « Hum that feels very good, actually I could stay there! ». Finally this hug ends. I leave with a big smile on my face, I pass the door and laugh. I laugh at myself, and I laugh at this funny episode. For the next hour, I keep smiling and smilling. Inside, I fell invaded by the urge of hugging all the ones I love. 
Live, Love and Laugh! 


The Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair and the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes

  The 40th day, the Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair met a the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes. 
The Tall-man-with-bright-eyes wanted to cook for her and other pilgrims, so she offered to help with the food shopping . As they were walking in the old town through the empty streets, the Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair asked:

-« So, Tall-man-with-bright-eyes. Are you enjoying the way?

-No, I hate it ! 

-Why do you hate it?

-It is the travel you see, I hate travelling.

-What exactly is bothering you?

-I don’t like the walking part and there are so many people in the dormitory, I can’t sleep properly. The only part I enjoy is cooking for others and sharing the meal in the evening.

-And why are you doing the camino ?

-For the challenge, to get out my comfort zone. »

The Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair was very surprised. It was the first time since she started the camino that she was meeting someone who doesn’t enjoy the experience. That evening she told me: « You see, even when I went to the shop with him I had the feeling he wanted to be on his own. And again in the kitchen. He looked stressed by the noise and the crowd. But why is he doing the camino if he hates walking ? This seems so strange to me! » I didn’t have the answer to her question, so I remained in silence.

On the 41st day the Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair started to walk as the sun was rising. She noticed the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes walking ahead of her. She didn’t try to catch up with him. She knows how special is this time of the day. Instead, she did a detour, went up the hill and once in the middle of the vineyard she stopped to contemplate the first lights of the day. She filled herself with all this light and all the colours of the sky and the sun, and then, she went on. 

An hour later, the Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair reached a new village. Despite all the sun energy she absorbed, her hands were frizzing and she decided to stop in the first bar on her way. She entered and ordered a big cup of tea. The Tall-man-with-bright-eyes was sitting there, enjoying his coffe. He smiled at her, and she decided to join him. As she was sitting down opposite to him, the tall-man-with-bright-eyes started the conversation:

-« Good morning, this sunrise was beautiful isn’t it? 

-Good morning! Yes, it was! Also, it is frizzing this morning. 

-Tell me Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair, why did you start your way from so far away? Why walking for so long? 

-You see, to me this journey is a process. There is so many things I need to learn, and to experience. I need time for it. The Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair smiled. I started from so far away, because it was closed to my grand ma house and it was meaningful to me to start there. And when I decided to go to Santiago I had theses objectives: I wanted to meet and share with people, I wanted to get inspired and learn. And walking everyday is great for me, I love hiking and being in the nature. 

The Tall-man-with-bright-eyes smiled back. 

-You express very well yourself when it comes to talk about how you feel and what you want. 

-Thank you, I am learning because I realised it is so important in life.  »

Other pilgrims were arriving and greeting the young woman and the tall man. A Smart-Asian-boy left his bag next to the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes, who reached for his wallet. He took out few coins and discretely slipped it into the boy’s bag.

-« You are very generous, said the Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair. I admire your generosity, I know how important it is, but I find difficult to be generous with my money.

-I have too much of it, I prefer to give it and it will make him happy because he will feel lucky and will probably want to share his luck with someone else. 

-Yes that is true, I know it is a positive circle and still I know I need to learn more about generosity. 

-Before I left for the camino, I emptied my house, I gave away lot of things. I had so much stuff I didn’t need! I also had too much projects, so I narrowed down to 3 projects and I can’t start a new one before finishing theses ones.

-What are your projects about? » asked the Young-woman-with-fire-in-the-hair

And the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes started to talk about his projects. He looked now totally relaxed and happy. He was smiling, and he was doing gestures with his hands. The Young-woman-with-fire-in-the-hair could see and feel his passion for working with his hands. 

The conversation went on as they went out the bar. They walked for an hour and the Young-woman-with-fire-in-the-hair asked again:

-« Why do you hate being here? 

-I hate it because of the journey, because I don’t enjoy walking on this track and because I can’t really sleep at night. And if I decide to stay one day in one place to get some rest, then I know I will loose track with all my new friends. This is difficult. 

-Yes, it is true. That is difficult for me too. Also, it is part of the camino: we don’t choose who we meet and who we walk with, it just happens. And you can always ask for the contact details of your new friends. »

The silence was the first answer of the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes. But after a while he said « Also, I don’t have so many friends here… » . The Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair didn’t understand what he really meant and continued walking. Few minutes later, the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes stopped and said to the young woman that he was taking a break and she should continue walking. 

That evening the Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair and the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes stayed at the same place. It was spacious, new, comfortable, with a great kitchen but the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes looked so tired and tensed that the Young-woman-with-her-hair didn’t try to talked to him. 

The morning if the 42nd day she left very early and she walked a long distance. She arrived to the next destination early and had some time on her own before the other pilgrims arrived. When they came, she made some tea for them and they all sat in the garden. The Friendly-girl-with-short-hair asked the Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair:

-« Do you know the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes?

-Yes, I do. I walked a bit with him yesterday.

-He left the camino today. I don’t really know why but I know he couldn’t sleep well and looked tired.

-Really? So he left… »

The Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair was surprised but also happy for him. That evening she wrote him a note:
« Hello Tall-man-with-bright-eyes, I heard from Friendly-girl-with-short-hair that you decided to leave the camino. I was a bit sad to realise there won’t be any other nice conversation as the one we had at the café, also I was mainly happy for you. Life is too short to inflict Hello Tall-man-with-bright-eyes, I heard from Friendly-girl-with-short-hair that you decided to leave the camino. I was a bit sad to realise there won’t be any other nice conversation as the one we had at the café, also I was mainly happy for you. Life is too short to inflict ourself to do things we hate doing. So congratulation on your decision!

I could have told you the other day at the bar and I want to write it now: since I am on the camino I realised that my biggest challenge in life is to be really kind and truly happy with myself. So I can let my happiness shine for others and experience and share more Love. This is what I am now learning to do on my way. 
Life is a camino, therefore I wish you buen buen camino Tall-man-with-bright-eyes!

Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair « 

That evening, the Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair sat outside to look at the stars. And I spent a long time contemplating the fire of joy burning in her hair. 


Letter to my rucksack

My dear bag pack, You have been with me since my first scout camp, you have been part of all the adventures, all the travels and all hikes; and it now time to say good bye. 

Indeed, little Decathlon Quechua bag, somewhere in the world you left your 2 aluminium sticks which I am missing so badly since a week! 

Your too low shoulder straps are waking up a old ski injury in my left shoulder. 

My love for you, first blinded me: I am so used to back pain. Yes, but it is taking out of me so much energy and I am becoming tensed and grumpy. Therefore today, mid way on the Camino, I chose the one who will replace you.

Please, forgive me! You know me so well, you know we couldn’t continue that way!

Little Decathlon Quechua bag, thank you for containing my clothes, my notebooks, my food, my books, my presents and souvenirs for so many years. I will (almost) miss you!

Maïthé (who just came back from a yoga session and is going to get a massage)