What is it that is motivating thousands of people to leave behind the comfort and securities of home, put heavy boots on their feet and a pack on their backs, and head off to walk the route known as the Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St. James, following in the footsteps of the hundreds of thousands of people who have walked the Camino down through the centuries?
In 2014, Vivianne Flintoff took an extended leave of absence from her place of employment to walk both the Camino de Santiago and the Camino Finisterre. With her husband, Bruce, she began the seven-week, nine-hundred-kilometer (five hundred miles) walk at St-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France, crossed the Pyrenees, and walked the French route to Santiago de Compostela. Two days later, Vivianne and Bruce put their boots and packs back on and headed off to walk the remaining one hundred kilometers (sixty-eight miles) to Finisterre on the Atlantic Coast, to the beach where legend has it that St. James preached and to where his disciples brought back his decapitated body.
In Kiwi on the Camino: A Walk that Changed My Life, Vivianne courageously, honestly, and with humor tells of the pain, (she badly sprained her left ankle just three days before beginning the Camino), fears, anxieties, challenges, fun, and friendships encountered along the Way of St. James. Her life is radically changed at the completion of this epic walk. Vivianne’s meditations shine light upon her inner criticisms, and gradually, with each step, she lets go of self-judgment and becomes self-compassionate. Vivianne comes to a place of life transformation, where she is no longer prepared to live a highly stressed life. Her journey speaks to the many people struggling to juggle the complex demands that a contemporary life requires.