Meeting people Not my best thing. I’m reserved by nature and live off the beaten track which doesn’t incline me to sociability. So actually coming away, taking public transport and staying in a youth hostel means I interact with many more people than usual. It’s my annual dip into the wider world. And you know I like it. I like them.
I’ll never be a chatterbox but I can make the first move and be friendly. I can be be curious. I can ask for help. I do not have to be shy or self conscious.
These things I learned on the Camino. Most people are lovely and only too willing to offer help and advice or direction. There are some who can’t be bothered (but they are easily to spot and usually God/ the universe guides you to someone more appropriate). And there are some crazies. They want to take you by the hand and walk you to the hostel and stay to dinner, or grab the timetable and turn to an entirely different and wrong page poring over some irrelevant route or reading it slowly and spelling out my options as they see them. Helen and I have been known smile thank you and walk in the opposite direction to their pointing finger. My experience with the crazies which makes me cautious but it shouldn’t paralyse me. Otherwise I don’t benefit from their knowledge and wisdom. I won’t enjoy their humour or our shared humanity. I remain isolated and stuck.
So far I’ve had conversations with a elderly couple who were about to go up The Shard as a surprise birthday treat. Rather them than me. She didn’t have a good head for heights 😁.
A pair of Canadian sisters who are walking the CW too , remarkably perky and interesting for people who had just arrived and were jet lagged.
And a jolly lady who with her husband is taking her three grandsons away for a week – they do it every year. These kids were aged 8-13 and they were boisterous but loving it. They sat and ate their lasagne up chatting all the while (maybe an occasional sideways punch but nothing disruptive). This woman had run a scout troop and had a lovely easy way with them. I salute her. I’ve got a lot to learn in the art of managing boys.
Helmsley to Sutton Bank today. It’s overcast but not raining. A good day to start.