Work while you walk?

Should you work while you walk your pilgrimage?

Ideally not.

But sometimes, it’s not possible to take 4-5 weeks off completely.

For those who have regular jobs where you can take holidays, it’s possible. Some might have long service leave. Sigrid, whom I met and walked with enjoyably for a while, was a teacher on a year long sabbatical.

There were a couple of people I met on my walk who’d just sold their businesses and were cashed up and looking around for something else to do. They were using the Camino to think about things. And of course there were all the retired folk I met who didn’t have to bother about work. They had all the time in the world.

For me, it wasn’t possible. I had to keep working while I walked. I’d decided to walk the Camino relatively spontaneously, even though I’d been training for some time, yet I had various work commitments which I couldn’t step away from altogether.

I did however suddenly have a chunk of time that had opened up to me. I could spare 5 weeks out of the country. But I would have to take my work with me.

This meant carrying an iPad, two phones, chargers and batteries, and I had to organise Dropbox and other online resources so that I could access my work when needed.

I remember one time, walking out of Burgos, I got a phone call from my office and it required all my attention. I kept walking while attending to the call, but then I realised I hadn’t seen any yellow arrows in quite some time.

I finished the call then retraced my steps. Because I’d been on this work phone call, I’d completely missed a crucial arrow directing me down a small lane, and so I ended up walking about 3kms more than I should have.

I mention this now because one of the things that was occupying my mind during the Camino was a global short film competition that I’d just launched. Called, it  called for aspiring filmmakers to submit a one minute video pitch of the film they wished to make, then six international judges would select a winner.

picSeeder was at a crucial stage when I decided to walk the Camino, yet I was fortunate in that a very clever lass named Rebecca largely ran it in my absence. My web designer guru Natacha also took a big load off me. They both allowed me to walk and keep my mind on what was important to me – the Camino.

Yesterday we announced the winner, and I feel very proud to know that Jennifer and I are now helping to launch the career of a smart young filmmaker in the Philippines. Here is a story which appeared in the trades:

All this was happening while I was walking the Camino.

Would my pilgrimage have been any more profound, or more spiritual, had I not been working? I don’t think so. I believe I was able to compartmentalise my work commitments. And the time zones certainly helped.

But I do look forward to the time when I can walk again, and have my mind completely free to concentrate and contemplate without worry and concerns.

Track and sign

6 thoughts on “Work while you walk?

  1. Bill, do you have more hours in your day than us mere mortals? You lead such a busy and full life, with so many projects and commitments, and yet you still have time to put up a new post every day.
    Congratulation to you and Jennifer for helping launch the career of Avid Liongoren, he must be so proud to have his film chosen to be shown at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival after spending eight years in making ” Saving Sally”.
    I hope next year you do have the chance to walk the Camino worry and concern free, your only concern being not developing any blisters this time and that your knee brace does the trick.


    • Dear Fran –

      very sweet of you to say this, but I’m fortunate that I don’t have a nine-to-five job so I can allocate my time on any given day according to the immediate needs.

      picSeeder has been a project initiated by Jennifer and myself to help young filmmakers get a start in the industry. And we’re thrilled that Avid will get to complete his film, and hopefully get a shot at Cannes next year.

      As a result of this past week tutoring students, I am taking up a very bright young producer to mentor her. She impressed me in the the two days of pitches – and I think she’s got a future in the industry. There were a large number of kids that didn’t impress, unfortunately. But she did – so I will take her on as a mentoree, I guess the term is I am currently mentoring three other young filmmakers, and I learn as much from them as they do from me.

      Yes, it would be wonderful to walk the Camino without having to worry about anything else, but I can’t see that happening in the near future 🙂



  2. Well, Bill, I still think both you and Jennifer are amazing and it must be very satisfying being able to make such a difference to these up and coming film-makers by being their Mentor and giving them the opportunity to make their mark in the world.

    My mother used to say the healing power of a good long walk was a way of sorting out problems and concerns which has worked quite well for me on occasions, though I sometimes find I’m unconsciously talking to myself which can be a bit embarrassing. Luckily I have my dog with me so I can pretend I’m talking to her if I get any funny looks.


  3. Dear Bill, you take yourself, your past and your future with you, so why not your work? Only you can tell what’s right for you, although those pesky yellow arrows might appear to have an opinion at times 🙂


    • haha – yes britta – very true!

      I got such a shock that time when I discovered I was well and truly lost.

      That particular phone call has absorbed me – and I was way way off course and had to retrace my steps.

      A nuisance really, but all part of my particular Camino at that point of my life




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