Dave's Walkabout for NSPCC

Dave's Walkabout for the NSPCC.

In aboriginal australian culture, the walkabout is a spiritual rite of passage that involves solitude, introspection, and walking. I'm Australian and my name is Dave.

El Camino de Santiago (The way of St James) is a christian / catholic pilgrimmage tradition that has various starting points in western europe that all converge on the cathedral in the town of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, north-western Spain), where the relics (i.e. corpse/bones) of Saint James (James, the disciple of Jesus) are purported to lie buried. The symbol used to represent the camino is based on a scallop shell. These shells were traditionally collected near Compostela as proof of the pilgrimage.

Most people start the camino from within Spain or from the border region with France and Spain, or from the basque region, but some travel as far as Norway; walking, horseriding, or cycling. I am starting from the city of Reading, west of London, as Reading Abbey has been traditionally associated with devotion and pilgrimmage of St James. To Europeans, walking from England to Spain sounds impressive. For Australians, we are aware that the countries of europe are mostly quite tiny (in comparison) so how far is that really?

Pretty much, Longreach, QLD to Adelaide, SA, via country NSW.

Why are you doing this?
People walk the camino for various reasons. Often these reasons are highly personal, such as deaths of close friends, ill-health, or emotional collapse. Other reasons include personal development, wanderlust, or off to adventure!

It would be easy to say that my reasons were for personal development, spiritual and wanderlust. That is true.

It would be easy to say that I haven't had employment during the lockdown of covid19,  and that has made everyone restless. That is true also.

In 2018 I suffered an emotional collapse. There were many contributing factors that brought this on, but there was one I'd buried for 20 years: physical abuse as a child. It is not normal for adult humans to never cry. It is not normal for them to be emotionally void for 20 years. I had met enough friends over the years that I'd helped through their own emotional problems, by listening to their stories and offering compassion.

In 2018 it was finally time to look to myself. With therapy I learnt compassion for myself, and how to not be so damn angry all the time. I no longer need to feel this shame.

I have chosen the NSPCC as my nominated charity, due to the good work they do in the UK. If you are worried about a child, do not hesitate - NSPCC website 

50% of all funds raised by this fundraiser will sponsor me on this walk. The other 50% will be donated directly to the NSPCC. Any money earned busking with my mini french horn (or potentially picking grapes in wine regions) will also be split 50-50 in this way.

Cows are not a profitable audience.

If you are not in a position to donate, then wish me luck!

Many thanks to the confraternity of St James (UK) - csj website  csj.org.uk

Many thanks to Supple Society - Supple Society website  supplesociety.com


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David Aylmer 
London, Greater London, United Kingdom
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