I have moved my blog!

I have updated my website and integrated my blog there.
My revamped website: http://guythatcher.com
My new Blog location: http://guythatcher.com/blog/
My new RSS feed: http://guythatcher.com/feed/

Thank you for returning here. I hope to see you there. A single click is a very small journey, after all!

Cheers, Guy

A message from New York City

This message arrived today for me:

By way of introduction, my name is Eric Wu from New York City (originally born in LA). I stumbled upon your website from a link on a site called Reddit – you seem like you’ve lived an extraordinarily interesting and adventurous life. You’ve gone from one career to the other, and when your nephew asked why you did the month long Spain-France hike, you said “because I’m still trying to figure out what I want to become when I grow up.” I really subscribe to a similar mentality and philosophy, and I just wanted to hear what life and career advice you would give to a 22 year old, recently graduated, working a corporate job that he’s not particularly fond of. I understand this is very open-ended, but I would love to hear about your life philosophy.

Here is my response:
Eric,
I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your request about my life philosophy. I am just unsure exactly what it is. I think that I have always been an opportunist, in that I do not actively seek opportunities, but when one appears I have a serious look at it. At the same time, opportunity often appears more obvious to one who is better prepared to take advantage of it.

Life advice? Be honest, both with others and yourself – the second is much more difficult than the first. Be caring. All major religions (and I am neutral about religion) stress the theme – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In plainspeak, if you wouldn’t like it done to you, don’t do it – whatever it is – to others.

I have been extremely lucky in my most important relationship – my marriage. We have both brought out the best in each other for over 55 years. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have “frank and open discussions”, as the politicians say when they are at loggerheads, but we have always respected each other and each other’s needs. We have also always given each other whatever privacy and space the other partner needs. So what? So seek out a person whom you can love, respect and learn from – and each be 100% responsible for the nurturing and care of the relationship.

You will learn that things are not nearly as important as relationships, so make sure that your ladder of success is resting on the right wall. Giving really is more rewarding and satisfying than receiving, so get involved with others less fortunate than yourself.

Career advice – do what is necessary to get qualified to do something, then expand your search for something that really satisfies you. The personal reward – and growth – will be much greater than the financial reward that you might be giving up.

I still am unsure about what I am going to be when I grow up. At any point in my life, if I could have looked forward five years, I would simply have not believed what would be going on in my life five years later. So what? So don’t lock yourself into a five-year plan. Planning is great and so is opportunity, so during the execution of your plan, if opportunity knocks on the door, open the door! Life may allow you to aim much higher or wider than you can imagine – it has for me!

I am going to suggest that you have a look at both of my books, because you will find out much more about my life philosophy in them than I can put in a brief message. Type my name into Amazon.com and you will find my books, A Journey of Days and A Journey of Days Continues. Both include a section at the back about Life’s Lessons Learned that may help you create or solidify your own life philosophy.

Let me know if this helps, or just muddies the waters.
Cheers, Guy

And Eric’s response to that:
Thank you very much for that detailed response. It’s quite an interesting and thought-provoking read. You’ve given me a lot to chew on, and I will be sure to check out your two books!

Feel free to post the letter and the response, and also feel free to publish my twitter handle (https://twitter.com/thericwu) if you please!

Off the path

I was seriously off the planned route but ended up among friends.??????????????????????????????? Figure_11_Thecheminwindingthroughawoods web

figure_09_victorcassandreandmeme-web2.jpg

Victor, me and Cassandre

Starting again in April 2012

Here are the first photos from the second attempt to cross France. St-Chely d’Aubrac is where I stopped in 2011 and started again in 2012.

 

bridge at St-Chely

The pilgrim bridge at St-Chely d’Aubrac

The chateau at Estaing on a wet day

The chateau at Estaing on a wet day

An obstacle on the trail after three weeks of rain

An obstacle on the trail after three weeks of rain

My ‘family’ from 2011

This photo is the folks with whom I walked on my ill-fated first attempt to cross France. I am still in touch with Karsten, Max and Francine. I have sadly lost touch with the three Parisiennes.

The family left to right: Karsten, Max, Felcia, Sophie, Jocelyn, Francine

The family left to right: Karsten, Max, Felicia, Sophie, Jocelyn, Francine

I’m back!

Here is another photo from A Journey of Days Continues: Mud, Mountains and Mindfulness on the Camino de Saint-Jacques. And yes, I do know that it is the Chemin de Saint-Jacques, but I am writing for a (mostly) North American audience and they recognize ‘camino’.

This photo is taken in Aumont-Aubrac at La Ferme du Barry, where the owner/chef Vincent stretches a potato/cheese mix into his signature dish … and wows the pilgrims at the table.

Vincent with aligot

Vincent showing off his ‘aligot’

My new book is almost ready!

Le Puy en Velay

The chapel on the puy in Le Puy en Velay

My next book, A Journey of Days Continues, will be published by the end of August, less than a month. I am very excited! Starting today, I will post a few of the photos from the book every day. Here are the first three.

 

Trail marking

Trail marking – Go this way

Trail marking

Don’t go this way!

Epic Walk for Women’s Cancer

In support of the Epic Walk for Women’s Cancers in Ottawa, I raised over $1100 yesterday, surpassing my personal goal of $1000. Collectively we walkers raised over $256,000 against a goal of $250,000. Not bad for a first event! My part of the deal was to walk 28 kilometers from the Queensway-Carleton Hospital to the headquarters of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. I have not walked that far in a single day for just over two years, when I walked to Aumont-Aubrac in France and was confronted by a wild boar just before the village.

I started at 11 AM and finished – ahead of the storm that blew through – at 5:30 PM, about 6 and a half hours of steady walking. The logistical setup was excellent with guides and refreshment stands strategically located along the route – much easier than the Chemin. I walked the whole distance with Peter Linkletter, the Chair of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. We were a team of two. The weather co-operated by being mostly overcast with a nice breeze, although very muggy in mid-afternoon.

My body co-operated as well, no blisters, no pulls or sprains, just tired muscles and feet at the finish. The organizers had a tent set up after the finish line with massage available. I took full advantage of this. Again, thank you to all my supporters for their generous support for a very worthy cause!

And a special thank you to Carroll and Meredith, who provided me with personal logistic support – a ride to the start point and from the finish point some hours later.

An upcoming event

On Friday the first of March at 5 PM I will be delivering a book reading and slide presentation from A Journey of Days at Black Squirrel Books, 508 Bank Street in Ottawa. If you are in the neighbourhood I invite you to come and hear about the journey. Paper and audio books will be available for purchase and, of course, for signing.

The editing of the second book is going very well. We are now about 45 pages in and the editor is finding very little that concerns her … so far. Of course I learned a lot in 2008 when going through the editing process for A Journey of Days and I have the same editor this time. I will keep you in the picture as we get closer to actual words on paper and on your tablet. This book will be published in paper and ebook form concurrently, likely by late summer or early fall.

And I am tossing around ideas for a third book! It will be related to the theme of the first two books but will not be a journal in chronological order.