Modern life is distended with decisions. At least, that’s how my modern life feels. I’m very lucky I have so many choices in my life. But all those decisions can get a little wearing.
This is why I enjoy inn-to-inn walking. There are so few decisions there are to make. The route is planned—by me or a local company—and all the accommodation is booked. I’m generally following an established trail, so there’s very little navigating to do. I always know what I’m going to wear each day, because I bring very few clothes.
My job each day is to eat, walk, eat some more, walk some more, eat one last time and sleep. That’s it. A whole day can pass where I barely make any choices at all.
Speaking of eating, even the decision of what to consume is sometimes taken out of my hands. When I’m not overnighting in a village or town, my hosts will cook me dinner and breakfast. There’s rarely a choice in the matter—I eat what they provide for me.
I think this is just about the most decision-free holiday you can have. Even a week at a cabin or on a cruise ship is ripe with the question of “how will I fill my day?” The answer for me is always the same: walk to the next place, take a shower and a nap, eat dinner and go to sleep.
Truly, I have entered my middle age.
In June of 2022, I completed my fourth inn-to-inn walking trip, in the Durdogne region of France. I planned this trip myself and carried all my possessions from place to place (on previous trips, my luggage was taxied to the next destination, lightening my walking load).
We held a staff retreat in France this month, and then we worked from our old house for a couple of weeks. My walking route was determined by proximity to our home base in the Languedoc, and I wanted to start and finish my walk at a train station. These are the emails I sent to friends and family after I finished each day’s walk: