The cross :More and more couples are making pilgrimages together. They are 18% on the roads to Compostela, according to a recent survey. How do you explain this need?
Sonia Chick : I believe that couples no longer find the time to talk to each other about important things. They are caught up in the frenetic pace of life and when they discuss, it is often to broach prosaic subjects. The pilgrimage allows them to take a break and reconnect. For a week or two, they walk in nature and this suspended time gives them the opportunity to talk to each other, to listen to each other and, as Saint-Exupéry said, to look in the same direction. There is something magical about walking. It installs an interior rhythm which makes it possible to think, to meditate and to pray, of course, for believers. All bad couples should walk. Robert Louis Stevenson said that “the outside heals”so if we are with the loved one, we can settle many things.
You accompany groups yourself, especially to Compostela. Have you accompanied couples before and, if so, what do you think they expected from this experience?
SP: On the trip I accompanied to Compostela, there were no couples, but I accompany them on other pilgrimages with Ictus Voyages. The people who choose this agency do not come there by chance. They are in a search for spirituality, meaning and want to recharge their batteries so that there is no longer a barrier between God and them.
You crossed Africa on foot with your husband, Alexandre Poussin, just after your wedding. What did this experience bring you ?
SP: Me, I found the faith and it is the most beautiful gift which is! When my husband proposed this adventure to me, we had just been married in church but I was not a believer and I was lucky enough to receive grace during this trip.
For our couple, this journey of 14,000 km on foot in three years, between the Cape of Good Hope and Lake Tiberias, in Israel, was of course a very strong moment. Even though we had already known each other for 7 years, he allowed us to discover ourselves differently and to consolidate our relationship. We talked a lot and I was able to tell him things that I had never told him. Our extremely spartan living conditions have also allowed us to get back to basics. We stripped ourselves of all the superficial, we were finally real, in front of ourselves, in front of adversity and in front of God. A few years later, in 2011, we left again, but this time to Madagascar and with our two children (1).