His plan is freedom

MAGAZINE. Micheline Lupien is probably unique. At 75, she wears ripped jeans, lives in her Dodge Grand Caravan in search of discoveries and has made several Compostelles. Never try to hold her back. She chose freedom. And she lives each day as if it were her last.

Straight as an oak. Sneering as a comedian in search of a scene. Micheline Lupien lives her retirement like no other by following her intuition.

She worked all her life in a real estate agency in the Laurentians. She claims to have been a workaholic. By 18 she was already a mother and by 25 she was divorced with the responsibility of a family on her shoulders. As they say in good Quebec, she ate her black bread to ensure a future for her daughters.

Photo taken during a trip to Spain. (Photo courtesy)

Surprisingly, it was reading a book that sparked his strong desire for freedom. While visiting a library, the book “The time when… I followed the yellow arrows” by author Amélie Dubois caught his eye.

“This book literally called me. That’s when I knew what I had to do. Making a Compostela was a dream for me and I decided to take action. I trained for a year. I got fully equipped and left,” expresses Ms. Lupien, whom we met at the end of February. She lived in a rented house on Hemming Road, watching for the first signs of spring before hitting the road again.

In the Magdalen Islands. (Photo courtesy)

She walked more than 500 kilometers from Seville to Salamanca in Spain. It was in 2018. “It was a discovery of myself. Often there is a lack of confidence inside of us. There, I rediscovered the real Micheline with her values ​​and interests. I relearned how to live in the present moment,” she adds.

When she returned, she didn’t do anything. She sold everything: her car and her furniture to buy a minivan. She literally opened the doors to a vast world for him.

“When I bought it, I went on the road for a year and a half. I rode, ate and slept in it in the great outdoors. People asked me if I was afraid since I am a single woman. I told them that fear is within us, that we must chase it away. I felt good. I made blackberry jams and spaghetti sauce in the vansays Ms. Lupien.

She maintains that she has never experienced any major difficulties, except perhaps this time when she burned her brakes after a 16-kilometer descent on the way to Vancouver. During this trip, she traveled across Canada and a large part of the United States.

“I sometimes came back for a few days to see my children and then left again. Besides, my grandchildren find their grandmother very cool in his van!”, she says with a burst of laughter.

During a Compostela. (Photo courtesy)

No matter the situation, the lady who speaks exclusively in French knows how to handle it. “There are kind people everywhere. I have always known how to organize myself to continue my journey.”


On her return from this journey, the nomad decided to return to Spain, her favorite country beyond any doubt. Then she got the call from the Camino de Santiago again. She walked 500 kilometers in France then did it again a few months later with a third, this time from Malaga to Courdue, a 350 kilometer health walk.

“My plan in life is to not have a plan. I repeat this sentence to everyone who wants to hear me. It’s my lifeline. Making a Compostela is the best gift we can give ourselves to get to know the beautiful person inside us. We never discover ourselves enough. I suggest everyone do at least one. It allows us to regain our balance. We reconnect with nature. I like making hearts with stones,” she says.

When she returned, her spirit of discovery still unfulfilled, she left for 77 days in the Magdalen Islands with her Dodge Grand Caravan. A unique experience that has now made her dream of the Maritimes, where she will set sail at the end of winter

Two quick questions

  • Do you have to be rich to live your life like this? “No. I collect my money, I set a goal, I deprive myself and I leave. Everything is a question of choice”.
  • What other book inspires you? “The book Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

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