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Hope Helps: Lessons from the Pilgrimage of Life

Hope is in the people around us.
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On this episode of Hope Helps, professional actor Darren Hill shares insights gained from a long career combining his two passions: storytelling and traveling.

In recent years, Darren performed a one-man theatrical production nearly every night during a 500-mile pilgrimage across Spain. His storytelling platform, The Story Pilgrim, is founded on the belief that every human being is a pilgrim with a life story worth sharing.

For Darren, life is a pilgrimage.

“It’s a journey which has a beginning… an end, and the middle bit.” Darren’s “middle bit” includes prestigious theatrical training and a career he loves. It began with the challenge of dyslexia and enduring opposition while pursuing his storytelling dreams. He believes overcoming life’s obstacles is possible through stubbornness, determination, humility and listening to others. “I’ve met people from all cultures and ages that teach me… what life’s all about,” says Darren. “I am the product of all of those people, and they [are] all with me… as a part of who I am.”

Despite their differences, people have one thing in common: all are travelling through life together, and all carry a story. “Listen,” Darren advises. “Sometimes you can guide them, sometimes they’ll guide you.” Guidance from loving mentors inspired Darren to pursue his passion for storytelling—which completely changed his life and positively affected countless others.

Darren has made several pilgrimages across the world. As a storyteller, he seeks to create safe spaces for people to share their stories, especially people who normally lack listeners. Darren has swapped stories with people from all walks of life across many countries. “Once I started,” he shares, “it turned from a physical challenge into quite an emotional and spiritual journey.”

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“When you’re on a pilgrimage,” Darren explains, “you walk with people and it doesn’t matter what they are in life, what career they’ve had.” What matters is their story. “I would ask them… why are you here?” People’s stories have taught Darren gratitude, determination and humility, and have brought him joy and inspiration. Realising these stories must be shared, Darren created an ongoing series of free storytelling events. His effort—The Story Pilgrim—proves learning each others’ stories can break down barriers and foster human connection. “Hope is in the people around us,” Darren asserts. “The story pilgrim is in all of us.”

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