It’s nearly March, and it’s time to get serious about my Camino.
It’s not like I haven’t been serious; at this point, there’s not much that can stop me from going to Spain this summer to walk. My mind has been made up for awhile, I’ve done a ton of research, and most of my friends and family know about my plans.
But everything else? I feel like I haven’t even begun.
Let’s run down where I stand on training, supplies and equipment, and logistical stuff that needs to be planned:
Training hikes completed: Zero.
Equipment purchased: Zero. (As ever, all I currently have for this walk is a Spork. And a headlamp that either belongs to my ex-boyfriend, or my handyman. Either way, it’s mine now).
Spanish learned: Zero.
Flights/hotels/trains booked: Zero.
Aside from work, a major portion of my time is spent thinking about and focusing on the Camino, but I don’t have much to actually show for all of this. What, then, have I been doing?
For starters, I get lost in reading blogs and books about people who have walked the Camino or are preparing to walk (and on this note, I’m so excited that several bloggers I follow will be walking the Camino in the next month or two. It’s so great to be able to follow along in “real time”, and makes me even more excited about this crazy adventure).
What else have I done? I signed up for the Y, and I’ve been pretty consistent about driving out there, lacing up some sneakers, and walking/running on their indoor track. It’s not a training hike, but walking 4 miles is certainly better than nothing. It feels so easy and I feel like I’m walking so fast, but then I think about wearing a 12-15 pound pack, walking an additional 4-5 hours, and doing it every single day. Yikes.
And, finally, I watched ‘The Way’. Again.
So with approximately 4 months left until I leave for Europe, I know that it’s time to check some items off of my Camino to-do list. I’ve got a few goals for March; nothing too difficult, but all stuff that is going to push me into the reality of the Camino.
I’ve got a lot of time to purchase all of the items I need for this walk, but the two big things I want to have by the end of March are a backpack and shoes. This is the perfect time to try out different models and find a pack and shoes that really fit and are comfortable. Then, moving into April and better weather (hopefully), I’ll be ready to find some long trails and begin my practice hikes.
I’m also hoping to buy my plane ticket by the end of March. I’ve held off on this mostly because I need to wait and see how long the school year is going to last, and whether winter is going to hit us with any more snow days.
I also really need to pin down my plans for this trip: how many days to set aside for the walk, and what my post-walk plans will be. I’ve been considering a dozen different options, many of which involve spending some time in France. The latest plan is to have a friend meet me in Santiago, walk with her to Finisterre, and then travel over to France and spend time exploring Provence. Just typing this all out seems unreal. Walking across Spain, meeting a friend and walking to the coast, roaming around France, spending the last day of my trip in Paris… it’s just unreal.
My plans keep getting bigger and bigger: at first, I figured I’d spend 5-6 weeks in Europe. Now I know I’ll be there for at least 6 weeks, but I’m leaning towards 7. And then there’s this crazy part of me that thinks, “But Nadine, you have 8 weeks off in the summer! Why not spend that entire time in Europe?”
I may never come home.
But first, before any of this craziness and fun, I need to get some things done.
How do you say, “Let’s begin!” in Spanish?