Things to consider when putting your life on hold: make a list. Before 30 days out, if you can, begin to compile lists of things that need attention. For those who can go on a whim (what does that mean?) simply book your trip, pack and go. For the rest of us: set your house in order.
Reality with my pack: it must be light. With the weather in Spain showing snow and heavy rain, I wonder if it will change drastically in 24 days. I expect rain…and mud. Should I bring the down vest that weighs nothing, yet will keep me warmer if the Albergue isn’t heated, or should I pack a fleece vest, somewhat heavier, but useful if wet. Every item is being questioned. All my pack items lay in a disheveled pile on my spare room bed.
Speaking of Camino items in your pack. Try them out! I had begun to pile things randomly and wasn’t going to use them until the trip. Last week, I took a donated pair of hiking pants (zip off cargo), and wore them on an eight mile hike. They were noisy, scratchy, and stiff; not something I want to spend 40 days wearing. I go back and forth with wearing my softer REI zip offs or just my yoga capris, which I could live in.
There is banking to set in order. I am the one to organize bill paying. I have to make lists for my husband to check when I’m gone. Cell phone: I paid my phone off and unlocked it. I will get a SIM card in Spain to use. Any outstanding tasks that will be affected by my absence? Oh yes, my teaching certificate needs renewal, so I have to take a last minute first aid course. This should be handy in help others on the Camino, I just wish there was a blister treatment class to take!
I also need to experiment with entering blogs off my phone. I do have the WordPress app on it, but I need to practice posting. Watch for a crazy, random posting of my training hike next week.
Tonight, I think about the other pilgrims, who with me are getting all things in order…and I remember to say a prayer. I went alone to teach in Alaska for a year without my husband, and that was scarey, but I had lived in Alaska before, so I knew what I was doing. This? The reality of thinking that in 24 days, my sweet, supportive husband will drive me over the Blue Mountains to Charlottesville, ask me if I have everything, watch me check through security (I’ll tell him to just drop me off), is slowly building into “what the heck am I doing?!” feeling. I remember that this is a dream come true, and every dream involves a little risk. Every miracle involves a step of faith. Every journey begins with a farewell.