As the snow is still coming up, I have started to get more preparation with the material I am bringing with me for the Camino.
On my first experience, I might have walked half of what I am planning to walk this Summer. And, let’s face it, I was not as prepared as I am going to be this time. I barely knew in what I was embarking into. Oh my. What a journey full of life’s lessons! It is to say I was more naive, and was living in a very different context. I was in transition status, from student to adult. I was passing from depression, cosmopolitan life to happiness and reconnection to nature. I was in a very different mindset, probably even drowning in my own life’s busyness. However, I did not know at first that experiencing the Camino would transform me for the better. I have passed from the dependent girl to the independent one. Who knew this Camino would prepare me for the years to come, with the bad and good events which happened in between my two journeys on the Camino. Over all, I rediscovered what I had lost, including my very own self. Even my dreams.
In 103 days exactly, I am going to leave home for a month or so and get back to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port to experience, to the fullest this time, the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. The countdown has started. I am reading about backpacking, preventing blisters, healing blisters, light packing, and many other relevant topics to prepare me physically, mentally and spiritually.
From my previous experience, I have learned that my backpack weight must be the lightest possible. However, I have also learned that water does weight, but at the same time, it is so vital, and dehydration is even worst than walking with a too heavy backpack that I will carry more water just in case. I have once struggled with dehydration, and trust me, it was not fun at all. I also had feet covered with blisters from day 1 on the Camino. I was also feeling as if I were walking slow, especially while crossing the Pyrenees.
Therefore, since this experience, I knew I would need a lighter backpack. The year after, I went on shopping for a lighter version. I tried it a couple of times, and it does a great job. I am pretty happy of this investment. Now, the weight of my backpack seems to follow me in all my movements without any nuisance. My back and shoulders and feet will be delighted this time for this switch. Another change is about shampoo and body wash gel. On my first Camino experience, all these products were in liquid bottles. Now that I know Lush makes good products in the solid state that works for quite a long haul (which surprised me), I am definitely keeping on these lovely little soap bars. It is much more light and tiny to carry. Just with these two changes, I might have lost 10 lbs for my backpacking.
Also, for my feet, now I believe my walking boots are more molded to my feet than when I bought them. They had the chance to be broken over 500 km already. Up to now, I have not felt any blister coming up. But as a prevention, I am using a cream now to prevent my feet to get rubbing. I also made a few changes with the socks. And if I ever got blisters, with all these tricks, I went to buy myself some good blister band-aids. Hence, I will not get in too much pain if I listen properly to my feet this time.
Besides, I am not done yet with my clothing. I am still thinking about the colors, the temperature and the mix and match outfits. My itinerary is almost in its final version. A few details are still missing. Some schedules are not yet out. Hence, I need to wait a couple of weeks to make these final touches.
All in all, the preparation is starting to evolve as the time is ticking. I have made a few changes in my backpacking that might improve my experience once I am on the Camino. I am also walking every day to keep me in the beat. I believe all this organization and planning is also part of the journey, because it is for this reason that I will be more prompt to simply enjoy and live in the present once I am there.