Making a plan before you come on the Camino is often much like making a birth plan before you deliver a baby: utterly useless. Before I left, I scoured online forums, met with friends, read blogs and made Pinterest boards. I researched packing lists, places to stay, types of fabrics, Spanish food, you name it. But the Way has a way of throwing things at you that the best laid plans can’t prepare you for. That is it’s job.
For example, you’d think that 16-18 miles a day of walking would promote weight loss. Nope. Cookies, croissants, bread and cheese do their part to counteract these effects. You might also think that after 30 days of walking, your body would get used to it. Maybe even have less aches and pains. Well I’m stronger for sure. But no, not used to it.
You would think that after pouring over hundreds of lists and a few last minute panic buys that I would have a completely dialed in backpack. Nope. It’s still heavy as hell, despite being my best friend.
You might be inclined to believe that by this point in time, some revelations would be made clear and you would have some solid answers to life’s enduring questions. Um, I’ve still got a little time. I’ll solve the world’s problems soon.
Also, it turns out that six weeks is a really long time. And 500 miles is a really long way. Still, I’m grateful for every step and every moment.
I also thought that now, less than 20 kilometers from the end, I’d be thrilled. I am, but I’m scared too. How will I be able to stop walking? How will I say goodbye to my new friends? How will I bring home the Camino to my family in a way that honors both her and them? How will I get moving in the morning without a song and dance from Marci?
Maybe, in committing to a challenge, we get more questions than answers. Maybe those questions really are the stuff of life.
Maybe the answers aren’t really any of our business.
What’s your plan?