Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 333

I have just barely more than a month before the big trip. I haven't posted in awhile, and I feel bad about that because I kind of left off on a bad note in my last post. Truth is, I took the time to re-focus myself and my energy. So much has happened in the past few weeks, but as I sit here trying to remember it all, so I can share it, my mind goes blank. If it seems like I'm rambling, I guess I am. Hoping that the inspiration will come, as it so often does, while I'm typing.

Last weekend, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to go meet many of my paranormal friends in Gettysburg for Phenomenology 105. I swore to everyone for months that I wouldn't be there. I swore to myself I wouldn't be there, and yet, something told me I should go. I needed a break from my routine of work, walking and Spanish classes. I planned to spend the weekend thinking about anything other than the Camino. A much-needed mental break. But what I received instead, was an amazing outpouring of love, support and encouragement from friends and strangers alike. People I hadn't even met were approaching me, telling me they'd heard about my journey and just wanted to wish me good luck. My friends each seemed to offer exactly the right words at exactly the right time throughout the weekend. It felt as if I was lifted up and propelled forward on the path. Imagine an energetic form of crowd-surfing, if you will. I realized that I am not alone, although it feels like it at times. People really are supporting me in this journey.

I have received a lot of questions from people lately, so instead of rambling on maybe I'll take the time to answer the most asked questions here.

Q: What made you decide to walk the Camino de Santiago?
A: I wrote about that here. Why am I walking the Camino de Santiago?

Q: Are you going with other people?
A: No, I'm going alone. There will be other people walking the Camino at the same time, but everyone sets their own schedule and their own pace.

Q: Is it safe?
A: The Camino de Santiago is a traditional pilgrimage that has been walked for 10 centuries. The Spanish people are very proud of this tradition. As much as possible is done to ensure the safety of those walking it.

Q: Which route are you taking?
A: I am following the 790 km (approx 500 mile) Camino Frances route. You can read more about this route here. Camino de Santiago - Frances Route

Q: How long will it take?
A: Most people complete the Camino Frances in 30-40 days. I am giving myself 50. I leave the U.S. on May 1 and return on July 3.

Q: What have you done to prepare?
A: I have been preparing mentally, physically and spiritually. But mostly it has involved a lot of walking. When I started this last May 1, I could barely walk a mile without feeling exhausted. I can now do 6 miles easily, and I've done 10 miles on some days. They say that once you begin, your body adjusts to the additional walking. Many who walk the Camino do so with no preparation at all, so I'm way ahead of those people.

Q: Do you speak Spanish?
A: You're new here, aren't you? Just kidding! I've been taking Spanish since October. Not only has my Spanish teacher been exceptional at teaching me the language, he also turned out to be a backpacking expedition guide, who lives the Law of Attraction. He has taught me things I didn't even know I needed to learn and has supported me in unexpected ways. There was more at work here than just learning Spanish. If you are interested in learning Spanish and you're anywhere near Northern Colorado, I would highly recommend this place: The Language Lounge of Ft Collins

Q: What's next after the Camino is over?
A: I honestly don't know. I am moving what's left of my stuff into storage in the middle of April, so I will be "homeless" while I do the walk. I have no doubt that what I'm supposed to do after all of this is over will be revealed to me when the time is right. It is a very freeing feeling doing it this way, but kind of terrifying at the same time. But that's what it's all about.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Day 309

Today I realized that I leave in exactly 8 weeks. So much to do. So many goodbyes ahead. So much uncertainty.  Am I doing the right thing? Is this just a big mistake? What if, like so many insist on asking me lately, I can't do it?

This has been one of those weeks.

Just when I was ready to make the final push, physically, I got a severe blister on the ball of my foot that has taken several days to heal. I feel like I'm in worse shape than I was when I started this whole thing, and falling further behind every day.

I've gotten lost while driving three times in the past week, unable to get my bearings even with the help of a GPS map. I now admit that I can't read a map. It's not that I don't know how. It's that my brain doesn't work the way other people's brains do. When I picture a map in my head, California is on the right and New York is on the left. It's been that way for as long as I can remember. How am I supposed to find my way across a foreign country?

There have been tough conversations and hard decisions that needed to happen before I fly across the Atlantic for 2 months, but they have taken their toll on me emotionally, leaving me drained and feeling doubtful. I've been in tears more times than I can count.

Oh yes, and on top of it all, I'm feeling spiritually bankrupt at the exact moment that I need to rely on that the most.

I'm physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually drained. It's the biggest test of my commitment I've faced so far. Do I have it in me to get through this? I guess stay tuned to find out.

"Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets.
So love the people who treat you right,
And forget about the ones who don't.
If you get a chance - take it.
If it changes your life - let it.
Nobody said that it would be easy.
They just promised it would be worth it." ~Author Unknown