The Camino List!

I woke up this morning with a new sense of hope. It is the first time I’ve slept soundly through the night since last weekend, and I’m sure it was partially due to the fact that I was finally able to eat somewhat normally yesterday.  I’m still unable to get back to hiking training, but I feel less like the room is spinning every time I exert myself.

I am also beginning to fully process that I indeed only have two more weeks in a full-time, traditional office setting.  I’ve been counting down my return to the trail for nearly six years, and more recently, obsessively counting down the months and weeks.  This trip represents far more than a career change and “vacation.” It is the end of a three-year push to pay off a mountain of debt, to figure out a new lucrative, freelance career and lifestyle, and most importantly–to learn how speak up for decisions and ideas that truly make me a better, more complete person.

But with joy and realization, comes the inevitable travel anticipation–the total “holy crap moment” that accompanies leaving your comfortable bubble and doing something rather terrifying.

And so to both celebrate this morning’s new-found sense of hope, and to recognize my underlying terror of returning to this physical undertaking of hiking 500 miles, I have begun mentally making the “Camino List of Awesome Stuff”–a list that will keep me going through my final 15 days.

Things I’m looking forward to on the Camino

  1. Donkeys, and other hiking animals
  2. Waking up with one destination in mind
  3. The variety of the days
  4. Spending at least 7 hours each day with the sun on my face
  5. Cafe con leche
  6. 2 euro bottles of wine
  7. The way the euro coins feel, and how fun it is to discover one after you thought your were all out.
  8. Meals at long tables with strangers
  9. Spanish tortillas
  10. A new bed every night
  11. Tapas
  12. The silence
  13. The festivals
  14. Drinking water from century-old springs
  15. Looking ugly
  16. Not shaving my legs
  17. Never wearing makeup or worrying about what my hair looks like
  18. Wearing the same outfit every day
  19. Those sunflowers
  20. The stories of fellow pilgrims
  21. The enthusiasm
  22. Surprising myself
  23. Cresting mountains
  24. Sheep!
  25. Paella
  26. Sleeping more soundly than I’ve ever slept before
  27. Feisty nuns
  28. The comparatively less-oppressive nature of Camino Catholicism
  29. Fierce inclusivity
  30. Everyone saying hello when you pass
  31. That thing that happens to your eyes when you’re walking in the mountains all day and staring at moving clouds, and then you stop and everything keeps moving!
  32. The air.
  33. Crossing country borders in the middle of the woods.
  34. Friendly hospitaleros.
  35. Counting kilometers.
  36. Strong calves!
  37. Smelling like mud
  38. Galician food
  39. Galician foliage
  40. Galician everything
  41. My favorite town in the world: O Cebreiro
  42. Hanging out with THIS awesome lady!
  43. Writing old-timey love letters to my husband
  44. Sharing photos with my family online
  45. Writing, journaling, storytelling
  46. The wine fountain (which doesn’t open until 9am)
  47. Leon
  48. Finisterre
  49. Screaming and singing and making noise
  50. Coming home filled with gratitude


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