It’s finally fuckin’ happening. I can’t wrap my head around it. But flights are booked. I’m set to leave May 9th to Paris from LA. Then September 15th, I’ll fly from Helsinki, Finland back to LA.
I will see my uncle (who I haven’t seen in FOREVER) and his beautiful family in Paris and then take the train to St. Jean Pied de Port via Bayonne to start the walk.
I’M SO EXCITED!
Other than booking the flights, I have done nearly zero prep. I refuse to read people’s blogs and personal books about it. I want my experience to be untainted by others’ experiences. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great they document it and share their knowledge but I’m an empath so any negativity or zealous excitement about any of it kind of starts the setting of expectations for the trip, for myself and my goals based on the data I receive from others. Soooooo, in a nutshell, I’m only going to read some best-selling pilgrim books with trail data/maps and the hostel situation and that’s about it. For me, it’s about trying to have as much of an organic experience as possible.
I also need to start doing some Spanish classes or Rosetta Stone it up. Don’t get me wrong, I live in LA so familiar with basic Spanish but that’s very little and I wouldn’t dare try to speak it so want to get on that.
I have a friend – who I met on the train after hiking at Grand Canyon and roadtripping last year – who may meet up to do the last 100km (minimum requirement for the Compostela certificate). That’ll be a trip if we meet up. I love just meeting people while travelling that you just click with and then end up having adventures together later in random places. I’ll just need to figure out my mileage and when I’ll be where (roughly) to make that work.
After that, it’s wandering around Europe and somehow making my way up to Finland to see the rest of the family there and reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in about 5 years, since I lived there for a bit.
Here’s the wikipedia with the history of Santiago de Compostela which is where I’ll end up unless I plan on going a bit further. My itinerary, other than the walk, is pretty much up in the air – the way I like it. I can’t plan things too much since life has a tendency to take those plans and shit on them.
Some people complain about this walk… that it’s not like any of the Triple Crown trails (Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail). To them, I say: Duh! It’s not. It’s completely different. You can’t compare them side by side fairly. For me, it’s a spiritual walk… I don’t really know what it is that I want out of it but, at the same time, I don’t want anything out of it – if that makes sense… I don’t have expectations but also expect to be changed somehow.
Hopefully my foot doesn’t fail me like it did on the PCT. Fingers and toesies crossed.