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Adventure time

The Camino Primitivo? You? It’s hard, really hard! I don’t think you’ll make it. I hope you are prepared. It’s so hard! Are you sure you’re up for it? You?

You have no idea how often I have heard these very encouraging words over the past few weeks. I swallowed them with a smile, a tight feeling in my stomach and an instant reminder to self: train harder! Train now!

For over a month, I have been sleeping lightly. Waking up every night at 5 am sharp. That’s when the worries flooded in and decided to hang out until at least 7 am. If I’m lucky I’ll catch a few hours of sleep afterwards. Yet every morning I would wake up with the same sleepy body and foggy brain, slipping into my hiking boots as soon as I would open my eyes.

I’ve really gotten to know Valencia quite well, walking everywhere every day. I have enjoyed listening to podcasts and smiling to people passing by as I felt we were all listening to the same thing and how wonderful that is! Which is probably not the case, unless they are bingeing on Esther Perel and Brené Brown as hard as I am at the moment. Which makes me wonder: what do people listen to as they are walking through life? I’ll literally be doing nothing but walking for the next three weeks so please feel free to share your favourite podcasts and audiobooks!

El Camino de Santiago, you have no idea how long that adventure has been on my mind. Fourteen years exactly! The first time I ever heard about it was during my Erasmus in Valencia. A friend had hiked the Camino twice and told us all about his epic journey. Since then, it hasn’t left (the back of) my mind. There is something incredibly idyllic and romantic about waking up and walking, day after day. To be one with nature and solely relying on your body and compeed to move you forward.

In a few days I’ll find out the reality of it, as I’ll be embarking on this adventure with an amazing friend. Three weeks in the mountains, I am equally excited and nervous. I’ve been on many great adventures, but I’ve never done something like this. I know I’ll learn a lot along the way, as I have been learning in these weeks leading up to it.

A week ago I was in Madrid for a wonderful spontaneous little holiday with friends. That was the first time I slept well, I stopped worrying and I remembered: I have never planned much as I travel, so why was I trying to plan this Camino so much, booking accommodations and mostly worrying about anything that could go wrong. This is not how I roll. So I decided to let go, not booking, planning or worrying anymore and trust the journey.

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