Thursday, May 31, 2007

Halfway There

I've settled down now. This is real. Now I have to have my plans in place. I'm finding it is different than planning a vacation - it isn't a matter of the sites to want see or don't - your path is defined for you. It's planning how your brain must function and how many kilometers you need to do in a day and if that day isn't going to pan out - having a plan B. It is preparing for rain - 5-6 hours of it or setting your mind not to matter if it is stark, dry and hot. It is discerning from the plethora of information (and opinions) that is available what you need to pay attention to and what you need to discard (kind of like your pack contents). It is wondering how, if the alburque is full whether you're going to walk another five miles (about 90 minutes) and maybe find the same situation again or if you're going to camp out for the night on the ground or if you're going to root around at the taverns for a room above the bar. It's wondering if you do get scared how you'll figure it out.

Fortunately this isn't my first trip abroad. I will get turned around. I will screw up my sentences. I will forget something. I will panic, I will have elation. I will be changed. Part of my evolution has happened: The first time I went abroad with a seasoned foreign traveler (THANK YOU DWIGHT!!), the second time I took my kids (I was the leader), the last time with a friend - we were on equal legs (and sometimes we ate the bear and sometimes the bear ate us). This time it is me. I have spent time in Amsterdam, Portugal, Paris and France. How fortunate I have been. It is still exotic to me.

I'm almost to the half way mark of this journey. The journey isn't the trail itself. It started with the book and moved on the being an idea, a wish, a hope. Then it became a plan. Then came the affirmations, the approval ( work) and the ticket.

In less than 90 days I depart on the trip of a lifetime.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Getting My Ticket

I have procrastinated for a few weeks. I don't know what has been holding me back. I called today, sat on hold, my hands freezing. Earlier I'd talked with a girlfriend having set a deadline of 2pm TO DO IT. It's nearly 6pm now. I piddled around doing everything but this.

500 miles in a foreign country, by myself, on a month long stroll is just plain daunting. I can't choose not to get up and not keep going. I have a timeline and a goal every single day. All the things that could go wrong - can't. Stopping mid way will be a bigger pain in the butt than finishing.

This IS the highlight of my life. It will probably be the most significant things I'll ever do. It will be one of the most unique things any of my kids or friends will know of anyone doing.

I figured I'd waited too long. The guy had me on hold forever! When he started giving me dates and times...he had me bounding all over Europe. The man was an angel. I started with a daunting $1500 ticket. Using all my points and buying some too, $500. This wonderful man, got it all arranged for 50K points. Which I had. I'm flying for FREE.

I burst into tears. I am so blessed. So many things have come into focus - it can't not be the thing I must do.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Finding Flights

Finding flights is hard work. I know I need to get it done NOW. But it is sooo confusing. There isn't a lot written about how to get a flight from the US. There are all these little places to choose from and buses or trains to take.

I'm used to consulting with a travel partner. Eeeek. I'm going to a country where I don't know the language (although I'm trying to learn) and having to figure out how to get from point A to B to C to even start.

If I don't fall apart the first day it will be a miracle.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Weekends Are Made For Walking :)

I walked twice today. Once with the new, but broken in shoes and once with one of the new pairs. No pain :) My miles are mounting and the effort diminishing. Next comes the packed pack :)

Friday, May 18, 2007


My new Passport came today. They are so different from the old ones. They are beautiful - a work of art. I'm so proud to have one and the freedom and ability to use it.

My socks came in yesterday.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

About Maps

I read this in a post tonight and thought it was rather profound:

Carry a simple guide if youlike, but you won't need highly detailed maps. The footprints of a thousand years are hard to miss!

The footprints of a thousand years are hard to miss!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Things Find Me

It is amazing how this trip has rolled out.

I didn't want to carry a sleeping bag. I have a silk one, which I'm bringing, but I didn't want a full on bag. Perhaps a piece of fleece or flannel? Well there it was, hiding in a quilt in my laundry room. A flannel sheet - a big one. I can double it and have a blanket. If it gets chilly - I'll wear my clothes and be ready to hit the road the next morning. Right after I find that coffee shop any way :)

UPDATE: And today 5.16.07, I found a posting on line saying that a September trip only needs the silk liner some fleece/flannel :)

Yup, things find me.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Shoes and Socks!

I bought my shoes and socks today. I will start breaking the shoes in next week. I have my credencial ordered, my passport is in the renewal process and I've ordered my updated maps/books. I'm just about ready to order the airline tickets!

The religious signifigance of this is growing inside of me.

The journey is starting :)