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.