Yes, I have made the decision to do the 484-mile Camino de Santiago without a dollar to my name! To my surprise, I am getting a lot of support from people around the world. Of course, there are those who just shake their head and say, “You are Crazy.” I am still getting the question? WHY? WHY? WHY?
Not why am I doing the walk but why do it penny-less? Well, this is difficult to explain. First, I’m no hero or superman! I am just an average person who loves a challenge that I can learn something new that can enhance my life to make it better today than what it was yesterday. My one goal is to feel good and be happy with whom I am and what I have. I have done that!
I do have fears and weaknesses like everyone else; however, most of my life, I denied that they were even there? In the past three years since I started writing it opened a new door to my life. It showed me a part of myself; I didn’t even know existed. Not only did it clarify my problems it also showed me possible solutions.
Having said all that, what does that have to do with my “empty pocket” walk? EGO! What is ego? Well, I understand it to be “I am better than.” I live in Thailand which I call an ego-less country. Where most people really believe everyone is equal! A completely different view then where I came from. This is something I need to work on. The other challenge I have is to learn the true meaning of “HUMILITY.” I don’t know the answer to that? If this walk can answer those questions I will be “extra” happy!
I still question myself; do I have the courage to ask, “Do you have any food to spare”? I will be willing to wash dishes or clean a room if need be. However, how will I deal the person who says “NO” can I handle that rejection? Or will I choose to just not eat? How about the farmer who I ask, “Would you mind if I put up my tent on your property for the night,” and he says “NO”!
One thing I am good at is planning. So I have my list of what I should and shouldn’t bring. I am told my back pack should weigh no more than 10% of your body weight, so I am 180 pounds that would mean I should carry about 18 pounds. Wow! That’s another challenge. Backpack 3 lbs, sleeping bag 5 lbs, tent 5 lbs laptop 5 lbs,, that’s 18 lbs,. I guess no room for toilet paper? Oh yes camera 1 lb. So that means if I get my weight up to 190, I should be OK?
Now, how about the rest of the group who is going on this trek? For the ones who want to do the whole trip, we will take the first step together on June 1st, 2013. However, from that point everyone is free to do what they wish. Walk fast, slow, not at all? Nevertheless, most likely we will walk together. Now this is where it gets interesting! The normal person (which is everyone but me) will be stopping at restaurants, hotels or hostels on the way. My plan is where they spend the night, I will find a place to camp out and meet them in the morning. Whether this group will stay together, I have no idea?
I will have a map with suggested towns to stay in every night which if we follow we should have the walk finished in 30 days. However, there are no rules. Some may finish early and some later. I do have a plan that we all meet in Finisterre, Spain around July 7th, for a “We made it” party. This is no contest it is a “enjoy the moment journey.”
For myself, I will only have one rule. That is no one from our original group is allowed to buy me any food or give me any money for the entire walk! I may consider them buying me a cup of coffee in the morning? That’s the other thing on my “must have” list.
So far, several people have decided to take this voyage with me. I have asked them to give me some words of wisdom on why they are taking on this challenge? I meet my new friend Terry in Mexico, and we have been communicating for about a year. As you will see he also has a good sense of humor! This was his response.
As I progress in my dotage. It’s less making up for lost time than there ain’t much time left. I am not a golfer, hitting the links, putting a small ball in a hole. Mark Twain said golf is “A good walk spoiled.” When I heard from Jim, who I met in Puerto Morelos, that he was planning a walk across Spain. I thought, why not; I didn’t speak Spanish, but I’ve always been interested in what’s just around the corner.
I’m not too fond of Europe, maybe because of my last European sojourn in 1974, what I call the brewery tour of Europe, waiting outside the Heineken brewery in Amsterdam, to get the tour with free beer, off to Munich for Oktoberfest, wandering through the haze of hashish smoke and the smell of stale beer. I figured this might be OK, as long as I avoid the wino walk that many have done across Spain. The walk is a simple, one foot in front of the other, which has served me well most of my life. So, Jim gave me the idea, after all, he is the idea man. Hope, all the ducks will get in line, walk the walk, meet my honey in Finisterre. Terry
So guys get ready for an exciting adventure! Remember you are all a part of this whether you’re coming along or not. This journey is a “WE” thing!
Buy the way I meet a very interesting person on the net who may be joining the walk. He is from Egypt and has a very informative and entertaining blog. His name is Mina, and it’s called “SOME DAY I’LL BE THERE” http://somedayillbethere.com/ check it out!
Oh yes one more thing for you who have been following my swimming endeavor. I held my breath under water last month for 1:30 seconds this week; I did 2:36 seconds. If I keep this up, I should be able to live on Mars with no problem? Jim