Camino Preparation

Yes, lets get it out of the way; “it has been a long time.”

I want to begin this blog by saying something, that will be an unusual and odd way to begin a blog. Especially when it is about something that has had a huge impact on my life in more ways than one and in addition have an urge to share it with the world…

The next many weeks – I would love to dive deep into how it was for me to walk The Camino to Santiago de Compostella and beyond and explain all that I can about it.

But the thing is this: I have concluded, based on my experience that it is impossible to explain to anyone what it really means to walk The Camino and have them fully understand. The simple reason is, you have to do it in order to be able to understand it. So to make sure, that I am not wasting your time with this impossibility I have decided not to write any blogs about it……

 

Anyway… enough with the sillyness! Let´s take the first steps towards Saint Jean Pied de Port and then the long journey across the Northern part of Spain. BUT… keep in mind the above, because it is the truth. You have to do this to fully understand, but I will do my absolute best to give you an idea to work with!

But first… we need to begin before it actually began, which was with a seed. Invisible seeds are sometimes planted in our heads and it is first when it has either grown or similar seeds are added, that the real significance of them becomes clear. The first and main seed was planted in the beginning of November 2011, when I watched the movie The Way. (Watch the Trailer Here) It was first in the summer of 2013 that the next seed was planted when meeting a girl in Massachusetts, who said she was going to walk it the same summer.

From there it took some talks with a friend who reminded me about The Camino and that it would fit will with my name as Journey Navigator and book Your Unique Journey. The “final” seed was planted and re-planted consistently due to finding and reading a certain book. One day I was in my former American basketball coach´s home in Denmark and I looked around his little library. Looking specifically for Paulo Coelho´s books, as I wanted to get into his stuff, and knew he would have them in English if he had any of them.

Interesting how Worlds Collide

Interesting how Worlds Collide

I picked out one, named The Pilgrimage – thinking, that the title resembles my field and interest of “journey stuff”. It was first when I began reading it, I realized it was exactly about The Camino, and during the read I finally just said to myself “I am going to do this”. This was during the first couple of months this year 2014 and it seemed, it from that point on was set in stone, that I was going to walk 800+ kilometers across Spain starting in early April.

Up until that point acquiring the necessary equipment and prepare myself mentally was my task. I had been in Denmark for over 8 months and from arrival back last summer my energy as many times before had slowly spiraled downwards. It was time to finally take a stand; to leave Denmark with the focus of living somewhere else and start a new life with motivation and confidence in believing that this time it was one-way forward. I have carried so much S#!% inside the last 2½+ years, that I saw The Camino to be that bridge between the negative and depressed past towards something new and better! This was basically the motivation for going.

Through the last month in Denmark, I grew my excitement and readiness to go and I found other things, which was positive in terms of this walk and why I believe it changes lives as it does. Through studying personal development, some psychology and how our mind etc. works for quite some time, I really liked that the journey would last at least around 30 days and possibly more. The reason was, that a deep ingrained habit within us usually takes between 26-40 days to dissolve or change, and I saw this as a sign; taking this long walk would definitely have the potential to alter something significantly due to the distance of the journey and length of time.

Besides the mental part, I prepared myself on the equipment side of things and it came to be 10kg worth in total. (The recommended weight to carry is between 6-9kgs for woman and 6-12kgs for men)

All I brought on the Journey to Santiago

All I brought on the Journey to Santiago

Description of items in image:
– 33L backpack, 1L water bottle, sleeping bag, hiking shoes, hiking pants with zip off, my signature travel shorts, light weight running clothing, a solid wind jacket, a sweat shirt, travel towel, inflatable sleeping mat, two long wool undershirts, two light weight outdoor shirts with sun protection, 3 pairs of wool socks, a hat and a pair of Vibram five finger shoes.

I had also branded myself up to promote my business and project with a few Journey Navigator T-shirts, Your Unique Journey Belt, a few of my books to pass out, a key ring with my two logos to attach on my backpack and my own Journey Navigator pen. In addition, as an avid writer I brought three notebooks and a voice recorder which sums up what made up my backpack of tools and items brought on this voyage.

 A flight to Malaga was booked for the 2nd of April, and my official start day of walking I estimated would be around April 7th. The immediate plan was to go there and leave the majority of my stuff during my time on The Camino, with a great friend’s mother, who lives in Malaga.

I only spend one full day in Malaga on the 3rd of April and headed off with the fast train all the way up north to San Sebastian the 4th. Here, I visited an English friend for the weekend, before I would head to Saint Jean Pied de Port, as it was fairly close.

A Beautiful Weekend in San Sebastian

A Beautiful Weekend in San Sebastian

The weekend was spend in company with Carly, I met on my way up to Broome from Perth in Australia over 3 years ago. She lives and works in San Sebastian now, which is a coastal city out to the Atlantic- a pretty and vibrant place. Being there was a nice way to prepare myself for the journey ahead, as I only had the stuff I would use on The Camino, so I got a chance to familiarize myself with the 10kg backpack and equipment.

It did not take long before April 7th arrived and in the early morning I headed to the train towards Saint Jean Pied de Port. Finally it was the day before the day…..

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Next blog is coming up within a week to 10 days!

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gideonnielsen@gmail.com
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About Gideons Unique Journey

I live where I am and I study life
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