How to plan your journey to walk the Camino de Santiago

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One man’s plan to walk the ultimate long distance walk

Train a lot

I trained for two years climbing hills, walking trails and working out at the gym while I got the answers to all my questions before I ventured off in September 2015.

I have always enjoyed walking. The longer the walk, the better. However, it was in 2012, while out pounding out the miles around Burnaby Lake in Burnaby, BC that I came to the recognition that I needed to have a purpose to propel me as I counted the miles. The idea of walking the Camino was born.

Make Plans – Don’t just set Goals

I believe, personally, that having goals have limited value. I say this because it always feels to me that when I set a goal I am just testing the waters to see if I can do something. There always seems to be an “Out”! Instead, I make plans. I decide what I am going to do, and then I figure out what the components of the plan are and set about finding them and implementing them. These were the first components:

  • Learn about the Camino and what walking it entails
  • How do I get there?
  • How much money do I need to have to do this plan?
  • What equipment do I need?
  • How fit do I need to be?
  • What do I need to be able to stay safe and healthy during the walk?
  • Will I do this project alone or will other people join with me?
  • How fluent do I need to be in French and Spanish?
  • When and how long do I need to walk the whole trail?

The planning actually took longer than the actual walk did but without adequate planning, the trip would have been a failure.

The plan culminated into the greatest adventure in my life!

Now that I have completed the first round of the Camino Frances I am ready to go back and do it again but with a much different agenda. This time I do not have to be concerned if I can complete the full 500 miles. I have already done it!

Plan then enjoy the scenery

This time I plan to walk slower, enjoy the people and the amazing scenery more fully and really try to allow myself to be more in tune with myself and the moment at hand. Quietening the busy mind and just enjoy.

Another great advantage to this round is that I am in far better physical condition. I am not particularly prone to bragging but here are my accomplishments just in the last couple weeks:

  • Walked the full 13 miles of the Ft. to Ft. Trail in Ft. Langley 3 times
  • Walked the same 13 mile trail twice in 1 day for a total of 26 miles.
  • Ripped up and down the north trail at SFU in Burnaby like my feet were on fire once
  • Played on the hills at Deer Lake in Burnaby (couldn’t find the hills I used to struggle up so I settled for the ones that looked like them

Not bad for 65, eh!

I guess for this round the only testing of the waters is in finding some different equipment to take. All I have left to do is book my ticket and the plan goes to the next level!

Made any plans lately? Just pick a date and go!

Happy adventuring!