The Camino is usually unknown for first pilgrims so you should adjust and adapt to it and eventually roll with what happens as it comes, which would be good or bad.
Most pilgrims have got pre-camino fears just before doing it. Which ones are they?
- The Camino planning. Is the Camino planning which you have done the most suitable for you? Don´t worry. If it is not, you can change it on the way. Just try to do it softer the first days and then you are getting your own pace.
- The packing list. A good packing will make your Camino easier and mor enjoyable. Spending time on your packing list is essential. Remember that the lighter, the better. You can get most of things on the Camino little local shops. With your backpack filled you are aiming for less than 10% of your body weight,
- Your feet. Everybody knows that your feet are an important part of your journey. You need to prepare them for it and preparation starts with your footwear. Boots need to be breathable so moisture isn´t trapped, protecting for feet from blisters or any injury. It isn´t recommendable to go out in new boots or shoes so break them in well beforehand.
- The weather: the summer heat, the winter cold. What to wear in each season, even in each month. Weather on the several Spanish regions of the Camino are so different that you will probably have to change your clothes so often. If it is summer and you are in the Camino Francés in León , Logroño or Burgos you will be really hot and dry, if you are walking the same Camino in Galicia you will be warm and sticky.
- The crowds. What happens if you can only walk the Camino in summer time. You know there are going to be a lot of people in Spain in July and August. If you don´t like crowds, you´d better not choose the peak months on Camino Frances. But you have other less crowded Caminos such as Camino Portugués, Camino Primitivo, Camino Monacal or Finisterre Way. If you walk in the busy season (June 15-september 15), you try to rise early and hike as fast as possible to your destination to ensure a bed in the “albergue” (hostel). However, there are other alternatives if you don´t get stressed and you don´t want your Camino to become a race, you can book hostels or houses of rural tourism in advance.
Once most of the major decisions about dates and travel are made, but long before it is time to start packing and doing the last-minute things, there is this stretch of time where you have got little to do except let all of the worries creep in.
- being around so many people. Sharing rooms with strangers every night would be an inconvenience? What if I feel uncomfortable? What if somebody snores or I snore? …
- being away for so long. If you are going to spend a lot of time more than 10 days on your Camino, you are likely to feel homesick, depressed or stressed. How to face it? What about your family, your friends, your job…?
- the possibility of physical failure. What if I am not able to finish? What if I get hurt, or if I just am not strong enough to walk a thousand miles? How would I explain to all the people at home that I’ve failed at this thing I’ve talked about for so long?
As a pilgrim, you´d better accommodate your fears. Of course, all of that works out. Being a pilgrim you will have lots of solo time while walking, and hostel living will not be as intrusive as you thought it might be. Besides, you got lots of options to adjust your accommodation to your necessities.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Buen Camino, amigos!
Photo Source: https://www.escapadarural.com/