Backpacking is a unique way to travel, especially if it’s your own pack that you carry on your back. At the end of the day you might wonder why you needed that camera lens or deodorant. What really is essential and indispensable? I have two more nights at home, but knowing I can only carry about 10 pounds of what I will need for six weeks, I have spent endless hours packing, unpacking and repacking, and searching for the most lightweight gear. Months ago I read my guidebook’s recommendation to carry only 10 percent of my weight. I pondered. If I gain more weight, can I carry more? Not enough to go on an ice cream diet. I have had to shed the “just-in-cases.” So here I am removing things I considered essential, knowing I am hiking close to villages and towns that will be happy to sell me anything I need. The lightest and most essential items will be in my wallet. And more critical to my survival than landscape will be the mindscape that requires me to give up much of what I consider needs. Not what’s in my bag, but the ability to be flexible, creative, realistic and open to the unknown. This journey requires faith and good luck. Buen Camino.
And for the record, I really am traveling light. The picture is part of the preparation, not what is in my bag. I will rely on a phone as computer, camera, photo album, poetry and book shelf, keeper of maps, GPS, reservations, directions, directory, docs, phone, communicator. And hope that works.
Update, June 2017: THIS BOOK IS MY BLOG! My phone, that already had so many tasks, was my word processor, the tool I used to write this record of my journey, without tildes and accent marks, so I wasn’t able to edit the important Spanish punctuation. Also, please ignore the possible, crazy iPhone edits and auto-corrections that just happen. Every day, after walking the Camino, I sat on my bed and wrote the blog on my phone, adding a few photos, also from phone. Publishing needed internet, often super slow. And now, TravelPod is closing its website and this blog will disappear from the digital world. Here is my Blog Memory. That is traveling light.
Buen Camino and Ultreia!