Camino Preamble

Three weeks today I will be starting a long walk. Starting in south west France and, if all goes to plan, ending in north west Spain 800 kilometres and about 23/24 days of walking later. Clarity is something easily lost and often forgotten.

From the start of term it will have been 19 weeks till the start of this trip, an endless countdown till I could start something new. University is much more than simply the work which is why I have probably survived it till now. I've been able to get enough perspective to realise I'm not fully happy with this current situation but a solid alternative is tricky to find. Breaking out is a difficult thing to realise as ironically many of the best ways to be challenged in new environments is by sticking out the status quo for just another 24 months. I'm relatively optimistic of scraping through the latest examination ordeal which would culminate in an exciting but daunting new life in Rome this September.

This walk has intrigued me for the last 2 years and the idea of doing it has grown in my mind till it was inevitable that it had to be done. I've often sat on a thought for a while and suddenly you revisit this thought or desire and it has grown to something where you can't ignore it any longer. I might write a few thoughts on here as I go along but mostly it will be an individual thing, learning from the other people on the way and reflecting on the hows, whys, shoulds over the past year and hopefully the next few steps going forward.

One of the things that I feel most fortunate and grateful for is the sheer variety of people I have come across over the past 3 years. Inspiring people who have a talent and passion for business and others who forsake the typical western lifestyle to explore the world. People who share my enjoyment of climbing, sailing and sport with others who are incredibly creative and simply aspire for beauty. Travelling with the girls last summer, opened my eyes to a more creative side of travelling that particularly encouraged me. I guess I find it hard to wade through it all and find some kind of order and rationality.

One of my aims of the walk is to rediscover some kind of purpose or order. Maybe a shift of priorities. I'm going pretty open minded. It will be quickly followed by a sharply contrasting London lifestyle and harmonising these two contrasting worlds will be a strange and difficult adjustment to make.

The start is tangible now and I've allowed myself to look forward to those nervous first few steps from Saint Jean Pied de Port...