So far, since I decided to actually do this walk, a lot of work has been done, fun work as I would call it
- Trying gear, swapping gear, re-trying gear, testing gear ideas ..and failing.. rince repeat
- Taking every opportunity to walk with my backpack(s)..even if this means an hour around the block at 10 PM at night
- Making decissions on what to take with me and what not (that probably wont be done till the day I actually leave for the Belgian coast 😉
- Looking at food stuff, deciding what meals can be created from stuff your average supermarket could have, that won’t spoil easily (I can’t take hiking food for 4 months with me, and since an average christmascard can take up to 3 months to arrive at my friends in Normandy I’m not going to trust poste restante)
But there is of course a lot of non-fun stuff that will have to be dealt with: Insurances (standard travel insurance doesn’t cover a 4 month trip abroad), what route to take in detail (though I have GPS tracks), making sure bills keep being paid, financing the trip, where to stay in the evenings…
It’s one thing planning a one or two week trip, things seem to get a litle more complex when you start thinking about “months” …
Even though I’ve now been preparing for this for quite a few months, I still have moments at night where I lie awake, wondering what the hell I’ve gotten myself into, and the next day? I feel like I’m 100 meters tall..floating on air, ready to conquer the world, ready to just say sod it!, grab my kit and just go.. It’s a true rollercoaster sometimes, and no doubt it will be till the end :), luckily lately it’s more ups than downs.
The funny thing is, I’m not doing this with somekind of to-do list or planning software, I do have an extensive gearlist which helps to focus my thoughts (Thanks Johan!), but that’s about it. The rest of it is all buzzing inside my head like some giant 3-D puzzle, chaotic at times, extremely focussed the next time.
And when I’m working on that puzzle, there is always that little voice in the back of my head telling me its allright, it will all come together. It makes me think of an article I read not to long ago on the bbc.com website, about Jamie McDonald, who actually ran across Canada (so what am I worried about??) and about an interview he gave:
Q: “I was asked how I’d prepare for the more than 5,000 miles that lay ahead of me”
A: “I answered truthfully and said that I wouldn’t – no amount of training or planning could have prepared me for this journey”
I guess that is the next hill I need to climb..letting go of trying to prepare for every little detail that I can think of and enjoy the journey, because in the end that is what it is all about … who knows maybe I’m further up that hill than I realise I am.
PS: Since a few days there is also a Facebook page up about the 14-18 walk, but you will find various other WW1 related articles there , as well. You can find it at : https://www.facebook.com/WW1Walk