Ticket Bought, Bags (Almost) Packed

 

Imagine my surprise yesterday to find that the Indiegogo campaign funding this trip has reached the 66% mark. At the beginning, many people close to me said this was impossible, that I’d never get anywhere. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t buy into their pessimism, at least temporarily.

I’m proud to say that I’ve officially bought my round-trip ticket from Buffalo to Spain. In other words, there’s not a thing to stop me from seeing this through, though I certainly need to get this campaign through to completion if I want to do it comfortably. This is where I knew I had to be if I wanted Words from the Road: Madrid to Barcelona to have a chance of success, but the truth is that this marks only the tiniest fraction of what this journey really needs to be called a success.

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Photo property of DavidHT

Now Comes the Real Work

The next few weeks are going to be crucial for raising the last few hundred dollars in the campaign, but, in truth, I’m not worried about that — it will either happen or it won’t. Now begins the vigorous preparation. I’ve got a tent, I’ve got my sleeping bag, and most of the gear I need. The next two months before I leave will be about learning how to carry that gear properly and learning to care for it on the road. This is the time I need to be really diligent about hiking on my off-time with a full pack, unless, of course, I want to experience the strain of carrying 40 lbs. day in and day out for the first time as I leave Madrid. Oh, and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned my fear of making anatomy related Spanish mistakes before, so it’d probably be best if I work harder to sharpen up the ol’ Español. 

Oh, There’s Also That List of Little Things

There are the big issues, like the aforementioned Spanish, fitness, etc., but there’s also this seemingly endless little list of things I feel I need to accomplish before my exodus. Here’s an idea of the sporadic insanity flowing through my head at any given point during the day: How many more knots should I learn? Shouldn’t I laminate a topographic map? Am I really going to need cold weather gear? I need to memorize the appearance of Lateste’s vipers and Montpellier snakes. How much weight will a bottle of altitude sickness medicine weigh?

In other words, there are a ton of details I’m worried about, whether they deserve to be considered or not. I think, perhaps, if I had been down this road — figuratively, not the actual el Camino connections — that I’d know exactly what to do. As for now, I think the best plan is simply to try and satisfy each of my paranoid questions, finding out how big of a mistake doing so will be once I’m actually marching through the Spanish countryside.

That being said, if you have any recommendations — don’t drink the water, avoid outdoors on the full moon, beware the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword when looting ruins — they would be well appreciated.

Meanwhile, you can keep up on Words from the Road by following us on Twitter, or by following my writer page on Facebook.

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