Saturday, July 28, 2012

Preparations - Weighing Everything

Dad and Me in Big Bend Nat'l Park
Airline reservations are made, hostel reserved in Madrid for Sept 7, boots, pack, sleeping bag . . . my life has become a check-list.  It is actually SEVERAL check-lists - a list of check-lists.
  • Client Work to be done before I leave
  • Business Sustenance Arrangements - keeping things ticking along    
  • Home and Personal Affairs to get in order - just in case . . .
  • Travel and Lodging plans - there and back again
  • Kit for the Walk
I'm weighing everything that goes into the pack.   I'm trying to keep the weight on my back (knees really) to under 15 lbs.  I find myself weighing my towel, my toothbrush, my shoestrings . . . As the book says, "To Walk Far, Carry Less".

The metaphor is annoyingly unsubtle as I consider how much communications equipment to take along.  At a minimum, I'll take the iPhone and a charger cord (and converter plug).  I plan to disable phone/data and use only wifi.  It is a difference without a distinction though - thanks to Skype.

The next question is whether to take a solar charger for the phone (add .5 lb in weight).  The truth is, this question is more about how readily connect-able I want to be while I'm on the pilgrimage road.

Can I risk losing connection for more than a day or two?  Do I really need to be in constant connection?  Do I want to be?

I'm resisting what I really know deep down - that a crucial aspect of pilgrimage is the separation from one's daily norm and comfortable identities.

How separated am I prepared to be?  Dare I separate from my beloved identities and risk trekking out into a world of radio silence for two months?  My busy mind is convinced that if I'm not pedaling, the world won't keep turning properly.

Maybe that's the experiment inherent in a two-month pilgrimage.  I have to admit, I'm pretty scared about stepping out the door and leaving the business I've built and career I've nurtured to the care of others for 56 days.

Would carrying connectivity guarantees along with me be carrying a safety net or dragging a tether?