“I am feeling very proud of myself! This is my rucksack for the next four weeks. I started to travel 12 years ago and I’ve finally learnt the lesson that less is most definitely more. I resisted the 40 litre rucksack! I’m travelling lite my friends. 30 litres and proud!”
I posted this quote on Facebook on the eve of the first day of my Camino de Santiago walk. What I didn’t mention was the two hours of dithering over my purchase in the store. I actually bought the 40 litre bag only to take it back ten minutes later and begin my deliberations again!
I’m not a natural procrastinator!
Yes, my friends, I made the right decision.
I came across one man on the Camino de Santiago who had a smaller bag than me not counting the “cheats” who paid for their bags to be delivered to their destination every day. What surprised me the most was the number of people, especially women, who were walking with everything but the kitchen sink on their backs.
We would eye up each other’s bags with a mutual look of mystication. I’d ask “what on earth are you carrying”. Their question? “How are you travelling so light?”. One women stopped me on the road and asked where I was staying that night. Would I mind going through her 70 litre rucksack to sort the wheat from the chaff because she couldn´t continue walking? She was ready to throw in the towel.
That evening, as I went through her rucksack, it became clear she had prepared for every eventuality. Even a pair of Jimmy Choos just in case she had a night out. Honestly. She´d be lucky to get into those shoes for the next month with the blisters on her feet, most probably from struggling to walk with such a heavy load.
As we deliberated over what to keep and what she should send on ahead of her, I drilled into her “Every kilo matters – you will pay the price in terms of your comfort and enjoyment for every extra kilo you carry – less is more, my friend, less is more”.
We eventually wittled down her belongings for her new 40 litre bag and she sent on the extra 30 litres to Santiago. And, no, she tried in vain to get into her Jimmy Choos on her party night in Santiago. What they don´t tell you about the Camino is that your feet grow from all the walking.
I´d be surprised if those shoes saw the light of day again.
I realised that the size of the bag that each of us chose to carry on the Camino was similar to emotional baggage we all drag around with us in life.
The Pilgrims who carried lighter packs were either more trusting or had already experienced carrying a heavy load. They realised that less is most definitely more.
Those who felt they couldn´t survive on just the essentials, or needed to pack for every eventuality for fear that something may go wrong, did indeed pay the price in terms of their comfort and enjoyment of the Camino.
It’s a reminder to pack light for life. To drop every extra kilo of negative emotions, fear and worry, knowing that every kilo counts.
So, when you are walking the Camino of life, remember, less is most definitely more my friends, in terms of your emotional baggage, fears and worries. Every kilo matters. Drop and let go of anything weighing you down.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2016. All Rights Reserved.