El Camino … Part 2: Dealing with the burden

Both me and Mr Ferenczi are very protective of each other, our families, our values and belongings, our everything.

We knew that packing for the EL Camino was not going to be easy, and left everything literally to the last minute: We bought all the hiking stuff on the day before the journey. Adventurous and reckless? I guess we were a little bit of both in this instance, but honestly, we were so busy before the travel that we just couldn’t find the  time to go shopping anytime sooner …

Packing was not easy, but we managed to get it right. Shoes and backpack – the two most important things – were perfect, except for one thing:

The backpack was incredibly  heavy.

And we had to buy a few more stuff on the way too which you only find out are missing when you’re on the road: Breathable shorts, knee protection, easily accessible holder for phone/camera, guide book, creams to ease muscle pain etc. You might say that these aren’t that heavy – well, I can confirm that you do feel every single gram that’s on your shoulders.

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On the way, we met fellow pilgrims who told us about their suffering of back ache and that they couldn’t really enjoy the journey because of the heavy burden. Instead of admiring the view, they’d stare at the floor all the time. For a few days, we felt the same.

They explained of a cheap transport service that could take our heavy stuff to the next place we’d be sleeping, but:

  1.  We never really knew where we’d end up, how far we could go, it seemed impossible to tell in the morning where we’d spend the night.
  2. And even if, we wouldn’t let go of our sh*t, would we? That backpack and each other was literally all we had!

We were tempted, really tempted to get our heavy stuff transported … but then, I figured this:

Our clothes and basic toiletries are all down to the absolute minimum, a sleeping bag is what gives us comfort for the night, so these really are the basic belongings of our life that  – although heavy, are actually part of us.

So let’s  embrace this and let’s learn to enjoy the road, the view, the whole journey – despite the burden.

And therefore, we decided to carry our sh*t … All the way. 

And guess what happened? By day 4-5, the pain was still there but it was different. On one hand, we kind of got used to it and learnt to cope with it, on the other hand, we accepted it as being an inseparable part of our journey and started to really enjoy and appreciate it.

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To me, this has two symbolical meanings.

Life throws at us so many difficulties, and there are two possible reactions to them:

  1. You either learn to cope with those difficulties, accept them, learn from them and get on with life.
  2. Or you find the point when you say that it’s enough, and find a solution to overcome those difficulties by eliminating certain things from your life you can cope without..

Both points are equally valid I believe, and the way you take is entirely down to you, no one can or should judge you.

We decided to do it the hard way, despite the lack of physical exercise beforehand, and we’re really proud of our achievement, but at the same time, we do understand and accept that there are indeed other ways to overcome challenging circumstances.

There’s surely a point when you need to let go. Where you simply need to change, lessen the burden in order to be able to focus on other important things.

Where that point is, is something each and every one of us has to explore themselves I guess …

Now, let’s land this plane on a tweetable:

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I’d love to hear from you. What’s your take on dealing with life’s burdens? Is there an insight you could share with us here that could perhaps add something to our discoveries and spark an aha moment? Let me know in the comments below.

As ever, thank you so much for reading.

Love,

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