The final countdown has begun! I leave for England in ONE WEEK! I have a whole different feeling about this trip than I did about India last year. There is nervousness for sure, hiking 192 miles in two weeks will give you some butterflies in your stomach, but there is pure excitement as well. Walking 192 miles alone is going to be an epic adventure. Time to think and time to move at my own pace.
Yesterday I spent a lot of time watching other coast to coasters videos on youtube. I googled my bnb’s and took little tours of the towns on google maps. I saw quaint little coffee shops and fun beach side ice cream stands. There will be no lack of great food, and I can’t wait to have my first English fish and chips!
One of the things I was high anxiety about is getting lost. Many websites and books talk about needing good navigation skills since rain is prevalent in the UK and if it rolls in while you are on the trail you may need to know how to read a compass to keep you going. Friends, I have taken compass classes, and I just find myself more and more lost as we learn. Weirdest thing. As all the other students get better? I get worse. Our fix to this, and I feel so very fortunate, is that we have a family member working at Garmin so we bought an inReach All of my stops have been plotted so in case of emergency I’ll be able to use this to navigate me to my next spot. That takes so much pressure off!
With all of this planning I’m feeling so much more comfortable about the hike itself. There is another piece of this to talk about, being sober on vacation. It always comes up for me as a sticking point because on vacation is when we used to do our best drinking. When I traveled alone I would drink heavily to mask the fear of traveling alone. I was sober in India but there wasn’t an abundance of booze in India. Every video I watched about this trail had beer. I’ll be staying in BnB’s and eating in pubs. There will be lots of beer. I know Ill remain sober on this trip but wonder how much beer will be in my vision and how it will make me feel. I’ve already decided that I’ll use the David Sedaris trick “Sometimes I say – people say, do you want a drink? And I say, oh, I’d like to, but I’m a tragic alcoholic. I always say tragic. I’m a tragic alcoholic.”
While this adventure may have some bar time, I know I will be spending it eating and not drinking. I’m sure I’ll be too tired to even think about anything other than the next days hike.