We left our home in Andalucia on May 22 to start the Camino. That means that I have been living out of my 15lb backpack for 30 days - and 4lbs of that is water. I've learned to live with my three pairs of pants and 4 pairs of socks, 3 short sleeved shirts and two long sleeves. Throw in some underwear and a towel and soap and a sleeping bag, and that has been my life for the past 30 days. I still have about 8 more to go.
To be honest, the first thing I really started to miss was my daily hair and make up. I can't believe that I just said that, since I may be one of the least girly girls ever to walk the planet. I only wear a tiny bit of make up each day, but I quickly realized that some thing about that ritual had started to define me...like I wasn't fully me without mascara. Can you believe that?! I also have the world's flattest, thinnest, straightest baby fine hair and he only thing that makes it at all presentable to the public is a blow dryer to give it a little volume. Whoops...no blow dryer in my backpack. I immediately started feeling like the ugliest animal in the forest. I have had a ponytail and a hat for the entire Camino.
Now, I know that hair and makeup do not define me, but it is funny what goes through your head when you are suddenly stripped of routines and daily stuff. For me, the last week has been a lot of thinking about what I miss and take for granted back home. I'm not talking about people or big things like a car, etc. I'm talking about the little daily things.
I miss my bed. MY BED. I'm so tired of sleeping in a different bed every night. I'm tired of playing Russian roulette on who gets a bottom bunk or who gets a pillow that actually has some stuffing in it. I'm so ready for my bed, my sheets, my awesome pillow, my view out my bedroom window...
I miss being able to get up and walk downstairs and get coffee. I miss being able to drink coffee that I don't have to dig out coins for. I miss pouring a second or third cup and sitting quietly as I savor the morning. I miss sitting on the couch, all cuddled up with my dogs and my Bible and my journal and my coffee.
I miss cereal. I miss breakfast that is something other than coffee and a piece of toast (the typical Spanish morning fare on the Camino ). I think if I saw a box of Cheerios right now, I would cry in happiness.
I miss the opportunity to cook my own meals. I miss variety. Every night on The Camino is basically the same 3 or 4 meal choices. I miss fresh vegetables. I miss our garden and our yummy fresh lettuce and spinach and squash and tomatoes. I miss fresh fruit in our fruit baskets in the kitchen.
I can't wait to take a shower and NOT wear shower shoes! I can't wait to have a clean bathroom that is not being used by 100+ other people tonight.
I know that some of you are saying "first world problems" right now..
don't judge until you have walked The Camino with a pack on your back...then, let's talk.
I'm so excited to go home and watch the sunrise and not think that I'm already late getting on the trail. And to watch the sunset and not panic because we aren't in bed and we will start tomorrow's trek exhausted. I'll be happy to not need 3 maps to plan my day tomorrow, to not need to calculate distance and topography and climate and water and rest points and pack weight. I'll be grateful to not need constant doctoring on my feet or my calf or knee.
I'll be happy to see my clothes again, to choose an outfit that isn't especially made for hiking or wicking moisture or quick dry. I want to put on something pretty and feminine and wear strappy little flimsy sandals...not these hiking sandals with hick rubber bottoms and canvas straps and velcro.
I miss snuggling up with my cute kid before bed. I'll be happy to tell my husband goodnight without having to reach up from the bottom bunk or kiss him through the safety rail on the top.
Don't get me wrong - I have loved the Camino! I'm still loving it. I love to hike and I love my gear and I'm grateful for each piece of it. But I have really been taking stock of how much I love some seemingly normal, run of the mill, routine things in my days - things I don't usually give much thought to or I take them for granted.
Right now, I'm all about going home to my normal life and seeing it with new eyes.