I had thought about doing Camino de Santiago for 3 years and here I am now, packing my bags the day before my flight. Over the course of these 3 years I had no idea my life would lowkey turn to shit and that I'd start Camino de Santiago right when I needed it the most. At first it was just an idea about another fun adventure, but now - a golden ticket to the goddamn chocolate factory.

You may ask how did I get to the decision on taking this journey. Very simple - by tricking my mind. By telling myself that everything is okay and there is nothing to worry about. But, tricking the mind can be easily done, the body, on the other hand, can start calling for help any moment. And hopefully it does it when it is not too late. Two jobs, overloaded schedule, only a couple days off in the month, theater rehearsals during the evenings, slow healing after surgeries because of stress and overload, the flu, inflammation, insomnia and nightmares.. that's when I realized I am on the verge of a burnout. My bed was my best friend, I had absolutely no interest to get out of it. Binging TV shows, snacking and ignoring the fact that my apartment was turning into dumpster was my everyday life. And let’s not even mention exercising because that for sure was not going to happen. I was looking in the mirror and my friends were looking into me and everyone knew that I had lost the person that I am. But at that point I had no willpower to change anything. I was barking at my closest friends, family, clients and myself. I did not like who I was but I had no intention to change it.

I'm so fortunate to have people around me that know that depression is not a joke or a phase. It is a very serious and common problem nowadays and finally people are speaking up about it and recognizing that it needs the proper treatment. I searched for help, I was learning, working with myself and my mental state. One of the biggest decisions I had to make was leaving my job. My days there were over, as of now I am unemployed. The second thing I had to do was find a balance in my everyday life until leaving for Camino de Santiago. I cut my attendance for theater rehearsals from 4 to 1, I forced myself to take days off, replacing my computer with time spent outside in fresh air, I forced myself to get out of the bed. And slowly it felt like life was getting easier.

I've decided to stop! I've decided to press pause on reality! And run away! To go on the road for a month and get to know myself and understand which way to steer my path. I chose peace, nature, surprises and challenges. Every day I get asked if I'm afraid. No, I am absolutely calm… I am more afraid to stay here, burn out again losing myself completely. I am open for any kind of experience the Camino de Santiago will bring me. 

Tomorrow is the day I start my journey. The whole day will just be me getting to the destination - St Jean Pied-de-Port, where I will start hiking. Flight Riga-Paris, flight Paris-Biarritz, train Biarritz-Bayonne, train Bayonne-St Jean-Pied-de-Port. In the evening I have to make it to Pilgrim's Reception Office to get my pilgrims passport, which is used to collect stamps (from auberges, churches, cafes). They are used for the certificates that show the traveled distance and they are issued at the end of the journey.

There's more than 800 kilometers to walk on foot - French Way (the most famous of all the Camino de Santiago routes).

camino french way

So many blogs read, so many Camino storytelling events attended, discussions with experienced travelers, and this is what I am packing with me on the road.


Bag 65 liters

  • 4 T shirts (one long-sleeve)
  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 2 sports bra's
  • 3 pairs of panties
  • leggings
  • a hoodie
  • a raincoat
  • a multipurpose headband
  • hiking sandals
  • running shoes
  • self inflating mattress
  • sleeping bag
  • flip-flops
  • 2 microfiber Ultralight towels (a small and big one)
  • 4 pairs of hiking socks (varied thickness)
  • a mug and a spoon (will have to buy the sharp objects when I get there)
  • headlamp
  • medicine box
  • power bank
  • Santiago guidebook
  • sunglasses
  • hygiene products (including sunblock creams spf50, band-aids, Compeed pencil for blisters mosquito spray and cream for mosquito bites)
  • a hat
  • a watch (pedometer)
  • a small rock to leave at the mountain of rocks
  • elastic band for knee, a gel for knee
  • a notebook
  • a fanny-pack (for cash, ID card, credit card)
  • 2 empty 0.5 liter water bottles
  • carabiner clips for laundry drying
  • wet tissue napkins
  • ID card, cash, credit card

Weight of the bag - 6 kg +1 liter of water.

Food for the first day (travel day) - not adding that to the weight of the bag because I will eat everything on my way there. 

Surprises already started today when I got a call from the hostel I am staying at the first night. They said that they're overbooked and that they will transfer me to the hostel across the street. Hopefully I end up with a roof over my head. I gather there will be a lot of travelers starting their way to the unknown in two days. 

I really hope I succeed. I hope my knee won't let me down, because it has been reminding me of itself lately. 

Send me good thoughts and I'll send good thoughts back to you!

Mom, dad! Don't worry! We know I have luck with me.
I believe it will follow me every step of the way!

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