The practical preparation has begun. The practice walks, wearing the shoes and socks I will be wearing on the journey, carrying weight on my back and organising the flights and itinerary.

Who has ever made a conscious decision when planning a trip, that it was being undertaken to grow and develop as a person? For the first time I am doing just that. In May, I will walk (part of) the Camino from Portugal to Spain by myself. This was one of the criteria I put forward to challenge myself – walk alone through two countries I have never visited before and not know the language or culture.

There is the psychological preparation too. I have felt trepidation (especially around direction and getting lost), nervous excitement and straight-out anxiety.

I have explored the anxiety and have come up with the usual suspects: fear of the unknown, getting out of my comfort zone, all that flying and, anxiety for the sake of anxiety. The flip side to that is growth, solitude, being part of new landscapes, inviting and embracing spiritual practice, becoming an open vessel for creativity and open-heartedness, meeting new people, embracing new cultures and making new and hopefully life-long friendships.

This openness far outweighs the constriction of mind and heart right!

Facebook posts from travellers who have walked the Camino in recent times offer plenty of reassurances. Some people have not even used a map or book accommodation beforehand, even in the height of the season. They simply trust that all will be well.

I am going to document the journey (from May) so if you are interested, like or follow Joyful Living with Sana Turnock on FB – https://www.facebook.com/Joyful-Living-with-Sana-Turnock-1101460636625866/ and you can see it unfold.

Aromatherapy for the Camino

Utilising my clinical aromatherapy skills I will definitely pack a formulated long walk muscle ease aromatherapy blend. The practice walks have demonstrated how useful such a blend is as I have tested walking with the oil applied prior, and without it. Application on the feet (and underfoot) and calf muscles prior to and after a big walk has made a difference especially less achy feet and calf muscles after the walk and the next day.  I have also noticed more energy and alertness while walking and feeling less fatigued.

For any of you planning a long walk/hike, the following essential oils are recommended in a carrier mix of hypericum, calendula and arnica: Origanum marjorana (Sweet marjoram), Mentha x piperita (Peppermint), Ocimum basilicum (Sweet basil), Rosmarinus officinalis CT 1 (Rosemary CT: camphor), Lauris nobilis (Bay laurel) and Kunzea ambigua (Kunzea). A qualified Clinical Aromatherapist can create specific formulas to suit your needs.

Buon Camino!

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