"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. "
Goodbye Gov - Allo Allo
Contrast, Contrast, Contrast. Dover although a port, still has a very quaint village feel about it. Calais on the other hand was bleak and the town has a feeling of decay about it. Arriving on a Sunday evening probably added to that image, everything was closed. Not a good omen when one needs to stock up on food for the following few days. We were saved from starvation by a lone 7-11 shop that obviously saw the benefits of being opened when everyone else was closed because it was packed. Stocked up and keen to start we headed to bed for a good night's sleep.
The first few days of walking were both haunting and interesting, the area was littered with remnants of World War 1, pillions where there had been makeshift jetties, old gun turrets and fortified look out points. Interesting because you were walking through history, haunting because of the hundreds of young men that were killed. So many lives extinguished fighting for freedom, freedom from oppression and protection of their own culture. Today the same thing is still happening. I feel so lucky being Australian in that our shores have been relatively conflict free.
BEING A MOTHER
Emotionally this week has been a bit topsy turvy. I love the freedom and the routine of being on trail but saying goodbye to Sam not knowing when I will see her again was hard. My choice to travel and be away from my family is one of the demons that is constant. The choice to be a traveller is a selfish choice and as a mother it sometimes weighs heavily on my mind. When it does the debate in my head is epic, but as always I come back to a quote by Steve Jobs.
"If today was the last day of your life, would you want to be doing what you are doing today”. It was a question he asked himself daily, and whenever the answer had been “no” for to many days in a row he would know that he needed to change something. That may sound extreme but it certainly makes you more conscious of your daily routine and habits.
Although there are days on trail, or at least times on trail when I would say no, I would rather be back in Melbourne being a ‘proper mother’ to my daughter. Most days it a very loud and joyous yes. I know that I have instilled in her the skills and knowledge to deal with what life throws at her on her own. Everyday we have the chance to be better to do better with this one simple question.
I truly believe by living my best life, I am being the best mother I can be. Leading by example showing my daughter that whatever she wants in life she just needs to go out and get. And on the days when I am questioning my life choices I refer back to the quote,because when it boils down to it, the core of who I am the freedom that walking allows me is what make me happiest. I love the freedom, I love being the author of my own story.
On-trail food is always an issue, whether it is the weight, the availability or just the need to eat, there are many conversations in and around eating. A fine balance between nutritional value, calories, taste and weight has to be achieved to stay happy and healthy on trail. Most of time it is about just feeding the hunger with as many calories as possible so you have energy for the next day. That’s one reason Snickers Bars are an acceptable dinner - yummy, high in calories, light to carry and very filling.
However some days the stars are aligned and I am able to tick all the boxes. Tonight I was able to do. just that. We had intended to stay in Wisque at the Abbey Notre Dame an amazing old abbey, however, due to the swearing in of a new Mother Superior we were unable to secure any accommodation . We rocked up at the abbey to spend the night and were promptly ushered out, no room for hobos tonight, we are full. Our only option was to walk onto the next town twelve kilometres away. The extra kilometres meant we were really hungry and without food as we had banked on having a pilgrims meal at the abbey . So no supplies for dinner. Whilst David put up the tent I went foraging (in the local supermarket). What eventuated was a yummy meal of hot baby potatoes topped with mayonnaise, cheese and butter, poached chicken breast, a big leafy salad and avocado all served on our best crockery- a blue plastic bag.
Well that's about all from the trail, David has put together a great little video of our first week, I hope you enjoy it.
Until next week Live Large Be Brave Have fun