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What to bring and what to leave at home?

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

As I begin to pack for my pilgrimage,

Blue backpack and black hiking poles on a wood floor.
Lea's backpack and hiking poles ready for the trip!

I realize already that I have too much stuff. My body won't like it if my backpack is too heavy. I'd really like to bring the small one but I am having trouble making everything fit. I've heard this is a problem for people going on a pilgrimage--they bring too much stuff. They prepare for the life they are used to living at home and want to bring these amenities with them. Or, they want to be great planners and have everything they could possibly need in the event that any number of unlikely things occur on the journey. Then it just becomes too heavy to carry and they leave it on the way, give it to strangers, sometimes just throw it out. I'd like to avoid doing that so I am being very judicious.

When you have to carry every bit of gear you do tend to take more care in the packing process. I've been backpacking enough to know that packs feel heavier as the day progresses. I am wondering if life is like this as well. Do some things feel heavier as we age? I wonder what I need to let go of in my life so that I can move with more ease. I'll have plenty of time to ponder this as I walk.

Since I am heading out among people near busy communities, I am quite sure I can have access to almost anything I might forget. And I probably can do without all of it for a few days. Yet, I find myself still wanting to be prepared. The old Girl Scout in me wants to be sure I have first aid and sunscreen and something fun to do, like a book--sorry, book's too heavy. And since I am getting old, the experienced backpacker in me wants the small ball to roll out sore muscles at the end of the day and blister care and ear plugs....the list goes on and on of the things maybe I might need. But maybe not. So I am trying to strike the balance of anticipating being uncomfortable without all the things I want to bring and being relieved that I don't have to carry so much.

Life can be like that. Trying to find the balance between need and want, being extra prepared but bogged down and being able to handle whatever comes with what we already have. I imagine my pilgrimage will teach me some of this for my life. Where do you go to find out what's truly important in your life, that you are willing to carry with you in your head and your heart every day?

Coaching is like having a companion on the journey. I won't carry your stuff for you, but I'll support you as you decide what to bring, what to leave, and what matters most to you!

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