My next adventure is 5 weeks and 500 miles of hiking.

I just left Lille, where my French friend and her parents always treat me like family. It was a weekend of parties and a birthday, so there was a new cake in the kitchen Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I won’t be starting my hike hungry.

I will, however, be starting it like a chicken running around with its head cut off.

Overnight I had some kind of stress nightmare where my brother died, which led me to keep imagining his ghost and having conversations with him while I went insane. This morning I couldn’t even think straight enough to remember what time I had to leave the house. Then this afternoon, when I changed trains in Paris, I got on the wrong train and realized my mistake only after we’d left the station. But that’s, like, a normal thing that happens to people all the time, basic rookie travel mistake, super common, right?

Ok fine, I’m an idiot.

Begin my camino voyage like a chicken running around with its head cut off: check!

Naturally, by 3 o’clock on my wrong train I’d stress-eaten lunch, all of my train snacks and what was supposed to be dinner. And I still didn’t know what time we were arriving in Bordeaux or whether there would be more trains running to Biarritz the same day. The bored expressions from every train employee I spoke to for help should’ve convinced me that everything would be fine. Instead, distracted by the way the day was going, I managed to also forget my hiking poles on the train. Their location is still unknown.

On an unrelated note, I’m about to cross the Pyrenees mountains, where people die, on foot. I just found out that I’ll probably be covered in ticks along the way. Apparently a hiker once had to sleep naked in a sheet in an empty bathtub during a bedbug sterilization. I only brought 2 pairs of underwear, but my backpack is still heavier than it should be. WHAT AM I DOING.

In conclusion, my friend and hiking partner arrives this afternoon. Hopefully she can help me get my head on straight.

Also, everything’s going to be fine! [Repeat as needed until convinced.]

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