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Ep2 – The Camino Talk Show, with Milena Suboticki

“To be first” by Gunnar Roalkvam

To be first

There is no point in being first,
to arrive alone.
It won’t become fun before the rest of us arrive, anyway.

Take it easy,
hold my hand,
and we’ll take it step by step.

One time you’ll come first,
be the one that thinks furthest.
And before we know it,
The last one’s got it right.

It is possible to go ahead,
without arriving first,

alone.

INTERVIEW NOTES

1.25  Julia introduces Milena and also talks about Abel – slow and steady.

2.18 How did you hear about the Camino?  Milena's parents are Camino veterans, so it has been on her agenda for a while.  Milena needed a holiday, she needed to be alone and her dad said: “Why not go on the Camino?”

3.48   What routes did you do?  The first time was 170km, from St Jean to Logrono in 2016.  She then went back in 2016 from Logrono to Castrojeriz.

4.59 – Where are you from?  Norway.  Getting to St Jean was not easy.  It was a flight to Paris then a train to another city, then another train to St Jean.

6.40 – Do you speak Spanish? No, but people thought I did.

7.20 – When did you walk? The first time was the end of May and the second time was the beginning of August.  The weather is unpredictable but it really does not matter when you go, just do it when it fits your own schedule.

8:00 – Was the Camino everything you thought it would be?  Milena had not trained and was living in a large body.  She was not really prepared as much as she should have been.  On the first day, she took a shuttle to the top of the mountain rather than worrying about the heavy climb up the Pyrenees for €10.  She then walked down into Roncesvalles.

12:22 – Milena tells the story of her connection with Abel a 79-year-old guy from Texas.  Abel had walked many Camino's and is now 81 years old and still walking the Camino.  The story of the lemon biscuits will put a lump in your throat.

14:00 – It is important to march to the beat of your own drum.  Milena talks about the peace that walking gives her.  She hated trying to catch up with people all the time.  Once she realised that she could walk her own walk at her pace then she loved the walk.  It is just as hard for people to walk faster or people to walk slower – walk at your pace.

17:20 – We talk about the people and how the connections become very special.  Milena tells an amazing story about Karen and the cows over the Pyrenees.  (Please listen to this as the lessons are hugely valuable).

21:23 – Would you recommend walking sticks?  Oh yes!  Especially on the downhills?

23:11 – Are you a spiritual or a religious journey? – No, I am more on a “self-journey”.   I learned that it is ok to put myself first.  The Camino gave me room to breathe.

24:23 – Was it scary doing this on your own?  Yes! Milena did all of this on her own.  The 2nd year she was fitter, but she was worried that she perhaps would not meet new people.  She brought less stuff the 2nd time around.  The 2nd time was also amazing.  It was totally different.  Once again Milena met some amazing people that she feels close to.  Saying goodbye to people was the hardest part and she spent lots of time crying.

31:10 – What guidebook did you use? The John Brierly Guide Book was invaluable.  Milena enjoyed this book as it was good bedtime reading.

32:58 – QUICK FIRE ROUND.

  • What was the weight of your pack? 8kg for the first one then 7kg on the 2nd trip.
  • Did you take anything that you never used?  Technical clothes didn't work for me.  I used wool clothes the send time.
  • What was your luxury item?  I didn't have any.  I was told to use a baby nappy cream on my feet and it worked brilliantly.  Milena did not get any blisters (except on her hands from the poles).
  • Would you say a sleep sheet or sleeping bag?  Sleep sheet only.  Milena had a merino wool sleeping outfit that kept her nice and warm.

38:14 – Did your Camino start when you got home?  Not really, I have been on a life journey for a while and the Camino was just a part of it.

39:55 – Where has your passion come from?  Finally realising that it was ok to be slow was a revelation for me.  The Camino gave me the spark that I needed. It's ok to be slow.

41:48 – Milena says she now knows that it is just enough to just be her.  (I love this!).

MILENA'S QUOTE:

“To be first” by Gunnar Roalkvam

To be first

There is no point in being first,
to arrive alone.
It won’t become fun before the rest of us arrive, anyway.

Take it easy,
hold my hand,
and we’ll take it step by step.

One time you’ll come first,
be the one that thinks furthest.
And before we know it,
The last one’s got it right.

It is possible to go ahead,
without arriving first,

alone.

 

 

 

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