This Time Tomorrow

Planning’s over, it’s time to head for the Camino

Nick Barlow
3 min readApr 3, 2022


I’ve been counting down to these moments since last September, when I made the decision that I was going to walk the Camino de Santiago. In February I finally booked my transport and committed to a start date I then had an actual date to focus on, and now it’s finally upon me.

There have been times during the last few weeks when I’ve had “this time next month I’ll be…” realisations about the fact I’d be on the Camino by that point. A month away turned into a fortnight, then a week and now as I’m writing this I know that this time tomorrow I’ll be on a Eurostar heading into Paris Gare du Nord on my journey down through France.

It’s a weird moment because I’ve been awaiting this and preparing for it for what feels like an age but now its about to happen it still feels somewhat unreal. It’s partly because preparation has become part of my routine over recent weeks and for once in my life I’ve not been doing it in a rushed panic over the days or hours before I need to leave. My rucksack is packed (and unpacked and repacked a few times to get it just right), I’ve got all the things I need in there so there’s no frantic dash to get those last few essentials, and my travel arrangements are sorted, double checked and stored in different formats just to be sure.

A collection of paperwork for my trip including a vaccination record and train tickets.
They say paperless, I say “what if my phone suddenly stops working?”

It’s easy to lose yourself in the preparation for something and forget about the thing itself, and I’ve been trying to avoid that trap whilst also not anticipating too much of what’s going to come. I wrote for Pollinate a couple of weeks ago about trying to be open to more on this journey, how I want to listen more and deal with it as it happens, not trying to make it fit into how I anticipate it to be.

Oddly though, yprt of that process has been reducing what I can see ahead to. I can tell you what I’m doing this time tomorrow and the day after (sitting on a train) but the day after that, this time next week, even this time next month my only guess is that I’ll probably be walking and probably somewhere along the Camino route, but the rest is things I’m going to find out on the way.

I want to let myself get back into focusing on the now and the way it feels, not trying to squeeze experience into a pre-arranged framework even while…



Nick Barlow

Former academic and politician, now walking, cycling and working out what comes next.