The Latin word dies means “day,” and diurnus means “of a day.” From these two Latin words came the early French jour, meaning “day,” and journee, meaning “a day’s work, a day’s travel.”
A journey means moving from one place to another at a particular time interval. When we walk there is always journey.
“A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”– Lao Tzu
Your journey will be the sum of the decisions you make on the way. You will be at the mercy of fate and circumstance. By all means, make plans, but know your journey is not proprietary.
When you journey, walk with a comfortable kit. Experiment. Do not be afraid to fail.
The doctrine of personal responsibility. Take what you need for the type of terrain, distance and weather conditions. Do not be haphazard with your journey. If you are venturing to remote wilderness, be competent with the kit you carry, without the need to inconvenience others to save your soul.
Recognize the benefits of personal technology, but do so with an untrusting eye. Do not hinge your journey on technology. Give a nod to your forebears and learn the old ways.
Your journey should pivot from first principles. Water, Food and Shelter.
When you journey, your body is working hard. Know that you do not require as much food as you might intuitively think. Supply your body with just enough sustenance for the day’s travel. You will feel better for it. Allow your body to work off the excess of sedentary living.
Nourishment, whilst important on Journey, is critical on the greater journey through one’s life. You cannot partake in the pleasures of journey if your body is not able. Immerse and educate yourself in responsible eating. Eat from first principles. Enjoy a processed treat by an artisan baker when the moon holds water.
“Ne quid nimis” – Nothing in excess
The humble flask of water is sacred. Keep it filled at all times. Drink often.
When you journey per boot your pace allows for many inputs. Surrender to it. The exhaustion will ensure a welcome night’s sleep.
Do not be distracted by litter in the landscape. Bring a small bag and pick it up. We must accept that some people have put some distance between themselves and nature.
When you journey in the old ways you will learn lessons about your body. Listen and adapt. When a hot spot reveals itself on your feet, stop at once and mitigate.
“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.”– Walt Whitman
A good hat and sensible shoes will ensure a profitable journey.
When you journey over a long time period, consider keeping a written journal. Such writing will keep you present and mark time.
A stick, either found along the way or crafted in your workshop, is a sacred object. It gives you another connection point with the earth and satisfies the primal urge to defend yourself against the beast that means to do you harm. A stick in the hand of a walker tells other people that you are journeying.
Start your walking with the dawn of a new day. Arriving at your destination without haste and with daylight is a tried and tested method for distance journey’s.
Wander like the child you once were. Maintain a relationship with your younger self. Stop to admire alien scenery. Chat with local people. Pat the pony at the barbed wire fence. Nap by the noisy stream.
If your journey takes you into wilderness and you feel that you have been overcome with the feeling of being lost you should stop. Forget about the timelines that have been imposed on you. Get comfortable and boil some water for tea or coffee. Reflect on your route and the last known point of geographic recognition. If you are the anxious type you will probably have to contain your breathing and stop your mind wandering. Being lost will put you into a heightened state. Acknowledge this to yourself.
Get your maps out and look at the country. If exhaustion has crept up on you, make camp and deal with the issue after a good night’s sleep. Everything is better after sleep.
Avoid tracking through verdant gullies. Follow spurs to ridges and get the view. Hold the high ground.
“You can’t get lost if you don’t care where you are”– Anonymous