Everybody pilgrims differently. For your physical and mental preparation, it’s helpful to answer yourself a couple of questions.
Why do I want to do it?
No matter your reason, in order to be able to realize your plan, it’s helpful to know your true motivation for your pilgrimage. It will make decisions easier while you’re there, too (comfort of your accommodation, continuing during bad weather, etc.…).
What do I need to organise before I leave?
For some routes, it is advisable to book accommodation beforehand. Some require a pilgrim pass. A quick check whether your health insurance covers the journey makes sense, too. You don’t necessarily have to book your way back, but it can make sense to research the different options before you leave home.
When should I pilgrim?
Some pilgrim routes lead through high mountains or are located high up north, so it only makes sense to walk them during some months of the year. Others can get very busy during the high season. Do your research before you take time off :)
Do I need to prepare physically?
This very much depends on your general fitness, the route and your own aspirations. How far do you want to walk every day? How well is the path developed? Even if you are quite fit, it doesn’t hurt to go hiking for a weekend during preparation to test your equipment and to feel the weight of your backpack (you will leave more stuff at home, promise).
How should I feed myself?
This is totally up to your own preference and budget. Along some pilgrim routes there will be restaurants and grocery stores, whereas others require self support. Naturally, it’s okay to do a mix, too.