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Trekking with Trello

Series Menu: Intro | Gear Tests and Practice Walks 

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I frequently combine my love for travel with my love of Atlassian products. In my “Boondocking with Jira and Confluence” series, I used two Atlassian tools to plan our first “off-grid” camping experience. We’ve been touring the US in an RV since 2015, and have always used Jira and Confluence to plan trips. Now it’s time for my next adventure! This time, I’ll use Trello to plan a 200-mile walk on the Camino de Santiago in Spain!

Frequently asked questions about Trello and my trip:

What is the Camino de Santiago?

The Camino de Santiago is a network of ancient pilgrim routes that lead to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. Each year, over 300,000 walkers, cyclists, and even a few horseback riders, travel many routes originating in Spain, Portugal, and France. This 4-minute video provides a good overview of the journey.

How far are you walking?

Which route will I take?“, “Where will I start and end?“, and “When will I go?” were all early questions on my Trello board. I couldn’t plan any other travel details until I answered those questions. I read countless travel books and blogs to decide and once I had answers, I used Trello’s “Due Date” function to mark those cards complete and move on to other planning tasks.

trello-routeDecision made and Trello card completed

My portion of the walk is approximately 200 miles or 313 kilometers. I’ll walk the most popular route, called the Camino Francés, and start in Leon, Spain. I’ve been to Barcelona twice, both for Atlassian Summit, so this time, I’m arriving in Madrid.

The full Camino Francés route starts from St. Jean Pied-de-Port in France. This route is approx 480 mi /775 km, requires a climb over the Pyrenees mountains, and takes 5 or more weeks to complete. That seemed a little daunting for my first long-distance hike! I’ll try this shorted version first and see how it goes.

Why are you walking?

To be completely honest, I don’t know yet. I’m hoping I’ll know when I arrive in Santiago. I’d heard of this walk a very long time ago but I can clearly remember the day I decided I wanted to attempt it. In the fall of 2017, our RV trip took us to Phoenix, Arizona. I saw an advertisement for a documentary film showing right down the street from our campground. “I’ll Push You“, is a film about a man who pushed his wheelchair-bound best friend the entire length of the Camino. Their inspiring story, and the desire to do something interesting with my vacation time, motivated my trip.

Others do the walk for a variety of reasons including spiritual, religious, adventure, tribute, remembrance, transition, celebration, etc. In another documentaty, a group used the experience to overcome addiction. I even read a story of walking the Camino as penance. The potential reasons and personal motivations are endless.

What type of terrain is the trail?

The trail is every material except sand and lava. (If you haven’t done a lava trek, add that to your bucket list. I highly recommend it!) The route leads through large cities, tiny villages, and vast countryside in between. I’m expecting a mix of rock, mud, grass, gravel, dirt, cobblestone, and asphalt.

There’s quite a debate on which type of footwear is best for the varied terrain. I’ve concluded boots vs. sneakers is a personal preference. I’ve selected a waterproof trekking sneaker and have tested them thoroughly. The first pair is worn out from many miles of testing. The middle pair is slightly too small. The last pair is just right and will accompany me on my trip.

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How are you using Trello to plan the trip?

Trello lets you create lists and tasks in a flexible and highly visual way. It helps people and groups organize their “to do” lists and projects. Work teams can track projects like a new product launch, a social media schedule, or to prioritize a list of ideas. Families can track their kitchen remodel project, weekly chores, or shopping list. I’m using Trello to research, plan, and prepare for my long-distance walk.

board1-1Initial Trello board with 5 planning lists

I started with a blank Trello board and added 5 lists to encompass my planning process. The “Resources” list includes all my research items, like books to read, videos to watch, and logistics, like time zone and currency differences. The “Decisions” list captures all the questions to answer before booking flights and making additional plans.

In the “Travel” column, I added the Skyscanner power-up to monitor the costs of flights to Madrid. A power-up is a way to extend Trello’s features and integrate it with other Atlassian and third-party apps. The Skyscanner tip is from Bridget Sauer on the Atlassian Community Team. Thanks Bridget!

The “Gear” column is for items carried on the trail. I used it to choose between a poncho and a rain suit, to test different types of socks, and to research whether hiking poles are permitted on an airplane. The result: I’ll take a poncho and rain pants, double layer Wrightsocks work really well, and hiking poles are only allowed in checked baggage.

Finally, the “Prep” list includes “to do” items like practice hikes, a reminder to purchase travel insurance, and my packing checklist. My packing list is normally stored in Confluence. I could have connected Confluence and Trello with a power-up, but decided to simply cut and paste. Select your Confluence task items, copy them, and paste them into a Trello checklist. Each item is automatically converted to a checklist item!

board2-768x364Trello board with beginning planning details and the Skyscanner power-up

When are you going?

I’m devoting the month of September 2019 to this adventure and to taking a break. I’ve worked since I was 15, started my first company at 18, and started my first post-college job a few months before I even graduated. This is my first extended break and I’ve earned it. Thank you Giles Knights from ClearHub who helped me realize this break is an accomplishment. I’m grateful for the ability to take this time off.

If you need assistance while I’m away, please contact Chris Lutz at clutz@jirastategy.com.

What’s next with Trello?

The next post in this trekking series is about physically preparing to walk long distances. I used Trello to stay focused on my walking plan.

I’ll post additional content as I approach the trip and after I return.

Read: Gear Tests and Practice Walks 

19 comments

John Funk Community Leader Aug 26, 2019

I have seen Trello used for so many different things! Always great to see the inventive ways people are using it in everyday life - from work, to hobbies, to volunteer organizations, etc. Keep on trekking!

Like # people like this
carolyn french Community Leader Aug 26, 2019

Hi @Rachel Wright !

This break is definitely an accomplishment, and take it at your own pace, even if you do plan ahead. The hikers that start on the French side of the Camino Frances were mostly blistered up and broken still going into Leon (their first day was a mountain). Take it easy on yourself those first few days, and Leon is a chill place to start.

I also did my hike in September and it's a beautiful month! You may even come across farmers harvesting fruit still (my advice is only eat a handful and bring the rest to the albergue to share; you won't regret it). I ended up buying a jacket along the way. You are not so remote that you can't fill in the gaps. Just make sure to not overpack, and don't bother carrying too much food/water as you are always close to villages.

Looking forward to hearing more as you get underway!

Buen camino!

Carolyn

Like # people like this

Great article and, most importantly, an incredible story. I also have to try organizing some of my hobbies with Trello, especially bike trips. Focus is an easy thing to lost and this way, maybe I could achieve more.

Hope for follow-up of this post after the trip, let us know how it went!

Like # people like this

Wow, @Rachel Wright, this is fantastic content, thank you for sharing! 

I'm only tracking my food hobby, but this can be extremely valuable for big and complicated trips and organizations. I wish you a wonderful trip, with many new memories to share at our next meeting! :) 

Like FUN MAN ANDY likes this
Celina Zamora Community Manager Aug 27, 2019

This is seriously amazing! I love this article on so many levels @Rachel Wright ! SO many levels. Thank you for sharing. 

Like # people like this
FUN MAN ANDY Community Leader Aug 27, 2019

Oh wow... the Master of Jira is also pretty damn nifty with Trello.

What a beautifully written and highly engaging article ! !  LOVE ! ! 

😍👏💝

@Rachel Wright : will this break include a proper break from all Atlassian tools & projects (except this Trello board)? Or is your passion just to strong to let it go, even if just for a month? 🤩

Like # people like this
Erica Moss Community Manager Aug 27, 2019

@Rachel Wright You are superwoman! Best of luck to you. 😄

Like Tim Keyes likes this
Rachel Wright Community Leader Aug 27, 2019

Thanks for the great advice @carolyn french !  It's been hot and humid and buggy on my last few practice walks in Florida.  I'm looking forward to better weather and to use the jacket you mentioned.

Did you use trekking poles from Leon forward?  My airline doesn't allow them in carry on but I figured I could buy them there if you think they are helpful.

Ha @FUN MAN ANDY !  

I'm going to try to make this a break from everything, but I do get a lot of joy from these tools.  Is Jira addiction a thing?  I know I can't go a month (an hour?) without thinking about it but can I go a month without creating content?  Time will tell.  :)

Like # people like this
carolyn french Community Leader Aug 27, 2019

@Rachel Wright Soon you will be out of hot and humid Florida!!

For the trekking poles, depends on your preference. I think I bought mine at a Decathlon in Sevilla pre-trip. You could stop around sporting goods stores there if you have time. I definitely think the poles are very useful for stability in general and hills. However, if you don't have time, don't worry, there are a million and one left behind in each albergue, as well as villages along the way where you can pick them up. That's how I acquired my second walking stick after I had a bleary eyed start and left the poles behind a few days into the hike.

I see you mentioned rain gear- besides your poncho, I wouldn't bring anything else so specific (try to keep the weight down as much as you can so you will be comfortable). My one regret equipment wise was that I got a wet towel like swimmers use (I think), and it felt icky and cold to sponge myself off... There are probably better alternatives 14 years later.

One time I did get drenched in a downpour and my passport in my pocket got soggy, so just bring a ziplock bag to put it in. I believe you are way ahead of this kind of advice. You have a Trello board after all!! I had a Nokia brick in my pocket that only stayed off except for a few times. Enjoy your surroundings and the simplicity of finding food, shelter, and the way. 

Take care!!

Like FUN MAN ANDY likes this
BiancaE Atlassian Team Aug 30, 2019

This is amazing @Rachel Wright!! I love how you've written it up with a practical use of Trello and a personal take on it, too. 

I did the camino 6 years ago this summer, although I biked it from the Burgos route. I did absolutely no planning and it was a complete disaster and incredibly amazing. I was living in Madrid at the time and decided to go about 5 days before, so I picked up a bike with my roommate and packed it on the bus with literally only a sleeping bag, one change of clothes, and 4 granola bars. I think I maybe had one hoodie and a hat, but we had to stop and buy sunscreen somewhere into day 2. I had no purpose when I started it but I met such amazing people along the way that showed me some of the best hospitality I've ever received, and so humble, too. The whole trip was humbling and amazing and I am so excited for you!! I hope, that if nothing else, you feel a sense of completion at the end of it, because it is an amazing feat!  Good luck!!

Like # people like this

I'm loving to see how people use Trello for a lot of different things! I usually use for college and courses to add due dates and what classes I need to watch, so I can check on any computer or my cellphone to continue studying.
Thanks for sharing this, I will definitely grab some ideas for my personal stuff.

Like # people like this

Wow!  What a great use-case, Rachel!  So exciting to see JIRA Power Users show the tricks of Trello!

I've been finding good uses for Trello as well.  Most recently, I've used it in my latest job search.  Maked it super easy to find out where I am in the process with various employers, last communications, etc.  The Email to Card feature was great to forward correspondences.

"Business as Usual" boards are house chores and, for a short time, medical reimbursements!  I scanned my receipts into a card and when I was ready, submitted them to my insurance.

Like # people like this
Fadoua Community Leader Sep 01, 2019

I really enjoyed reading the way you are organizing your upcoming event @Rachel Wright ! I am a strong believer that reading how other people use Atlassian Tools gives me some ideas on how to use them in a better way.

I have been using Trello for the last year, I am enjoying how I can keep track on so many tasks especially for my exams. 

I have been pushing our AUG leaders to have someone present Trello as I feel there is a lot to learn about it.My favorite power-up is the email one.

Best,

Fadoua

Like # people like this
Andy Heinzer Atlassian Team Sep 03, 2019

A friend created a board just for some traveling we did together, and then shared it with me before our trip.  It was a great way to share details of events, locations, etc with others.   I hadn't really thought of using it that way, but it worked really well to keep everyone aware of what we are doing and when.  Using Trello for a journey of 200 miles of walking - pretty awesome.  Enjoy the trek.

Like # people like this

Thanks for writing such a great article and sharing your tips - especially the Skyskanner power up! I have been using Trello to plan my trips (most recently to Vietnam), but so far have only done the basics with lists, pics, and links. 

For those who don't have any big trips planned, I also share a Trello board with friends where any of us can post local events, classes, and other activities we'd like to do.  That way we always have a pool of ideas to choose from and avoid the pain of trying to come up with something to do together last minute. 

Like # people like this
Rachel Wright Community Leader Dec 17, 2019

The next article in this series is posted!  See: Gear Tests and Practice Walks 

Like # people like this
Tim Keyes Atlassian Team Jan 20, 2020

Hi @Rachel Wright 

Excellent post and story!  I am excited for the third Article!  The stories from other people on the Camino de Santiago are pretty intense.  I am sure you will have a great time and awesome adventure!

Like FUN MAN ANDY likes this
FUN MAN ANDY Community Leader Jan 23, 2020

@Rachel Wright :
Is Jira addiction a thing? 
YES.... and it's a GREAT thing! 🤩💊
I know I can't go a month (an hour?) without thinking about it but can I go a month without creating content?  
By the looks of your articles... NO! hahaha 😂😆🤣
Great job! Really really awesome. 🏆

Like Rachel Wright likes this

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