Camino de Santiago 5

Jun 29th, 2012 | By | Category: Travel Adventures
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Hello everyone,

Thank you for following my adventure. It’s great knowing that other people besides my mom are enjoying it. Today I could not get out of bed. I was soooo tired. So I continued to sleep even though I could hear everyone else up and about shuffling out the door.

I eventually motivated myself to get up. It was about 7:30 and I was out the door around 8ish. I already determined that I would only walk around 12-13 miles from Viena to Navarrete.


I got out and started to walk. My feet and body just went. I didn’t have to think. I was alone and I had my music. It’s kind of funny that the first song of the day was Daydream Believer by the Monkeys. I love the line:

I could lay beneath the wing of the bluebird as she sings, the six o’clock alarm would never ring.

But it rings and I rise, wipe the CAMINO out of my eyes!!.

That’s how I felt. I wanted to still be in bed. I am not a morning person. But the cool morning air was refreshing. It has been unseasonably warm in northern Spain but a cold front blew in over night and it was now cool and crisp. I was starting to feel good about the day.


As I left the town the morning light hit the old church ruins just right, allowing the sun to shine through the rose circle. It was clearly a sign that I was going down the right path at the right time! ;-)


It was all downhill to Lagrona.





In Lagrona I stopped by the cathedral. I wasn’t overly impressed by it. I felt like I had seen it all before.




But what was interesting is that they had a handout for pilgrims and, being the non-religious person that I am, I took one.


It starts with a prayer to begin the days walk:

“Guide me, Lord, along the Path of Peace”.
“Lord, you search me out and know me;
You know my sitting down and my standing up;
From afar, you know my thoughts”.
(Psalm 139)


What I found most interesting was the last line about knowing my thoughts. The pilgrimage gives you so much time to do nothing but think. It’s hard for me to imagine people walking the same path for over a 1,000 years, but they have. And here I was, walking the path. But not for religious reasons.


The handout next asked me to consider these questions for my reflection. So, I did.

Question 1: Who called you to “leave your home”?

That one was easy. Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen. Yes, I was walking the Santiago de Compostela, 500 miles across Spain, because I saw the movie The Way. It was that simple.


Question 2: What has impelled you to begin to walk?

This question is a lot harder to answer. I love to travel and was debating what to do for my summer break. I had just gotten out of a crappy relationship and wanted to get away.

But, if I’m being honest with myself, I want to find peace with where I am in my life and what I have accomplished. I want to find peace with being alone…happy, but alone. I don’t know if this is possible but I am here, walking the path…alone. And it’s going great.


Question 3: What do you look for and hope for on the Camino?

A hot looking New Zealander… Chuckle, just kidding! I am looking for new friendships, good health, and a feeling of peace with life. I hope to finish the Camino with a better understanding of myself.


Question 4: What questions have begun to form in your mind?

A lot of my thoughts have been about me daydreaming about my future and I’m trying to come back to the present and focus on the Power of Now. Some of you might now the book. it is really hard for me to be in the present.

I recently took the Strengths Quest training for work. It is an assessment that tells you your top 34 strengths in order from most used/comfortable to least. Here are my top 10.


1. Futuristic
People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.

2. Activator
People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.

3. Relator
People who are especially talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.

4. Positivity
People who are especially talented in the Positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is contagious. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.

5. Intellection
People who are especially talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.

6. Ideation
People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.

7. Strategic
People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

8. Learner
People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

9. Command
People who are especially talented in the Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions.

10. Responsibility
People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.


I’ve been thinking about this list and wondering if this really is me. Can a test really tell me my strengths? I know I am futuristic. I am so futuristic that it is hard for me to be in the here-and-now. So I work at it. I sometimes think being futurist hurts my relationship with guys. I’m always rushing things because I can see what we could be instead of what we are. Wow, that was some deep reflection! And the activator in me makes me impatient. Why can’t these guys catch up, stay with me? LOL


So my question to you guys, my friends, the few of you who are actually reading my blog and have gotten down to this part: Is this me? Do you see these strengths in me? If so, which ones and if possible, could you give me an example. Be honest. I am on a journey of self reflection. What can I learn from this?


We are suppose to learn and use our strengths to be better. I’m not sure how to do that and I’ve been thinking about how to apply them to my overall goals of satisfaction, peace, happiness, etc. with life and what I’ve done. If they really are who I am, to some extent, then what am I trying to tell myself as I go down this journey. I guess I will see along the way!


Okay, that’s enough self reflection for one day. When I got to my hostel, it didn’t open until 2pm. WTF?? Did they really expect us to sit around waiting? Of course they did. Where are we going to go? We are tired, our body and feet hurt, and we smell. I actually don’t know what was worse, the smell from my body or the ache in my shoulders. At least I could wash the smell away!


They finally opened the door and we shuffled in. I was glad to finally have a bottom bunk, next to a window, and, more importantly, an outlet so I can charge my iPhone and IPod. God help me if I have to do without! ;-)


For dinner I had Tapas that were pretty good, except for the fish. My only concern is that they looked like they’ve been sitting out all day…I hope I don’t get sick!


So far this town has had my favorite camino sign. I’m pondering the idea of a tattoo if I complete my journey. I’ve never had one so that would be huge for me. Check out the symbol without the town name. I can see my mom frowning already. Mom, I don’t want to hear it! ;-)


Day 6: If I were a rock

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  1. -Thinking over your challenge to us. Love the idea of a ‘scar’ or physical marking of your journey. -and the design is perfect… only select persons familiar with your walk will understand the significance, and if others ask you about it, then you can challenge them with similar questions -like those you have posed and answered. Thinking of you so much, Sian! -E

  2. Hi Sian,

    Great post.!

    I definitely see those strengths in you. I share ideation, strategic, intellection, relator and learner.

    I might also get a tattoo when I come back from Thailand. Maybe we could go get tattoos together and make our moms proud ;-)

    Safe travels,

  3. The Way was a wonderful movie. Sian,I read your 10 strengths and fully agree they define who you are. In reflection I put them in a different order. I think the strengths deserve some thought in terms of their relative importance and frequency of usage. Here is my revised sequence of your strengths.
    2. Activator
    8. Learner
    10. Responsibility
    6. Ideation
    5. Intellection
    9. Command
    7. Strategic
    3. Relator
    4. Positivity

  4. I like the idea of re-organizing your strengths… but I also think that these strengths change throughout different points in our lives. Perhaps we are more futuristic in our younger years and more commanding in our later years. Or maybe last week we might have been an activator, but this week, we’re feeling more strategic. Who knows! You are who you want to be, right?

    Your journey is fantastic. For you. Right now. And I definitely am inspired to watch “The Way” now. It’s on my netflix queue (as is “The Colony 2″ btw). LOL.

    Just keep your eyes open, cameras on and let the experience consume you.

    Can’t wait for the next post!

  5. Hi Sian,

    first off, thx for sharing your journey and thoughts. As for your challenge, I think you know the answers better than we do.

    Pretty inspiring, keep it up!

    Cheers from the “Sandbox”


  6. Dear Sian,
    What a spiritual journey you are on! Day by day with your words i can feel that you are meditating more and more. As your body aches more you have turned more inwards to your soul. Isn’t it interesting that your aches and pains did not get the most attention but your soul does. I agree with Ken to the point that these strength points shuffle depending on what you are doing, where you are in your life and who you are with. Ken put your positivity to last and i would put to first. You inpire me everytime with your positive outlook to life. I cant tell you how many times you have saved me this way. I think these SQ points would never define who you are forever. You are changing as we speak and from what i read of camino and what i know of you in general, you are always up for a change to better yourself. I applaud your spirit and i am mighty proud to be your friend. You are on a journey that will stay with you rest of your life (with ot without a tattoo).

    Your pictures are so beautiful that makes me wonder as you become more spiritual, your “camera eye” becomes as one too. I can feel the beauty from your pictures. God speed my friend! I am thinking of you and keeping you in my heart.

  7. Hey, Si! Great post. Love the idea of a tattoo (sorry Sian Mom! ) but you knew I would support you there.

    Per the Strengths Quest, I think the test did hit you right on. You area mover and a shaker and a planner of all things future that’s for sure. I think that planning and thinking is one thing that keeps you so positive because you can always imagine a better future for yourself. I do also think that your big challenge is to slow down and rest in the Now. Tolle’s book is very powerful and I am glad you are getting a chance to see “the Now” in action.

    I wouldn’t focus too much on the test. Like Biray said, things change and your strengths change over time. I think the test is just a guide and helps point out things to be aware of in yourself. I think the biggest question is to figure out what kind of person you want to be and it sounds like you are doing that along the way.

    Keep reflecting and the pictures are great!

  8. Sian,
    What an adventure! I completely see those Strengts in you and to me they are an amazing combination. Strengths categorizes the 34 atrengrjs into 4 categories and from an individual standpoint most people fall into 2 or three categories and hope that your work team embodies all four, you though have all four. I wish I did! I lack anything in execution and your activator with strategic and relator. Well- you are a woman who sees the big picture, gets things done, and is incredibly happy, compassionate, friendly, etc. What a winning combination!
    Your journey touches me because I went on one many years ago when I was dealing with cancer. Mine was a drive across country and a temporary stint as a wrangler on a dude ranch ( which I am en route to now for a visit). I struggled to find peace with who I was and where I was going in life. Also trying to be comfortable with me as just me in my new life situation (sick). Here is what I discovered, and I share with you so you keep your faith despite how tired you are, if you listen hard enough you will know where you are supposed to be and go in life. Guys who “can’t keep up” really aren’t about not keeping up or that you are too futuristic – it is just that he isn’t the right one (hard to hold onto when you so despatetly want to meet him). Finally, and I know you will find this- inner peace with yourself has always been there we just get so busy and forget to listen. Your road less traveled will echo that to you with each step. Enjoy each, tiring, blissful step! what an exciting journey! I hope(and know) you find what you seek.

  9. Sian,
    What a journey and the pictures are simply beautiful! As you continue to learn more about your Strengths Themes, you will easily see how they have always been a part of who you are in varous phases throughout your life. You just enhance and fine tune them with time. We share Responsibility (#1 to me!), Learner and Intellection. Everything about your passion to teach and the adventures you have been a part of (aka, Space and the Colony) exemplify your strengths as well and I’m sure contributed in your commitment to these! You inspire others to achieve so continue with your meditations of the heart, have fun, and seriously consider writing a pictoral book about this journey!

    I’m old-fashioned in regards to tatooing. I told two of my sons that their bodies were so beautiful; a tatoo would mar that beauty. They got tatoos anyway.

  10. That is a stunning town symbol, Sian. Get the tatoo! I can refer you to the most incredible artist here in the Phx, area when you return.

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