Project Camino: Part 3- Music

If there’s one thing I like about the walking, it’s the music. Climbing to the summit of that mountain can be made so much better, in my eyes, with the correct music track. Maybe some epic orchestral movement, or some amazing electric guitar, or Justin Bieber…if that’s what you’re in to.

I like being able to lose myself, be that through my thoughts, my writing or my music. I don’t follow one particular person religiously, but when a specific track comes on, and I like it, I’ll stick to it. Play it millions of times until my brain finally takes a step back and tells me of the mistake I’m making, and that I can no longer listen to it because it is ‘ruined’. Walking the Camino was an opportunity for me to explore this escapism through music, discovering exactly what I like, and if it’s possible to like other things with more subjection to it.

On the other hand, other people seem to cope better without any background music, just their thoughts. This I can understand, it makes it easier to contemplate whatever it is you’re meant to be contemplating. My dad, for instance, rarely listened to music but still came away with more or less the same experience I did.
The other fallback, I found, was the pressure to pick ‘good music’. I never understood why, because someone hadn’t heard of who I was listening to, it was bad. There are a million different types of music, and billions of tracks, but because you haven’t heard of this particular one, it’s bad. Music is a very personal preference, doubly so in this environment. It becomes more of an extension of yourself, of your thoughts, permitting you to connect to yourself, and your environment, with greater ease, depending on your presence of music or no music.

In my opinion, I find that music serves to intensify a specific emotion that you’re experiencing. Amplifying your thoughts with greater clarity. This can be why many people have different favourite songs dependent on ‘what mood they’re in’. The anger and rage you feel becomes clearer with that heavy metal track, or why, when you’re in a romantic setting, the perfect romantic ballad can help ‘woo’ your date. This is why it is so easy to connect with those special lyrics, because they perfectly sum up all of you’re emotions and thoughts when listening to it.

Lyrics become embedded into memory, stuffing themselves into the cracks of your mind, never forgotten, a snapshot of your current state whilst listening to the perfect song.

-Elliot

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Project Camino: Part 2- Confidence.

It takes a lot of confidence to try new things. I’m not saying that before I wasn’t confident, because I was. I wasn’t afraid to talk to people or try something new, however there is a difference in getting that weird sounding plate of food from wagamamas and walking 260km through Spain.
On my travels, it was hard, especially at the start, to walk up to other walkers to engage in conversation. This is a bit of a problem when you’re on your own for two weeks with nothing to do.

I have met some incredible people as I let my confidence grow. For me, it takes time, it takes time for everyone to adapt, yet they are all on the same walk as you are. Confidence takes time. You need time to grow but, once you realise that it doesn’t matter, it’s easy.
One of the many purposes of the trip was to allow myself to try new things. Jumping off of bridges into rivers, eating octopus tentacles, a cheeky splash of wine and even going to church. For me, that’s big.

Starting at Astorga, I was immediately nervous, not sure where we were starting that night, wether or not we could have a bed, what we would be eating, wether it would rain, if my bag was too light, how was my stomach? In the end, I decided none of that mattered.
It doesn’t matter, in all honesty. I was prepared for it, but I was still choosing to make myself anxious. Why would I choose to make myself feel bad? Ultimately, I am in charge of how I feel and I am the only person in control with my emotions. Why waste my time bumming myself out.

A wise man told me something along the way that has stuck with me, as a kind of mantra.

The only thing that is important is you being happy.

I was fortunate enough to understand that along the way. Why would I waste my time caring what other people think? If I want to try something, yet somebody doesn’t want me to, should I let that influence my decision in anyway. Granted if it was jumping out of a plane without a parachute I may reconsider, but everyday things. Talking to people, learning about new things and experience amazing things. Seeing great sights and sounds ultimately made me realise the importance of being happy. If I wasn’t happy, why would I do it.

Confidence is, for me, an interesting issue. You can’t pick up a bag of confidence at your local supermarket (a cheap bottle of whiskey that does the same thing maybe). It’s purely mental. I view it the same way as I view fear. It is a mental subject that is entirely self inflicted that limits ones ability. If I’m not confident in myself, I may perform at a lower level. So why? Surely if I am in charge of my own emotions and mental state I can simply decide, we can all simply decide, to simply stop and be confident. Confidence is purely subjective, once you realise that, you will soon not care about it any more.

Elliot out.

Around the World in 1 week rekindling.

Yes yes I know it’s been a while, sorry if I was off on a pilgrimage. Before I left I announced the launch of an event called Around The World in One Week. The response was great and I felt like it was completely possible.

Then I went on a pilgrimage.

Now I’m back and able to restart it! Many people have already sent me emails with extracts from their times travelling around the world and I thank you for that, but, if you believe that you have any piece that is suitable for this challenge, please, get in touch with me. We need as many people as possible to cover as much ground as we can, but this is a community project! If you haven’t got a clue what i’m blabbering on about you can find all information on previous posts, but please, get involved!

This will only be as good as you make it!
Wow. Deep.

If you want to reach me, here’s my email: ejdawes@talktalk.net

-Elliot

Project Camino: Part I of V

PART ONE: ORIGINS

All stories have origins. Wether or not they happen in a particularly epic manner or not is a different manner. For me, the start of my 260km trek through Spain didn’t start with a vision in a burning bush, or a visit from the ghost of Christmas past, or a paranormal entity crawling out of my TV, but walking out of a cinema, 99p Chicken Mayo burger in hand.

“I’m just saying, sometimes it’s better to not know where you’re going. When was the last time you went on an actual adventure?”
This was the kind of thing we usually talked about, my dad and I, when out together. His mundane collection of maps annoyed me. My mundane approach of adventure and wandering blindly annoyed him. What was planned there and then may, or may not have been to put these theories to the test. My Dad, who had remained silent now offered his thoughts. “Have you ever heard of the Camino?”

Well, me being a sixteen year old obviously hadn’t. I knew about the burger, and munched on it silently. What was a Camino? It sounded like a species of Piranha.
I did have the guts to Google it when we got home. “WHAT! THAT’S A WALK, A LONG ONE!”. I hadn’t really known much about how long walks usually were, as the average duration for me was fifteen minutes down to the local Tesco to get a jumbo chocolate croissant in the morning (85p, in case you’re wondering, i’d recommend).
260km would be our distance, restricted by time.
That and my fitness.
Oh, and the sleeping arrangements.

I didn’t know this at the time, but hostels are not that comfortable. I was given a description, but nothing could prepare me for the living conditions. In fact, nothing could have prepared me for any of it. The walking, early hours, coffee, massive sandwiches, annoying birds and snoring women. All of which I experienced. But I did try to prepare.

Climbing Mt Snowdon, the numerous hikes, early starts and aching all played their part in my year long training so I would simply be able to finish. I do live in England though, so I don’t have the heat. Scorched earth beating down on you without any shade for hours as your lips dry and water depletes. You wage a constant war with the equilibrium of energy and sleep.

But I like a challenge. I like seeing what I can actually do, how far I can push myself.

After all, how bad could it be?

-Elliot

AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE WEEK UPDATE.

Wow, what can I say really!
Thanks for all the support that everybody has been giving this event, i’m super excited to be organising it and can’t wait for it to start.
Now, I just need to organise it all…
Here’s what’s going to happen, i’m going to give out my email address and anyone who wants to participate should drop me an email ASAP, allowing me to gauge what areas are left that are not written about, therefore not covered. Ideally, here’s what areas I would like to see:

-Australia
-Europe
-North America
-Canada
-South America
-Russia
-China
-India
-Either Antarctica or the Arctic.

As you can see these are quite broad, so please email me regarding where you would like to write about, wether or not you have been there is up to you. Try and keep it unusual, somewhere you think sums up that particular culture, or country, or continent. Please note that you do not have to email me your article straight away! This only just to notify me of where you will be writing about!

The event will start (hopefully) on Monday 20th July so get your emails in!!!

Also, we need as much publicity as possible. This involves reblogging, notifying any suitable connections you have, and generally getting the word out!

Thank you all again for your support, this should be a great event!

heres my email address: ejdawes@talktalk.net

I look forward to hearing from you!

-Elliot

AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE WEEK EVENT. BLOGGERS NEEDED.

CALLING ALL TRAVEL BLOGGERS

Have you ever wanted to take part in a unique project unlike any other? Ever wanted to become noticed and part of a growing community? Now’s your chance!

Starting next Friday is the launch of a one-time event: Around The world in One Week.

What Does it Involve?

For this to take part, we need at least seven bloggers who will write about one unique place around the world, however the more the better. Ideally 14 bloggers, 21 would crazy! You can do the maths, if seven bloggers are needed for a week-long event how many pieces a day would 14 or 21 bloggers be? This place can be where you live, where you love or where you hope to go, but it has to be different! All organisation will be done at a later time (i.e this Friday).
Hopefully, the effect achieved will be coverage of around the planet in only seven days! How cool would that be!

What’s in it For You?

You get the chance to be published on a coveted site, constantly growing and evolving. You will also be mentioned at the end in a thank you as well as the chance to write a little bit about yourself on the website to be viewed.
We are a rapidly growing community regularly viewed by coveted writers, and when will a better opportunity be presented so simply to you?

What Are We Looking For?

The piece can be as long as you want and as creative as well. Ideally it would be longer than half a page, however quality over quantity is never a bad thing. A picture to sum up your piece would also be appreciated, but please…no copyrighted images.

How Do You Get Involved?

If interested, please notify us in the comment section below, as well as where you would like to write about, although nothing has to be set in stone! It will only serve as a general indicator.

This Sounds Great, I’ll Comment Right Now!

Thank You!!!

-Elliot