Aegon – Santander “Camino”, the experience of finding yourself
At the start of the year, Aegon Santander Management and its Human Resources Department, proposed to design an activity with all Aegon Santander team. It should have a great impact, and should be different to all the different training programmes done before. The goal was to build stronger bonds between the team and, moreover, it should cause a personal reflexion and motivation, in order to have a better approach to their day-to-day challenges. The activity: walking all together El Camino de Santiago, from the 28th of September to the 3rd of October.
This meant nothing less than 100 kilometres, divided in 4 days, walked by nearly 30 people… It was a great odyssey that rose the illusion, motivation and a great will of the guests of participating and getting prepared for the event.
Víctor, our trainer, designed a training session that would serve as control and set their beginning to their summer preparation for “El Camino”. After this first evaluation, everyone of the team received a personalised training plan in order to prepare for the challenge during their holidays.
The summer ended, and the beginning day arrived. On the 28th of September we marched towards Sarria. For us it was also a challenge to join them during a four day walk; however, when we found ourselves in Sarria’s Hostel we felt that there was some anxiety in the air, but all we could see were excited faces that were ready to start their journey.
An unforgettable experience
Even this was a tougher journey than the day before, and we could feel it in our team, the last part of the day was spectacular.
The “El Camino” starts
And the first journey, “Sarria – Gonzar” started, and with it the first early morning. We won’t forget the sound of our sticks hitting the pavement. All of us were shocked by the incredible landscapes we saw that days.
Our legs started to accumulate kilometres and the first difficulties started to rise, but the group worked together as a team and helped each other and, after a few hours, we arrived to our destiny, Gonzar: mission accomplished! And we arrived earlier than what it was planned!
The first day was over. Our group had left their anxiety behind, but they felt the kilometres walked in their legs. At least they had a free afternoon to relax and go through Jaime’s hands, our physiotherapist, who left us “new” again.
Next day, and a new early morning to start our second trip: Gonzar – Melide. The talk they had the day before with our trainer Victor was key to work better as a team and measure our strengths during the walk. Moreover, we added a new member to our team: a cow met us during the trip and didn’t want to leave our colleagues.
Even this was a tougher journey than the day before, and we could feel it in our team, the last part of the day was spectacular. Our group enjoyed a landscape formed by barely unspoilt Romanesque architecture that made our day. So we arrived to our destination. There were less days to our final destination.
Our third trip would get us from Melide to Salceda. Some of our guests had a bad night, nevertheless no one surrendered and all of us took the start. It was a great beginning, still dark and full of fog.
We enjoyed everything we get to see, and slowly the sun started to shine through the clouds. Another incredible day.
Our group was going so well that Victor told us that everyone would arrive at time to calmly sit down and eat. And that was exactly how it went. After having lunch, we rested, we had our physiotherapy session and we had a surprise, the arrival of two new people on our team. It was great! The group would be together for the end journey.
The fourth and last journey would get us from Salceda to Santiago de Compostela. It was nearly over. We wanted to arrive all together to Santiago and Obradoiro’s Square. The journey became a bit long because we were really anxious to arrive. In our different stops we did through our trip, we danced, played with our sticks, we took some photos… We had real fun. At last, we could hear the sound of a typical Santiago pipe, that told us we were arriving to our destination. It was really special and touched all of us.
It is exciting to see the people you have met through the four days arriving to Santiago. It as a spectacular arrival. All of us hugged each other, we laughed and cried. Only for this, our experience was worthwhile.
No one has felt unmoved after this experience. We don’t know what motivations or expectations they had built before El Camino, but El Camino de Santiago does not only fulfils all your expectations, it fills your soul with much more. It has been a lifetime experience that will be reminded by all of us for ages.
In our farewell dinner, the group congratulated itself for finishing el Camino and for adapting to the different situations that the experience makes you live. Finally, everyone of us was given the Compostelana, a special prize for those who finish El Camino.
After this experience, el Camino becomes an inspiring experience that becomes revitalising, not only for a person, but for his soul.
Event Manager Always Group