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  • - [Voiceover] Welcome to The Effortless English Show

  • with the world's number one English teacher, AJ Hoge

  • where AJ's more than 40 million students worldwide

  • finally learn English once and for all

  • without the boring textbooks, classrooms

  • and grammar drills.

  • Here's AJ with a quick piece to help you learn

  • to speak fluent English effortlessly.

  • - Hello, I'm AJ Hoge,

  • the author of Effortless English:

  • Learn to Speak English like a Native

  • and this is The Effortless English Show,

  • the show that teaches you to speak English powerfully.

  • And I am finally back after a long break.

  • As some of you know

  • that what I was doing during my break

  • was walking the Camino de Santiago.

  • What is the Camino de Santiago?

  • Well, it's a walking path in northern Spain.

  • But it's more than just a walking path.

  • It's actually an old pilgrimage.

  • A pilgrimage is a spiritual

  • or religious trip or journey.

  • For example,

  • Muslims have a pilgrimage to Mecca, right?

  • They're not just going to Mecca for tourism.

  • It has a deeper meaning.

  • So that's what a pilgrimage is.

  • In India, Hindus have pilgrimages;

  • Buddhists have pilgrimages.

  • Well, this was an old Christian pilgrimage,

  • especially about, you know, thousand years ago or so.

  • People used to walk along northern Spain

  • because at the end, the end point of the walk,

  • the end of the Camino de Santiago,

  • there's a big church.

  • And inside that church are the bones,

  • the body of Saint James.

  • I'm not Catholic but I just did it as a

  • I don't know, still as a deeper journey,

  • an opportunity to walk across Spain,

  • as a kind of walking meditation.

  • I went with my good friend, Joe,

  • from Learn Real English,

  • so it was also a chance to travel with him

  • and have an experience with him.

  • So I thought, in this show,

  • I'm gonna do something a little different.

  • Normally, I talk about learning English, but

  • many people have asked me about my trip,

  • so I thought I would share some of the videos

  • that I took during my trip,

  • because during the trip, I took a few videos.

  • Every several days, I would take a video

  • and talk to the camera

  • and talk about what was happening.

  • So this is an opportunity for me to share

  • some of my experiences in Spain

  • just about a month ago.

  • Let's start with the first video.

  • The first video comes from France.

  • We actually started in a little town in France

  • just over the Pyrenees Mountains.

  • It's just a, like six seconds long;

  • it just shows me

  • the day we began, it's Joe and I

  • starting our Camino.

  • Here it is.

  • We're beginning the Camino.

  • Okay, well that's it.

  • We're beginning the Camino.

  • But you can see, this is a little town called

  • St. Jean Pied de Port.

  • I don't know how to pronounce it correctly in French.

  • But it's this little town and it's

  • one of the most traditional starting points

  • for the Camino de Santiago.

  • And this is just an old little town,

  • and this is where we started

  • and this was the morning we started.

  • The next video is several days later.

  • I can't remember,

  • it was day four maybe of our pilgrimage.

  • And it's a famous point on the Camino.

  • In the camino, you walk to these paths,

  • first we went up and over the Pyrenees Mountains,

  • which was a beautiful walk, that first day.

  • Then we went to the town of Pamplona,

  • and then finally, we reached this point called

  • the Alto de Perdon.

  • It has a nice sculpture.

  • It's on top of this hill.

  • If you ever see the movie, The Way,

  • there's a movie called The Way

  • with Martin Sheen,

  • it's about the Camino de Santiago.

  • So if you like, if this is interesting to you,

  • I recommend rent or buy The Way

  • and you can use my movie technique,

  • using that movie, The Way.

  • And my movie technique is described in my book,

  • if you don't know what the movie technique is.

  • All right, so this is the famous point along the Camino.

  • I'll show you the video now.

  • Hello, it's day four of the Camino.

  • We are at the Alto de Padron, I believe it's called

  • or Perdon,

  • Alto de Perdon,

  • which is a big top of a big hill;

  • very windy up here, there are wind turbines

  • you can see.

  • We're feeling really strong;

  • we had a nice rest day in Pamplona

  • and we are at the half-way point for today

  • onward to Puente de Reina,

  • which is our next stop.

  • And you can see behind us the statues,

  • the canvas sculpture, iron sculpture of

  • pilgrims, you know, walking into the wind

  • which is famous little

  • waymark, or landscape mark

  • on the Camino.

  • We're doin' well, havin' a great time.

  • So as you can see

  • that landscape was very beautiful,

  • these big, these green hills.

  • For most of the Camino,

  • we're walking through the countryside.

  • The beginning, we walked over the mountains.

  • For most of it, we were walking through

  • hills or plains, flat area.

  • And then every two or three hours,

  • we would walk through a small, little town,

  • a little Spanish town.

  • Most of them were beautiful towns

  • with the old stone buildings,

  • very old, 500 years old, a thousand years old,

  • very, very old stone buildings

  • from the Middle Ages and beyond,

  • and more recently, too.

  • But...

  • It was one of my favorite parts,

  • was number one, being out in nature

  • and walking around every day,

  • and then also going through these beautiful

  • old stone towns in Spain, was great.

  • Now,

  • in a journey like this,

  • this journey took 32 days,

  • we walked for 32 days.

  • And just as in life,

  • just as when you were learning English,

  • many times when you begin

  • and everything feels great and you're excited, right?

  • Maybe, you just started off with these English lessons,

  • you're very excited,

  • or you're doing anything that's new,

  • and it's very easy to be excited at the beginning.

  • But what always happens

  • for anything that's a little bit difficult,

  • a little bit long,

  • anything challenging,

  • there are going to be some bad days,

  • there are going to be some tough days.

  • And of course, everyday on the Camino was not easy.

  • I also had some difficult days.

  • And the next day, in the next video, I describe that.

  • (water rippling)

  • So it's early morning, maybe 6:30,

  • and I'm up because I can't sleep.

  • And I've to say that the first

  • miserable day and evening on the Camino.

  • Yesterday, walking was fine, no problem,

  • seemed fairly easy, actually, physically.

  • But then when we arrived into town,

  • I was just feelin' pretty good.

  • We arrived in this town, and the town is

  • honestly just horrible.

  • We walked through,

  • I guess, what is basically a Spanish gado,

  • so just a horrible neighborhood;

  • lots of these teenage kids standing around

  • doin' nothing, not even talking,

  • it was kinda weird.

  • They're zombies (mimics zombie groan).

  • And there's trash everywhere.

  • There's trash all over here,

  • even by the little riverside.

  • Just overall kind of depressing.

  • And that's sad because most of the towns

  • have been really pretty and nice and interesting

  • so this one, not so much.

  • And we got here and all the accommodation was full

  • because it's the first of May, May first, it's a holiday,

  • so it's lots of Spanish people are traveling

  • so we had a hard time finding a room.

  • Finally found one.

  • Then I woke up at 5:00 a.m.

  • 'cause Joe was snoring.

  • He snores every night and

  • usually, I can put in my iPod and kind of

  • get back to sleep, but

  • this time, even with the iPod on,

  • I could still hear it (sighs).

  • So anyway, pretty miserable

  • evening and night

  • and we'll see what happens today

  • because this day has happened.

  • Okay.

  • As you can see, I was not in a good mood

  • when I made that video.

  • I was tired, that was very early in the morning.

  • I got no sleep that night.

  • It was a tough day.

  • This happens when you're learning English.

  • You're gonna have some tough days.

  • You're going to have days where you feel like

  • you can't speak at all.

  • For a while, you're excited and you feel like

  • you're doing well and you're improving,

  • and you are improving,

  • but then you have some bad experience,

  • maybe you tried talking to someone

  • and you can't think of what to say

  • or you can't understand what people are saying

  • and you feel depressed and (sighs)

  • you know, it's quite tough.

  • Yeah, you're gonna have those days.

  • Now on the Camino, the thing is

  • because we had that big purpose,

  • right, it's kind of a deep meaning

  • like we're gonna go all the way to Santiago,

  • and I could feel that this was an old

  • walking path, very old,

  • and that thousands of people,

  • hundreds of thousands, I don't know,

  • maybe more than that,

  • have walked this same path for over a thousand years.

  • And so in my mind, it was this great big purpose

  • to get to Santiago, the end point.

  • And so because I had that big purpose,

  • I kept going.

  • It was easy to keep going.

  • I never had the thought to quit,

  • not one time did I think I want to quit,

  • I want to stop,

  • even when I had a miserable day.

  • I just got up in the morning and (sighs)

  • that felt bad but, of course, I knew

  • I was going to continue.

  • And that's why with your English learning,

  • you also need a bigger purpose,

  • because if you're just doing it for a test

  • or a grade in school,

  • if you don't have that bigger purpose,

  • then it's very hard to keep going

  • when you have the difficult days.

  • If you don't have a big purpose,

  • it's easy to quit.

  • But if you have a big inspiring purpose,

  • something that excites you,

  • something that is deeply meaningful for you,