Camino Story 20. Kate: “I follow my dreams like I followed the arrows on the Camino.”

“Camino de Santiago? What is this? These were my first questions. The first I heard of it was through my husband’s Spanish cousin. He was walking it at the time, and I was, to say the very least, intrigued!!! I decided to do more research. The more I learned, the more I became addicted, and I hadn’t even walked it yet! I was never much of a hiker, but I wanted to try this.

My reason for walking, initially, was because I wanted to see if I could do it! I had never challenged myself this way before, from walking all those kilometers every day to being away from home for that long. I had to try it, just to see. And I did it twice now and would do it again. A fantastic challenge and an amazing accomplishment, but also so much more!!! There are definitely too many things to list and some experiences you can’t put into words. You just have to experience it.

I loved everything about it, from being able to eat and drink as much as I wanted! (I love the food in Spain!), to the people you meet and maybe wouldn’t normally connect with in your everyday life. On the camino, our souls connect on a level of understanding and compassion.

It sounds cheesy, but I love a bit of cheese, so I’m going with it; the camino changed my life! It gave me the confidence to go after the things I want in life. Walking the Camino alone and covering such incredible distances made me believe anything is possible. Conversations with others and learning about their lives I found inspiring. It made me reflect on the important things in life and realize that I often worry over small things, like what people will think of me!

The camino is a fantastic journey that I want to repeat at least one more time. If not more. When the camino calls, I’ll know. When I get lost again in life, feel disconnected from the lessons I learned there, or when the need arises to connect to a simpler way of life again… that’s when I’ll go back. 

I wish to convey the message to be true to who you are and live your life for you. Don’t apologize for who you are. It’s okay to just be you. Follow your dreams like you follow the arrows. Make those changes gradually or dramatically. It is up to you, but start making the changes you need to achieve your dreams!

For me, the dream was to paint and to make a living through art. The camino gave me the confidence to follow this dream. I used to make money through hairdressing, which I loved, but I loved painting more. But it always seemed like an unrealistic goal; that I’d never make any money or that I was no good!

Now, nothing happens overnight, not even the Camino, so I’d say I’m still following this dream. But I now earn my income through art. Whether that’s from teaching or painting commissions or exhibiting my artwork. I’m doing it…. completely winging it! But doing it.

I’ve walked the camino, I’m in love with it, so I paint it! I also paint commissions. I love to paint memories of people’s journeys walking the Camino. Each custom piece is as special as the last. Through this work, I connect with other peregrinos and share stories. Who better to talk to about the Camino than other pilgrims?!  This way, I keep the memory of the Camino alive for them and me.”

Anyway, I could go on and on, but what I want you to get from these words thrown on ‘paper’… is to just do it! Walk the Camino! It’ll most likely change your life in ways you don’t even know yet!”

About Kate’s Camino Art: Her art is all about the Camino de Santiago. She paints memories of people who walked the Camino. She can create a unique souvenir of your own journey, filled with your own memories. Are you interested? Visit her website.

Camino Art – Kate Spencer – Millan
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