Thank you for visiting BuenQamino! Buen Camino literally translates to ‘good path’ or ‘good way’ in Spanish. This is a common saying said to pilgrims along the Camino de Santiago, a series of famous pilgrimages across Spain. I loved hearing it throughout my own Camino pilgrimage in 2015, and have decided to adopt it. But why with a ‘Q’? The ‘C’ was already taken, duh!
My name is Christina Kantzavelos and traveling and helping others to do the same is what fuels my soul. It has taken a while and a rather large dent in my pocket to find my true passion. I have two masters degrees, one in social work and one in library and information sciences, and I am currently a professional content writer, as well as practicing licensed psychotherapist (LCSW) in San Diego, and I also conduct humanitarian work both domestically and abroad. I have traveled to over 30 different countries, and documented most of it on social media. However it was in completing the Camino de Santiago in November 2015, that I realized my true passion for travel writing and blogging, and hence the name, BuenQamino. Night after night, with trembling fingers, after walking 15 miles, I would miraculously find the strength, to write and post an entry on my blog (grammar, syntax, and wi-fi issues aside) for my friends and family. The best part? Despite any lethargy, I enjoyed every minute of it. Even better? So did my friends, family, and now many BQers. Not only did they enjoy my entries, but I heard that I inspired others to travel, or go on their own pilgrimage, or hike nearby. What a feeling! In hearing and witnessing how I inspired others, I decided to start BuenQamino. BuenQamino is here to satiate your deepest desires for travel because those Bucket List items and Pinterest destinations aren't just going to uncheck or unpin themselves!
Why is travel so important to me?
Travel has changed me time and time again, to be more conscious, grateful, curious, cultured, confident, and overall, more wise and knowledgeable. I believe a lot of ignorance is fear-based, especially when it is regarding other cultures, religions, beliefs, traditions, etc. If you choose to stay in one place, and only socialize with those who look like you, dress like you, believe in the same things you do, you tend to isolate yourself, and not always, but sometimes create stigmas involving things that are 'not like you.' Traveling has a tendency to force you (in a good way) to experience someone else's culture, traditions, cuisine and in exchange you may realize that the people you thought were so different, are not so different from you after all. In doing this and alleviating any stigma based fear, you essentially bring home the most priceless of souvenirs, which include but are not limited to stronger cultural competence, a deeper sense of gratitude, wisdom, an experience like no other, and getting to share that with others. I personally have learned and experienced more via travel, than any book I've read, or documentary or television show I have watched (sorry/RIP Anthony Bourdain). There is something about traveling that needs to be kinesthetically experienced, and I look forward to offering others the opportunity to do just that.
Celiac, Gluten-Free, Food-Sensitive Travel and Lifestyle
Food sensitivities and autoimmune diseases is something I've had to live with since 2007 when I was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and 2012 with Celiac Disease (CD). Changing my diet (gluten-free, casein-free, alcohol-free, and mostly soy-free, refined sugar-free) and lifestyle (radical self-care, spiritual well-being) has been life-changing.
I still struggle with some health challenges brought on by POTS, Lyme Disease, Bartonella, MTHFR, MCAS, EDS, MCTD and a few others. Nevertheless, it's all part of the journey or a good article in my case.
I initially created BuenQamino to inspire others to travel, but after realizing how much work and research I was putting into my own trips planning around dietary restrictions and lifestyle, I decided to focus on Celiac, Gluten-Free, Autoimmune-Friendly travel and Lifestyle.
We hope our blog serves as a resource, inspiration, or at least a good distraction. We also hope our tools helps you navigate through real and imagined obstacles empowering you to create your own adventure, or join in on ours! BuenQamino is here to support you in creating the path of your dreams, regardless of any dietary or health restrictions.
As always, Buen Camino
Christina P. Kantzavelos, LCSW, MSW, MLIS, CTA
All thoughts and opinions are expressed as my own on this website.