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About

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! 

This is a travel blog designed to inspire adventure without limit. Regardless of any dietary restrictions, BuenQamino is here to prove that you can create the vacation of your dreams. The articles, pictures and videos on this site will help you navigate through real and imagined obstacles and empower you to create your own adventure, or join in on ours!

Mission Statement  

BuenQamino honors traveling on a global level, aiming to provide a conscience cultural-exchange between adventures and the communities in which they visit, with little to no obstacles (food restrictions included!).  We focus on what fuels the adventurer's soul. 

Why BuenQamino?

My name is Christina Kantzavelos, and traveling and helping others to do the same are what fuels my own 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 am currently a professional content writerpracticing licensed psychotherapist (LCSW) in San Diego, and conduct humanitarian work both domestically and abroad. I have traveled to over 30 different countries, and documented most of it on social media. But 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 (grammar and syntax errors aside), to write and post an entry on my blog (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 conscience, grateful, curious, cultured, confident, and overall, more wise and knowledgable.  I believe a lot of ignorance is fear-based, especially when it is regarding other cultures, religions, beliefs, traditions, etc. When 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, an experience like no other, wisdom, 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 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, Allergy-friendly Travel

Suffering from food allergies and an autoimmune disease is something I've had to deal with since 2012, when I found out I had Celiac Disease (CD), and later Casein (Dairy) intolerance. Doctors couldn't figure out why I had chronic GI issues, indigestion, bloat, acne, anxiety, migraines, etc. Changing my diet, was life changing. Celiac Disease is a serious autoimmune disease, triggered by eating a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Eating gluten (even a very small amount), causes the immune system to attack the small intestine, making it difficult for the body to absorb proper nutrients. Leaving CD untreated, can lead to some serious health consequences.   

I still struggle some health challenges, such as MTHFR, POTS , MCAS, and histamine intoleranceIn 2016, I had my first anaphylactic reaction to 'God knows what,' and again in 2017, while in Tokyo. However 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, I decided to focus on Celiac, Gluten-Free, Allergen Friendly travel.   

With more awareness, advocacy, resources, tools, an EpiPen, and activated charcoal at hand, I won't let my food restrictions stop me from traveling, and neither should you. It is my hope that the information I write about provides you with the necessary tools to travel stress-free, and with a full belly at all times.

Website and Services

This website is filled with helpful blog entries, articles, pictures, tips and tricks, and links to our social media accounts regarding all things travel to help aid in your next adventure. In addition, I've had many folks ask if they can travel along with me on my next voyage, and/or assist them in planning their next trip.  I am a Certified Travel Associate, and can plan or aid you in planning your next adventure, whether it is just giving you a recommendation or two, or the whole shebang (i.e. book every detail for you).  You can find this all under Trip Planning.  We will also soon be offering Group Trips, which will include a yoga instructor and professional photographer on board, so that you can just focus on being in the moment.  I hope this website serves you as a resource, inspiration, or just as a good distraction. I look forward to helping you cultivate a travel-experience like no-other!  

 

As always, Buen Camino

Christina P. Kantzavelos, LCSW, MSW, MLIS, CTA  

All thoughts and opinions are expressed as my own on this website.  

 

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But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.
— Bill Bryson, Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe