Kelly Gilfillan hiked the Camino Frances,
May 1 – June 8, 2018
- Appalachian Trail New Hampshire and North Carolina
- National parks in Scotland and England
- Finesterra and Muxia
- 8 half marathons: Nashville (4), San Francisco, New Orleans(3)
My camino journey began in 2017, at the age of 52, with a gut-wrenching realization that my life had been forever changed. It was up to me how I decided to live going forward.
I had every right to be sad, frustrated, afraid and angry but that was the opposite of what I wanted for myself and it was the opposite of how I wanted my three daughters to see me.
I was blessed to have a friend who had walked two caminos in Spain and I had seen the beautiful changes in his soul. He encouraged me to walk the camino and see where life would take me – so on December 10, 2017 after watching the movie “The Way” I decided to go.
Imagine walking along a beautiful valley in Spain. You pass someone and then you stop to take a photo and they catch up with you. This happens again a mile later. You look at each other and smile and say “hi Im Kelly.” Within three to four questions, you are into your “why” of being on the camino. I’ve likened it to the elevator speech in my sales career but I love to tell people how casually you meet people on the road and how quickly you begin to care for each other.
And this includes the albergue and hostel owners and how they are open to every pilgrim and serving their needs. Think how it must be. How glorious to meet so many people who are on their journey to a better life and yet, we all walk right back out of their lives the next morning. And then they get to clean up after us dust trodden, sweaty, stinky pilgrims.
Along “the way” I met people who have forever impacted my life by supporting me, lifting me up, holding me in my grief and letting me do the same for them. Several of them are partners with me on this adventure of Camino for Good. We believe in that good and we want to share it with you.
Our spirits led us to give back. The camino gave us all life changing experiences and now we see a way to give back to the camino and those who support the pilgrims.
Albergues in Spain are in need. We have the power to do something about it and help them. This company, like the camino, unfolded as an idea from one pilgrim and as she shared the idea with us, we all dreamed it into being something beautiful together.
It doesn’t matter where you are from, how old you are, whether you feel broken or shattered, whether you know where you are going next, whether you are a free spirit or a dogged planner. When the camino calls you, you will listen and you will give over to the Camino Spirit. The beauty is you carry it with you wherever and forever.
I was broken in ways that I thought would never heal. I was wrong. The camino always provides and it provided the place and time for my wounds to heal but it also provided through my fellow pilgrims a new joy in life.
I hope you will join us as we virtually walk the Camino de Santiago Frances trail and please know your registration funds will be doing good. That’s why we formed and that’s what we’ll do. Buen camino and ultreia!