Adventure Stories : My Camino & the start of iamadventures
I’m a fine art graduate who has seasawed in and out of the corporate marketing and the art world for the last 5 years; creativity is a big part of my life. I don’t mean simply the practice of art making; being creative and exploring creativity in a spiritual sense are parts of everything that I do.
As well as iamadventures, I also run another company called iamsociable where I help creatives in business through marketing, social media and guidance support. It’s the guidance support really that sparked iamadventures. Instead of having 1–1 guidance sessions sitting down, I started to suggest that we walk and talk instead. This really helped with allowing the individual to be more at ease, confident and relaxed, allowing them to tap further into their subconscious and speak their truth.
Doing this fascinated me and shortly after, I walked part of the Camino de Santiago on my own. I walked partly because ever since an ex boyfriend suggested it but wouldn’t do it with me, I’ve always wanted to do it. But also, I wanted to trial my ideas and thoughts on myself. If I were to walk solitary for a considerable amount of time, would I also find my truth?
What did I find? The walk certainly affected me and mostly I realised that the Camino really does ‘provide’, in every sense of the word. It provides the timings, the people and the experience. When you’re on the Camino, everyone on it with you is instantly connected. You are all one doing the same thing, interconnected. Without each other, it would simply be a very different, perhaps less interesting experience. I started my pilgrimage alone and by the time I started my walk from the Cathedral in Santiago, I felt a change. I’d already been through a few bumps, deciding to only follow my intuition and self guidance. My very first day was certainly dramatic; I sprained my ankle very badly in the first few hours of my Camino. But never have I felt so connected with nature, myself and the people walking alongside me. A lovely lady, I’d say in her late sixties, walked by me for a good leg of the way when she saw I was hurt. We barely spoke but having her close by and knowing that she was there for support made me carry on. I was so grateful for her compassion.
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When I finally arrived at my albergue that day I was exhausted; my foot and ankle were very badly swollen and I just needed to sit and soak them in cold water with ice. The lady at the albergue was so lovely and caring and that’s where I met my 3 new friends for the best part of the rest of the walk. They were three brilliant and inspiring Dutch men — 2 of whom must have been in their 70s. They’d already been walking for weeks and here they were being caring and helpful towards me. I have to say walking with them the next day, leaving when it was still dark, was just inspiring and mesmerising. They were so unbelievably fit and healthy, and I don’t think I would have been able to walk as fast or as far without them. The most bizarre thing that I realised is that when you walk alongside someone you find that you automatically walk at their pace. Some days I walked fast and others it was a slow paced walk where I allowed myself to sit, paint and take the surroundings in. However, what I found most interesting was what I learnt about myself and how I let myself listen and be in touch again.
I am still in contact with the people that I met on that trip. And in fact without them, I may never have started iamadventures. They helped me realise that what I was thinking, planning and doing was important.
I was brought up in Greece and encouraged to believe that you can do anything you set your heart to, especially if it’s something you truly believe in. When I was young, I used to go out exploring on a daily basis with my dog, Polly, and we’d run though the fields for hours connecting to nature and with each other. It was my perfect escape.
My grandparents were artists also and from the age of 2 or 3 they used to take me out for days on end into the countryside and we’d paint whatever we could see.
The reason I’m telling you this is that each person’s journey is different and unique, but without each other it simply wouldn’t be as interesting or fruitful. We need each other to realise things within ourselves that we may never know exist. I met some amazing individuals on my Camino and though we may have started our pilgrimage alone, we finished it together.
It is for this reason that I am taking people on adventures to help them be inspired, liberated perhaps, and help them reach their human potential and find their truth.
These adventures are people coming together to help themselves and the community of people they are working with. Currently all adventures include an element of walking and of self development, using creativity as a tool to do this. This was greatly fuelled by my personal Camino and I urge you all to include an element of walking and adventure into your lives, use it to find freedom and space — we all need this in our lives.
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Natalia at the end of the Camino[/caption]
The Camino is very much about the individual; it’s a week long with 4 full days of walking and we use methods from the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron to delve into people’s creative side. This is a very challenging trip for many and can be emotional and tough on the guides too. But it certainly is one to remember.