Help bring Camino Wear to life (& get an awesome addition to your closet while your at it)

“Because purposeful wandering is the opposite of being lost.”

Camino Wear

See those awesome t-shirts above?  You can help bring them to life by supporting your fellow travelers and their dream to  make a line of clothing and accessories that celebrate walking, travel and adventure: Camino Wear! Camino Wear is the creation of Evi and Heli who met in 2012 while walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. I love seeing projects related to travel come to life, I love it even more when someone’s travels inspire a project and this is just that type of project.

Camino Wear Indiegogo Campaign from Evi on Vimeo.

If funded, their first line of clothing will be heavily inspired by the Camino de Santiago.  I love the concepts behind the first two t-shirt designs: Don’t Stop Walking – a reminder to never stop walking, wandering or moving forward and Vino Camino – a design that celebrates the comradery and connections that you develop while walking and while traveling.  And did I mention the cute underwear designs?  Camino Wear would make an awesome addition to any travel lover’s closet!

Evi and Heli need your help to make their dream happen.  Please take a few moments to visit their indiegogo campaign and check out all the awesome perks you get if you support them (think goodie bags, t-shirts and even a super special birthday surprise).

As an extra treat check out my interview with Evi below.  She was kind enough to answer some of my questions about her walk on the Camino de Santiago as well as Camino Wear. (Thanks so much Evi – you’ve already inspired me to do more walking and wandering!)

Q&A with Evi of Camino Wear

Can you talk a bit about the inspiration behind Camino Wear? Have you ever designed clothing before or did inspiration strike out of the blue?

Short answer is the lack OF inspiration in Santiago. When Heli and I finally arrived there we really wanted to find something special to commemorate the trip, but unfortunately with the exception of ONE shop – everything was a bit same-same, and not terribly exceptional. We decided at that point that we’d design our own t shirts when we got home. As with many great plans though we forgot, until a few months ago when we were reminiscing about the walk. We painted a few designs, shared a few ideas with some friends, started wearing them around town and people really dug the idea. And we thought – hey – we should try and sell these!

Neither of us have fashion design experience, unless you count being part of a fashion show when I was 17. 🙂 But, I’ve always had a creative streak and love design in general. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at something like this and so far I’m loving it!

I love the designs you are planning on making. Do you have plans for future lines? Are there any places or walks in particular that you will be focussing on?

Aw – thank you! And yes, we have lots of plans! Last fall we walked part of the RMK Matkatee – a 370km coast to coast walk across Estonia that opened in July 2012. (unfortunately there’s not much English info on it!)

It was amazing and we have a couple of cute ideas for shirts from there. Also, the West Highland Way in Scotland is an old favourite of mine. Still waiting for inspiration to hit for that one, but there’s plenty of time! Those would be the two I’m most excited about but there are so many fabulous long distance walks around the world that I feel like coming up with new designs (and of course going ON the walks) could keep us busy for a lifetime!

We also have ideas for a few other Camino Wear ideas – like scarves and water bottles, to name but a few!

One of your designs deals with comradery and connections you develop while walking and traveling – how have your travels and walks created connections for you?

Oh wow – some of my deepest relationships in my life have been due to travel. Heli and I actually met walking the Camino. It’s funny how life happens, neither of us were looking for a relationship but we hit it off immediately and more than a year later here we are! I think when you meet people traveling you get to see the absolute best and worst in them in a very short span of time.

I think that really solidifies the initial connection in a much different way than getting to know someone slowly at home. But the short-term comradery and connections are also really important. There are people I’ve met over the span of my travels who I’ve not kept in touch but the moments we’ve shared together – that bottle of wine, or that night crying on the beach, or that random act of kindness…I think travel is a wonderful reminder of how connected we all really are, and how beautiful our humanity can be.

What was the worst thing that happened to you while walking the Camino?

I got a pretty nasty cold a few weeks in, bunged up my hip for a while and Heli seriously hurt his knee. With all those things added together we spent a number of nights in the same town resting and recuperating and (I’m embarrassed to admit) we actually had to bus a part of the ways to finish in a reasonable time and catch up with our friends met along the way. That was probably the worst part – not being able to walk the WHOLE thing. I really look forward to going back one day and walking the bits we missed.

What was the best thing that happened to you while walking the Camino?

Aside from meeting the love of my life? 🙂 There were two other things. One – the incredible friendships that developed and have continued more than a year later, there aren’t words to say how thankful I am for those. Two – reconnecting with myself. When all you have to do each day is wake up, walk, eat, shower, clean your clothes, eat and go to bed EVERY SINGLE DAY all the hustle and bustle inside your head slows down and your inner voice gets louder. Not to get too personal, but I was dealing with a lot when I decided to go on the walk and the pure simplicity of each day did more for my mind and my heart than years of therapy could have done.

Do you have any tips for first time Camino walkers?

As hard as it is to do – try and go with as few expectations as possible. I thought I would spend most of it walking alone and reflecting, turns out for me the best and most profound moments were those spent with fellow pilgrims along the way.

Pack light. You will find this advice everywhere, and it’s there for a reason. I’m pretty strong, but carrying your life on your back while walking 20+km every day is actually hard. Lighter = better, without a doubt.

Although – ladies, I would seriously consider bringing a small, light dress. I caved and bought one towards the end as at the end of each day I just wanted to get out of two outfits that I had been wearing every single day, especially on the hottest days.

Listen to your body. It’s not a race and nothing is worth pushing yourself too hard. As much as I’m saddened that I had to bus for a little bit of the Camino I’m immensely thankful that I took the time to rest.

I could probably write pages of tips, but the last one will be – just be open. Trust your instincts, but say yes as often as possible. Who knows what you’ll end up experiencing or whom you’ll end up meeting.

How can people help you make Camino Wear a reality?

First – visit our Indiegogo page. The obvious one is contributing financially – we’re almost half way to our goal and every little bit makes a difference. We think our perks are pretty fabulous, and hey – you get to be a part of making a dream come true! £2500 is what we need to make this happen but we’re hoping that we raise even more – getting awesome clothes printed isn’t cheap and the more money we raise, the more we can do!

But what is also a HUGE help is simply sharing it with people you know and asking them to contribute. The more people who know about Camino Wear, the greater the chances of hitting our goal are. And if we hit (or surpass!) our goal we’ll be able to launch Camino Wear properly and get it out into the world. So, facebook, twitter, word of mouth, anything you can think of. All the little pieces together make the biggest difference!

And lastly – send me feedback! Like something, don’t like something, have a question or an idea about something, just send me a message! I’d love to hear from you!

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