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Meet Trailblazer Christina Kantzavelos

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christina Kantzavelos.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m a freelance writer, content strategist, gluten-free travel and autoimmune blogger, a licensed psychotherapist, library and archival professional, humanitarian and artist. It’s taken me a while to pin-point my passions, and how I wish to identify myself, and I believe that will shift for as long as I live.

I have two masters degrees, one in social work (MSW) and the other in library and information sciences (MLIS). I chose social work as a field because I wanted to conduct humanitarian work, and help change policies surrounding human rights. After obtaining my license, I began my humanitarian career and started my own psychotherapy and life-coaching practice. I got my MLIS because I love libraries, books, archiving and research. Although I currently do not work in a library, I am known as the resource queen in San Diego. I love researching.

I have had the utmost privilege to travel to over 30 different countries and documented most of it on social media. But it was in completing and documenting my 500-mile pilgrimage in Spain, in November of 2015, that I realized my true passion for travel writing and blogging, and hence the name, BuenQamino (a common phrase said on the Camino de Santiago).

I have various autoimmune diseases that have led me to live a gluten-free, casein (dairy)-free, soy-free, (mostly) sugar-free, alcohol-free and lowered-histamine lifestyle and created a community surrounding that, and its intersection with travel and lifestyle. Although I have tough/debilitating days, I do not let them or my diagnoses identify me, or stop me from traveling or living my life.

My artwork is a huge source of self-care and has turned into something I am able and humbled to sell. I can’t imagine my life without creativity.

It is in living this successful renaissance lifestyle that allows for an environment that caters to my different passions. In my free time, I like to read, write, craft, hike, travel, volunteer, meditate, plan community events, and hang out with my loved ones.

I am grateful for it all.

Has it been a smooth road?
I’ve never heard of or seen a completely smooth road (especially in San Diego), and that’s ok. Those bumps in the road, are what shape us. I wouldn’t be who I am today without my past or current challenges.

My advice is to realize that everything is in perfect timing. You are exactly where you are supposed to be at this very moment. Follow your heart, and what makes you joyous. Would you be doing what you’re doing even if you weren’t getting paid for it? That’s one of my favorite indicators. And if you dislike something in your life, change it. Can’t change it? Then, change your attitude towards it.

Create a list of things you want to accomplish, and assign dates to them. At the end of the day, a desire without goals is just a dream. Make it a reality. You are bound to succeed!

Don’t forget about self-care! It is vital in any field you choose. The earlier you make it a habit, the better. Your body, mind, and spirit will be eternally grateful. Promise.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I wear a few different hats…

1. I’m a content writer/strategist @ www.christinakantzavelos.com.

It was in completing the Camino de Santiago (500-mile pilgrimage across Spain) at the end of 2015, where I realized my strong affinity with writing. I decided to start BuenQamino and have written and published articles and edited content for various sites ever since. I love writing and helping others find a voice for their brand.

2. I’m an award-winning gluten-free travel blogger @BuenQamino.

BuenQamino focuses on gluten-free and autoimmune travel and lifestyle. The best part of running my blog is knowing that it inspires and serves as a resource to others. Autoimmune disease and food intolerances are challenging, but they should not stop us from living the life we truly desire.

3. I’m a licensed psychotherapist/life coach/resource specialist @BeginWithinToday.

I’ve been in the mental health field for over ten years, and specialize in older adult and disability care planning, resources, and support. As well as case management, life coaching, chronic health conditions, and bereavement therapy.

4. I’m an artist @golden.erimos – I’ve painted on and off for many years, but it was recently getting sick that I chose to make it part of my self-care routine, and it organically bloomed into a beautiful side job.

Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
My advice is to find people who are doing the work you want to do on social media, or in real life. Follow them, talk to them (just don’t stalk them). I know I reached out to a bunch of people before someone finally responded. I’ve had mentors help me by just sharing their stories, while others gave me true direction. Connections, big or small, are going to be helpful to you. Look for meet-up groups or networking events in your city. You will find your mentor(s)!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Me: Christina Kantzavelos, Levent Aker

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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