My website: http://www.michaelgeorgephoto.com
My Instagram: @migeophoto
STRETCH GOAL: $6,600+!
Friends! Family! Wonderful people! With your incredible support I have officially reached the funding goal. BUT WAIT! I set the bar low. I should have aimed high! If you have a moment, review my budget by clicking here. As you can see – the actual project cost is $6,600 not including two months of at-home expenses. In the last three days I will be holding a special raffle on my Facebook page. I will also be sharing never-before-seen images from the Camino on my Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook. Get ready!
In 2010 I cycled 4,000 miles across the United States to raise money for affordable housing. It was the first time in my life that I had completely disconnected from the routines of modern living. Since then I have been fascinated by the places where people travel to leave everything behind – the Appalachian Trail, the Shikoku Pilgrimage in Japan, and the Camino de Santiago in Europe. How do these journeys reconnect us with people, nature, and ourselves? What values are learned?
Last year I walked the 500 mile Camino de Santiago across northern Spain. The Camino began as a Roman trade route until it became a Christian pilgrimage to Santiago de Compestela. Today thousands of people from all over the world gather on the Camino for many reasons. I met pilgrims who had cancer and wanted to return to a life of simplicity. The first six people I met on the Camino had just lost their jobs and were looking for answers and inspiration. The Camino is an opportunity to challenge yourself physically, mentally, and to restart your life while traveling with strangers from every culture on this planet.
This summer (August 5th - September 23rd) I am going back to the Camino to document other routes and produce a multimedia documentary sharing the stories of pilgrims and villages throughout France and Spain. I will also be consolidating the stories into a small book. There are many pilgrimage routes that lead to Santiago. My journey in August will begin in Le Puy-en-Velay. The pilgrims I meet here will be walking for a total of four months. Afterward I will travel back to the Camino Frances to document the key places I was unable to spend significant time in during my walk. Finally I will walk the Camino from Santiago to Fisterra. This is a symbolic "Post-Pilgrimage" that brings pilgrims to what was once considered the end of the world. Many pilgrims will burn their clothes and other effects on the beach as a celebration and sacrifice of their successful journey.
In addition I will also be interviewing pilgrims who completed the journey with me last year. I will be traveling to their hometowns in Denmark, Germany, and France. My hope is to inspire others to live the principles of simplicity and humanity that pilgrims discover while walking on "The Way."
During the project I will be posting a portrait and a personal story each day. The posts will be made to my Instagram, blog, and Facebook page. Last year I was featured by Instagram as a suggested user and soon had an audience of 38,000 followers. As you can see below, people were tremendously responsive to the personal stories I found along the way. I even had a few people tell me they were inspired by my images to walk the Camino themselves.
HOW YOUR FUNDING WILL BE USED
Last year I fully funded the project on my own. This year I have already purchased plane tickets, photography equipment, and plan to cover health insurance and student loan payments while I am abroad.
Kickstarter will cover a large percentage of other costs which include:
• Audio equipment & Webpage design
• Hostels & meals (for 50 days)
• Traveler's Insurance
My goal is to always travel as cheaply as possible. I will be blogging various tips and tricks for saving money during the project.
• What have you done to prepare?
For the past few months I have been taking French lessons at the French Institute in New York, mapping and studying the Le Puy Camino, and putting together a network of bus locations for hopping around on the Camino Frances. (Note: The Camino is so international that language barriers are almost always overcome by fellow pilgrim translators)
• What will the final project look like?
After I return I will be working with a web designer to put together a series of webpages that tell the story of the Camino in an interactive showcase featuring still images, writing, short video interviews, and other multimedia (Vine, Instagram, etc.)
I will also be consolidating all content into a small book.
(In the future I plan to make this book a small chapter in a larger photography collection documenting other trails around the world.)
• Will your feet hurt?
Risks and challenges
Once funds are raised I foresee few complications in designing and printing this completed project. Prior to my departure on August 5th I will be storyboarding the website and book. While abroad I will be backing up all images to my DropBox using an Eye-Fi wireless SD card and my iPad. Upon my return I will immediately begin editing down the images and stories for publication. Because I am abroad for 2 months there is a high chance I will be overwhelmed with work upon my return. Finding time to edit down the project will be a challenge but I hope to complete everything by early 2014.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)