Kyle Maloy - Fellow Pilgrim Interview

Kyle Maloy joined the Travel Light crew last weekend to share his experiences hiking the Camino de Santiago. Kyle is an International Trade and Development student from Encinitas, California.

Travel Light: How did you first hear about the Camino?

Kyle Maloy: I spent a semester abroad in Salamanca, Spain in spring 2012. David (my eventual hiking partner and friend) is interested in traditional Catholic pilgrimages and asked me to join him on his camino. We hiked from Sevilla on the Via de la Plata. It is the longest route at approximately 1000 km; it’s also the most boring.

TL: What made you decide to walk it?

KM: David talked me into it. Hiking the Camino isn’t like me, I’ve never done something like this and I wanted to prove I could-- it was a maturing thing. It was time to do something significant for myself.

TL: What part of the pilgrim life was hardest to get used to?

KM: The first day was the worst. It was 105, there was nothing to see, we didn’t bring enough water. You get used to the distance but I had no idea how far we’d actually hike. Along the Camino, people were excited to see us. They would stop their work to point us in the right direction, I wan’t expecting that. The ladies loved us too, no young guys took the Via de la Plata.

One day, kind of early on, I looked at David and said “Sorry I have nothing else to say to you.” Along the Via de la Plata nothing changes day to day. No new experiences to share. Nothing to talk about, news, anything. But that’s when I started reflecting inward. We said a lot of rosaries.

TL: Did you stop at any of the religious sites along the way? What was your experience there?

KM: There were few sites along the way but we found our way to mass every Sunday. Cathedral or chapel, they all had a lot of history.

TL: Did you end at Santiago de Compostela or Finisterre?

KM: We ended at Santiago de Compostela on day 32. It was the longest day of the pilgrimage at 64 km.

TL: How was your life changed because you walked the Camino?

KM: I have a different sense of confidence, I feel more connected spiritually.  Through introspection the Camino forced me to acknowledge parts of myself I didn’t want to before. When I came back to California, and even now, I was more aware. A pilgrimage, especially this one adds extra meaning to the Catholic faith.

We’re planning to hike the northern way along the coast summer 2014.

Meet the Team - Emily Maysilles

We've asked each member of our production team to write up a blog post introducing themselves to you, and here's the first one! We'll be doing this as a series of Meet the Team posts over the next couple weeks, so stay tuned to hear what all the other team members have to say. First, though, we're introducing our own lovely editor. Her name is changing in two weeks to Emily Curtin (congratulations, Em, we're all so excited for you and Ryan!) but today we introduce her as Emily Maysilles.


The Editor.

Lindsay kept talking about this idea, to walk some trail in Spain and collect people's stories. And she kept talking about it until it became this constant theme.

Finally, one night as I was passing through Winton on my way from somewhere to somewhere and using her couch as a hotel, she popped the question: "If I can make this, do you want to cut it?"

"Well, yeah," I said with a smile. "I really really do."

I didn't know I wanted to be an editor. In high school I wandered through all the performing and visual arts convinced one week that I would be an actor, the next that I would either be a playwright or a timpanist, OR MAYBE BOTH!

Junior year I got stuck in a "media" class which basically served the function of sometimes producing school news and otherwise handing out easy A's. The very first class, I got assigned to edit a piece for school news because nobody else wanted to. It was a brilliant addition to the canon of world cinema: a story shot in echoey too-wide shots entitled "What Was Your Favorite Summer Movie." The bad sound and the too-wide shots were an aesthetic, you see.

Even though this was a piece full of high schoolers talking about The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, it was the piece that brought my attention to editing. Here, finally, was a logical art. An art that required some technological wizardry as well as primal storytelling ability. An art that made sense and made beauty out of the chaos.

I went to UNCSA to pursue this love of filmmaking and editing. That's where I met Lindsay, in our Philosophy of Religion course. I thought she was cool, we hung out, I also met this girl Brittni who was really passionate about cinematography and also very cool. At the end of that semester, Lindsay and I pulled an all-nighter at the local Waffle House writing philosophy papers and watching the cycles of the night. After that, our friendship was cemented.

Lindsay & Emily, Summer 2010

My third year at UNCSA kicked off a period in my life when the concept of home was a bit elusive. I went to Austin and NYC to work crazy, heady weeks at rock festivals. I went to Seattle to assist and study under the renowned photographer Elaine Mayes who was putting together a documentary project about her own mentor. I went to San Francisco to do video at a music studio. I went back home to Atlanta and found a few freelance gigs, then I turned right around and went out to New Hampshire to work for Florentine Films, aka Ken Burns' studio.

When I came back to Atlanta after that, it was because I wanted to. I missed my home. I missed the sunny South and the beat of this crazy city. I also missed the man who will become my husband in just a few short weeks.

I can say with some force of certainty that Atlanta is my home, for now. That experience of finding my home and my place gives me compassion for the pilgrims on the Camino who are asking the same kinds of questions I was asking. Where do I belong? What is my place? What is my purpose?

The scope of this project is enormous. The questions are huge. It's exactly the kind of grandiose thing I like to sink my teeth into.

Emily Curtin

You can email Emily at, if you have any questions for her or just want to talk. Want to see more of her work? Find it at

Of Crepe Ladies & Sardines

In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, there is a fantastic little café that has become a cornerstone of the community. Customers don’t just go there for the rich coffee and pain au chocolat… they go there for the people. Welcome to Camino Bakery.


Bakery-owner Cary walked the Camino de Santiago in 1998, hoping she would discover what she would do with her life after college. What she discovered was a simpler way of life that focused on quality, both in relationships and in food.

Despite the fact that she began the trail on her own, Cary soon found herself traveling with pilgrims from around the world. Their days were marked by lots of walking, lots of laughing, and lots of long talks in different languages.

As for the food - even the smallest villages had a bakery/coffee shop where the community gathered. Years later, when Cary would start her bakery, it was places like these that she had in mind.

“I aim for my life to be more like the Camino. I mean, I named my bakery after it.  Life is about the journey, not about the destination, and in this country we are all about the destination.”

Jack, one of Cary’s employees, also walked the Camino de Santiago after college. Jack grew up backpacking, and would go on after Spain to hike the Appalachian Trail. So what made the Camino de Santiago stick out for him?

“The Camino is different than American backpacking experiences like the AT because of the emphasis on community… because of community, going through towns, you can travel lighter. You don’t have to be so self-reliant.”

Talking with Cary and Jack about their experiences made our crew even more excited for our own journey. Check out the videos below to hear two of their funny tales from the trail.

Interview by Lindsay Thompson, Shot by Ryan Heefner.