Bill Barkeley

deaf-blind adventurer, advocate & storyteller (public speaker)

 

Bill is a deaf-blind adventurer & public speaker (storyteller) that speaks and does adventure projects to people around the world - disabled or not - on building a pioneering, adventuring spirit and overcoming the challenges in their lives.  Bill's work is about helping others get to a better place in this world and paying it forward in a life that has been rich beyond his wildest imagination.

Bill's groundbreaking climb covered on Good Morning America was to share a personal journey about building a life within the context of your abilities and disabilities.  He is a pioneer with assistive technologies for the hearing and vision impaired and the deaf-blind. 

Bill is one of 15,000 in the United States and 100,000 in the world with Usher's Syndrome which progressively robs its victims of both hearing and vision over the course of their lifetime.   

See why in many ways he believes that it may be the best thing that ever happened to him.   

Pioneering Spirit

You don't choose a life.  You live it.  "The Way"

We stayed in the hostal where the movie "The Way" was filmed.  

We stayed in the hostal where the movie "The Way" was filmed.  

Martin Sheen and Emilio Estavez passed through here in 2011 and signed the poster.

Sunflower fields of Spain

Sunflower fields of Spain

People wonder what do you as you hike, hike and hike for miles on end? 

The easy answer is people stop for water breaks, take off the shoes, pick sunflower seeds and many people take a siesta...but there is more😀. 

The coolest thing I have seen is what people do with what is simply there in that moment.  Then, it is interesting how they play and get creative with nature which is all around them and then the stories of the Camino are created.

Camino art

Camino art

We came across a forest clearing out of the blue. Year after year of hikers resting, has now created a rest stop like no other with totem poles, signs and creative pieces of art made out nature's elements - wood, rock and more. 

Thousands of crosses on the fence  

Thousands of crosses on the fence  

This is a long section of fence near the highway.  People have created thousands of crosses in the fence for a mile by finding a couple of twigs.  

The mystical story for those on Camino is that our hiking trail is divided by the fence to the highway to separate the natural world from the modern world.  Hikers and speeding traffic go past each other with very different destinations in life at that moment.  Thousands of crosses dangling on a fence with no words but the message is huge and powerful.  Life is a pilgrimage like no other.

Leave a piece of yourself

Leave a piece of yourself

Where people get all these ideas and the things they use to make from their backpack is quite surprising.  Maybe it is a clever way to lighten the stuff out of the backpack that weighs you down without a trash can nearby.

Find your hometown. 

Find your hometown. 

Find your hometown and tell us how far it is from the heart of Spain. Great way to meet new people on break.

Rock pile messages  

Rock pile messages  

Leave a hope, fear, dream or prayer amongst a huge rock pile as you walk the Camino.  A great way to mark a moment, set yourself free from your challenges or remember someone special in your life.  Write it, put rock on it and keep walking to Santiago.

Shadow pictures

Shadow pictures

Capture the moment of those early morning walks with 33 consecutive sunrises with your shadow as your guide to the next Camino moment.  Mornings are the most beautiful moments of a Camino hiker's day.

Wayfinding

Wayfinding

Take the heavy stuff off your life's backpack and use a stone to mark it.-

Wall as a canvas

Wall as a canvas

Go hikers Go. Keep on walking and put some pep in your step! Santiago is only another 21 days away. 

 

Don't always be serious. Laugh a lot! 

Don't always be serious. Laugh a lot! 

A pioneering adventuring spirit is about having a mindset.  A mindset that says I am willing to put myself out there and see where it goes.  I may succeed or I may fail but that is beside the point.

It is simply putting yourself out there. Daring to tempt fate and circumstance and finding yourself basking in the sun of accomplishment or even freezing from the consequences of poor planning or failure.  To have tried is the most important thing on the Camino. 

A pioneering spirit is grounded in mission, purpose and reaching beyond with a huge dose of resolve.  

It is about seeing the world before you with new eyes.  The same world but now with new possibilities, opportunities, aspirations and potential. 

A pioneering spirit releases the gifts of the imagination such as creativity, innovation, resourcefulness, invention, whimsy and wonder to name a few.   

In short, a pioneering spirit is like the sun in nature.  An energy source from within you that makes what first appears to be the same old thing something completely different and transformative.  Same view but very different perspective.

Are you open to a pioneering spirit in your life?

This adventure project is to celebrate a life-long journey with Usher Syndrome - a devastating disease that robs its victims of their hearing and vision progressively decade by decade.    There are no treatments or cures.  After 33 days of hiking, my guides and I will be arriving in Santiago on September 17th to celebrate Usher Syndrome World Awareness Day.  If you are interested in supporting this project. You can go to:  www.classy.org/billbarkeley

Thanks for reading and feel free to share with the world.