Camilo Velandia has showcased his remarkable guitar skills on the world’s biggest stages, having toured with Julio Iglesias, Jon Secada and other internationally known artists. While handling his responsibilities on tour, he works hard to stay connected to his family back home. Camilo and his wife have been married for four years, and recently became parents with the arrival of their son, Logan. In this interview excerpt, he talks about the challenges of being married while working as a touring musician.
What is the biggest challenge of being married while on tour?
I am blessed to have a wife that is very understanding. We love each other, and the hardest moment is always the day before I have to leave. I think the most important thing is to not get used to being without each other. We have to miss each other and really hurt so that when we see each other again it will all be worth it. The biggest challenge of being married while on tour is that within itself. Being away for long is very difficult, but the danger begins when you allow yourself to get used to being away, and talking less, and losing contact, because then, the relationship begins to fade.
Did your wife know the challenges of the musical lifestyle before you got married?
She had a good idea of what she was getting into. Nothing can really prepare you until it happens.
How do you handle situations when artists and tours require more time than you are willing to take away from home?
It’s always been a little different. The tours I have had thus far, don’t have runs that go longer than four weeks. My longest run was seven weeks, but then I get to come home and not work because I can get through with the money from the touring. However, this year I got an offer for a tour that was straight work from February 2015 to February 2016 with only five weeks off. I ended up turning it down because it felt like it was going to be too hard, and we had a baby on the way.
What strategies do you and your wife use to stay connected while you’re apart?
Thankfully, we live in a time where technology keeps us connected. I use that to my advantage. I have a cell phone plan where I have unlimited browsing and texting outside the country, so we text all day, and we Skype / FaceTime throughout the day. We also send each other pictures and audio files of what we are doing throughout the day. In a way, it keeps us connected and informed of what the other one is doing.
(The remainder of this interview appears in the book “God and Gigs”, coming soon.)