What drives us, propels us forward toward goal-driven behaviors, pushes us to test our limits, or work late into the night – THEN guides and sustains actions through disappointments and obstacles? Motivation is the WHY in the equation of understanding and maintaining behavior as we actively move toward an objective. This is a sensitive topic because it exposes principles, ethics, and perhaps even a person’s moral code. These can be intensely personal. When you question a person’s motivation, you are calling into question their values, and many do not take the time to examine their motives more closely. Tread lightly in this arena.

A motive can be an impulse acted upon without much thought. These are usually in the category of instincts or biological drives. However, motivators, when well defined and thought out, can propel us to persist. And the goal would, therefore, be better understood. Often the motivation is hidden or concealed. It might be stated as one thing, but at its core, is something completely different or even the opposite.

When we understand the drivers, we can also enhance the reward. For example, if they arise from extrinsic motivators (those outside of ourselves – promotions, trophies, praise from others, or money), it is clear when we have achieved our goals. If they are intrinsic, rewards such as personal gratification are sometimes obscured but can be the most satisfying.

Abraham Maslow outlined a pyramid of human needs that served to help define motivators in the 1950’s. His work continues to have value today. He was the first to focus on positive psychology. He posited that first, we must meet life-sustaining needs (food shelter and safety). Only then can we move up the ladder to satisfy the necessity for belongingness, love, esteem, cognitive pursuits, toward individual growth, and helping others. Today this process is viewed as more dynamic and encapsulates the Wellness Model used for the Walk.

What motivates us is essential information needed for self-awareness. Learning or opening our minds to the intentions for performing an act helps us more clearly value and appreciate the act itself. We can be both soothed because we are meeting an innate drive toward survival, a biological need – eat, drink and sleep, or be inspired – and a need for arousal when the underlying reason for behaviors is apparent.

In defining your values and your motivations, take the following steps:

List ten things you value and why – and rank them by importance.

Ask yourself if you are driven primarily by instinct, biological needs, or extrinsic or intrinsic factors.

Examine where you put most of your time and energy

Pure honesty is taught, and is a skill acquired alongside a higher level in communication.

So, getting ‘real’ with ourselves is difficult, but worth the effort when we know, it propels and protects us as we navigate the uncertainties of moving forward on a goal. If you believe this to be true, walking this challenging Walk takes on a new and more profound meaning. By examining motivations, clarifying goals, and values, the exercise becomes a skill set, and can become a template for multiple arenas in our life. (Think the five areas of Wellness: Physical, Psychological, Intellectual, Relational, and Spiritual.—– These are described more fully in your handbook).


Our History

The Women's Heritage Walk is a life-affirming trek inspired by the worldwide history of women who walked to feed their families, bring water to the villages, trade goods and services, and migrate to safer, more hospitable lands. Women have been on the move for centuries, often reacting to the weather, food, and resources.

The Walks was a natural corollary to the three-day Wellness Seminars established in and around the mountains of Garmisch, Germany, in 1992. This format expanded to Poland, Rome, Italy, and into schools to meet the growing need to address the social and emotional need to cope with increased stress, particularly bullying in schools. Women's Heritage Walk, established in 2015, has become an unrivaled multi-layered experience for women.

The Women's Heritage Walk is an unrivaled multi-layered experience for women. It is rooted in the belief that women empower each other, their families, communities, and themselves through growth, learning, and pushing their limits.

Preparation begins three months in advance with a curated program to prepare walkers mentally and physically for an arduous, exciting adventure. This experiential journey captivates all the senses and enhances each woman's physical strength and internal fortitude while enhancing an individual's personal health and wellness path.

This adventure allows walkers to immerse themselves authentically in the local country's cultural heritage. Daily programs stimulate a more profound understanding of our foremothers' life experiences and offer a new appreciation for the habits and customs borne from the hardships of early life.

Participants forge deeper bonds with themselves and each other through physical, mental, and emotional development. Shared hardships endured with common goals create lifelong attachments, increase mutual understanding, widen tolerance parameters, heighten mutual respect, and reinforce shared values. Once accomplished, it accentuates individual strengths and potential more fully.

This transformational endeavor impacts the Walkers and their network of friends, family, colleagues, and community members. Each person learns vicariously from the participant's persistence, perseverance, lifestyle changes, growth, reinvigoration, and heightened knowledge.

Each year brings a new adventure and opportunity to connect as we obtain the most up-to-date research to augment and improve upon the four pillars of Culture and Heritage, Health and wellness, Strength and Leadership, and Community Connection.

We employ an overarching approach encompassing all human needs. We focus on physical and mental health, joy and balance in relationships and spiritual and intellectual curiosity.

Tolerance, perseverance, self-awareness, and cultural respect are themes discussed in the Wellness Component. These become more relevant as the event brings women from multiple nationalities together. The journey provides an open forum for the women to discuss culture, values, and traditions and to learn from each other without judgment. Through it, they discover more that unites them than separates them.

Each woman takes a chance by overcoming fear and disrupting their life momentarily, hoping to find something special inside and outside themselves. Through connections to others unlike themselves, they learn and grow.

"A heart afraid never learns to dance and never takes a chance." Bette Midler

Fear isolates us and diminishes our opportunity to live our best lives by finding our best selves. We must be challenged to do this, and the Women's Heritage will challenge you. Complacency and walking through our lives on autopilot does not. When we think of adventures, we think of exploring something outside ourselves. However, in this Walk, a large part of this challenge and any arduous struggle happens inside ourselves. This Walk challenges you to go outside your comfort zone in all areas.

This program is guided by integrity and honors heritage. The Women's Heritage Walk develops personal and collective strength. Proximity and shared hardship build not only tolerance but respect. By finishing, they teach our daughters, families, and community that difficult does not mean impossible. The challenging walks teach us to persevere with compassion, humbly appreciate nature's power, and draw on inner strength to keep moving forward when weary. This gift of struggling fortifies a heightened and profound belief in oneself and gratitude for the support given.

Along with her in-country cultural experts, Jody continues to develop a modern and ever-growing tribe of a global 'sisterhood.'

26-year-old UAE national Waheeda Al Hadhrami participated in 2017 and said about the event, "Walking through our beautiful deserts and reconnecting with our past was life-changing, although it was physically and mentally challenging. The experience allowed me to meet many women from different backgrounds and walks of life, and I enjoyed the cultural exchange. I loved every step of the journey!"