27 January 2014 NOW THAT WAS F-U-N!! Sort of, well at a minimum it was educational in so many ways that it became F-U-N.

This adventure to the Wahibi Sands of Oman taught me many lessons. The first being to stay in the moment; a lesson I have learned and relearned throughout my life. The training and the anticipation had been as much fun as the walk and I skipped right over that. I know that living in the NOW contributes to my well being and happiness, but it is difficult to stay in the now when preparing for an event in the future. So I embrace AGAIN this vital truth.

I was reminded from the team the essential PRIMAL craving within us all for CONNECTION and how families in all their imperfections meet our needs PERFECTLY. I am trying to embrace those things which bring me closer to those I love and let go and leave behind those ideas, thoughts and feelings which cause me to disengage. Forgiveness is an essential vehicle in this process.

I was reminded that the strength of my mind can overcome the weaknesses of my body. As I age, my body had appeared to be failing me and I accepted this as a natural process. I am happy to know I can push my body to STILL perform and hope by doing this it will remain as strong as possible and not be the reason I stagnate and forgo the pleasures of sport. Remaining active in life is critical to maintaining the lifestyle I envision for myself. “You can’ t be a sissy to grow old,” my grandmother would remind us. She also told us to, “Laugh and laugh and laugh, it helps the process.” Humor was her best medicine.

I struggled to keep my mind positive and not focus on the aches and pains which come with a more extreme endeavor ——- I recall thinking dang, “Daily life can seem like an extreme endeavor from time to time.” I hope to be able to take my mind away from the petty, inconsequential, tedious and sometimes hurtful minutia and remained focused on trying to be my better self. All these ideas flooded my mind and I knew they were my most enduring truths.

My better self? Well, she is kind, thoughtful, understanding, connected at the heart to those dear and even those not so dear. She is healthy, strong, joyful, forgiving, determined, persistent and never takes herself to seriously. She is never all these things at once. When she fails, she tries to laugh at herself from her belly.

On this trek I heard the voice of a friend I was with on a long trek in the mountains around Garmisch. Dean Reed would grin and remind us all, “No whining allowed, just keep moving!” She thought she was being funny – and she was – I thought she was just wise.


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!"