In our fast-paced, technology-driven world, it’s easy to get caught up in the demands of daily life. We are constantly connected to work, computers, and phones, which can take a toll on our mental health and relationships. However, taking a break from these demands and reconnecting with nature can be incredibly rejuvenating.

My husband and I just returned from the small peaceful island of Aitutaki by way of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. We both returned feeling ten years younger and more in love with each other. On the return flight, we had creative discussions about the WHY of this feeling. Below is a compilation of our thoughts on the benefits of disconnecting from the digital world and embracing the healing power of nature, both on our mental well-being and the health of our relationships.

Restoring Mental Balance: The digital age has brought countless benefits but has also created an “always-on” culture that can be mentally exhausting. Constant exposure to screens, notifications, and information overload can lead to stress, anxiety, and burnout. Taking a break from these distractions and immersing ourselves in nature provided a much-needed respite for our minds. The serenity and beauty of natural surroundings helped reduce stress levels, increase mindfulness, and restore mental balance. We were surrounded by the wonder of the islands: kind, unhurried people, pristine aqua water (it was like looking into an aquarium), lush greenery and beautiful flowers that excited our noses, fresh foods……and the list goes on.

Reconnecting with the Present Moment: Nature has a remarkable ability to draw us into the present moment. Being surrounded by nature’s sights, sounds, and smells, we become more attuned to our senses. This heightened awareness helped us break free from the endless stream of thoughts and worries that often plague our minds. By focusing on the present moment, we experienced a sense of calm and clarity that promotes overall well-being.

Nurturing Mental Health: Studies have shown that spending time in nature has significant mental health benefits. This proved true for us. It took about two days to ‘relax,’ and although neither of us suffer from depression, our moods lifted, and we were more playful. “More of our true selves,” we decided.  Our anxiety fell away with each day. Nature provided a soothing and tranquil environment that allowed our minds to rest, heal, and recharge. We were reminded that whether it’s a leisurely walk in the woods, sitting by a lake, or hiking in the mountains, immersing ourselves in nature can be a powerful form of therapy.

Strengthening Relationships: Constant connection to technology takes a toll on all relationships. It’s all too easy to become engrossed in screens and neglect meaningful connections with loved ones. By taking a break from digital distractions and spending time in nature, we created an opportunity to bond and connect on a deeper level. Whether it’s a romantic walk on the beach, a family picnic in the park, or a camping trip with friends, nature provides the perfect backdrop for strengthening relationships and creating lasting memories.

Fostering a Sense of Wonder: Nature has a way of inspiring awe and wonder within us. It ignites our curiosity, stimulates our senses, and reminds us of the beauty and interconnectedness of the world. By disconnecting from our digital devices and immersing ourselves in the natural world, we opened ourselves up to new experiences and perspectives. This sense of wonder can reignite our passion for life, spark creativity, and deepen our appreciation for the world around us.

In a world dominated by screens and constant connectivity, taking a break and reconnecting with nature is a transformative act of self-care. It allows us to restore mental balance, nurture our mental health, and strengthen our relationships. So, consider unplugging from the digital world and embarking on an adventure in nature. Whether it’s a short hike, a weekend camping trip, or simply sitting under a tree in a local park, the benefits are boundless. Reconnect with nature, reconnect with yourself, and let the healing power of the natural world guide you to a place of peace, joy, and well-being. Hey, it’s summer. Get out there and breathe with the trees!


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!"