Tomorrow you will become one unique person walking among a group of diverse special women. Each one holding individualized values, morals, ethics, each one raised in a very different home, taught right from wrong, instructed in culturally remarkable daily behaviors, and educated on the way the world is constructed.

One way is not better or worse, one idea or opinion more enlightened than another: they are just different – and wonderfully so.

Please keep this in the front of your mind as you set out on this challenge to walk in the footsteps of women who were also strong, open, and courageous. I hope you included an open mind on your packing list. If you did, you will leave the desert having learned from each other and having expanded your spectrum of tolerance.

From the beginning we have asked you to keep your heart open and lead with compassion. Be patient with yourself when you struggle and with each other. In this year of tolerance, we also ask you to be understanding and accepting of all things and people different from yourself. It will allow you to connect in a profound way. By actively keeping an open mind, you commit to a depth of learning and enter a kaleidoscope of varied views. This does not mean abandoning your own beliefs, but it will serve to shine a light on your own and strengthen them. “Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength,” said the Dalai Lama.

We honor and respect each other when we show tolerance. Try not to prejudge but be curious about each other’s lives, loves, and passions. I know if I spend enough time with someone, I always find something we have in common, some idea or funny life story around which we can laugh or commiserate. This is the gift of spending time with women – we all have at least this experience in common – and you have five days to find the beauty of each other. You will discover a richness of ideas, unique ways of doing what you thought were banal daily activities. By building tolerance, we also build resilience and resistance to intolerance. We become more aware and in tune to our values and cultures. Through this process we heighten our dignity.


  1. Think of or write your personal mission statement including your values and the moral imperatives (actions you cannot tolerate, i.e., lying, cheating, stealing, harming others) This will constitute your individualized spectrum of tolerance.
  2. Work to become a better listener particularly when you do not agree. Try to recall a conversation with a person of divergent views when you walked away feeling heard and learned something.
  3. Ask yourself if you are open to learning about new cultures, traditions, philosophies and then remind yourself, “I am open to new ideas and enjoy people with different ideas.)………I believe you are or you would not be involved in the walk. Congratulations!!

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!"