Transformation Travel: The French Way

The Camino de Santiago from León

The French Way of the Camino de Santiago is one of the most popular routes to Santiago, Spain. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, meaning it’s full of history and culture to enjoy and absorb. This is the fourth of my “Transformation Travel” trips, the third one being an upcoming Coaching Retreat in the mountains of Colorado. I will personally lead this excursion and guide you to help you have the best experience possible.

Pilgrims in León

The French Way was my first Camino. What a transformative walk! Anticipating that most people wanting to walk the Camino don’t have a full month (or more) to do the entire 800 km, but want to reach Santiago, this trip gives you the chance to get the flavor of the Camino and reach the crown jewel: arrival at the Cathedral in Santiago.

León is the second-most-popular starting point for the Camino. The walk to Santiago from there is about 310 km, or 192 miles, which we will do in 14 days, including a day off for rest at around the half-way point, plus an extra day in Santiago to enjoy the city.

The Difference…

Along the path, in Galicia.

This isn’t a typical guided tour. This is personalized and small — it’s limited to five travelers (not counting me) so you can be sure to get the most possible transformational benefit out of it. You won’t be rushed around the country: we’ll walk from one location to another. In walking the Camino,  you experience a different location and a different bed each night. The trip is a slow-travel, deep-dive approach, as promoted by Jen Sparks in her book, Slow Travel.

This trip is personalized to the cities, villages, experiences, and events that will create the best Transformation Travel trip you can imagine. It’s designed to you give the time and space for the transformations I know are possible.

Pilgrims

The Camino started as a Catholic pilgrimage, but you definitely don’t have to be Catholic (I’m not) or even religious to have a profound experience, especially when guided by an experienced coach who has done this before! It’s still common for those who walk to be referred to as pilgrims.

Pilgrims walk the Camino for a wide range of reasons, such as to “find themselves,” to work through personal issues, wanting to prove something, or simply just want the adventure. And, of course, some are in it for the religious experience. Even without a coach, most feel a transformation that they sometimes can’t define.

Beyond Sightseeing

You’ll enjoy the cultural and natural sites, as well as experience social interactions with others on their travels and with locals. You also will be guided through a carefully and scientifically designed curriculum each day to help you move forward into the life you want. It’s all intended to help you replace old habits that are outdated and may be holding you back with new, supporting habits, and to shift your mindset for more resilience and joy. I’ll guide you to develop the right mindset and tools to help you accomplish great things and to live an amazing life.

Vineyards are a common sight along the way.

I’m a high performance coach: I guide people to develop the right mindset and tools to help them do more great things and live amazing lives. High performance coaching helps you transform your life to one of excellence where you give and get the most from your life. I have a 12-session program that I’ll take you through during our two weeks together. We’ll start each day with a coaching session over breakfast, and end the day with a debriefing and conversation.

As you walk during the time in between, you’ll be working through the material we cover each morning. The walking helps the process very much: the beautiful environment, the solitary nature of walking, the change from your daily routine all combine to create a magical state of mind that helps you absorb the ideas, and apply them to your life.

The group coaching, combined with the travel elements, will help you transform your life from adequate to excellent — to experience more joy, clarity, and energy. I’ll give you the opportunity and tools to grow with; you “do the work” to apply it to your life.

The Specifics

Intrigued? This trip starts with arrival in León, Spain, September 17, 2020, and finishes in Santiago, Spain, October 1, 2020, with an extra night in Santiago to enjoy a Pilgrim’s Mass and the ambiance. We’ll walk out of León toward Santiago walking the approximate 310km (192 miles) in two weeks. I chose this trail for my second walking Transformation Travel because of its beauty, and the opportunity to earn your Compostela in Santiago. There are some special traditions along this route you’ll enjoy, too — and amazing scenery and countryside.

And no trip to Santiago along the Camino is complete without a trip out to the End of the Earth, so busing there to enjoy the beautiful scenery for 2 nights is an option for you. The optional trip dates are October 3-5, 2020, arriving back in Santiago on October 5, 2020, before heading home on October 6, 2020.

Here’s the general itinerary:

  • Arrive León on your own no later than mid-day on September 17, 2020.
  • Leave León, Spain on foot on September 18, 2020.
  • Walking the French Way, anticipating an extra night for rest and relaxation at the mid-way point — possible if we don’t dally too much along the way.
  • Arrive in Santiago, Spain, October 2, 2020.
  • Optional excursion to Finisterre and Muxia, October 3-5, 2020.
  • Head home from Santiago on October 6, 2020.
A typical albergue (hostel) on the Camino. The camaraderie of the pilgrims is greatly enhanced when a group comes together again at the end of the day.

We’ll travel in the typical pilgrim’s style, staying in albergues and municipals along the way, with a few nights in hotels for extra rest, giving you a range of lodging styles. What delights and experiences await you! We’ll eat in cafes, bars, and restaurants in the tradition of modern pilgrims.

Included: Lodging in León (1 night), the mid-way point (2 nights), and Santiago (2 nights). I will also guide you on how to pack and prepare yourself for the trip — even what shoes to wear.  You’ll also receive 12 high performance coaching sessions along the way, plus a session by phone or Skype before we leave, and 2 group calls afterward.

Not Included: Travel to and from León and Santiago, lodging beyond the 5 nights mentioned above, meals, beverages/alcohol, snacks, entry fees, optional luggage transport between villages, and incidentals.

The pilgrimage with coaching costs US$3,495. A deposit by check of $1,500 per person will be required once you are accepted for this trip, with the balance due by June 16, 2020.

Optional Trip Extension

If you want to put a finale onto this trip, join me for the two-night, 3-day excursion to the End of the Earth, aka Finisterre, Spain. We’ll bus to Finisterre from Santiago, then walk to Muxia. We’ll bus back to Santiago on October 5, 2019.

The cost for the additional excursion, US$395, includes round-trip transportation and two nights lodging.

The Santiago Cathedral
photo by Kathrin P.

 

Please be sure to read My Trip Policies.

Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished.
Stop being who you were and change into who you are.
~Paul Coelho

That’s what this trip is all about: step into who you are. And there’s hardly a better way than walking a distance — guided by an expert in transformation — to make that change.

Next Steps

If you’re as excited to be “in” as I am, please give me some information so I can call and tell you more on the phone. Remember, only five guests can come, so part of the call will be to tell you if you’re “in,” or on the waiting list.