Is it time?
Do you desire reflective time to consider your life purpose and direction, want to walk in beautiful places, and have deeper connections with others? For centuries, people all over the world have chosen to walk as a way to see the world and themselves with new eyes.
Our specially designed 9-day pilgrimages in Europe immerse you in two journeys which happen on the same path.
We hope you’ll give yourself the gift of being on a stunning walk with plenty of reflective time, and the opportunity to meet a small band of like-minded souls who know that getting away from it all is a powerful way to gain perspective and make decisions about the next period of your life.
If you're interested in joining us, please get in touch and we'll make sure you're the first to know when applications open.
Announcing our 2022 pilgrimage to France - SOLD OUT
We have all the preparation done for our 2022 Pilgrimage in France. It will be a walk on the west side of the Cherbourg Peninsula from the area of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin and ending in Mont Saint Michel. A stunning combination of beach and woodland walking with a few surprises added along the way.
Depart US - Paris (CDG):
Sunday, June 26
Return Paris (CDG) - US:
Tuesday, July 5
“The combination of elements on this journey, both along the trail and internally, hit on something really big. I get what I’m here to do at a whole other level. Something profound happened by walking every day with a small group of fellow curious folks that I couldn’t anticipate. The time to reflect on what matters most, while surrounded by nature, made me feel more alive and clear than I have in years.”
Danae Johnson, executive coach, British Columbia
Depart US: Sunday, June 26
June 27, 2022 - Arrive Paris, France, train to Brix, Cherbourg.
We work to have everyone schedule flights for a morning arrival. As the group gathers, we make our way to our first accommodation in the historic center of the city. We will have a late afternoon orientation and have our first meal together, celebrating the beginning of our trek.
June 28, 2022 - Brix + a day at the Normandy D Day Beaches.
We will start our first day with a loop walk in the region get us settled into our walking shoes and experience the beauty of the region.
June 29, 2022 - Brix to Annoville to Donville-les-Bains.
Now we are well on our way. We will walk an average of 8-12 miles a day, taking our time as we go. On average we walk about 2 miles an hour! We will make our way to the Southwestern coast of the Cherbourg peninsula in the morning and begin our walk along the beaches and towns of the Manche region on the edge of the English Channel.
June 30, 2022 - Donville-les-Bains to Saint-Jean-le-Thomas.
By now we are ready to get back out on the path in the morning, our bodies and minds wanting to just keep on walking, even though we might be a little tired and sore. We will continue along the coast to our next destination where we will stay for two nights.
July 1, 2022 - Saint-Jean-le-Thomas.
Remember, if you are mapping out the stops along “the way” you’ll notice some distances seem much longer than our 8-12 mile average, but, no worries, we have little tricks to hop, skip, and jump along! This, however, is a rest day of Pilgrims Choice! You can take a short loop walk, pair up with someone and re-do your Core Gift Interview to see how you've changed, or simply rest. We'll have a time set aside during the evening for our usual group reflective time.
July 2, 2022 - Saint-Jean-le-Thomas to Avranches.
We will head inland a bit today, veering off the coastline to explore the villages and farms of the region. Our day will be guided by the view of Mont Saint Michel in the distance, enticing us to carry on toward our goal of reaching the great cathedral island.
July 3, 2022 - Avranches to Ceaux.
Now our momentum leads us onward toward our destination, we just keep on walking and talking, enjoying our time together along the path.
July 4, 2022 - Ceaux to Le Mont Saint Michel.
Today we arrive at Mont Saint Michel. While a shorter walking day, the time spent on the island exploring its famed history and allure will be a just reward for all the kilometers of walking behind us.
July 5, 2022 - Le Mont Saint Michel to Paris.
We will return to Paris in the morning, giving everyone time to either make their departing flights, or prepare to travel onward. Accommodations from this point forward are the responsibility of participants, although we can certainly work together to help you formulate your plan to keep on journeying (though perhaps not by foot after a great week of walking!)
Please note: This is our planned and reserved itinerary. Circumstances beyond our control may force slight changes along our route. Pilgrims are flexible!
$400 Deposit at time of Registration, refundable till April 30
Balance of $2,000 due one month after deposit payment or 5 payments of $400 per month beginning one month after deposit.
Does not include:
Airfare to and from CDG Paris
Dinners and some lunches
Special Covid Note:
1. Participants are responsible for securing proof of negative-Covid test for arrival in France if it is required at time of departure. We will inform you if required.
2. We will set up Covid testing at the conclusion of our pilgrimage if it is required for re-entry into your country of origin. Participants will be responsible for testing fee.
We recommend you Google our arrival town and add “average temperature.” A monthly average temperature chart will come up, and you can gauge the weather we’ll have based on that.
No. You’ll need some layered clothing, rain-gear, some sturdy boots or walking shoes, and a few other things. Once registered, we’ll send you a standard detailed packing list.
No. Your luggage will be transported each day by courier to our destination for that night. You will be bringing a small daypack to carry your snacks, rain-gear, and whatever else you might need for the day’s walk.
Adults over 30 are welcome to apply.
This is a walk, not an endurance test. Participants are generally tired at the end of the day, but not exhausted. We want you to still have energy at the end of the day so we can meet for our evening sessions without you falling asleep!
The daily mileage varies from 5-12 miles. We generally are walking between 9:00am-4pm, take frequent breaks, so we can cover the miles without feeling like we are rushed. Past experience says we generally walk about 2 mph during the trek. This is the average speed of somebody walking down the street in your town.
Once registered and accepted, you will receive specific arrival and departure times in order to plan your flights and purchase tickets.
The primary determiner for you should be whether or not you experience physical symptoms that would make daily walking uncomfortable or unsafe. Certainly, if you have heart, joint, or other serious medical conditions you should not apply. If you are not a regular exercise walker, we recommend you buy an inexpensive pedometer or download a walking app and take walks of different lengths to gauge your fitness level. We have never had a participant who was unable to complete the journey due to physical demands.
We limit the group size to 8-10 participants and 2 guides. We’ve found this is the perfect size group for great conversation, not being too cumbersome to move on the trails, and perfect for filling up a B&B!
We will meet most evenings for 1 - 1.5 hours, either right before or right after dinner. The sessions are designed to help you reflect on who you are, your hopes for the next period of your life, and commitments you want to make involving activities, careers, relationships, and personal development. They are designed with a variety of short activities including telling stories, writing short reflections, silence, and sharing ideas. This is not therapy! This is not forced sharing of stories you are not comfortable telling the world! We want you to look forward to gathering with other participants and getting and giving inspiration.
We cover accommodations, in-country travel which is part of our itinerary, breakfasts, guides, and evening facilitation. The registration fee does not include your airfare. We provide breakfast each day, but you will be responsible for your lunch and dinner costs. Walkers often bring a little extra money to purchase souvenirs along the way.
Our route involves us taking several short bus, train, and boat rides. Previous participants have told us they enjoy these rides as another way to see the countryside, meet locals, and rest your legs for a short while!
We are not in remote wilderness. We are walking between towns on established trails, country lanes, or beaches.
Many health plans cover travelers going outside the US, but you should check with your specific provider for coverages and what to do in case of illness or accident in order for your insurance to cover the costs. The organizers of this trek do not provide insurance of any type for participants.
We are staying in a variety of different hotels and inns, all of them average quality. This is not a luxury tour! The registration fee is based on double-occupancy. We try to switch roommates, when it’s agreeable to participants, so each night so you have the opportunity to get to know each other.
There is easy access to ATM machines in most towns, and credit or debit cards are widely used. Don’t forget to notify your bank prior to departure.
There is no right answer to this. Most walkers come on trips specifically to get away from the demands of staying connected all the time, and believe bringing a cell phone offers the basic contact, email, and emergency connecting they need. Other walkers can’t imagine leaving home without their laptop or iPad. Be aware that you will have very limited time to be connected, usually only early morning and after the evening sessions are completed. We discourage cell use during the day, except in emergency, since we are in the midst of nature and it’s hard to focus when bells and whistles are going off around you!
We strongly recommend you NOT plan on getting significant work done while on this trip. You will not have the available time, and experience tells us it usually interrupts a participant’s ability to really be present with others and the magnificent beauty we will be surrounded by. Many participants do some brief checking in with home or work in the evening to catch up with important details.
The guides have cell phones with international calling plans and emergency numbers that you can use if you need to.
Most all of the places we will stay at have internet access, although it is often slower than the speeds we are used to. Some, but not all, have cell phone signal. Most participants download WhatsApp or another one of the free internet calling apps so they don’t have to spend money on phone calls. Many walkers add unlimited international texting to their phone plan, since the cost is low to do that. Others get a small data plan to go along with texts, but be aware that data plans exhaust VERY quickly if you are using Google maps, web searches, etc. It’s easy to go thru 100megs of data in one day!
“Walking with the Core Gift Institute gave me a whole new confidence in myself and my abilities to succeed physically, socially, and mentally.”
Juanita, pilgrimage participant
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