I am a writer, walker and cyclist from Harrisonburg, Va., a freelance publishing consultant and a travel coach and guide. My goal in living is to inspire others to more simple, meaningful, peaceful and less consumptive lives. I am also an avid traveler, with a love of culture, cuisine and history, especially of Europe and Latin America.
I grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Hartford, and Chicago, usually next to the woods, and I spent as much of the time in the outdoors as I could. From an early age I developed a love of reading and books, I had ambitions to become a writer and to travel the world. I graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English in 1979 and from Boise State University with a Masters in Public Administration in 2002. I also studied theology and pastoral ministry at Southern Seminary.
I had several decades experience in the publishing business, and until early 2018 was the Executive Director of MennoMedia and Publisher at Herald Press, an agency of the Mennonite Church in the U.S. and Canada.
At age 61, not quite old enough to retire, but old enough to know it was time, I decided to “downshift” the hurried pace of my life, leaving my publishing career and becoming a freelancer. But even before that began, I spent 6 weeks walking 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago. I learned a great deal, and it changed my life. I rediscovered something I’d always known, that life is an adventure, waiting for us to find it.
Even as a book publisher, I never dreamed of writing my own book. Writing The Walk of a Lifetime was as much of an adventure as walking the Camino de Santiago itself. Since I published it in late 2019, I have walked another pilgrimage route, the Way of St. Francis, in Italy. a book about that adventure, Pilgrim Paths to Assisi: 300 Miles on the Way of St. Francis, will be published early in 2023.
During the pandemic, unable to travel, I took a full-time job for one year, teaching classes online to older adults, largely about using technology to dream of, and plan for, travel. That experience convinced me that people over 60 have a hunger to learn and a yearning to experience the wider world. I hope in the next year to take older adults on tours to Europe, specializing in the art of “Slow Travel.”
Besides walking and cycling, I enjoy reading, gardening, traveling, photography and spending time with my family, and I continue to have a passion for the outdoors and for the environment. I live in Harrisonburg, in the Shenandoah valley of Virginia with my wife of 43 years, Jane, several of our six adult children and five of our grandchildren. I enjoy speaking to groups, both locally and far away, about the Camino de Santiago, about trekking as a way of touring for older adults, about the importance of pursuing dreams as one grows older and about writing my first book at age 62.
My recently published book, The Walk of a Lifetime, sums up a lot of my experiences and the joy I have from living an inspired life. It serves as an example of the type of book I’d like to help others create through my recently launched consultancy and self-publishing business that I called the Walker Press. The story of how I developed this business and wrote my own book is told in a recent Career Pivot Podcast.
For more about me, my book and media appearances in recent years, download my Media Sheet.