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Kurt Koontz thought he was well prepared for his 490-mile walking trip on the historic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain. He was fit and strong. He had a good guidebook and all the right equipment. His pilgrim passport would grant him access to the shelter of hostels along the way. But all that, however helpful, did not begin to encompass the grandeur of his extKurt Koontz thought he was well prepared for his 490-mile walking trip on the historic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain. He was fit and strong. He had a good guidebook and all the right equipment. His pilgrim passport would grant him access to the shelter of hostels along the way. But all that, however helpful, did not begin to encompass the grandeur of his external or internal adventure. A Million Steps climbs over the high meadows of the Pyrenees, quests through the unceasing wind of the Meseta, and dances in the rains of Galicia. While following the yellow arrows that mark the route, Koontz also navigates through his personal history of addiction, recovery, and love. With outgoing humor and friendliness, he embraces the beauty of the countryside and joyful connections to other pilgrims from around the world. Part diary, part travelogue, A Million Steps is a journey within a journey all the way to the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela and beyond....

Title : a million steps
Author :
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ISBN : 18898140
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 212 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

a million steps Reviews

  • Michael
    2019-05-20 04:01

    A Million Steps Kurt Koontz' intimate memoir of a 490-mile trek on the historic Camino de Santiago shares much with the hostels he so cherished along the route... a chance to pause and reflect on the experience of your life's journey. The book reads more like a series of letters from a thoughtful friend than it does like a literary work, and the casual style of the books suits its content beautifully.I'll spare you the bulleted recounting of its lessons, all of which would seem cliched lacking the context of this storied trip through the Spanish countryside. For me the value of this book was in its ability to open up enough cracks in the veneer of my own cynicism to let in the light of a few important ideas about life, relationships, balance, and attitude. Most are ideas I've heard before. All are worth listening to a little more intently, and this book helped me do that.I've never had much interest in pilgrimages, perhaps in part because being such a directed person I've never really understood the point of an unnecessary journey. Appreciating the value of such journeys is exactly the point, though... of the Camino de Santiago, and perhaps of our larger journey through this world.Thanks for sharing, Kurt. I've at least filed this away as something worth doing, we'll have to see what's over the next hill of my own Camino.

  • Jan
    2019-05-06 04:54

    This was a simple book that I found very refreshing. I had never heard of the Camino de Santiago before picking this up so I hopped on the internet and did a little research before starting. I continued to follow Kurt's journey via pictures while reading which defintely enhanced the experience for me. His simple insights of what he learned during this 500 mile pilgrim trek - challenging both his body & his mind - were important reminders to me of the importance of living in the present. 4 stars

  • Bonnie E.
    2019-05-07 01:06

    I generally like non-fiction books that have anything to do with adventure or travel. This one piqued my interest as it involves both, and especially because it is about one man's journey along El Camino de Santiago, which is the same pilgrimage taken by my sister a few years ago. Overall I liked the book. The author clearly believed that the pilgrimage was life changing for him, and he is quite humble and appreciative as he describes the month that he spent walking Camino Francés (one of many routes that are available). It was interesting to hear about the variety of albergues or hostels that he encountered on his way, as well as the ways he and others adapted to any adversity. His description of finding that he had a blister on one foot, after believing himself to be impervious to malady, was pretty funny. He also spends time talking about the various people (fellow pilgrims) he met along the way, and some of their stories were genuinely moving. I enjoyed his "interaction" with his walking stick which he named Duran, and learning how basic bodily functions were dealt with on the road was also interesting. The author gives us glimpses into his own personal life, so that we better understood why the walk was so important to him and what he was hoping to accomplish through the journey of a million steps. He has a unique background. He retired at a very early age following a successful sales career and he also had a history of alcohol addiction. He was struggling with relationship issues which the pilgrimage ultimately seemed to help him sort through because he had reached a fork in the road in his love life. The author's writing style sometimes got in the way of his story about this grand adventure. It tended to be a bit flowery and stilted at times, and might have benefited from some editing. But his very distinct voice came through, which is important, and I found myself getting used to his style after an initial reaction. It would be really interesting to hear from this author five or so years from now to see whether the life lessons learned on the pilgrimage stuck with him.

  • Christina Knowles
    2019-04-30 20:51

    I found this book rather disappointing. It started out with much less depth than I expected, boringly droning on with detailed descriptions of unimportant events that added nothing to the meaning or enjoyment of the book. But like the pilgrimage itself, it became deeper and more interesting as the walk progressed.Like the author, I struggle not to be judgmental, but what interfered most with my enjoyment of this book was the character of the author. I found him shallow, egocentric, and dull. Of course, the walk changed him somewhat, but it didn't seem to me in any significant way. Even his lessons seemed egocentric. He now worries less, enjoys each day, living in the present. I'm glad he got something out of his journey, but I guess I didn't get what I was looking for from this book. I don't deny that I was prejudiced by his seemingly unlimited funds, staying at several beautiful hotels on his journey, and the fact that his normal life back home consisted of retirement at 36 years old. I know everyone has their problems, but I couldn't relate to his.

  • Jenn
    2019-04-27 20:58

    Talk about timing!! I am still in awe over how I just happened to start this book and finish within days (granted, it's not a long book). I loved this book and am certain I will read it again. I was drawn in from the get-go. I found it interesting that even though I had no expectations of this book and found it started off kind of basic, within days of Koontz's journey, his writing was becoming better. He began using more figurative and descriptive language. I found myself highlighting and bookmarking more and really getting the feel that I was on that trail with him. The people he met on the trail became very important to him and I loved his descriptions of all them. They would walk together, then depart and end up weaving back together. He was told early on that this journey is personal and he had to stick to his pace. I've experienced that same thing hiking. You meet great people, you spend time talking and listening, you connect, then you disconnect and you go your separate ways. What was so awesome was that these people kept weaving in and out his life throughout the entire journey. He was true to his own pace and never felt bad leaving or moving on and eventually realized that he may or may not run into these people again. This helped him learn the importance of living in the moment and appreciating those people who leave their impression on your soul. There was one couple he met that "reeked of contentment". :-). I loved that. Wouldn't you want to be someone who reeks of contentment?I also loved how at the end of each chapter (organized by each travel day) he included two or three pictures of either a scene from that day or a person he met on that day. He said at one point after watching a most beautiful sunrise, "I took a gazillion photos and must have looked back at least 40 times. I was certainly not in a hurry, but it did remind me that going forward is difficult when you are always looking backward." I was also a little amazed that about half-way through the book I watched the film, THE WAY. The movie came recommended and was filmed on this very trail I was reading about! It made the book and Kurt Koontz's experience even that more real. There were scenes in the film that I actually recognized from his descriptions! The film also touches on how significant it is that the people on the trail become like your family. It was pure coincidence that I picked up this book when I did, randomly met someone who was planning to do this pilgrimage next summer, and I even talked to a coworker who, I learned, visited the end of this famous trail with friends last summer. She had described to me the big ceremony at the chapel at Santiago de Compostela with the swinging incense in the church and over the congregation. Kurt Koontz also described this ceremony and it was shown in the film too!! Talk about "wow" moments for me! To add to the coincidences, according to Mr. Koontz's travelogue, his last day hiking a full day was my birthday, October 10th. He arrived at the Compostela on 10/11/12 by mid day. Even though I have the feeling that I already walked this trail alongside Kurt Koontz, I really hope I get the opportunity to walk the Camino de Santiago and experience it myself. Let me re-phrase that, I don't know when, but I'm doing it. And I really want to do it all at one time just like he did. Can't say I'd keep the average pace of 17 miles per day, but I'd sure like to try.

  • Kanika Sachdev
    2019-05-06 01:49

    Kurt Koontz thought he was well prepared for his 490-mile walking trip on the historic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain. He was fit and strong. He had a good guidebook and all the right equipment. His pilgrim passport would grant him access to the shelter of hostels along the way. But all that, however helpful, did not begin to encompass the grandeur of his external or internal adventure. A Million Steps climbs over the high meadows of the Pyrenees, quests through the unceasing wind of the Meseta, and dances in the rains of Galicia. While following the yellow arrows that mark the route, Koontz also navigates through his personal history of addiction, recovery, and love. With outgoing humor and friendliness, he embraces the beauty of the countryside and joyful connections to other pilgrims from around the world. Part diary, part travelogue, A Million Steps is a journey within a journey all the way to the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela and beyond.

  • Julie Davis
    2019-05-13 22:07

    I borrowed this to read for the Kindle via my Amazon Prime account. I've now read enough pilgrimage tales to see that they all fall into a familiar pattern of getting used to the reality of walking so much and finding one's way, meeting and remeeting people on the way, internal reflections and realizations. And I enjoy them every time. In this case, I was interested to get to the end of the book to see if Koontz's relationship with his girlfriend would turn out the way he wanted. That question preoccupied me almost as much as the author.

  • S
    2019-05-12 04:53

    This was an interesting and different read for me. The book tells the story of one man’s walk on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain. The book was written in an upbeat, interesting manner which I thoroughly enjoyed. The pictures throughout the book really added to the overall story and the characters that Kurt met along the trail came to life as he described them. This isn’t one of those dynamic books that you are dying to read, but it’s a good, satisfying read that leaves you with a good feeling when it’s finished.

  • Rey
    2019-05-22 03:07

    I really wanted to love this book but just didn't. It felt like I was reading the (slightly boring) travel journal of a less than gifted writer. He says things like "I took a gazillion pictures" and ".... fear of a ginormous blister". There was, unfortunately, no history given about the amazing places he went nor were there any particularly inspiring deep thoughts. Many descriptions about the sunrise, coffee con leche, clothes washing and bathroom habits. Just boring......

  • Erin Peterson
    2019-05-03 22:40

    Immature writing by immature manKurt had the great fortune of gathering enough wealth to retire early, yet is still still so self centered and immature that he ponders if people will be discussing their encounters with him as life long memories. His writing matches his immaturity in that he writes like a fifth grader describing what he did on summer vacation. Don't waste your time on this piece of garbage.

  • Ana Marlatt
    2019-05-16 00:57

    If you are interested in anything about the Camino de Santiago, this is a good book. Koontz gives honest descriptions about his personal pilgrimage in Spain. I enjoyed reading about his experiences, even though his writing style is not my favorite. This is my first book in the subject, as I am interest in doing the pig rampage myself, so it was a great start for my research.

  • Vita
    2019-05-20 20:53

    Optimistic and interesting book telling a story of one American walking Camino de Santiago. I truly recommend this book to anyone considering walking the famous Way or to anyone standing at crossroads in their life.

  • Wendy
    2019-05-12 01:48

    A pleasure to read! Koontz's simple, conversational style was charming and exactly what this book needed to be. I am so glad he chose to share the story of his Camino and I was saddened to come to its end.

  • Diane Howland
    2019-04-27 21:55

    Great book

  • Bonny
    2019-04-22 03:44

    Interesting account of trekking the Camino de Santiago.

  • Tony Gonzalez
    2019-05-06 21:48

    Beautiful stepssowords sometimes are hard to find to describe your own feelings and at the same time do not want to give it away...awesome, with reality all The way

  • Tanya
    2019-04-28 21:43

    While very interested in the pilgramage, I can't recommend this book because of its poor writing and lack of depth. Very frustrating.

  • Rebekah
    2019-04-22 20:40

    I've read a few camino memoirs now, this one was great. Seems like a guy who'd be fun to hang out with.

  • Jane Blanchard
    2019-04-25 21:08

    A Million Steps by Kurt Koontz is a compelling recounting of the author’s physical and interior journey on the Camino de Santiago. In the forward, Mr. Koontz quotes the Camino saying, “The first third of the trip is for the body, the second third for the mind, and the last third for the soul.” It was all that for him, and he wrote it down to share; we’re lucky he did.It took Mr. Koontz 28 days to walk the almost 500 miles. The book describes the daily trials and routines; making friends, and then saying goodbye; appreciating the simple joys in life like having clean clothes; and learning to live in the present–all standard fare for books about the Camino. What distinguishes this work from others of its kind is Mr. Koontz’s open and frank retelling of the trip–he is a good story-teller.As in the adage, there are three stages to the book. The beginning explains the Camino and the daily pilgrim’s rituals. Further on, the writer is more introspective as he reflects on his life and problems with his girlfriend. At the end, he discusses how he has changed both physically and emotionally.I recommend this book. Those who are new to the Camino will learn about its beauty, challenges, and charm. Those who have already walked the way will be reminded of why the Camino is important and the individual lessons learned.

  • Kim
    2019-04-28 23:42

    I loved this book! The author goes on a pilgrimage called Camino de Santiago to walk across Spain with other peregrinos (pilgrims) to the shrine of the Apostle Saint James the Great. It is tradition that this is where the Saint is buried. Koontz tells of his 490 mile walk in a foreign land, not understanding the language with only little yellow arrows to point the way. We learn about the hostels with rooms packed full of bunk beds along the path where travelers from all over the world would sleep, exhausted after walking as much as 17 miles a day. Millions of pilgrims have walked this path since the middle ages, many to contemplate the meaning of their lives. There is a saying that the first third of the walk is for your body, the second for your mind and the third part is for your soul. The author mentions a movie called "The Way" with Martin Sheen. I stopped in the middle of this book to watch this movie. A wonderful movie as I got to see the places that Koontz is talking about during his walk. I suggest reading this book as well as watching this movie!

  • Jay
    2019-05-18 02:06

    This is a touching review of a middle-aged Idaho man's month-long walk of the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route across northern Spain that has attracted people for all sorts of reasons since the Middle Ages. He was not drawn to make the journey for religious reasons, and as far as I could tell neither were many, if any, of the dozens of people he met and befriended along the way; so this isn't a book about a religious experience per se. But Koontz did have a number of emotional and, I would say spiritual, revelations, and it's safe to say he returned to his normal life changed in some ways as a result of the journey.There's not a lot of technical information in this book about his gear or clothing, as I had expected, so avid hikers looking for tips may be disappointed. But I found the book inspirational, and it motivates me to look for similar opportunities, though probably ones of a little shorter duration! Perhaps the Highland Way in Scotland...

  • Amanda
    2019-05-15 00:53

    This is the most boring piece of garbage but I'm going to plow through it only because I want to learn about the Camino, and it's such elementary writing that it'll only take me another 30 minutes to read the second half. I could stand reading a memoir of an obtuse privileged white man doing some navel gazing on vacation, if there were any skill to his prose writing, or any poetry in his thoughts. Things like "these U2 lyrics are So Meaningful now" make me feel baffled as to How this book came to be so highly recommended to me. Enough with the whining about how his girlfriend (whom he left to go on this prolonged vacation) isn't more supportive in her abandoned state while he's off adventuring in Spain. Hopefully he didn't come off as such a huge jackass to his fellow peregrinos. Americans have enough of a bad rep.

  • Brenda
    2019-05-21 01:55

    Because I live in Spain and have done so most of my adult life, i was interested in reading about Mr. Koontz's experiences. I'm happy he enjoyed his journey and experiences during the Camino. We are never to old to learn new things. However, I have to dispute a couple of sterotypes he mentioned. True Spain is famous for its siestas, but not everyone is given time off work to enjoy them. Perhaps in some of the tiny villages the local bar might close a few hours in the afternoon. Nevertheless I've never seen a bar in a big town or city closed in the afternoon nor any department store. The only shops that will close their doors are the small shops.Thanks for sharing. I liked what I read and enjoyed the photos.

  • Nicole Hackley
    2019-05-09 01:03

    I really felt like this book was written as more of a personal journal, which was unfortunately entirely boring and anticlimactic. As someone looking to make the walk on the Camino I read this book looking for insight and guidance as well as things to expect. Instead he was continually and overly optimistic. Seriously he didn't discuss any adversity or hardships he faced and it seemed like he mainly stayed in hotels instead of the hostels most pilgrims stay in, which I'm not judging, I was just more curious about the hostels. Not what I was expecting. If anything the last 5 pages (Afterward, playlist suggestions and resources) were the most useful.

  • Sharon Parry
    2019-05-21 23:09

    My exposure to this book started with some public television channel surfing. I landed on a show where author Kurt Koontz was the guest speaker, discussing his Camino adventure and this book. Totally serendipitous? I think not. I ordered the book, read the book, gave it a overnight's worth of cogitation, and have inked into my calendar a walk on The Camino. Koontz takes the reader through the journey with a thoughtful day in each chapter. No hard-pressed, flowery and syrupy reflections. Instead he lays out his honest thinking, and sometimes random thoughts. He nicely describes how his Walk was salve to his soul. Loved the book and will read it again (and again?) prior to my own Camino.

  • Linda Burandt
    2019-05-15 22:49

    A great read!!I have read numerous Camino books as I prepare for and research my own Camino walk in the near future. Each pilgrim's story shares its own unique message with me. I think it must be like that on the Camino as pilgrims along the path weave in and out of your presence giving and receiving tidbits that nourish one another's soul. Kurt's story was both a walk of highs and lows as he described his physical, emotional and spiritual elevations and valleys. He shows us how we can enjoy and learn from both. Thank you Kurt for sharing your story and your experience. Linda Burandt

  • Sanjiva Wijesinha
    2019-05-19 20:43

    This is the story of one man's journey along the Camino de Santiago - the people he met, the places in which he stayed, the lessons he learned along The Way. It is a record of both his external and his internal adventure on this 500 mile journey.There were two quotations from Koontz's book that I particularly liked * "The Camino taught me to go with the flow of uncontrollable situations. The only thing we ultimately control is our reaction to events in our lives." * "By suspending thoughts of yesterday and not anticipating tomorrow, the Camino guided me into the now".I recommend the book - it is well worth a read.

  • Georgia Herod
    2019-05-17 22:56

    After calculating the number of steps in a kilometer, Koontz determined that he’d walk a million steps by the time he finished the 500 miles of Camino de Santiago across northern Spain. A lively memoir of his trek, he shares both his external and internal adventures. As with most pilgrims, the solitude provides opportunity for the author to face himself and in doing so, he also shares his personal history of past addictions, recovery, and romance. Koontz narrates his experience with humor and honesty. As one who is about to make this pilgrimage, I've been most interested in the stories of others who have made the journey. Perhaps I'll write my own!

  • Patrick
    2019-04-29 05:02

    This was free in the Kindle Lending Library and I don't know what it is, but I find these stories about the Camino inspiring. This also is not so much a novel as it is the author's daily journal entries put into book form. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, I felt like I was walking the Camino along with him. Rising early, stopping at a small cantina for breakfast, taking pictures of friends he met and deciding which hostel to stay at each night. This is my second book about this walk and probably not my last. Too bad I can't take a month off to just walk across Spain, also let me know if you've been fortunate enough to walk The Way!!

  • Natalie
    2019-05-10 22:47

    A Million Steps is a memoir about the author's walk of the Camino de Santiago in Spain. I had never even heard of this historic walk before! I'm clued in now. I enjoyed the author's insights and the history he reveals about the sites that he visited along his journey. A good read that transported me to another country. I give it 3.5 stars.