A Million Steps by Kurt Koontz

It is not often that I find myself being judgmental of an author while reading his or her book, but with Kurt I was.  We are of similar ages, backgrounds, both of us had addiction issues and both of us left those behind many years ago – even though they are still something that defines us.  So, sorry Kurt, although I enjoyed reading the book, initially I was not going to write anything about it.  However, after my other half read the book I asked her what she thought and she really liked it.  So here I am getting over myself.

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The title of the book seems to have come from some math that Kurt pondered on his thirteenth day of walking.  You know those thoughts where you just decide to work something out.  He counted his steps between kilometer markers and did the math – hence A Million Steps – I like the title.

This is a travelogue and not a travel guide, though it will give anyone who has not walked any of the Camino de Santiago routes yet a good idea of what to expect.

Kurt walked the Camino Frances in 28 days and the book is split into those days with a twist – each day has a topic along with some information or what happened on that day.  For example: day 1 explores the topic of Albergues, day 5 covers Arrows and Signs, day 14 covers Gratitude – I think it was a very smart way of covering all the Camino topics while staying on the day to day rhythm of the walk.

He talks a lot about his current relationship in the book from the Foreword till the End he weaves it into some of the stories.  He was trying, it appears, to make a decision; I was wondering while reading the book if we were going to know what he would decide – we do and I will not ruin it by stating the outcome here.

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He also states at the start of the book that he wanted some alone time for an internal journey – I think that many of us who walk the Camino look for the same.  I thought before I went to Spain that I would have a lot of time on my own to think about some things and scribble in my journal – I had much less time than I thought due to meeting and talking with so many other pilgrims.  I think that meeting and talking with others was much better than me being stuck with my head for a month…

I read almost all my books now on a Kindle app on my iPad.  Something I did not see coming until I was in a country for a while where I could not get English books easily.  One of the great things about the Kindle is seeing what other people have underlined in a book and how many times each part has been highlighted.  I also use it for keeping notes – great for book reviews.

This line has been highlighted by the most people and is typical of the treasures within the book:

There is no way to be happy yesterday or tomorrow.  The only time to be happy is now.

I have written about happiness before and I strongly believe that I have more happiness and enjoyment in life when there are other people to share with- the Camino is great for that.

This book is available on Amazon as in Kindle and paper form, and also available in some bookstores.  It was published a year ago and is still relevant today.  Interestingly the book has had 272 customer reviews on Amazon, 200 are 5 star, 52 are 4 star – not too bad at all.

You can buy the book here for the US and here for the UK and this is his website.

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