Many of my friends often say that "Walk for Gold" is a story written on my body. Here I'm going to share with you a part of my life and you will immediately understand why this is so. You can find a more detailed description of the path I walked here
I was born in 1972. I grew up in a typical 4-person Flemish family, with my brother, 4 year older than me, and my loving, hard-working parents who have lived their professional lives in the service of fellow human beings.
The tone for my future adventures was set immediately at my birthplace. A few seconds after I joined this world, I literally took my first steps on the bed, with the help of the gynecologist's two index fingers. I can still remember it as if it was yesterday... no, of course i don t remember this. But I have heard this story many times later in my life. The gynecologist is said to have told my parents at that time, "You'd better make sure you have a big meadow for this little fellow."
A jump in my history. I did some interim jobs for a few months after completing my studies in 1994-95. The gynecologist's statement caught up with me soon after that, when I left for India. My encounter with an unseen world combined with a series of unusual circumstances I got myself into (that were way out of my comfort zone), I thought at that time, would be an ideal opportunity to begin to rediscover myself. I also experienced an unprecedented sense of freedom. I was free to explore the world, people, and different cultures. The strong urge and attraction to go to explicit and unusual places in the world took me to many destinations. In the beginning of my India trip, after a month I started working for 5 months in a home for street children called "Navajeevan Home for Boys" in Vellanad, Kerala. It is up to this date one of the highlights of my nomadic period. This experience initiated me into a journey that lasted for many years.
During the following years several times I stayed in the community around Guruji to get more understanding of Ashtanga Yoga. Along with that, through a "chance" encounter with a Sadhu in the south east of India, I was introduced into centuries-old meditation and breathing techniques.
On one hand I was looking for adventure those days, and at the same time, I was also looking for relief and above all I was looking for my Self. I stepped on the way to re discover my Self.
Like so many youngsters under the wings of the well-intended guidance of their educators, I had a strong feeling that somehow I had lost big parts of myself on the way.
During my stay in India, I experienced many beautiful encounters. If you give life the chance to offer you "life" the most diverse, fascinating events will take place. I have had the good fortune of coming across very peculiar, but very inspiring people on multiple occasions and they have made me return to India a few times. Some of these people are called Sadhus. You find them everywhere in India. At major tourist locations sometimes you get the impression that the Indian government subsidizes them to be around. But they really are by far not so ‘tourist-horny’ like some of them make us believe. One thing is for sure. They are many, really a lot. Most of them are looking for spiritual liberation. In 1998 I think it was, I attended one of the biggest festivals in the world, the Kumbha Mela in Haridwar, North India, where millions of Sadhus congregate every 6-12 years to take a dip in the holy Ganges. As up to day, they are some 150 millions of pilgrims attending this event. Outside of the cities, these Sadhus withdraw from the worldly influences, deep into the nature and I have been fortunate enough to encounter some of these "seekers of the nectar of immortality", on my journey. I spent a few hours and a few days with some of them. They are living and breathing encyclopedias of mythology, history and the experience of their walk of life. Maybe it was one chance out of a million that one of those advanced Yogis gladly shared some ancient breathing and meditation techniques with me, from which i believe I benefited a lot. The least I can say is that they were highly inspiring encounters. Later in my life, these techniques would give me an enormous boost in finding and maintaining inner peace.
More and more I found out which pieces belonged to me and which did not. More and more my self esteem came on the surface and so I was able to rediscover myself again. In one of the blog posts that I have published on this website, you will read about my encounter with a Sadhu.
During the second year of my "on the Road" journey, Fabien, a Swiss travel buddy and very dear friend for life, warmed me up to travel together to Australia. We were both passionate didgeridoo players. This led us to live with grandfather David Blanasi for a while, an icon in the Aboriginal world. David was a highly respected Aboriginal Shaman in his mid-70s who guided the souls of the dead people to the world of the ancestors. We camped in a tent behind Blanasi's house, in the village of Beswick in Arnhemland (Northern Australia).
Every day David took us on long walks during which he taught us the traditional rhythms of the didgeridoo. He also taught us how to figure out mature eucalyptus that is suitable for making a didgeridoo. He showed us where he found the natural pigments he used for his art, aside from many other things.
The day we decided to leave, he tried to convince us to continue our journey towards Uluru Rock (Ayers Rock). Thé sacred mountain of the Aboriginals in the middle of the Australian desert, which is known to be a true powerhouse!
Why life was sending us there was not very clear at that stage in my life. But sticking to the motto "follow the life signs", after our stay in Arnhemland, we drove to Alice Springs, which is literally the center of the center of the big spiritual world of the Aboriginals. It is the first true mother power place that I was consciously sent to, in my life. We stayed there for some time. It is one of the most potent, well-preserved energy centers of our planet.
For a while Australia became my second home. I financed my travels and my nomadic lifestyle performing as a street artist in cities such as Sydney, Australia and Tokyo, Japan. These two cities were my main playgrounds. Those days, Japan, along with Hong Kong, were the top 2 destinations for street theater events.
But also elsewhere in Asia and America, I couldn't resist stopping people in the streets and putting a smile on their faces with my art. This was an amazingly pleasant way to live life, fully self-sufficient and self-nourishing. I financially sustained myself and was able to continue my nomadic lifestyle in a very pleasant manner. Doing street performance one literally stands amongst the people, which gave me at the same time an excellent chance to connect with people from varied cultures with different backgrounds. To create something out of passion has always been a prerequisite for sharing my gifts with the world.
I continued my nomadic lifestyle for a few more years because I was enjoying it so much. I went to numerous countries and had unforgettable series of adventures and life experiences. I felt life fully flowing through me and enjoyed almost every moment of it.
Practicing Yoga and numerous breathing and meditation techniques were a part of my daily routine.
The search for more meaning and depth in my life, the path of the soul, will guide my existence for the rest of my days.
A few months after my return home in 2001, after being on the road for 7 years, my life took a turn and gained momentum in another direction. I had a dream in which I was told that I should go to Mount Sinai. This is where the story behind "Walk for Gold" is initially introduced into my life. The first time that a destination I was called for, was literally bubbling up from my own unconscious to my awareness. At that time I didn't realize something that big was introduced in my life. An extraordinary announcement had happened. A new destination was brought to me where i had to go and pick up some memory from the earth. I woke up that morning as if my hair had been zapped. The feeling was so intense that I immediately googled Mount Sinai as in all that excitement I couldn't place it in the world. When I found out that it was in Egypt, I immediately knew I would go to the Sinai Desert to “follow the signs of life”. A more clear sign is almost impossible. Four months later, I packed my backpack and left for the first time, for the Sinai Desert.
It cannot be clearly described in words but arriving in Sinai, immediately felt as coming home. This was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I regularly started making walking trips from the Red Sea to Mount Sinai, under the watchful eye of some of the older Bedouins of the Tarabin and the Jabaleya Tribe.
My most important and my favorite guide during all these trips is "Hadj Ied", a living legend within the Bedouin world. Ied became a true friend who had chosen to share the secrets of this breathtaking sacred land with me. These secrets include finding drinking water in a desert where hardly any rain is falling dawn, and finding wood for cooking in a place where no vegetation is growing above the surface. He also taught me that gratitude carries an all-embracing, magical transforming power within. (I will write a blog post about this later).
For over 20 times i have been returning to this exceptional place of pure essence and power.
By now it must be clear to you that Sinai is one of my favorite destinations on earth. As I have mentioned above, for me it is always like coming home, because I come home to myself when I am in Sinai.
It is pure re-sourcing of the highest level. A spot on earth which stayed incredibly pure, where the portals to other dimensions are more easily accessible because of the very potent local energy that is available in that astonishing, breathtaking natural surrounding and it s other layers.
That makes the Sinai desert a top destination, to go into connection with all what is, through nature, and so raises your vibration in an organic way. It is a non ego driven way of connecting with all that is. It is the land of mysticism, the land where our souls are thriving. From deep in my heart, I recommend it to everyone. It is the best gift you can give to yourself!
Walking with a Bedouin and a camel from the Red Sea to Mount Sinai is a journey of 8 up to 16 days, depending on which trails we follow. You bathe yourself in pure beauty amidst natural silence. You feel embraced by Heaven and Earth, being supported by life, in a totally different, energizing manner.
Once I started going on those walks, these trips boosted the passion for nature which has always been within me, a 1 000 000 times. Nature and silence is the perfect cocktail to give a huge boost in everyone's life. You, as I experience, will have the opportunity to walk into pure love, into an overwhelming sense of oneness. It is an incredibly gentle way for body, mind and soul merging together and becoming one. Your soul feels completely at home in this 'temple of Silence' and will deepen the openness of your heart.
After bathing in this life force energy for over 20 times, going on solo silent trips through this amazingly inspiring desert, the idea of sharing this experience with people suddenly started to dawn upon me.
'Walk for Gold' was born!
If you can see some similarity between the approach of "Walk for Gold" and a Vipassana meditation ( I did a few in Burma myself) … for me the choice is obvious. Let s go for a walk than. Walk for gold is really an eye opening experience, accessible for every one.
It is not just about the end result. It is not just about the journey. It's about the new turn your life can takes.
If you come with us, you will enjoy every step.
With 'Walk for Gold' you allow yourself to experience the state of inner peace again, and the feeling of being one with everything that lives, in a very gentle organic way. Along the way, you bear witness to the spectacle of Mother Nature. And … “you’ll never walk alone” again.
It is my life mission and my joy to share my wide, life experience with others and to put my self at the service of those who long for (more) inner peace and attain true quality of life. Besides my services as Life Coach I offer, to people who pass a difficult passage in life, more and more I want to concentrate on guiding people during the walking retreats in the Sinai desert.
As a former yoga teacher in Nilambe Bhuddist Meditation Center, in Sri Lanka where i became friends with Paul Van Hooydonck, I had an early opportunity in life to focus my attention on observing other people's behavior.
Self observation has been a natural reflex from childhood, but it got another dimension since meditation came along into my life in the mid 90ties. Another deepening came during all the walking trips in the desert. Both conscioulsy and unconsciously I saw after a few years being on my walking trips, that the same behavior was put in play and that my inner guidance helped me in this way to reach the state of no mind. The personal thinking mind gets quiet.
I collected all these rituals in what has become my toolbox. All the guidance i share with you when you decide to come on a trip with us comes out of a rich building up of personal experiences through walking an authentic life.
I guide individuals and small groups on (silent) retreats, with a huge passion, in a region that i know like the back of my hand and where I am enjoying the fullest confidence of the local Bedouin communities. A few years ago I was a special guest at a secret and sacred gathering in the Sinaï, where a ceremony was being held for introducing a big changing point in the relationship of the 7 tribes of the South Sinaï Desert. For the first time in history they all made a pact. A young representative of each of the 7 tribes underwent the ceremony where they promised to go into cooperation with each other.
Furthermore, during the pilgrimage, you will learn how to apply efficient energetic self-cleaning. We learn powerful breathing techniques and with my help you will learn that meditation is not a difficult practice to integrate into your daily lives.
I guarantee you a profound life-enriching experience if you go on this trip with us. You will change your outlook on life for good.
See you soon,