“Powerful Places,” a “Project”


Because we write a series of guidebooks called “Powerful Places in . . .” we are often asked, “What is a powerful place?” We respond to that question on our website with an article you can read here CLICK. We also have a purpose statement on the website CLICK, which describes what we hope to accomplish with the books. Today I’m going to tell another, more personal story about how the series came about. This will involve some true confessions, so be prepared for that.

In 2009 Elyn and I left our home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and came to live in Spain for what we thought would be a year or two. I was 72 years old and in good health, and I thought living and traveling in Europe would be fun. I wasn’t getting any younger, so if we were going to have this adventure there would never be a better time. I said, “I’m as young now as I’ll ever be.” We found an inexpensive apartment in Sahagún, in north-central Spain, where we had lived for a year in 1997 and where Elyn first lived when she came to Spain in 1981 looking for a PhD dissertation topic (see the article HERE).


My biggest concern in making the shift to Europe was possible boredom. Sahagún is a small town of 2,500 people and there isn’t much to do there except travel away from it, so I knew that I needed a project. “Having a project” has been the way I’ve lived my life. It has kept me interested, been profitable (See “Music First” for instance), and has kept me from facing many deeper issues that I’m only now beginning to deal with. To put it simply, I have been a “workaholic” for most of my life, and at age 78 I’m a “recovering workaholic” at best.


When we were living in Europe in 1997-98, we had visited many intriguing standing stones, dolmens, ancient churches, and Iron-Age settlements. This time we wanted to see even more. My need for a project and our desire to experience ancient sites and powerful places came crashing together in a moment of inspiration. The series “Powerful Places in . . .” was born.

Elyn agreed to help me out on the project by doing editing and some limited writing, but the project was to be primarily mine. I was in agreement and set out to plan the series. We began with Scotland, Catalonia, and The Caminos de Santiago. The books were small, almost pocket-sized, and in no way comprehensive. Soon, however, Elyn became much more involved and the books became much longer.

So there, in a nutshell, is the way the “Powerful Places in . . . “ series got started. If you have the nagging suspicion that there’s more to some places than meets the eye. And if you feel like you are “skimming” the surface when you travel. “Powerful Places Guidebooks” will show you how to experience places, not just visit them. They provide what you need to change tourism into transformation.  Click below if you want to learn more about the first three books.

Scotland (CLICK), Caminos (CLICK), Catalonia (CLICK)

The other books in the series are:

Brittany (CLICK), Ireland (CLICK), Wales (CLICK), and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (CLICK)

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