Kurt Koontz

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Kurt Koontz (Boise, ID)

Author of A Million Steps



Elaine Krackau | elaine@prbythebook.com | 512-481-7741 | Twitter: @prbythebook



  • Lessons from the Camino de Santiago: Five things I learned about life on a 490-mile walk
  • The benefits of solo travel and why these trips have become so popular
  • Going the way of Cheryl Strayed: Adventures that can help us cope with major life changes like addiction recovery, divorce, even death
  • Adventure travel 101 – is it for you?
  • Living in the moment: Tips for incorporating gratitude into your daily life

Kurt Koontz thought he was prepared for his 490-mile hike on the historic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain—a trek captured in the 2010 film “The Way” starring Martin Sheen. At 48 years old, Kurt was fit and strong, had all the right equipment and his pilgrim passport would grant him access to hostels along the way. But all of that, however helpful, did not begin to prepare him for the challenge of the physical and emotional adventure.

A former executive accustomed to a comfortable and somewhat predictable lifestyle, Kurt lived moment to moment on the Camino, not knowing where he would find the next meal or sleep the next night. As he walked the 1,300-year-old route, he heard unforgettable stories from other pilgrims and took a deeper look at his own life story. Recorded in his journal, e-mails home and nearly 3,000 photos, they became the foundation for his first book.

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, Kurt also navigates through his personal history of addiction, recovery and love. With humor, 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 an inspirational journey within a journey all the way to the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela and beyond.


Kurt Koontz was born and raised in Boise, Idaho. He studied business at the University of Puget Sound, then returned to his hometown to rise through the ranks as a sales executive for Micron Technology, a Fortune 500 Company.

After retiring early at the age of 36, Kurt volunteered in his community and took to adventure travel—mostly by bicycle across Europe and the Western U.S. and Canada. He never considered writing a book until he walked the nearly 500-mile El Camino de Santiago in Spain in 2012. Those million steps were so compelling that he returned home and began writing and speaking about his life-changing adventures. Kurt currently lives on a tree-lined creek in Boise and travels the country speaking about adventure travel, addiction and recovery, as well as corporate motivation.


“I really enjoyed it. I didn’t want to put it down.” – Lydia B. Smith, producer/director of “Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago”

“If you read this book, you might well find yourself pouring over maps of Spain and talking to your boss about a leave of absence.” – Dr. Robert Barr, bestselling author

A Million Steps is written in such a way that the reader feels he is actually walking the trail with Kurt. There is encouragement to all of us to shake out of the ‘comfort zone’, slow down to enjoy the small things, and be willing to accept the changes life inevitably brings. A must read!” – Amazon.com

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