Me testing out my iPhone Camera!

About Me

Me testing out my iPhone Camera!

In my professional life I focus on four areas:

  • Life Transition, Small Business Development and Coach Coaching,
  • certifying others as Life Transition Coaches,
  • personal growth & creativity workshops & seminars,
  • personal/professional development retreats to The Algarve, Portugal.

Yet I am so much more than these things!

I have successfully navigated the turbulent waters of many life transitions including early widowhood, divorce, job downsizing, promotions, and shifting from life-long employee status to becoming an entrepreneur. I am about to become a step-grandmother for the first time.

I am unwilling to watch others struggle with life events when they don’t have to.

My name is Gwen McCauley; I own two companies -OUIcoach™ for all my coaching & human growth interests, plus AlgarveExperiences™ for my Algarve, Portugal interests. I have a BA in Anthropology, an MA in Human Systems Intervention.  I’m an NLP Master Practitioner, a Quantum TLC™ Master Facilitator, a WEL-Systems® Educator and CODE Model™ Coach.

I am an ordinary human being who lives an extraordinary life full of fulfillment and joy.  I know that if I can create this life for myself anyone can.  I coach and train so that you too can discover that a wondrous life is possible.  No matter how many challenges, disappointments, disasters or successes you’ve had, the future is yours to craft however you wish.  The big question is:  can you move beyond the limits you have set for yourself?  I know you can because you are the same as me and I have done it!

I was nearly 50 years old when I started to realize that I had tons more potential than I’d ever really realized.  My life now is about stepping deeper and farther into the potential that I am in this world.  And my clients are my biggest invitation to keep claiming more and more potential.  We dance a wonderful dance of Self discovery, each of us becoming more as a result.

Part of my challenge in life is that I have many diverse interests.  So it is difficult for me to choose to focus on any one thing!  Hence, you’ll find that I have several websites & blogs, each focusing on a specific area of interest and passion, for as long as it feels vibrant and meaningful to me.  A bit of a dilletante, perhaps, but life lived this ways works very well for me.  Here’s a partial list of what I’m passionate about in life:  cooking, traveling, gardening, reading, photography, painting, writing, exploring social media, yakking with interesting people (and who isn’t interesting if you’re nosey enough?), listening to music, writing poetry, watching quirky movies, and driving roads just to see where they go!

If you suspect you aren’t living up to your potential, of if you are clear that is your situation and you don’t know how to go further, I encourage you to explore these pages and see what there is for you to discover.  And if working one-on-one with me feels like the next step, contact me via e-mail at gwen at ouicoach dit com or call me at 1.800.913.2203.  You may also find that my seminars, workshops, retreats or books may be the right next step for you.  Don’t be shy, I’d love to chat with you and support you in deciding if what I have to offer is what you seek.

Whatever you do, I encourage you to stick with your search for more.  You are worth it!

**********

I have been having a love affair with Portugal since 1975.  And more recently, my affections have turned towards The Algarve, that sunny holiday destination that runs across its southern border with the Atlantic Ocean.

Now I know that The Algarve has, in many ways, become a tourist trap.  But My Algarve is not that narrow 1km strip of hotels, shops and restaurants along the waterfront.  My Algarve includes the less impacted beach areas of the coast, but especially focuses on the back roads, the hills, the abandoned farms & fields and the windblown headlands.  My Algarve also includes the markets and the people who make this such a warm, safe and liveable place to spend time.

Come back often as I post pictures, video clips and other tidbits of information each week about this place in the world where I feel wonderfully alive and vibrant!

12 Responses to “About Me”

  1. you are my inspiration!
    i love portugal, i was there a couple of years ago-and only for 3 days-but it made such a huge impact on me that i long for the day that i can return. i spent my very limited time in the Algarve and love it. i am a photographer and did not of the chance to explore the region at as much as i would have liked. i stumbled across your blog and you brought back such lovely memories for me!
    i too have had my struggles in life-divorce, work etc. I own my own business and although it is a daily struggle, i wouldn’t have it any other way.
    you are living out my dream! i’m in the process of setting aside savings so i can make my way back to where i left my heart…
    good for you for living your life to the fullest!
    please post more pics, i will check back often!
    thanks
    j

    • Hi Julia

      So glad you found me! I am thrilled to hear about the impact that the Algarve has had on your life. For me, it is a truly magical place. I am about to post some more stuff. Missed out last weekend because I was away in Halifax, Nova Scotia, my other wondrous place on earth! With rare exceptions you’ll find that I add additional photos each weekend; usually 2-3. You might also like to check in at my other sites: http://www.ouicoach.com is my traditional, static website but it has lots of free resources. http://www.gwenmccauley.ca is another blog I maintain that deals with life in general. It is not looking the way I’d like. I’m trying to teach myself how to set up a blogging website with WordPress.org while blogging about the experience!

      I’ll get there one of these days!

      Thanks for your feedback. Gotta go post now!

      Gwen

  2. Hi Gwen,
    It’s up! Congratulations! Look forward to more posts about this wonderful corner of Europe.
    Well done!

    Big hugs & three cheers!
    Keith 🙂

    • Thanks, Keith. I love how this blog lets me combine my love of writing photography and the Algarve. Stay tuned as I launch my new blog website ‘Algarve Experiences’ which will highlight the retreats and culinary experiences I offer in the Algarve, plus my new restaurant guide to the area and a whole bunch of other goodies. You gotta love the opportunities all this new technology offers us.

    • Hi Keith – How nice of you to visit and leave a comment. My apologies for the delay in responding; I was sure I had, but perhaps I zigged when I should have zagged and my response didn’t take!!

      Hopefully we’ll get to share some time in the Algarve one of these days. I know you love Asia, but this is so close to home for you!

  3. Hi,
    I’m very much interested in retiring to Portugal and so enchanted to have found someone like you to talk about.
    Hope to hear from you soon,
    Ginette

    • Hi Ginette

      Nice to hear from you. If you haven’t visited my http://www.algarveexperiences.com site yet you might find that helpful. I’m also in the process of launching a new blog that will target ‘women of a certain age’. I haven’t been very active of late because I’ve been selling my house, packing for a major move across country, and ending my 30 year marriage! Stay tuned because there’ll be lots of information flowing again shortly. I appreciate your interest and support. Gwen

  4. Hi Gwen,

    We are two women of a certain age – well, 78 to be honest. Till two years ago we were decent hikers – 7-8 miles. Now 5 is the max. We want to spend three weeks in Spain/Portugal starting mid-October. Spain will probably be cities, so would like Portugal to be rural: old villages, walks in cork forests, empty beaches… avoiding all Miami Beach-type development.

    Suggestions for a week’s stay? Probably coming from and returning to Madrid. I had thought north from Lisbon to Porto – I’m of British origin, and shudder when anyone says “Algarve”.
    But then I learned that inland, and the western coast, are not crammed with tourists.

    Budget modest, used to the simple life (spent a month in New Zealand staying mostly at delightful hostels), but not backpackers . A rental car and inns/guesthouses/B&B’s with local flavor. Speak French & german but alas no Spanish or Portuguese

    The vialalgarviana website seems to be down for repairs. Any where else on the web we can get info/maps on places to walk or hike?

    Hopefully, Jill

    • Hi Jill

      I was away visiting Nova Scotia and PEI for a couple of weeks so apologies for taking a while to get back to you.

      I’ve discovered the Algarve to be so much more than the mess of waterfront tourist claptrap. I am familiar with the Lisbon area but haven’t yet made it up to Porto so I can’t say much about that area. The nice thing about the Algarve region is that English is so widely spoken. It is always nice to be able to say Hello and Thank You in Portuguese but you can get by very readily without much more than that.

      You’ll find that the area east of Albufeira to the Spanish border is relatively underdeveloped. I stay in a small village just east of Albufeira (Olhos D’Agua) at the Villas D’Agua Hotel. I love it because it is a single story, small hotel on a small headland. Very quiet, right on the ocean. Reasonable prices. One of my client’s who was married to a Frenchman and had spent lots of time in Provence as well as having travelled extensively around the world couldn’t get over how quiet the place was. She had pretty much given up believing that it was possible to get that kind of tranquility in southern Europe. One thing I like about the Algarve is that you can get away from the commercialism so easily. For example, from this small hotel if you walk about 10 minutes inland you’ll find yourself on small dirt roads surrounded by orange groves, almond & olive orchards. You may well run into a shepherd rounding up his flock of sheep. Yet you turn around and you can see the ocean and hotels a short way away.

      I always use Amoita car rental (www.amoita.com). They are a small, local company with great prices and fantastic customer service. Last winter when I was in Lisbon they brought my car to the hotel, made certain that I was familiar with the route to the main highway, held an umbrella for me as I put luggage in the car during a heavy downpour and waved me off. In the Algarve I then dropped the car off at the Faro airport for my return trip. No extra drop-off charge.

      If you are going to be in the Algarve in mid-to-late October you’ll be amazed at how few people are around, yet the weather will still be fabulous. I expect to be there at that time offering either my A Taste of Life culinary experience or my Feeding the Muse, my creativity retreat. Please stay in touch and perhaps we can organize ourselves to meet and have a coffee or glass of vinho.

      You might want to visit my other blog-site at http://www.algarveexperiences.com. If you click the See/Do/Enjoy tab you can choose My Top 10 Algarve Beaches which will give you an idea of the range of what’s available that is away from the big, commercial centres. I find that it is easy to walk in the Algarve. People don’t seem to mind you wandering anywhere. There is also a small book you can pick up in the Algarve that defines a whole series of walks of varying challenge. My client Sandi and I did one out on the headlands near Sagres. In the 4 hrs we rambled around (we’re slow, pokey walkers!) we saw 1 guy on a bike and 2 shepherds with flocks of sheep/goats. Otherwise we had the place gloriously to ourselves. Near the town of Sao Bras de Alportel there are a series of hikes through cork forests. And in the Monchique area you can get a real workout hiking the hills.

      One of the delights of the Algarve is that to us North Americans everything is so darned close! From my hotel in Olhos D’Agua it is 40 minutes to the Spanish border and only about 40 minutes to Sagres and the West Coast beaches. This means that I can stay in a nice hotel and yet quickly and easily get out to the countryside. My clients are always amazed at how easily they can get around the Algarve. By the way, a modest budget will get you a lot in the Algarve. I’m amazed at how reasonable prices are in the area.

      One of the reasons I offer these two blog sites is that I have found general information about Portugal and the Algarve is in short supply. Much of what is available focuses on the beach vacation with a focus on water parks, etc. And there is surprisingly little available in English that has any depth to it. So I am committed to providing much more. If you’d like to send an e-mail directly to me gwenatalgarveexperiencesdotcom I’m happy to send you a copy of a posting I did for some young folks who were camping/hiking there this past winter. It is rather lengthy to include here.

      I’ve also written a free e-book Gwen’s Guide to Dining Well in the Algarve. You can download your copy by clicking here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3894580/Gwen%27s%20Guide%20Free%20e-book%20Mar%202010.pdf

      So, Jill, I hope this has been helpful. I know that wherever in Portugal you and your friend go you’ll have a brilliant time. I also have to say that in my life transition coaching practise I always love to have active, vibrant women like you to tell my clients about. So many people fear ageing …and yet I know many, many people who step into it as the best time of their lives. I know women who are in their 90’s and still teaching Tai Chi, in their 70’s and running riding stables, and now two gals who still love to travel & hike the world.

      Gwen McCauley

  5. Hi Gwen
    We stumbled across your posts when researching our imminent (first) trip to Portugal. We will spend several days in the Algarve, and were curious about your “Gwens guide to dining well in the Algarve”. Can you send us a copy, or a link where we can see it?
    Thanks much
    Gary and Sandy

    • Hi Folks

      I hope you have a fantastic first experience of the Algarve. I must say that the weather has remained remarkably cool this winter. I was there in January for the coldest month they’ve had in about 50 years. And it has remained cool. However, it is still a fabulous place, even when the weather isn’t perfect!

      By clicking this link or copying it into your brower you’ll get a copy of Gwen’s Guide to Dining Well in the Algarve. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3894580/Gwen%27s%20Guide%20Free%20e-book%20Mar%202010.pdf
      I’m working on an up-dated version right now which should be available by mid-month. And I am launching a new blog Algarvedining.com which is available in a very ragged form right now. It’ll be launched in the next week or so.

      Any feedback you’d like to offer is always appreciated! Have a fabulous trip.

      Gwen

    • Hi folks

      I think I responded to your request via e-mail but I have been busy creating my new Algarve blog Algarvedining.com. When I’m in that creative space I sometimes lose track of what I’ve done and what I think I’ve done!! In any case, if you go to http://algarvedining.com/gwen'sguide you’ll find a link where you can now download a PDF of the latest version of my Guide. Hope you have a fantastic trip.

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