VSP's Jim McGrann and Bill Barkeley

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—Many people have an interesting response when asked how they spent their summer vacation, but few are likely to top the story that VSP Global chief executive officer Jim McGrann can share.

McGrann recently finished hiking a section of the Camino de Santiago trail in northwestern Spain with his friend, deaf-blind adventurer Bill Barkeley. The goal of the hike was to raise awareness for Usher Syndrome, a rare disorder that causes partial or total hearing loss and vision loss that worsens over time.

Camino de Santiago is a 500-mile trail that starts in France and ends in Spain. McGrann joined Barkeley for the last leg of the journey, from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela over the course of five days and 71.5 miles.

McGrann noted in an early September blog post that he trained for the hike while walking the streets of Sacramento, Calif., and New York City with a loaded backpack, yet he knew the “71.5 miles along the Camino will be an entirely different experience.” He said he hoped the trek would “provide … some much-needed time to disconnect and reflect on my first year as CEO and think about what’s to come in the future. And frankly, I’m just hoping to keep up with Bill.”

To read more about McGrann’s trip check out his blog here, more about his friendship with Barkeley here and the VSP Global blog highlighting Barkeley and his efforts to raise awareness for Usher Syndrome here.