Creating a travel experience, this is my story for The Paris Journey…

In 2012 The Paris Journey began with a group of women traveling together to Paris for cultural growth, good company and inspiration. It was “soulful travel”…and the long term results for those who made the journey have been life affirming and changing.

Travel programs are everywhere! I have personally had a variety of travel experiences in my globe-trotting history. Some with tour companies, through universities, private individuals; I have tried immersion, active and socially conscious options.

The most rejuvenating and rewarding types of travel I have enjoyed are in fact not necessarily steeped in activity and extreme immersion but rather leisure experiences outside my country of residences with familiar people.

I have learned to practice soulful travel and wish to help others to discover the possibilities of finding themselves renewed and glowing from all that “soulful travel” can offer.

Paris Journey Page Bullets
The practice of soulful travel is to discover the overlapping point between history and everyday life, the way to find the essence of every place, every day: in the markets, small chapels, out-of-the-way parks, craft shops. Curiosity about the extraordinary in the ordinary moves the heart of the traveler intent on seeing behind the veil of tourism.” – Phil Cousineau


flowers for the shoot              Mel Christie0099

I personally came to be a resource for many close friends, business associates and family, guiding and creating custom itineraries over the years. I have designed travel itineraries to a multitude of destinations and have vicariously lived through each adventure, as if I was a mouse in a pocket! This destination planning has allowed me to amass a large number of resources in my “little black book”. It has lead me to organically become a travel story creator…travel is after all…a story you create for yourself and your life experience. I believe we can transform through travel and realize desires of who we wish to be.

In each of us is a pilgrim. The pilgrim is a poetic traveler, one who believes that there is poetry on the road, at the heart of everything. – PC

In the lane
Looking back; travel is often a fundamental core to the story of our life experiences. The more interesting and entertaining, the more it is retold and ultimately woven into the fabric of our being, it becomes a piece of our soul.


Photo Sep 18, 4 12 59 AM                       Time with my bird                         cafe with the boys

Understanding that each of us is ultimately in charge of our own life story helps in determining where and what type of experience one may wish to seek.

When I work on travel plans with an individual I try to understand how they have experienced destinations in the past and what they desire to accomplish within there next journey.

Rejuvenation, self-discovery, faith, heeling, passion, pleasure, adventure, romance, activity, change, peace, rest, reward; everyone seeks something from the journey and often fails to really get in touch with these inner desires during the planning phase.

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Uncover what you long for and you will discover who you are.”

Journey of Eight evolved from this philosophy; there are stages to every journey that historically all myth, story or fable fundamentally contains.

Each of our lives is basically a story in the making and individually we are forever the hero of our own tale.

Eight stages make up a hero’s Journey according to Phil Cousineau, author of The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide the Making Travel Sacred. Mr. Cousineau studied the work of Joseph Campbell and wrote this bestselling work, described in the Austin American-Statesman as follows; “If Joseph Campbell, the Dalai Lama and Bill Moyers were to have collaborated on a book about journeys…I suspect it would look very much like The Art of Pilgrimage.

Journey of Eight (JOE) designed The Paris Journey as a custom destination experience, tailored to the individual travel experience.

It is designed as a fund and friend making opportunity for the Orlando Ballet School, (the premiere training facility in the country for young ballet dancers). After all, what better compliment, than to support this beautiful Art form that originated in Paris!

Opera balletEdgar_Degas_-_Rehearsal_of_the_Scene

Gertrude Stein said it  “America is my country and Paris is my hometown”. I have lived it. I return frequently to Paris and share my love of this city with others.

It’s my favorite city to travel in the world …for me it is the gold standard; an ancient city full of wonderful food, places to stay, things to explore, acquire, cultural art, history and interesting people to come to know.

There is only one Paris and while I love many things about the world and many places beckon me, Paris is forever…my hometown.

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Experiencing Paris requires criteria that frankly, some Americans have trouble with…

First, don’t be in a hurry. Enjoy every little delight, as if it is a charming pleasure. Coffee in the morning (and you must rise early, the morning light is so glorious) should be a leisure experience. Taken outside, on the street cafe, observing passersby, the color of the sky and the change from morning light to day light reflected on the surrounding architecture. It wakens the senses and inspires!

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Second, dress in character. Wear your personal self-expression outwardly, but make sure it is something that you adore putting on. Elegance without even trying, your inner secret persona revealed. The French have is down to an art. Enjoy that you are part of the scenery a piece of living grace, interest and beauty. The most admired French are educated, well dressed and above all; interesting!

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Third, walk everywhere. The best experiences in Paris come to those who walk…exploration. Do not be afraid to get a little lost. Do not be afraid to ask questions, explore the world of Paris as if someone just let you into the biggest curiosity shop in the world!

Take many little breaks along the way to enjoy watching the world go by. Never fail to step inside an open gate…seek the other side. Turning the corner to see an ancient structure or find a marker or plaque and then next door or across the way a reflection in the modern window glass of change.

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Fourth, EAT. The walking will complement the eating. Nothing like a good walk to digest or develop an appetite! Paris is the land of gastronomy; the art of food; engaging in the dining experience.

This is a recognized piece of World Heritage. Take in the fact that many aspects of a long history and centuries of development in Paris have largely been around the production of food!

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The Paris Journey is an exclusive destination event and just one of JOE’s many services.

It is an opportunity in which JOE offers to “part the curtain” and show each participant, an example of how a well-designed experience can be transforming and extremely satisfying. Taking nothing away from spontaneity or personal creativity, quite the opposite it is full of your personality.

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A famous author once said…

Are you alive now at home? Are you going to stay in your coffin of mediocrity, or break out of your cage, and take a journey to discover this in order to find yourself?

Come…Find Yourself…in Paris. (With a little help from JOE). This is a travel experienceThe Paris Journey.