Have you ever experienced the magical transformation that occurs when you embark on a journey with people you don't yet know? It's not just about exploring new places; it's about forging lasting connections and leaving as friends.
I discovered this myself about 15 years ago. The first time I remember traveling with people I didn't know was when I signed up for a wine and travel writing retreat in St. Emilion, France. I enjoyed the week so much in one of the most beautiful villages in France that a few years later, my husband and I purchased a home about 15 minutes away.
But when I think about it, it wasn't just the magic of the fairytale village, the writing class, or the delectable wines we tried, but it was the connection I made with a completely disparate group of women while on that journey. I am still in contact with three of them 15 years hence.
I fondly recall Peggy from Tampa (pictured below), who sold mobile homes and had never been out of the country, and Stacy from Texas, who was a wine dealer who taught us that whatever we tasted in the wine was correct - empowering us to trust our own taste buds. And there was Mutlu from Turkey who was an Amway sales person. I'll be visiting her next year when I'm in Turkey. Another lady worked at the Discovery Channel named Kelly and Ann was already a writer and lived in South Carolina.
Never in a million years would I have even been able to meet these ladies on my own in the small New York circles that I traveled in at the time. Peggy who I had nothing in common with was such a hoot, I fell in love with her. The point that I realized was that I could become friends with almost any kind of lady from any sort of background from anywhere in the world - no matter her age.
It's an expansive idea, and its heart warming to a degree that affected me profoundly. I have now experienced this sensation many multiple times thanks to my travels with other groups on our Girls' Guide tours and others. I think it's why I created this company, although it wasn't foremost in my mind at the time. Somehow if you listen carefully and trust yourself, your soul seems to know what the right path is.
After 14 years now and Girls' Guide's many iterations, I know without a doubt that connection is what fuels me, and fuels almost all of us. Travel expands our brains and while away from our work and our to-do list our mind and spirit can become fresh again, truly awake and alive.
If you feel your soul calling out for more adventure, more connection, and more aliveness - consider joining us.
Check out all of our available trips here! Don't miss out on the chance to take your vacation as soon as possible!