Reconnect with Women at JourneyWoman’s “Women’s Travel Wisdom” Wellness Retreat

by | Jan 12, 2022

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Last updated on May 11th, 2022

Wellness retreat designed to instill a renewed sense of purpose

JourneyWoman™ and Girls’ Guide to Paris are hosting the inaugural “Women’s Travel Wisdomwellness and travel retreat, designed to give women a renewed sense of purpose as we emerge from a global pandemic.  

“The world has changed, and many of us suffered in isolation,” says Carolyn Ray, CEO, JourneyWoman. “This is our time to connect with other like-minded women from all walks of life, inspire each other with our shared experiences and wisdom, and unleash our hopes, fears and aspirations for the future.”

This first-of-its-kind retreat is designed to create an open dialogue among women, foster healing and self-awareness and ultimately step into the future with confidence and power. By intentionally bringing together a group of speakers from diverse backgrounds, organizers Carolyn Ray and Doni Belau hope to help women heal and renew by opening a dialogue, introducing new perspectives and supporting women through what could be a life-changing experience.

“After a global trauma, we need to find out who we are again, listen to our own hearts, and connect with other magnificent, powerful women,” said Doni Belau, Founder, Girls’ Guide to Paris.  “After we take care of ourselves, exploring both the inner and the outer – then we must as women, as mothers and grandmothers – begin to protect and foster one another and save the world. There is no time left to wait for someone else.”

In the spirit of healing and wellness, the five-day retreat will be hosted outdoors at the Mandala Springs Wellness Center in Cobb, California from October 20-24, 2022.  To create a circle of trust and intimacy, attendance is limited to 80 women. 

It’s our Time to Step Into our Power as Women

Over the five days, women will share their inspirational stories and how they have learned to overcome fear, manage the unexpected and live the life of their dreams.  

There will also be wellness workshops to teach the principles of mindfulness, personal empowerment, animal conservation, and wabi-sabi to provide action-oriented tools and guidance to help women be more purposeful in their lives and travels.  Daily practices will include yoga, massage, meditation, dancing, Indigenous nature walks, healthy meals and sound healing. 

To learn more about our speakers (and guides) and see the full five-day agenda for this first-of-its-kind travel and wellness retreat, visit

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“This wellness retreat is for any woman who has a deep longing for connection with like-minded women,” Carolyn Ray, CEO, JourneyWoman. “It’s time to look ahead, rediscover our sense of purpose, and take that first step into the future – together.”  

“Bringing wellness and travel together has been a dream of mine for years: for women to reconnect and explore how we can use travel to empower ourselves and make the world a better place,” said Doni Belau, CEO and Founder, Girls’ Guide to Paris and Beyond

Save $200 using code #SAVE200 by April 30th

Meet our Speakers: Click on the photo to learn more 

Lola Akinmade Åkerström is an award-winning visual storyteller, international bestselling author, and entrepreneur. She has dispatched from 70+ countries and her work has been featured in National Geographic, New York Times, The Guardian, BBC, CNN, Travel Channel, Travel + Leisure, Lonely Planet, Forbes, and many more.

As a storyteller, Lola was the 2018 Bill Muster Travel Photographer of the Year. Her book, Due North, received the Lowell Thomas Gold Award for Best Travel Book, and she is also the author of international bestselling “LAGOM: The Swedish Secret of Living Well” which is available in 18 foreign editions. Her latest novel, “In Every Mirror She’s Black, will be published as a lead hardcover around the world in Autumn 2021.

Debbie Phillips is the inspiring founder of Women on Fire and a pioneer in the field of executive and life coaching. She is also an author, speaker and producer known for her work in transforming women’s lives. Her gift is her ability to see and nurture the strengths, gifts and talents of the women she works with. 

Debbie also created and co-developed Vision Day®, a strategic planning day and program that has helped thousands of people live the lives they’ve dreamed of. She considers her greatest education to be the pain, joy and growth from the ups and downs of life, love and loss.

Doni Belau launched Girls’ Guide to Paris & Beyond in September of 2009, which began as a travel website and guide about everything Paris-related. After 6 years as an online guide to Paris with over 20+ writers, GG2P had over 1.5 million readers yearly. In 2011, GG2P began conducting its first women-only tours, first to France and now working with 20 partners, they lead more than 40 trips women-only trips, retreats and adventures around the globe.

JourneyWoman CEO Carolyn Ray believes that women will save travel and the world. A passionate traveller, at age 50, Carolyn sold or donated everything she owned to travel full-time after a transformative trip to Kenya with her daughter. In 2019, Carolyn acquired JourneyWoman, the beloved women’s solo travel publication founded in 1994 to empower women as the primary decision-makers in travel. With an engaged global audience of women travellers, JourneyWoman has thrived through the pandemic, launching a women’s travel book club, “Travel Ready” webinars to prepare women for changes in travel, on topics such as safety, self-defense, downsizing, insurance and ethical animal tourism. She is a board member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the Travel Media Association of Canada.

Caren Osten is a certified positive psychology coach, certified mindfulness meditation teacher, public speaker and New York Times contributor. She works with individuals and groups, who seek to cultivate greater positivity, clarity and calm as they navigate life’s daily stresses, challenges and shifts. 

Caren has led workshops at Kripalu, the JCC Manhattan, MNDFL meditation studios, and speaks publicly, sharing the benefits, practices and science of optimism, self-compassion, mindfulness and resilience. Also a contributor to Psychology Today, Mindful magazine and others, Caren writes about travel, health and well-being.

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