A Letter to the JourneyWoman Community in August 2019
Evelyn Hannon was a gift to the world. Her voice was unique, authentic and – quirky. She was known for her travel savvy, but she also gave us the courage to understand each other better as human beings – honestly and authentically. She was an innovator who challenged conventional thinking and stood out in a crowd – hence her love of all things red.
It gives me great joy to continue her legacy, in partnership with her family. In her final days, I had the opportunity to talk to her about my plans for JourneyWoman, and I’d like to think that this gave her comfort and solace. At home, I am surrounded by Evelyn’s spirit, embodied in her red glasses, cape, boots, and beret, an astounding array of travel books, stunning photographs of women, and artifacts she collected on her travels. She is always with me, whispering her ideas in my ear.
Like Evelyn, I started travelling solo as a single mom and felt alone and terrified. In many ways, I think travel saved me from my worst fears about myself and the world. I learned to have faith in people, and trust that the universe would look after me. Raised in a small town in Florida, I moved to Canada for university and raised my daughter Alyxandra in a historic village just north of Toronto. I’ve had the good fortune to travel in Europe, South America, Asia and most recently, Kenya and Cuba – but there’s so much more I want to see and experience!
Travel literally changed my life. When we travel, we have a choice – we can look through a window at people’s lives or we can fully engage in the culture and experiences and take them as they come. I believe that being a JourneyWoman is a mindset. It’s not about age or experience. As JourneyWomen, we are more than tourists; we want to discover and experience what’s real and authentic and connect with the people and culture. A JourneyWoman seeks the truth and demands honesty from her experiences. Most importantly, we share the good, the ridiculous and the unexpected — all in the spirit of helping other women. Our stories, although they may be different, are all interconnected, as is our future.
JourneyWoman is already a beloved and trusted brand, which has inspired a sisterhood of women travellers for over 25 years. Now more than ever, the world needs us, and it needs our unique brand of authenticity. It’s my intention to build on Evelyn’s legacy by being more vigilant, curious and honest about what we experience. I need your help and support to do that.
I’d like to invite you to visit our Facebook page and share what you love about JourneyWoman and what you’d like to see more of. This is for you, and your ideas and feedback are wanted, needed and appreciated. You are also welcome to contact me at the email address below.
I love you all and can’t wait to meet you!
With gratitude to Evelyn, Erica and Leslie – and to you, our JourneyWoman community,