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Posted on December 01 2020
Travel inspiration on this Travel Tuesday
“There is something special that happens when a group of women travel together. Most women who come on my trips come solo and do not know anyone else. By the time they leave, they have bonded and become like sisters,” states Doni Belau in my most recent conversation with the France and travel guru.
Doni, owner of A Girls Guide to Paris and beyond spent a few minutes with me over the long Thanksgiving weekend – socially distanced by phone bien sûr. She was on her way to her next global destination, but we had time to chat about what makes her tours so special. “It’s really about the women – we have a range of ages that come on our trips, from 25 to 75 and the women are all open-minded and ready for a grand adventure. They are open to new places, new foods and embrace how travel can enrich their lives, together.”
A gypsy at heart, Doni has over 36 trips planed between 2021 and 2022 from Bali to Bordeaux, Paris to Provence, Cornwall to Corsica, Mongolia to Morocco. Her 2020 trips, of course, have been rebooked and rescheduled due to the pandemic, but she is looking forward to the 2021 and beyond tours. Her women’s only travel tours help other women experience the thrill of discovering new places, new cuisine and developing new friendships with like-minded women, from all walks of life, ethnicities and backgrounds. With a mix of ages ranging from 25-70 years of age, Doni describes the magic that happens when the different generations gather for these special trips, “Women in their 20s have so much to teach women in their 70s and vice versa and it is so fulfilling watching these interactions and friendships bloom on our travels.”
Next year, out of her dozen or so trips to France, she has 2 unique tours planned, one that features a very special Royal woman and the other takes you to the crown jewels that is the French Riviera. They are:
Living Like a Queen, Marie Antoinette’s World in Paris and Versailles planned for June 2021. A pioneering celebrity and fashionista, Marie-Antoinette created her own style that despite her tragic fate still influences the French art de vivre. Discover Marie Antoinette’s France and walk in her footsteps through 18th century Paris and Versailles. For details go here.
Footsteps of Fitzgerald on the French Riviera scheduled for May 2021.Just before the world’s film elite descend on Cannes for their annual festival and as the flowers are beginning to bloom, you are invited to join Doni and her team for the pen-ultimate journey to the French Riviera frequented by the world’s elite for the past 100 years. From the seaside perch in charming Juan les Pins, you’ll follow in the footsteps of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, you will learn why writers like Hemingway, James Joyce and Nabakov flocked to Nice for inspiration. Details can be found here.
If you are like me, you are always planning your next adventure and typically mine end or start in France. My travels through this beautiful country has always enriched my life - with new cities, locations to visit, or foods to sample - travelling with other women in 2021 sounds like a great way to kick off travel again.
Doni is a warm and delightful host, and with her knowledge of France and her love for the country and the city of Paris you couldn’t be in better hands to really immerse yourself in the history, culture and food of the region you choose. Don’t see a tour you like? Doni and her team can design a bespoke personalised group tour for you as well. For more information on all upcoming trips, her "Risk-free Booking", or hear from previous travellers, visit girlsguidetoparis.com or find them on social @girlsguidetoparis. Bon voyage!
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