Last week I flew to London to meet an amazing group of female entrepreneurs. This global organization caters to women who run their own businesses, and I felt lucky to be in their esteemed company. The group meets mostly through online interactions, but three times a year hosts an in-person business summit around the world. So that's how I found myself in London, boarding the Venice Simplon Orient Express en route to Paris, France.
There are moments in my life when I have to pinch myself to ensure I'm living in the moment. For a girl who had few opportunities growing up for cultural experiences (although my dad did take me to the community playhouse for a rousing rendition of Annie when I was six), this was a dream.
This isn't your average train. It's a luxury experience for travelers…more on that soon…
We were immediately greeted with champagne and a heartfelt toast of appreciation…
So you'll see a reoccurring theme in this set of photos: FOOD. It was three days of decadent eating and–wait for it–every meal had a gluten free vegetarian option that was insanely delicious.
We were greeted with music at one of our stops…
We transferred train cars to transition for a lovely dinner…
We each had a room to freshen up in and enjoy the passing views of the French country side
This was my dinner. But no photo could do it justice. It was one of the MOST AMAZING things I've ever eaten. I don't even know what it is, exactly, but I refer to it as a spring party in my mouth!
The entire day was spent conversing about business and strategy…I was in my element!
We experienced five-star dining aboard this train and it was one of the coolest experiences of my life. Truly.
Mon cherie. Paris.
NAILED IT. 😉
Once in Paris the summit invited Ali Brown to teach a one-day workshop filled with exercises and hot seats (I was the first person chosen for a hot seat and I nearly died…in retrospect it was awesome because I learned a lot about myself and business…but when you're sitting in front of 25 of your peers exposing your business vulnerability, you somewhat wish the ground would open up and swallow you whole).
Then we had a four-course lunch at a Michelin star restaurant in the Saint James Hotel…everything was so beautiful it almost hurt to look at…
Did I mention the abundance of gluten free options?!? I'M IN LOVE WITH THE FRENCH.
Because I was behind the camera for most of the trip (which is what I prefer), I had to find creative ways for a selfie for fear of not placing myself in the story itself. Many thanks to the Saint James Hotel for its abundance of ceiling mirrors! 😉
This was taken at night, just outside of the Saint James Hotel, where we stayed to learn, grow, and challenge our notions of success. Together we walked away recharged to do more, say more, and be more.