E-magine Journeys is a socially conscious travel company founded on the principles of ecological imagination and spiritual reciprocity. (For our definition of these concepts, please click on the MORE buttons above). We offer a variety of tours to Central American and European countries with the intent of fostering MUTLI-CULTURAL AWARENESS, HUMAN CONNECTION and SOCIAL CHANGE. Our mission is to provide each of our tour participants with a more meaningful and joyful travel experience by focusing on TRAVEL FOR CHANGE and DESTINATIONS WITH PURPOSE.
We are really excited about our upcoming 2015 tours! (Please see our 2015 Tour Highlights section on this website). We have undergone a few changes in the last few months that I would like to share. First of all, Noemi Menendez has decided to step back from her E-magine Journeys responsibilities and focus on her fulltime job. I am sad about this, but I always want the very best for her. She will continue to stay involved with the November 2015 Guatemala tour, because as I told her and sincerely believe, Guatemala is NOT Guatemala without Noemi leading the journey!
I have the good fortune of working with three great people who are currently helping with the plans, marketing and logistics for our 2015 tours. Rodney Rodr who lives in Amsterdam is co-planning our Tuscany journey. Rodney and his partner, Christel, stayed at Borgo di Gello in Tuscany last year and contacted me about the possibility of E-magine Journeys partnering with the Novanta folks, believing that their eco-activism and E-magine Journeys’ socially conscious vision would be a good fit! Right he was! Phil Wojtalewicz, an attorney in the Walnut Creek California area, has graciously agreed to help me organize the pilgrimage on the El Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Phil has already created some great marketing materials for the pilgrimage and he and I are working on some public presentations about the Camino, which we will give to several spiritual groups here in the Bay Area. Phil plans on walking the Camino with our group and because he will be celebrating a very special birthday this year, it is the perfect time for him to go! My longtime friend and sister-in-spirit, Barbara Haden, is doing some marketing for E-magine Journeys on the East Coast. Barbara was with me when I walked the Camino for the first time. So, as you can see, we are definitely growing and expanding! Please consider joining us on one of our tours. TRAVEL FOR CHANGE!
2015 TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
Tuscany 2015 (September 6th – September 19th) – We are very excited about partnering with a trio of entrepreneurs—Novanta—in offering a socially conscious/food tour to the Tuscany region of Italy. Last summer Novanta developed and operated a bed & breakfast in the abandoned medieval village of Borgo di Gello with the specific intention of revitalizing it and the surrounding area. We feel their innovative project, which focuses on the socially conscious concepts of urban farming, sustainable agriculture and utilizing local resources, fits well with E-magine Journeys’ vision and mission. Visit their website at www.novanta90.com for more of Novanta’s fascinating story.
Borgo di Gello is an ancient village where farmers used to work the land in the hills of Tuscany. The Borgo is surrounded by the green forests of the Casentino. The natural environment, with forests, streams and meadows, gives this place its unique character. The authentic Tuscan quality of the village and its surroundings are the result of its relative isolation and by the fact that it lies hidden in the midst of a Nature Reserve.
We will spend a week exploring Borgo di Gello’s history and story and enjoying local Tuscan cuisine. Activities include dinner with Fabrizio and Mery, who operate a local organic farm, truffle hunting, a picnic of local cheeses, breads and wine at the falls of the Corsalone River and a guided tour/hike through the Casentino forest to explore the monastery where Saint Francis had his first vision. In addition, before settling into the peace of Borgo di Gello, we will visit the cities of Pisa, Lucca and Florence and stay in Vernazza, one of the villages of the Cinque Terre (The Five Lands), located on the rugged coast of the Italian Riviera. A complete itinerary will be posted soon. Prices for this tour vary based on the type of accommodation selected (i.e., single, double or triple room in Borgo di Gello and single or double room at the other locations). Prices are as follows:
Single Occupancy Room – $2460 + airfare
Double Occupancy Room - $2345 + airfare
Triple Occupancy Room (available at Borgo di Gello ONLY) – $2230 + airfare
The prices above include hotel costs, breakfast only in Pisa, Vernazza, Lucca and Forence, ALL meals during the week in Borgo di Gello, all in-country travel expenses (train, car, etc.) and tour guide fees. Please note, each participant is responsible for round trip airfare to and from Pisa, Italy. We are happy to help you book your flight through the travel agency E-magine Journeys uses. The tour is open to a maximum of 20 people, so please reserve your spot early. A $625 reservation fee is due at the time of booking.
El Camino de Santiago de Compostela Pilgrimage in Spain (TENTATIVELY SCHEDUELD for September 25th – October 6th) The Camino pilgrimage is open to beginner to intermediate level walkers. We will offer some van support for both packs and pilgrims at the beginning of the journey, if you need to ease into walking a little more slowly. We will begin our walk in Leon Spain, where we will all gather on the 25th of September. Our socially conscious project will focus on either a pilgrim hostel that converts to a homeless shelter in the winter or the renovation of a pilgrim hostel in Zubiri (near Pamplona). We will walk the last 100 or so kilometers (approximately 60 miles) from Sarria into Santiago de Compostela—a requirement in order to receive a Compostela (pilgrim certificate). We will spend a day exploring Santiago de Compostela and visiting the cathedral, and then journey on to Finisterre at the western-most point of Spain that in ancient times was known as Land’s End. This is a guided tour led by a Camino expert.
The price of the pilgrimage is $2200 + airfare. The price includes meals, hotels, all in-country transportation costs, the donation to either the Homeless Shelter in Leon or the Pilgrim Hostel in Zubiri and pilgrimage guide fees. Please note that this pilgrimage is open to only 15 persons, so please reserve your spot early. A $625 reservation fee is due at the time of booking.
Mystical Guatemala (November 7th – November 14th) Join Noemi and Viviane for eight days and seven nights as we guide you on a socially conscious cultural and food journey to Guatemala. Together we’ll explore and enjoy the enchanting city of Antigua, visit a jade factory, attend a performance of Guatemalan music and dance, tour and donate to an organic farm that grows macadamia trees for distribution and harvest to indigenous cultures, learn about the coffee production process at a coffee plantation and visit workers’ collectives that produce traditional Guatemalan crafts and textiles. Along the way, we’ll encounter the amazing Guatemalan people and experience beautiful Guatemalan landscapes while feasting on and learning about traditional Guatemalan cuisine. For those who are interested there will also be the opportunity to hike Pacaya—one of Guatemala’s active volcanos. This tour will accept a maximum of 25 people. A $500 deposit is due at the time of reservation of space.
Two add on tours will be offered for those interested in extending their time in Guatemala: a journey to beautiful Lake Atitlan OR to the ancient Mayan ruins at Tikal. There is an additional cost for each of these journeys. Please inquire about details and prices.