Thirty speeches through 10 countries in 7 weeks… I knew this tour was going to be amazing but it was full of surprises and it over exceeded my expectations.
Everywhere I went, magazine…
and book signings awaited.
In Lithuania, I got to see and hold the new cover of the UK version of my book for the first time.
My schedule gave me very little room to include time for sightseeing. But ever since I took Art History, I wanted to visit Giverny, so I made sure to fit it in!
During these few weeks, I had the honor of speaking to thousands, as people filled auditoriums by the hundreds (1000 in Brittany), proving that the interest for zero waste living is real and growing.
I got to speak in some amazing locations too.
At the top of my list is Nax, in Switzerland, where the event was held in an amphitheater on top of a mountain. My speech was accompanied by the chimes of cow bells, and at the end of it, the screen and wall behind me opened up onto the deep valley: No picture could possibly do the venue justice.
My second favorite: Cabaret Sauvage in Paris, a Circus-shaped venue, with deep reds, carved pillars and a wooden floor in the Parc de la Villette.
Everywhere I went, I was received with the most amazing welcome and organization…
And sometimes even a glass of wine.
In the Champagne region, the organizers went above and beyond, welcoming me with a private boat ride and bubbly!
Everywhere I went, I saw bulk in the most unexpected places (more on that soon), such as in Nida, a small Lithuanian village tucked at the end of a long sand spit.
And sometimes it’s myself that I found where I least expected it 😉
But what made my trip super special is all the people I met along the way… their thoughtfulness, sincerity and dedication.
In Tavel (premier rosé of France), I had the great honor of being enthroned by the wine growers! -my husband, big fan of Tavel wine, said that of all the things I have done so far, this is what he is most proud of 😉
I also met the founding members (including my mom!) of the brand new environmental organization A.T.A.V.E.L, for which they asked me to be a mentor -I accepted, of course;-)
In Zurich, I accepted one of the coolest gift I have ever been offered: A digital certificate in my name for the adoption of one hectare of nature reserve in Belize! (and they did not even know that I am scheduled to go there in a few months!)
In Gaspesie, Quebec, I stayed in the home of one of the most generous couples I have ever met.
In Paris, I finally got to meet the whole team of Sailing for Change (for which I am a mentor), in person.
In Prague, I met the translators of the Czech version of my book!
In Muenster, Marie Delapierre of Unverpackt Kiel (Germany’s first bulk store) paid me a surprise visit -we chatted until 3am (an improvement since the first time we met, when we went to bed at 5am).
And along the way, I got to meet some of the amazing entrepreneurs that my book or lifestyle has inspired to open a bulk store, such as:
Eslyne and Olivier, the super cute couple of Chez Mamie in Sion (Switzerland)
– I particularly liked their soap display.
Eunice of Maria Granel in Lisbon (Portugal)
–I particularly liked her product selection: Powdered wheat grass -or eye shadow? 😉
Anja of Natürlich Unverpackt in Muenster (Germany)
–I particularly liked her liquid dispensers.
And Petr of Bezobalu in Prague (Czech Republic)
– Even though I had trouble remembering the name of the store (I had to write it down on my hand),
what struck me most in it, was the little use of plastic.
It even showed in the impeccable paper bag filled backroom.
I come back from this tour not exhausted by an overload of memories or the miles traveled, but rather more motivated than ever by the optimism and dedication that binds the zero waste community together in creating a better world for our children. And that’s what gives me the energy to keep going… so I’ll be back on the road as soon as mid-September, for a 14-day trip through 11 countries! -Some events will be open to the public, so keep an eye out for their announcements on my Facebook page as we get closer (you can subscribe to the events tab): I would not want to miss this opportunity to meet… YOU!
I wore my black dress a different way at 22 different events. In an upcoming post, I’ll share a gallery of the different outfits, so make sure to visit again to check them out, or subscribe to the blog (button in the navigation bar) to receive email updates.