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Maximize the Impact of Your Global Interactions with Papilia

Each day I am astonished by how much I continue to learn through my experiences with Papilia. I am constantly reminded by how fascinating people are; add culture into the mix, and we are now dealing with another set of special circumstances which need to be acknowledged and understood. 

The original concept for Papilia was to provide business and leisure travelers with a customized packing list, culture etiquette tips, and shopping advice. The goal was to help each person feel confident and prepared for their trip prior to departure so they could focus on what actually matters when you travel: to absorb local culture, to develop meaningful relationships, and to create lasting memories. Our original mission was to, "Travel More. Worry Less."

Throughout this journey, I have listened to embarrassing travel-related faux pas, and "I probably shouldn't have done of that" moments from travelers. I spent time thinking about how Papilia's mission could impact the lives of travelers in a more thoughtful way, (in addition to the personalized traveler itinerary). After many months of brainstorming ideas, and reflecting upon global perceptions of culture in the United States and abroad, I came up with a solution that I'm really passionate about.

Papilia now offers customized cross-cultural and international etiquette training and coaching for businesses and individuals who want to improve upon their strategic international relationships or expand their portfolio to develop partnerships internationally. (Detail on these and other trainings are provided on Sophia's personal website and the Papilia website.) 

Our new mission, "Maximize the Impact of Your Global Interactions," addresses a greater need many people are facing and want to better understand. Cultural intricacies are complex, but they are key to successful interactions and will also facilitate a deeper appreciation for local culture and surroundings. 

These training and coaching sessions will also integrate a component that is near and dear to my heart. Mindfulness. In order to interact with other cultures, you have to be mindful of your own interactions. I will incorporate what I have learned from my yoga teacher training to create an experience that will enhance your professional and personal life if you are receptive to it.

Just an FYI: I have a Papilia site and a personal site. Feel free to contact me on either site. I will typically share professional development, personal lessons learned, and other valuable insights on my personal site. Papilia focuses on training and services with a greater focus on travel preparedness and travel inspiration.

I am so excited for this next phase. My ultimate goal is to empower you with the proper tools needed to succeed in any professional or personal setting. 

If you are interested in taking the next step or finding out more information: Please fill out this initial survey so I can understand your training or coaching needs.

If you aren't ready yet, I would love your feedback to my ONE ASK: What is your single biggest communication challenge? 

...and remember...

Culture makes us who we are.

Perception defines how we act.

Knowledge is power.


I look forward to hearing from you wherever you are in the world. 

Thanksgiving Celebrations in Disguise

Thanksgiving Celebrations in Disguise

We thought we would let you in on a little secret, other countries celebrate their own versions of Thanksgiving too. They may not happen during November, but there are many vibrant, culturally rich harvest celebrations happening the world over. The Papilia team hand-picked five harvest festivals for you to check out. Who knows... these could be a great conversation starter around your dinner table this Thanksgiving.

HOMOWO Festival

Ghana | August 31st- September 2nd, 2015

HOMOWO Festival is the Harvest Festival celebrated by the Ga people from the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. Traditional priests sow millet in May and upon sowing the millet, the priests proclaim a thirty-day ban on drumming throughout the land.

Oral tradition says that severe famine broke out among the people during their migration to present day Accra. When their hunger ended and with great joy they "hooted at hunger" and this is the meaning of HOMOWO.

UK Harvest Festival

United Kingdom | Dates Vary

In Britain, a successful harvest is celebrated by singing, praying, and decorating the churches throughout the country with food and fruit baskets. This is a tradition that has been celebrated since pagan times. They are traditionally held on the Sunday closest to the Harvest Moon. Some churches will use this time to teach school children and community members about the harvest process, and farming fruits and vegetables.

Tết Trung Thu

Vietnam | September 27th, 2015

Tết Trung Thu, as it is known in Vietnam, or the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival as we refer to it in America, is a wonderful, ancient (we mean ancient, it dates back 15-20,000 years) festival that revolves around children. It is one of the two most popular Vietnamese holidays.

Tết Trung Thu is like a combination of our Halloween and Thanksgiving. Children parade on the streets while singing and carrying colorful lanterns of different sizes.

It is said that originally, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival came about as a way for parents to make up for lost time with their children after harvest season. It was held under the full moon, which represents fullness and prosperity of life.

Sukkot or "Feast of Booths"

Israel | September 27th- October 4th, 2015

Sukkot, a Hebrew word meaning "booths" or huts," refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest. The festival is marked by several distinct traditions. One, which follows the commandment to dwell in booths literally, is to erect a sukkah, a small, temporary booth or hut. Sukkot (the plural of sukkah) are traditionally used during the seven-day festival for eating, entertaining, and even for sleeping.

This festival also commemorates the 40 years of Jewish wandering in the desert after the giving of the Torah atop Mt. Sinai. Sukkot is celebrated five days after Yom Kippur on the 15th of the month of Tishrei.


India and Worldwide | November 11, 2015

Diwali is a contraction of the word Deephavali and means 'row of lights' in Sanskrit. The festival originated as a harvest festival. It is India's biggest and most important holiday of the entire year. Historically Diwali marks the end of the harvest season each year and takes place in either October or November. It is widely celebrated and there are many different traditions depending on where you are in the world. One common tradition is to place small clay oil lamps (or diyas) on the outside of homes, shops and offices throughout the five-day affair to celebrate.

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