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Meet Kenya Jackson-Saulters of The Outdoor Journal Tour in Atlanta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kenya Jackson-Saulters.

Kenya, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The Outdoor Journal Tour is a hybrid health organization that combines the healing tenets of outdoor activity with introspective journaling with mindful meditation. ODJT started five years ago, on at the top of Stone Mountain. I visited Stone Mountain in an effort to assuage personal feelings of anxiety and depression. The plan was to lead a few friends in a short journaling exercise and then mediation. When the meditation was over, there were two new people who had joined us that were not with us initially. The ladies immediately asked how they could “join the program.” At the time, there was no program-but; their question and interest is what led me to start one. Within two months, we had established The Outdoor Journal Tour and hosted our first series of healing hikes.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In some ways, yes. The corporate growth of the organization happened relatively quickly and with ease. Within two years, we had two large sponsors and had also developed an international wellness property, #wehiketoheal. However, the community was a little slower to build. Despite our best efforts to increase our following, it was tough to see considerable growth in our Instagram page or email list for our first three years of existence. Once our community began to grow, we also had some trouble converting followers to customers, which means that initially, our paid products were slow to gain traction.

We’d love to hear more about The Outdoor Journal Tour.
The Outdoor Journal Tour is a hybrid health organization that combines the healing tenets of outdoor activity with introspective journaling with mindful meditation. Nearly five years ago, we started a month-long outdoor wellness experience called #wehiketoheal. #wehiketoheal is a multi-city mindful movement initiative that encourages participants to commit to a month of mindful living via journaling, meditation, and masterclasses. The experience concludes with “healing hikes” on the same day all across the world. Sponsored by Merrell, REI, and KIND, and with well over 1,000 registrants, #wehiketoheal is the largest event of its kind. My partner and I are proud to be at the helm of a movement that has inspired so many. What sets us apart is our ability to seamlessly merge mindfulness, movement, and outdoor activity. In doing so, we create a unique cocktail of wellness interventions that is both innovative and effective.

What were you like growing up?
I was a fun-loving kid. Inquisitive. Talkative. Interestingly, not very fond of the outdoors or activity. I was much more into books and barbies than “playing outside.” From what I am told, I was a pretty sensitive kid-always keeping the peace between my friends and being somewhat of a social butterfly. I was always a deep thinker, however, with specific interests in words and writing. The latter still holds true to today.

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