Journey With Us

Who are we and why should you travel with us? We are Charlene Faiola Lettrari and Oswald Lettrari, experienced travelers, organizers, and guides with a passion for travel that nourishes the soul. Our specialty is Europe and the USA.

An Educator by profession, Charlene's travel adventures began at the age of 4 when she dared go around the city block in her hometown of Chicago just to see what was there. Her passion for travel flourished through her family's vacations in the United States and the visits of family from Italy or business clients from Europe to their home. She first visited Paris and London in the '60s and has been traveling to Europe ever since. Swissair hired her to coordinate and manage tours for parishes and for Cardinal Stritch University Continuing Education Department (1993) and Alverno College Telesis (1997) when she was working in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. As Director of Ministry on Aging she chose the sunflower as a symbol for the beauty found in all of lifešs seasons. Later she and Oswald used the symbol for Sunflower Journeys.

Oswald and Charlene met when she brought one of the groups to Europe and Swissair had hired him to be their driver/guide. Educated at the University of Wurzburg in Germany, Oswald had been a professional driver and guide for incoming groups to Germany and throughout Europe for more than 15 years. He also had been under contract to the US Military, transporting them to Kosovo and other destinations in Europe. He speaks fluent English, German, French, Italian.

Each found in the other a unique way of being together and caring for their travelers along with knowledge and experience. When they married in 1999 Oswald moved to Wisconsin and Sunflower Journeys was born. They plan and organize each tour from beginning to end. They also accompany each group to manage the details "on the ground." Travelers are treated as adults, no name tags, small group size, explore the backroads as well as the cities, stay in first class hotels in historic places for 2-3 nights.

Clients have said: the tour combined history, natural and artistic beauty, and fun. . . . a balance of group activity and free time. . . . we appreciated their knowledge and leadership, warmth and insight. . . and the careful planning that made this an enriching experience and not just a 'trip.'

"The World is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page." -- St. Augustine
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