Meet the Wanderlust Tours Team

Wanderlust Tours Partners, Shawnie Kelley and Sherri Pickett share two common passions: a love for history and travel. Between the two, they have lived, worked, studied, and traveled extensively through France, Italy, Spain, Scotland, England and much of Europe, Scandinavia and the US. The two also co-founded Wanderlust Travel Press and are developing a new series of beautifully curated “Discover Guides” and femme-focused “The Woman’s Guides” in print and eBooks.

Shawnie Kelley
Shawnie KelleyPartner/Travel Director

Wanderlust Tours: Founder & Partner | Travel Director

Wanderlust Travel Press: Co-founder & Partner | Editorial Director

Visit Shawnie’s Amazon Author Page for a complete list of her publications.

Sherri Pickett Noll
Sherri Pickett NollPartner/Creative Director

Wanderlust Tours: Partner | Creative Director

Wanderlust Travel Press: Co-founder & Partner | Creative Director

  • Owner of Pickett Design Studios and co-founder of ioso Design; previously worked for internationally-acclaimed design company.
  • Italian expert lived in Rome during a sabbatical, studied photography in Tuscany, and has traveled extensively around “the boot.”
  • Brings her passion for photography and keen eye for design to Wanderlust’s brand, Website, visual media, and travel guides.
  • Production Director for Wanderlust Travel Press
  • Currently designing Wanderlust For Women and Discover Guides travel series
  • Attended Indiana University
  • Into eating healthy; stays fit through outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and sailing; and adores Roman history, archaeology, and culture.
  • Currently studying Italian and French language
   

Wanderlust Tours History

WELCOME from Wanderlust Tours founder, Shawnie Kelley   When asked how we got our start…   A serious case of wanderlust set in at a fairly young age as much of my childhood was spent daydreaming of castles and reading books set in exotic locations. While in my late twenties, a few extraordinary opportunities brought to life many of these dreamy places I had only read about.

While studying Art History at The Ohio State University, I was awarded a research fellowship from the University of Edinburgh and Historic Scotland- the agency charged with safeguarding the country’s historic environment. For a year, I trekked from lowlands to highlands studying castle architecture and becoming fully immersed in Scottish culture. It was discovering this rich history, romantic ruins, and jaw-dropping scenery that inspired the founding of Wanderlust Tours.

The following year, I lived in Nice, France, where Provençal cuisine, rosé wine, and the Mediterranean lifestyle changed the way I ate and viewed food: eat local, seasonal, real. These personal philosophies underlie the edible experiences in all of our tours. We are passionate about creating special culinary moments that offer an authentic taste of travel while bringing people together.

As fortune would have it, I landed a dream job at English Heritage- England’s monument protection agency- and got to travel an impressive amount around Great Britain; from the southern tip of Cornwall to the borders of Scotland; from the chalky cliffs of Hastings and Dover to the luminous Lake District in Cumbria. The excitement of visiting new places several times weekly led me to seek out what each destination had to offer beyond the medieval sculpture I was researching. I sought out cultural treasures, stayed at historic inns, chatted up the locals, and sniffed out regional food. We use the same approach when designing our Wanderlust Tours.

We believe experience is everything! So, forget what you know about group tours. Wanderlust Tours’ small, boutique trips – capped at ten guests – give you the opportunity to be a traveler. We embrace experiential travel, where storytelling scholars bring history to life, locals lead you behind-the scenes, and shared meals allow us to slow down and savor the journey. We have spent years living, working, traveling, and intimately researching our destinations, gaining hands-on expertise. We’ve eaten there. We’ve slept there. We’ve wandered the winding streets and traveled by train, coach, bike, and boat. Our experts have done the legwork of crafting specialized itineraries that you can trust.

Since moving back to the States in 2002, these past experiences have found a way into everything I do, from writing travel guides and teaching cultural seminars to starting a tour company and teaching global cooking classes. When you travel with Wanderlust Tours, it is easier than ever (even for the most erudite traveler) to journey deep into the culture of our destinations.

Designing travel experiences since 2008.

 

Giving Back to the Community

Wanderlust Tours Believes in giving back to our community: We take pride in not only supporting locally owned businesses during our travels, but also giving back to the community in which we live. Owner, Shawnie Kelley spearheads a non-profit event which raises money for a local food-related charity, while owner Sherri Pickett serves as the Finish Line Captain for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon.  We are actively involved in a variety of charitable and non-profit events and volunteer when we can for causes in which we believe. Here are just a few of the non-profit and charitable events we have participated in through the years:

A Kid Again (Wonderland annual fundraiser) – June 8, 2019

Fête en Blanc (ROX- Ruling our Experiences – July, 2017

Turning Up the Heat (all-female chef fundraiser for YWCA) – April, 2017

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon (Finish line volunteer) – 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011

Fête en Blanc (Children’s Hunger Alliance) – August 28, 2015

Fête en Blanc (St. Stephen’s Community House Food Pantry & Nutrition Center)- August 1, 2014

ARC (Aids Resource Center), Columbus RED Fundraiser – September 7, 2013

Fête en Blanc (Helllwig Farm children’s cancer project)- July 19, 2013

Columbus Symphony Orchestra Women’s Association Fundraiser – June 1, 2013

Capital Area Humane Society VIP Celebrity Chefs Fundraiser – April 18, 2013

Fête en Blanc (Local Matters)- August 12, 2012