Partheneia is a newly-founded lesbian travel and event company that specializes in intimate boutique vacations and events for women who love women. Its founders are Kyra Borromeo and Melina Rodriguez, two LA-based lesbians who love to travel. I recently spoke to Kyra and asked her a few questions about her company.
Q: Why did you choose the name “Partheneia”?
A: Partheneia is a poem written by a Greek lyrical poet, and is essentially the first literary reference to lesbian love. I was an English Lit major in college and I’m a nerd so I like literary references.
Q: What motivated you to start the company? How is it different from others?
A: There are various factors that motivated me to start the company, but the most influential ones were my love of travel, and my friends.
When I first moved to Los Angeles, I was fortunate enough to meet a group of lesbians that quickly became like family to me. It was the first time I had a community like that and I love the feeling of belongingness and authenticity that I feel when I’m around them. I don’t think there’s a better feeling than being around people that allow you to feel comfortable in your own skin and be 100% yourself.
I’m also an avid traveler, and I’ve noticed in all my travels that there aren’t many companies that cater to lesbian travelers. There is one relatively famous company, but they cater towards people who are really into cruises. I’m in the Navy, so the idea of being on a ship for a vacation, does not work for me. One day I was chatting with my friend and co-founder, Melina, about how amazing it would be to start a lesbian travel company, one that would be intimate and focused on women connecting–that would center on the sense of belongingness that we feel with our friends. And thus was the birth of Partheneia.
I also think there is a yearning in the lesbian community for something different. A lot of lesbian events center around partying. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, but sometimes people want something more low-key that will allow them to connect and bond with other women in a relaxed setting. If I had to describe the soul of this company it would be connection. I think that’s what truly sets Partheneia apart from other companies.
Q: Your first trip is coming up in August. You’re going to Maui. What are your expectations?
A: It’s going to be relaxed, fun, joyful, and intimate. Essentially, we’re going to see Maui in a way that they would never see on a commercial vacation. I grew up on Maui so I know it intimately, and I want to show my clients all the magic that Maui possesses. We’re going to see waterfalls, secluded beaches, eat delicious food, and spend time with each other in a very relaxed setting. I truly believe that this trip will be conducive to everyone really bonding with each other in a way that they normally wouldn’t in their every day lives. Hawaii has an incredibly transformative effect on people, and I really want to share that experience with our guests.
Q: What’s included in the overall price?
A: We recognize that when people go on vacation they want to be able to just show up and not worry about anything, so our trips are all-inclusive. The price covers accommodation, airfare from LAX, airport transfers, a full itinerary (that you can opt-out of on days you just want to relax), transportation to and from excursions, and breakfast every day. We leave lunch and dinner up to the clients because it gives people a lot of flexibility and cuts down on costs.
Q: You’re starting out with Hawaii, but what other locations have you set your sights on for future trips?
A: I would like to start doing trips to locations that I’m familiar with. I used to live in Italy and it is one of my favorite places in the world, so that will be a trip that will happen in the very near future. I’m thinking– driving the Amalfi Coast, sipping on Brunellos in Montalcino, and Neapolitan Pizza. We’re also planning on doing some local trips that may be more appealing to people who don’t want to do bigger trips… so San Francisco, Temecula, and New York City to name a few.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A: Yes. We fully plan on supporting other lesbian-owned businesses wherever and whenever possible. For example, our first event/soft launch is at a lesbian-owned Art Gallery, and we will feature a lesbian DJ.
- Spots for the trip to Maui are limited, so if you’re interested in experiencing what Partheneia has promised, book your tickets soon.
- The company’s first local event is coming up on April 29th. It’s taking place at Beyond the Lines Gallery in downtown Los Angeles, and it will be “an evening of eclectic art, chill musical vibes, fine wines, and hors d’oeuvres”.
- For more information, check out Parthenia.com and follow them on social media (Instagram, Facebook)