• Our Story

    It’s hard to say when our story began. The five of us have been friends for so long, it seems like we’ve always been a team. Watch the story of how our friendships were formed and how The Traveling Journal was born, or just keep reading below.

    Alison and Morgenne met back in Mrs. McAlpine’s second grade class. Morgenne and Tonya met in middle school. Dawn and Melissa also linked up in middle school and had an instant bond. In ninth grade Spanish class Dawn and Melissa got to know Morgenne. Meanwhile Alison and Tonya bonded down the hall in French class. Then, through shared activities like choir, musicals and cheerleading, the five of us became better friends.

    Ironically, our friendship grew after high school, despite the fact that we attended three different Iowa colleges. We often visited each other, thus the start of our “long distance friendship”. Eventually, Melissa and Tonya moved 1800 miles away to live on the west coast. Alison moved to St. Louis. Dawn headed for Chicago, and Morgenne to Arizona. By the time we reached our early 20s, we started taking yearly trips, usually to Las Vegas, to meet up and act like our goofy selves.

    Through all our years as friends and despite being separated by hundreds of miles, we’ve been there for life’s biggest events. We’ve supported each other through four weddings and the funeral of our dear friend, Jessica who was tragically killed in a car accident in 2001. We’ve celebrated buying our first homes, babies, new career choices and anything life swings our way. And when we couldn’t be there in person, we celebrated these events through the pages of our Traveling Journal.

    Our journal’s traveled enough miles to circle the Earth almost two times and amazingly it’s never gotten lost in the mail. We believe The Traveling Journal has played a key role in our friendship story, and that’s why we’re excited to help other friends get started with their journals.


    Still want to know more? Here’s a little information about each of the five founders of TheTravelingJournal.com.

    Hi, I’m Morgenne Basye.
    I was born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa. I moved to Arizona after college and absolutely love it here in the hot desert. It is a dry heat, right? In my spare time, I really enjoy running/working out, hiking, camping, playing tennis/racquetball, going to movies and watching sports. However, the most important thing in my life is spending time with my family and friends. In the past ten years I have learned a lot about what makes my life worth living. It is the people and connections that you make. Live. Laugh. Love.

    I’m Tonya Christopher
    , a Midwestern girl living out my dreams in a big city. I am still, after several years in California, adjusting to life in a city where people eat tofu and raw fish, while I still love my steak and potatoes. I enjoy running outside looking at the scenery, because it motivates me to train for marathons. I have always dreamed of finding a man to call my husband. And a couple of years ago I found mine. I can thank our place of employment for him because that is where it all began! Since then we adopted two precious “kids,” Oliver and Riley, our Boxers. My girlfriends say I tend to ramble on a lot so I better cut this short. Haha.

    Hello, I’m Dawn Eagle.
    I am fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom of two great little boys, with another baby on the way! My son Charlie has special needs, so that consumes a lot of my time most days. Between regular therapy for both my boys, and running a parent support group for Sensory Processing Disorder, my plate is full. I love our traveling journal because even though I don’t always have the time to talk with the girls on a daily basis, the journal always holds us together. I always feel connected through the beautiful bond we’ve created in our journal.

    I’m Melissa Lanzourakis
    and cheese is my favorite food, but I usually like it melted on something. From cheddar cheese on hot dogs to fresh feta on salads, I’m glad someone invented cheese. But I found out that my cholesterol is on the high side, so I have to cut back.Besides cheese, I have a husband, Al, who works as a news anchor in my hometown, Sioux City, Iowa. His three teenage kids live with us which keeps us very busy. As a former TV journalist, I now enjoy shooting and producing freelance video projects. Both the videos on this site were created by me. If only everyone could see what footage I didn’t use.

    I’m Alison Storm
    and after some shuffling around I now call Greenville, South Carolina home. I live 30 minutes from the mountains and three hours from the beach which is perpetually exciting to someone who grew up skiing down bluffs in the winter and detasseling corn in the summer. I love writing, running and trying new recipes that I discover in magazines. One of my hobbies is finding freebies and deals at the grocery store. I figure I’d rather spend less on boring stuff like bread and deodorant and more on my addictions: traveling and coffee. My faith in Jesus and my hunky husband are the two most important things in my life. But I wouldn’t be who I am without my amazing friends.