Why this woman is travelling with a cardboard cut out of her husband

When Michelle Bourke’s husband died of cancer in 2016, she didn’t let their dream of travelling the world together die as well.

The Melbourne-based widow has travelled to the United States, Paris, London, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Singapore, all with a cardboard cutout of her late husband, Paul.

Ms Bourke told her husband, as his condition deteriorated, that she would take him in cardboard form to all the places they wanted to go – but he didn’t believe her.

“He didn’t believe her, but Michelle promised him she would,” a blog to her website, Travelling With Cardboard Paul, said.

Melbourne widow Michelle Bourke pictured with a cardboard cutout of husband Paul on a trip around the world.
Michelle Bourke took photos of herself and her late husband Paul in his cutout form as they travelled. Source: Facebook/Michelle Bourke

In May 2017, Ms Bourke booked a nine-week tour for August and October that would cover highlights across the United States and Europe.

Despite originally just booking tickets for a Paul McCartney concert in New York, Ms Bourke was seemingly bitten by the travel bug and hasn’t stopped since.

Her passion to show the cardboard cutout version of her husband to the world was so intense, she wrote about their journey in a book, #TravellingWithCardboardPaul.

In May 2018 the two enjoyed 10 days in Phuket in Thailand, relaxing by the pool and indulging in stunning sunsets.

Melbourne widow Michelle Bourke pictured with the cutout of husband Paul from a wedding photo.
The photo of Paul that featured on the cutout was taken on the couple's wedding day. Source: Facebook/Michelle Bourke

The evidence of a holiday well spent was written in Paul’s cardboard, which had become a little “worse from wear and tear”.

Ms Bourke will replace the cutout before setting off on the couple’s next adventure to Edinburgh, the British Isles and Paris in August.

Her book is available at Ms Bourke’s book shop or Amazon.

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