Small Group Tours
If you love a-bit-off-the-beaten-track experiences with more than a dash of style, then Spice Voyages might suit the luxury vagabond in you
A Spice Voyage takes you beyond the ordinary, where your interests and my experience converge to create truly unique journeys hallmarked by authenticity, adventure and accommodation which thoughtfully reflects the location - did I mention amazing locations ?
My tour in Morocco for 2020 has been postponed until October 2021 or may/ October 2022 due to COVID-19.
With only 12 travellers in our groups, places are limited. So if you'd like to receive the first news of this new tour, please be in touch by email or whats app +61466121906. Let's talk soon!
My Travel Background
My first travel experience, setting off for India for ten weeks, turned into a year. That experience set the benchmark for roads less travelled, the exhilaration of setting out without a guidebook and just seeing what happened. Well, I taught school in Kathmandu, sailed in the Madives, wandered over a large part of the Sub Continent and Sri Lanka, and eventually returned home - Perth, Western Australia - to finish my studies and get a proper job in a medical laboratory, always hoping that these skills woud take me back to the Himalaya as a volunteer worker.
But Europe 'happened' next, and my studies changed direction - to art history - taking me first to Florence, Italy, and then the London University where I completed my MA in Early Sienese Art History.
Returning to Australia after several years of working in London, Milana and Lisbon, I set up an art gallery and threw myself into the world of artists, creativity and commerce, always returning to India annually for further exploration, and eventually creating a textile design business called 'Woven Cargo' using vintage wooden printing block in Jaipur, India. Sharing my passion for India evolved into designing small group tours there and since then, I've designed and accompanied tours to Ethiopia and Morocco
Creative Living Retreats is an initiative in Bali, Indonesia for annual painting and yoga holidays which I run each winter at Villa Nilaya, a little patch of paradise-by-the-sea in beautiful East Bali which I built 10 years ago. This would have been our 9th consecutive year of retreats, but we'll make the most of having to take a break and return in 2021 with an exciting selection of painting, yoga and textile workshops.
There are blog stories from recent workshops and retreats on this site
I’m an art historian by profession and a passionate collector of textiles and tribal artefacts. Religion and culture fascinate me as much as food, and my insatiable appetite for the unusual demands frequent feeding, so I now live between Bali, Morocco, Perth and India - and beautiful Sri Lanka, from where I'm writing now.
What Can You Expect on a Spice Voyage?
We take our time. It's not usual to spend 3 nights in a place so that you can really explore and get the feel of it without becoming tired and scratchy.
Fabulous accommodation personally researched - sometimes that might mean 'the best there is ' in a remote location. But we'll always make up for a bit of roughing it with something pinch-me perfect later on.
Spice Voyages are designed around seasonal activities such as cultural festivals and arts events and I spend a lot of my time researching unique activities that will make your experience more personal.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet and interact with local people from many walks of life, particularly artists, crafts people and cooks. Whether it's cooking with locals, street food walks, making a leather-bound journal with an artisan in Fes, belly dancing in Marrakech or playing elephant polo in Jaipur, I love making special events happen for you.
A small group provides a great balance between camaraderie and maintaining your sense of individual discovery and it’s a fantastic way to travel if you’re a single traveller. I often organise personal experiences simply not possible when travelling in large groups, or too quickly.
The key is flexibility and that’s only achievable with a group of no more than 12 (and usually means a window seat for everyone on luxury coaches), but I'll design a tour for any size group if you have a special request.
You are really well supported throughout your tour. In addition to your tour leader - that's me, there's a national escort, plus local experts, and additional staff as required.
I love maps and history, and you'll receive lots of material as we travel ... this is just one of my favoutites ...
THE TRADE ROUTES OF HISTORY
The rich cultures of the Salt, Spice and Silk Route countries have drawn traders and travellers for two millennia along the coasts of North Africa and India. These routes were collected together by ancient Roman geographers into compendia, the most famous of which is the Periplus of the Erythrean
Sea - below. I only have to look at this map to feel twitchy