peggy and dove seville lighterIf you really want to know why you should #gowtihpeggy, ask yourself what you feel attracted to, because I, Peggy, have asked myself the same question. It could be a feeling. A photo. An intuition.

These are trips I put together based on people I meet and things I like to do. I design adventures, not unlike a designer creates clothing or an architect makes buildings, or a potter makes pots. I follow my intuition and explore with curiosity. I am an artisan and this is what I do — take people on trips.

I have a particular style. It’s personal and a bit like improvisational theatre. If you by a ticket, I’ll ask you to participate, get your hands in the food, smell real smells like saffron, cumin and taste fresh and exciting flavors. I know what I am doing and where I am going and we meet a lot of nice people along the way. Some I have known for a very long time and some are new. A friend of a friend has always paved the way, therefore, the loop is familial. It’s personal, perhaps unusual.

I lead my own trips to have my hand on the pulse of the people present. I care about being there and look after my guests well. I read various poems of transformation as we transition from experience to experience depending on the mood, the weather, the openness of the group and what each individual brings to the table in the culture we are in. We cook and interface with the locals. We break bread and share tea, coffee, and wine and see where things are grown. It’s an outrageously aesthetic three-dimensional journey that I am wakefully and mindfully orchestrating. Each program has its own story full of characters, regional cuisine, look and feel. I look for rhythm and strength in the elements offered, then I sink into it and make a relationship with it. Once I have, then the ice is broken and plans are made. It’s based on a feeling and my own sensibility of what has the potential to create a marvelous experience.

We stay mostly in incredible hotels, Riads (open courtyard two story guesthouses), sometimes off-the-beaten-path tents and pensiones. There is a reason. I like to go where life is genuine. I like to vary an experience. If it’s all the same note, we miss out on what is available to us as a melody has a range and a painting has depth and layers of color.

An aesthetic travel experience should move us sensually and emotionally through our eyes and ears. If we go to a museum or a concert, we participate with our whole being and not through the television or a recording. A trip requires one’s whole being as well. When we engage wholeheartedly, we connect with others and ourselves. Maybe even notice more of what we love and what we don’t. Or what we are attracted to and what we have aversion to. We can see and feel our limitations and honor whom we really are, whether we are stuck in our ways, or actually brave enough to have a look outside of ourselves and our comfort zone.

To learn something new or stretch ourselves, we have to get out of the box. We owe it to ourselves to explore this thing called life from a feeling point of view. If we stay in our heads or feel frightened to step out, we will never know the limitless boundaries of our potential or scratch the surface of our dreams.

Travel aligns the spirit. It requires us to interconnect not only with ourselves but also with whomever, wherever we are. We find that people are people not unlike ourselves. They can be unexpectedly kind, or irritating. It could be Toledo or NYC or it could be Old Delhi, Marrakech or Rome. You will not know yourself or even what you are made of, or what you really think unless you try to figure something out in a foreign train station in a different language. Speaking with a stranger you might have the most interesting conversation you have ever had, because someone from a different culture has asked you a question out of curiosity. For a moment, we see through the lens of someone else, which inevitably opens our own minds, seeing our similarities rather than our differences.

Don’t forget that these trips are food focused and we base the structure of the trip around the table. But because food is fundamental, we start from the ground up, touching the ground and understanding where food comes from and how it plays an important role of identity in the society. It’s anthropological as well as practical. Eyes watch what hands are doing and then we feed ourselves from that place, dropping into our stomachs to understand the link of taste to culture, to climate, to geography, and what makes people tick.

We experience first hand how a culture expresses itself traditionally through what grows around them, influencing their art and expression through their incredible imagination. This has not been lost. This is another highlight. Even though technology has penetrated the world, it has not destroyed the root of imagination. Progress and media has not stolen the souls of the deeply connected. They do exist, on a different dimension perhaps in another epoch, where they see life differently and find joy in the simple and genuine and family is their most important value.

So, if you want a real trip that will delight your palate as well as your spirit, #gowithpeggy.

Join us for a meaningful and memorable trip.

At least ask yourself “what do you want to do with your one wild and precious life?”
-Mary Oliver