Travel means something different to everyone. For many in this day and age, a lot of people travel and have different expectations. Some travel to get away from everyday life – on their annual holidays they want to leave their old world far behind and have an adventure. Whether it is going to Japan or India to experience a different culture or to hire a car in the UK or France and drive around the countryside taking in the quaintness or visit the casinos of Los Vegas we are all looking forward something different, something new and exciting.
There’s nothing quite like the luxury of old world travel. Many travellers are seeking to travel the way it used to be, an experience from the time when travel was just a little bit more special. Guests felt that the journey itself was just as special as the destination, and the experience of being the guest was just that, an experience. When customer service reigned supreme and the little inspired touches of class turned a well earned holiday into a lasting memory.
As travel now is affordable to everyone, it has very little to do with cost and a lot to do with the seemingly unattainable. We are now all looking for experiences to fill our buckets. The Bespoke Experience which means ‘speak for something’, in other words something memorable. Moments of quiet in a wooded forest when everything is calm, drinking tea with the locals in a mud hut or taking a heritage walk around an ancient city first thing in the morning can be pure joy. These simple pleasures (to some) are equally as luxurious as diamond rings, brand names, luxury restaurants and first class seats. Luxury doesn’t necessarily equate to dollars spent, it is an experience, a feeling, or moments of happiness.
These experiences or hidden luxuries are the moments that we remember. As a regular traveler all throughout my adult life, my most memorable experiences are around people I have met and beautiful places but I don’t remember very many of the hotels I have stayed in. They are more personalized experiences such as include travelling with fewer passengers, indulging in a moment of serenity in a beautiful location or an early morning walk through the alley ways of a very old part of a city, cooking in a locals kitchen and eating with their family, or having tea with a monk who lives high in the forest. The simple things, that may not be a part of our everyday life and are luxuries we seek when travelling.
I have many memories but a few ‘experiences’ that shine brightly. Like one with the Masai warrior in Sergenti National Park who took a shine to me. He gave me a quick look around the village and promptly told me he was looking for another wife. He thought I would be a good candidate and showed me where I would be sleeping – in a tiny room attached to where the cows are kept. I told him that I was past child bearing age (I wasn’t), but he said I didn’t have to worry he would find someone else to have a child and I would look after it…so when I politely refused his very kind offer, he showed my back to the bus – where my friends were having such a giggle about it all. As I went to step on the bus, he put his hand firmly on my rear end and in perfect English said that as I had declined him, could I at least spend the night with him….I didn’t pay for this but it has been a memorable moment all my life.
We are about to extend our range of bespoke experiences and will be incorporating them into our journeys and as optional extras. Some examples are:
- Morning Heritage Walk of Pink City of Jaipur and experience the city waking up with a visit to the local Vishnu and Hanuman temple to observe the local people praying to their gods.
- Sunrise Nature Walk in Jodhpur in the nature park around Jodphur Fort with a naturalist talking about local flora and migatory birds
- Homestay at Bishnoi Village with includes lunch with local family of potters and weavers and protectors of animals and trees.
- Visit a Meditator Monk living in a hut above Dharamsala, India who has spent his life in meditation and hear about his life.
- Cooking class in Jodphur to learn about life, cooking and spices with seven sisters
- Participating in a Tea Ceremony, Kyoto Japan also called the Way of Tea, is a Japanese cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha (powdered green tea).
- Stay in a fully functional Temple Japan , sleep in the traditional way on tutami mats, bath in their in-house public bath, eat traditional temple food and attend the morning fire ceremony.