Art of Travel

“Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in its frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” –Freya Stark

ABOUT

ART OF TRAVEL

Cultivating a relationship with a trusted, experienced travel adviser can be the first step that makes the difference between a dream vacation that meets all your expectations and one that goes off the rails. ‘Without a travel agent, you are on your own’. Now with the ubiquity of the Web, there is also a new DIY breed of traveller – but the Web is not a connoisseur, and cannot provide the personal introductions to people and places that might lead you beneath the tourist veil. That is why Art of Living is here for you.

A happy traveller will always be in a state of “adequate preparedness”; will go with an open mind and welcome the serendipitous; will relish difference and diversity rather than seeking the safe and familiar; will be excited to have revealed to themselves aspects of themselves that may have remained hidden at home.

The allure of travel is that it can expand our horizons, enhance our sense of wonder about older civilizations, engender our empathy with cultures and faiths so different from our own, inspire awe in the face of stunning landscapes or extraordinary architectural feats, remove us from the mundaneness of our familiar environments, create a sense of excitement and adventure exploring the unknown, enrich our senses and sensibilities, indeed even challenge the prisms of our thinking and knowledge.

It can also concertina our frailties as we go beyond our comfort zone, cause frustrations with language barriers or in the ever more crowded airports and stations of the world, or uncertainty navigating unknown roads and untried hotels.

On our guided/escorted small group journeys we travel in great style and luxurious comfort, but what makes our journeys so memorable are special touches like the most fascinating, expert guides, the more scenic and slow road, that really special hotel and its best rooms, exceptional cuisine and culinary tastes, encounters with locals and artisans in their homes and studios, and a depth of conversation and immersion that is conducive to new and lasting friendships.

LATEST ART OF TRAVEL TOURS AND OTHER INSPIRATIONS

  • small group tour
    13 Days
    10 - 23 JANUARY 2019
    Royal Rajasthan
    Royal Tents and Exotic Estates
    Rajasthan is where to fall in love with India. 
Welcome to mystery, to enchantment, to unsurpassable beauty. 
To ravishing colour and light. To timelessness. 
To a kaleidoscope of cultures, religio...
    READ ON
  • small group tour
    13 Days
    8 - 20 June 2018
    Sri Lanka:
    The Gems
    Sri Lanka, often described as a teardrop hanging off India’s southern coast and formerly colonised by the Portuguese, Dutch, and British, retains the staples of a colonial-era paradise—jungles, tea...
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  • small group tour
    15 Days
    12 – 26 August 2018 / 11-25 August 2019
    Pearls South India
    seductive south
    South India is a “soft-landing’ for first time visitors to the subcontinent. For travellers who have visited the more hectic north, you will be seduced by her languorous sensuousness. The landscape...
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  • private travel itinerary
    12 Days
    Mid May- Mid September
    Trekking in Paradise
    the Mystical Mountains of Kashmir
    This tour is an exuberant and rewarding journey that will nourish heart, mind, body, soul and all the senses.... It has been designed for confident walkers and adventurers wishing to escape all ves...
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  • small group tour
    9 Days
    21-29 January 2019
    Jaipur Literary Salon
    Jaipur Literature Festival
    As the largest FREE literary festival on earth, the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, directed by William Dalrymple brings together some of the greatest thinkers and writers from across South Asia an...
    READ ON
  • small group tour
    10 Days
    29 – 7 February January 2019
    Gujarat Tribals + Textiles
    off the beaten path’
    This is an exotic odyssey through Gujarat in Western India for adventurers, collectors and photographers. Art of Living has designed this tour for guests who will enjoy an imaginative itinerary, wi...
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  • small group tour
    16 DAYS
    31 May – 15 June 2019
    Morocco the Magnificent
    mountains, medinas, marrakesh and more
    Typical of the style of Art of Living Tours, this captivating itinerary offers sublime and intimate riad and heritage accommodation, deep interaction with the local culture, authentic cuisine and a...
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  • small group tour
    14 DAYS
    Bhutan
    Land of the Thunder Dragon
    Bhutan is a country like nowhere else and a still relatively unexplored destination. For centuries, Bhutan has remained shrouded in a veil of mist and very little about it was known to the outside ...
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  • small group tour
    3 Days/Nights
    18-21 February 2019
    Sacred Music Festival
    Music, Song and Dance
    The three days at Nagaur is private and restricted to two hundred privileged guests, housed in gorgeous, well-appointed royal tents, the same ones we use on our Royal Rajasthan Tour. The fifteen te...
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  • 7 DAYS
    Kashmir
    The Enchanting Kingdom
    “If there is a paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this”.  Persian poet Jami Kashmir has been romanticised by everyone from the 16th-century Mogul emperor Jahangir (who, when ...
    READ ON
  • small group tour
    18 DAYS
    October
    SACRED PASSAGE TO INDIA
    an Odyssey - off the beaten path and no ordinary journey
    This is the ultimate Indophile’s journey of the subcontinent, designed for traveller’s who wish to explore a deeper experience and understanding of the sub-continent’s extraordinary cultur...
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  • small group tour
    11 or 14 Days
    Exotic Cultural and Culinary Tour India
    Exclusive Bespoke Tour
    This exceptional and exclusive 11 or 14-day tour has been designed and conceived by Marieke Brugman, a renowned chef and teacher in her earlier career as co-proprietor of the Howqua Dale G...
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  • small group tour
    18 DAYS
    25 April - 12 May 2019
    Viva La Mexico
    New Tour!
    This exciting new small group, guided Tour explores the confluence between pre-Columbian, colonial and modern day Mexico – such a fascinating and multi-layered country. In mythology Mexico was vari...
    READ ON

TESTIMONIALS

Hi Dear Marieke, how often we have thought of you and our wonderful Rajasthan trip! Thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful knowledge of India, shared with such a heartfelt passion that it was impossible not to come away sharing a little of that passion!  That to me is an indication of a very well thought out and loved tour, so thank you for taking us on the journey with you!
How wonderful to meet Durga also, a beautiful character and a great addition to the experience. Thank you again Marieke,

Hi Marieke,
Oh yes, I am definitely back with a bang and trying desperately to keep some sort of ‘Karma’ about me… 
Where to begin….from our magical tented camp in Jodhpur that still sends shivers up my spine….to our picnic in the Aravlli hills with VB and his very elegant mum.
Our wonderful Indian food and desert fires at night. One of my most treasured feelings of India will always be the memory of Durga each morning wearing his beautiful turban and genuine warm smile….. such a lovely, lovely man is our Durga and what a privilege to spend time with him in his homeland.
You really do complement each other beautifully.  It certainly was a special time and only hope it won’t be our last.
Please keep me in the loop for new tours as we would all love to do another group holiday together.
A big hug and kiss from Jono and I xxxxoooo

Dear Marieke ,
Thank you for the email and welcome home !
We really loved the Indian adventure Marieke and Durga style and felt we did experience so much more with the tented camps that were a favourite and all  the superbly chosen hotels  sharing some of the essence of India.. Every detail was thought about and the cuisine delicious. I have now stocked the pantry with The Very Best Basmati and have already attempted to make Indian dishes for the family, although not quite the Thali yet . I did love my yoga class with you on the rooftop at Deogarth and particularly loved the small town and our lovely Kashmiri boys at the turban shop. We loved our proud aristocratic Rajput Durga with a wonderful art of storytelling and a great sense of humour. You will be pleased to know that Brad and I are back to yoga once a week and Yin is our new experience .Brad is glued to Indian Summer and I am loving Nine Lives and am able to understand so much more regarding Hindu Jain and Muslim religion with a lot to learn. Thank you for such a wonderful experience in India and we will be back .We already miss the busy street life and the smiling beautiful faces .
Lots Love Lisa and Brad xxx

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“Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in its frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” –Freya Stark

The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both. James A Michener

People say that what we are all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think this is what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive. Joseph Campbell

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart. ~Helen Keller

As you journey through life, choose your destinations well, but do not hurry there. Avoid the shortcuts… wander the back roads… enjoy the scenery. And remember that the true worth of your travels lies not in the destination but in who you come to be along the way. Anon.

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page. Saint Augustine