finding directions

googlemap

I’m notoriously bad at directions. Yet, I managed to travel alone (and survive!) well before roaming and cell phones were a basic commodity. On a recent trip I saw one of those old bastions of a long forgotten era-the internet cafe. Who still uses those I thought? I remember the days of paying for an hour at a time to furiously send off emails home, and make arrangements for the coming week. I even have my same hotmail account that I keep for the sake of nostalgia.

As I sat on the train a few days later I wondered though, has the constant connectivity taken something away? Isn’t half the pleasure in traveling getting lost? Would I have half of the stories I do if not for the kindnesses shown to a lost traveler? And then I missed my stop, and realized all was still right in my world.  

What countries do you find the people are particularly helpful?

welcome to my blog

Hi, I’m Ashley Mack, a passionate traveler from Sacramento, California. I harness my love of planning and research to create one-of-a-kind, food-centric, travel experiences for intimate groups of up to 12 guests. Classes and workshops are lead by local experts and of course, I’ll be there to lead the way along with another member of my team.

 Each tour is thoughtfully prepared, with special attention to supporting small businesses and sustainable agriculture. We leave enough breathing room to create a relaxed atmosphere, striking the perfect balance between ‘things to do’ and the chance to break away and explore on your own. We believe that food is meant to be shared, so creating a collective experience centered around food makes perfect sense. I hope you can join us.

 

Prague, view from clock tower 

Prague, view from clock tower 

A little about me…

 I caught ‘the bug,’ as they say, after my first solo trip backpacking around the UK. I knew then and there that travel had to be a priority in my life. The trip spanned several months, and I worked in hostels to pay my way. From that point on, no matter where I go, my goal is to pull away from the typical ‘tourist’ areas to see and experience life as a local.

 My tours are designed with the very same spirit in mind.

 Along with a degree in business, I have a long history in the customer service and hospitality industries. I love bringing people together and feel my greatest strength lies in adapting to new situations and environments.

your field/trip awaits...

rocamadour

This un-spoilt and exceptional corner of rural France offers much to do and see. The rolling countryside is perfect for walking and riding, there is easy canoeing on the rivers, and hidden under the earth are some of the largest and most dramatic caves in Europe. 

The land is scattered with occasional hilltop 'bastide' towns dating from the 12th century, and fairy tale castles from the same era. 

The lovely village of Rocamadour is on the eastern edge of the area, across the border from the Dordogne into the Lot department. Each year the small village of Rocamadour (population around 600), in the Parc Naturel Régional des Causses du Quercy, receives more than a million visitors. Why so popular? Firstly because Rocamadour is an important pilgrimage destination, and has been for 1000 years. Built on the site of a shrine to a Madonna, the shrine became famous for its healing powers, and soon became a stop on the pilgrimage path to Santiago de Campostela. The second reason is because of the beautiful and dramatic setting of the village, climbing up a cliff side. Rocamadour is one of the Grand Sites of France.

We will spend a day here during the annual hot air balloon festival, a beautiful and serene experience.