How to Haggle and Bargain in Morocco

For many travellers bargaining in Morocco is a total hassle. You see something that you want to buy, you ask how much it is, and you’re asked: how much you give? You have no idea how much the pot/shirt/spices are actually worth and now instead of trying to work out if you can afford it you’re […]

Buying Argane Oil in Morocco – Is it Real?

pure argane oil in Morocco

Of all the things to buy when travelling in Morocco, argane oil would seem to be one of the best value. You might have seen tiny bottles of argane oil for sale in cosmetics store in Europe for 30 or 40 euros as it becomes yet another hyped item to restore youth, vitality, eliminate wrinkles […]

Who Comes on the Retreats?

music on the retreat

When I made the first Sahara Retreat I thought it would be a bunch of hardcore travellers sitting around the fire trading outlandish stories from the road. When the first group turned up I discovered that while some people had been around the world and had some tales up their sleeves, most people were in […]

How to Travel Safely in Morocco

Moroccan in Marrakech

Moroccans are famous for being argumentative, persistent and solicitous and many first-time travellers in Morocco can feel a bit overwhelmed when they arrive to Marrakech and someone tries to charge them 10 euros just for showing them the way to the hotel! It’s important to understand, however, that the young guy who hassle you in […]

Why Being Loved is More Important Than Being Liked

Anyone interested in understanding the subtleties of human identity and love could do worse than read the novels of Jonathan Franzen. He also gave  a commencement address at his old college a couple of years ago that struck a powerful chord in our changing times. He begins by observing how the word ‘sexy’ is ubiquitiously linked to […]

The Next Time Someone Asks “How Are You?” Reply With a Dance!

dance how are you

When someone asks ‘How are you?’ you know they’re not expecting an honest answer. Which is why when you learn a foreign language it’s the first phrase you learn along with ‘Fine, thanks!’ It would be strange, after all, to meet an acquaintance in the street who began to tell you in detail about a […]

Yoga in the West

yoga retreats in the modern world

These days yoga has been pretty much stripped of most of its Eastern mystique. The average dating profile is likely to list yoga among their interests along with R&B, Louis Vitton and Rihanna. Yoga is another feel-good therapy along with Pilates and aerobics. When Westerners first came to India in sizeable numbers in the 30’s […]

Where I Got the Idea to Make the Sahara Retreat

traveller caravan

In 2010 I was feeling pretty excited because looming on the horizon was the Road Junky Film Festival – a hybrid event where we were going to show short films about travel and also have travellers come in to give motivating speeches and tell stories about their journeys around the world. We worked for 5 […]

Why a Dance Retreat?

Moonlight dance retreat

If you’re wondering why the next retreat on the beach in Cyprus will have a focus on dance rather than yoga, the answer is simple. I’ve always loved dancing. I spent 5 winters in Goa back in the 90’s and once a week or so I would go down to the beach to dance all […]

The Effect of Tourism in the Sahara

sahara house in morocco

Everyone likes to think they’re a traveller rather than a tourist. Indeed, Road Junky was set up on that premise in the spirit of  travel writer, Paul Theroux’s quote: ‘Travellers don’t know where they’re going. Tourists don’t know where they’ve been.’ But without speaking Arabic or Berber what kind of impression can we have of […]

The Sahara Retreat in French, German, Spanish and Italian

morocco yoga retreat

It’s one thing to offer something of value, it’s another thing for people to find it. A friend on the last retreat pointed out to me that people tend to search in Google in their own language first, even if they will also search in English. So it was a total no-brainer that the retreat […]

How Rainbow Gatherings Trained Me to Run Retreats

rainbow gathering retreats

For the last 6 years or so I’ve been going to Rainbow Gatherings – autonomous, free-spirited gatherings in nature for a month at a time without electric, alcohol, commerce or anyone in charge. The ‘Rainbow Family’ welcomed me whole-heartedly and whether there were 50 people gathered or 2000, it was always worthwhile tracking down the gatherings […]

Where to Make a Summer Retreat on the Beach?

beach camp

I’ve been looking for a good location for summer meditation retreats or dance retreats for some time now but the trouble is there are just too many people in the world. Just about every little secluded beach has been discovered and developed, or else it’s national park land and we can’t get permission to camp […]

Yoga Retreats in Morocco

morocco yoga retreat

Are there any good yoga retreats in Morocco? Well, we usually run a yoga retreat as well as a meditation retreat in the Sahara each winter but otherwise the only options open are mostly the kind of luxury spa holidays that will use up most of your month’s salary. Yoga itself is pretty much unknown […]

Retreat Under the Stars

star-gazing retreat

I’ve been consulting lunar calendars to decide upon a date for next year’s retreat; normally I choose the week of the full moon because the dunes look amazing in the moonlight and…there’s that much less chance of someone getting lost at night and wandering the desert for hours looking for the camp. But the only […]