A Gift From Kamalan

Alice at one of the plantations that we got to visit 

Alice at one of the plantations that we got to visit 

It was only a few weeks ago that we were in India shooting for Volume Four. Even now after looking through all the photos and having started writing the feature (can't wait to print this one!) it still seems completely surreal that we got to experience India and see age old traditions flourish and revel in a completely new culture. We were invited by Kamalan Travel who curated this incredible tour for us, we don't want to give too much away before the next volume comes out *sob* but there's no doubt that for any of us it was a life changing experience. Alice, our Art Director, may now have to be coerced into using cutlery and wearing shoes again.

When preparing to travel things can get a little hectic, you pack too many shoes but not enough knickers and your case is already 5kg over the weight allowance and you pretty much always forget something important. We spent ten days in South India and stayed in over seven hotels, which ultimately means a lot of time travelling, and in my case not quite packing what would be necessary to do this in comfort - too many unsuitable shoes. After being met at the airport at six am, by Sonia from Kamalan, we were promptly lead to our car which took us to the first hotel. Instantly I realised for lack of better judgement I hadn't included anything in my luggage to make car journeys any comfier. It's as if Kamalan already knew me and my shortfalls in being prepared for long hours on the road and so at the hotel we were greeted with gift bags. Each handcrafted bag contained bespoke gifts for each of us, starting with socks and an eye mask. Dreamy. We also each received a lightweight shawl that was perfect for covering shoulders while visiting sacred temples and for folding into a pillow for lengthy stints in the car. Then came pencils (each in their own hand made bags) to take notes from our guides and a beautiful notebook too. Everything gifted to us was carefully considered and unbelievably thoughtful. It was clear right from the off that we were going to be well looked after and each stage of our tour was as well devised as the beautiful bag that we received at the start. 

We'll be sharing a few blog posts over the next few weeks, without giving too much away, before the release of Volume Four in the Spring. You can have a little peak for more information on Kamalan here and a special thank you to Dunja who shot these photos, you can see her work here