Continuing with our “How did she do it?” series, we talked to Michelle about how her love of travel and passion for art have grown together. She always followed her inner compass and believed in her self and her capabilities to get where she is today. Michelle now encourages others to do the same.
Travel is my muse . . . as long as I can remember, I dreamt of far off lands. As a child I was convinced that I was from India, it always held a deep connection and is still one of my favourite places on the planet. I grew up being called a gypsy . . .by my family, having no similarities, desires, or interests. Since I come to discover this is not uncommon for us bitten by wanderlust.
As an Artist, throughout my life, my mediums I have used have changed but the inspirations that I gathered have always come from my travels, the stories, experiences, the textures, the sites and scents, all woven into each layer of my being. . . textiles, food, design and of course the art that I make. My art reflects my life and life reflects my art.
Being self employed, as my children grew, my travels grew too, both in frequency and in duration. Always happiest on route to an airport and saddened by my impending arrival home, other than missing my family, the truth was, I was the most in alignment with my truest self when away and living out of a bag, making decisions on the fly and making connections as I wandered. Capturing and documenting the details, often the daily mundane, seen with new eyes as I traversed new cultures and landscapes.
In some way, the traditional North American lifestyle was never my dream, it was just what I was born into and as with most women, the older I got, the more my decisions and actions reflected who I really was, instead of who I grew up thinking I was supposed to be. My life and work started to merge and people started to ask me to scout locations, destinations and connect them with people and places I knew from my travels.
During a scouting trip, I was in the Sahara, in Southern Morocco where I met a man, . . . and since relocating to Morocco and creating a new life in the desert, renovating a Kasbah, my art practice has become more transient, without a full time studio, my practice needed to shift, be more portable and simplified as has my life living in a Berbere Village, still always a camera + journal and few supplies, I continue to capture and document what I witness, and where I am called . . . the tales + treks of a life of misadventures in creating a life in a Sandcastle in the desert.
Little did I know that this would be the bases of what is now become part of my work . . . hosting portable/retreats, workshops + gatherings here in Morocco, as part of my latest business.
CamelsandCouscous.com, is a Hand Curated Travel Company, where we build bespoke custom Itineraries for solo travellers or groups, specializing in Retreats + Gatherings, for the curious and creative traveller, here in Morocco and beyond.
The path in which we are called is often a windy road to travel, it is my belief that both Art + Travel, transform . . . whether around the block or around the world!
My advice is follow your inner compass, if you feel it make it happen . . . there is only ever now, and if not now when? There are reasons for what we want and desire, even if it doesn't make sense at the time. Art + Travel Transform, this I know for sure!!
Paint + A Passport,
Michelle is constantly creating incredible art and exploring beautiful Morocco and you can follow her personal journey on Instagram @michellefletcherart. To learn more about her business, visit www.camelsandcouscous.com or follow on Instagram @camelsncouscous.
Want to share your solo travel stories with Wanderher? Submit it to email@example.com.