Here at Tripping HQ we love talking travel. From our perspective, you can never engage in too much cultural exchange and we are always up for meeting new friends on the road. What better way to do that then a (que the music) – ROADTRIP! That is why we are happy to see our friends at Roadjunky.com hosting an amazing retreat with one goal; get inspired, share experiences and reconnect with your soul in the Sahara Desert.
Camping, meditation singing, story telling are just a few things that this retreat has to offer. Any chance to explore a remote part of the world excites us and we hope that a few of our members take advantage of exploring the desert with cool, new travel companions.
We had an opportunity to sit down with the Road Junky himself, Tom Thumb. He gave us the inside scoop and perspective on this wild trek.pagebreak
What other destinations were you considering before deciding the Sahara Desert?
We knew we wanted to go to the desert and while there are some spectacular places in Egypt and Sinai, there’s nothing like the rolling sand dunes of the Sahara. It’s like an ocean frozen in time and as we’ll be holding the retreat under the full moon the dunes will be as spectacular at night as during the day. You sit up there watching the shadows lengthen and it’s like watching a cosmic portrait evolve with slow-motion brush strokes. Morocco is safe, easy to get from mainland Europe and we know it well so it was an easy choice.
The travel agenda looks pretty full, do you think there will be opportunities to meet and connect with the locals as you trek through the desert?
This retreat is more about finding a sense of community with other travelers and sharing experiences from the road – as well as finding ourselves again in the silence of the desert. When we travel we get so overloaded with sensory input that on the Road Junky Retreat we really want to provide a safe, calm atmosphere where people can be alone as much as they need to with the option to socialise when they want. But of course there’s plenty of time before and after the retreat to get to the heart of Morocco and get to know Moroccan culture. We’ll probably make some trips afterwards in smaller groups.
Where did you get the idea to organize this exciting retreat?
We made the first Road Junky Festival this year in Berlin (check out the films http://www.roadjunky.com/article/2392/film-festival-shortlist) and it was an unforgettable experience to have so many travelers together under one roof. Most of our readers hit the road alone and yet they were so happy to come together and trade stories in a sympathetic atmosphere. We just had to make more of that magic!
Are you planning to document the retreat? It seems like this would be a cool opportunity to create a film or record songs that are created amongst a small group of travelers on this retreat. Maybe a future feature of the Road Junky Film Festival?
There is a long term vision to make a traveler/artist oasis in Portugal where we will produce all kinds of cool media, bringing in travel talent from all round the world to work on cooperative productions to be released on the internet for free. We’re currently crowdsourcing the cash for that (www.roadjunkyoasis.com).We’re looking into producing a short documentary about the retreat, it depends if we can find the right film maker…
Why did you limit the group to 50 travelers?
We wanted to maintain a relaxed, intimate atmosphere where everyone could get to know the others over the 5 days in their own time. We’ll have discussion circles on the deeper meaning of travel, storytelling and music jams – the kind of thing that evolves when there’s a feeling of trust in the air. We might expand it next year but we don’t want it turning into a wild party – we’ll save that for the Festival in the summer!
The idea seems similar to the famous Burning Man Festival held annually in the United States. Was the retreat inspired by this event or other similar creative festivals?
We were most inspired by rainbow gatherings we’ve been to where we’ve seen what kind of magical atmosphere can be conjured when people come together in nature with a common purpose. But we’ve never seen anything like this set up for travelers and felt it was time we did something about that!
You mentioned that you will be staffing event with your local contacts you’ve met while traveling in Morocco? Is there some potential for local Trippers to get involved and help in organizing?
For this event we’re pretty much covered for help but for future parties we’re going to need input from travelers to find a castle in Transylvania for a 5 day gypsy swing party, perhaps a boat down the Danube and similar jaunts.
Here at Tripping we rarely promote events like this, but this event was so supremely awesome we felt we had to. For a very cheap cost, you get to be part of what is sure to be a magical experience. Check it out!
Price – costs 199 euros including everything but travelers have to get to Morocco by themselves. (http://roadjunkyretreat.com/book.php)
Location - it’s in the Moroccan Sahara Desert
When - - 18-22 of January 2011