Travel Tales from Inspired Tribe Founder, Sally
My journey began in my early 20’s when I left the UK and started backpacking around the world, and fell in love with the amazing talents of the tribal people I encountered along the way.
Firstly India, then further afield to places like Nepal, Peru, Guatemala, Vietnam, Mexico, Burma, Laos, Morocco, Turkey and Sri Lanka. To support my travels I started selling my collection of ‘finds’ at markets. When I received my visa allowing me to come to Australia, I decided to support myself selling my treasures at local markets until I got a ‘real’ job… 20 years later, I’m still looking!
I’ve met so many inspiring people along the way, which is reflected in the name I eventually chose for my business. At the place I source our stunning floor rugs from in Morocco, one of the guys looks exactly like Laurence of Arabia. The first time I saw him, he turned up in a beautiful blue Berber robe - headscarf and all! Then later on that trip, I was travelling with my 11 year old daughter and I got a serious proposition from a rich looking man to “take her off my hands” - the offer was a generous number of camels, but needless to say I turned it down!
My daughter came along on several trips when she was much younger, and as she was a little blondie she was quite a novelty in the remote areas of India. It’s common there for women to pinch children’s cheeks and of course, they would line up to do it to her.
One day, at about aged 3, she obviously decided she could take no more and when a band of ladies loomed down on her for more cheek pinching, she deftly grabbed the first hand she saw coming toward her and sank her teeth into the wrist!
There was an awkward moment of silence until all the ladies fell about laughing, thank goodness. Luckily children under the age of 5 are not considered to be fully on earth yet, and still under the eye of the gods so can do no wrong.
Probably the most difficult treasure hunting trip I have ever undertaken was the time I decided to hire a car and drive myself in Morocco, so I could get to an area I believed was good to find some antique Berber jewellery.
The Moroccans drive as the mainland Europeans on the right hand side of the road and all the signs are either in Arabic or French. Arabic I didn’t stand a chance with and my French was sketchy to say the least! I don’t think I had gone 500m before I was pulled over by the police and a hefty bribe was extracted from me.
I kept going, managed to find my way out of town and miraculously found the place I was looking for. I got some great, genuine old pieces of Morrocan jewellery and when I returned back to the city I decided to pull over, find a taxi and tell him where I was headed. I paid the driver the full fare (which was less than the fine) and followed behind him on the right side of the road all the way back to the car rental!
I still have my very first pair of silver earrings I bought in Nepal in 1988 when I was back packing around the world. I think they are still my favourite.