When asked what being a global gypsy means to her…
Actually, I’m a Global Gypsy Mentor…for other aspiring Global Gypsies most of the time!!! I realised my life purpose about 15 years ago when I decided to launch ROAM LIKE QUEENS Tours just for women. My aim was to offer women the time and space abroad to come home to themselves through the magic and wonder of travel. It seems to be working well!
I’ve called Essaouira, on the Atlantic coast of Morocco my home for the past 8 years. But a big move is imminent to the Mornington Peninsula in Australia to be closer to family and friends. I am blessed with a new home overlooking the treetops to the sea to recreate and decorate.
Tour operator/artist/designer/beauty hunter
My passions are many...Watching my son Chevy mature into a decent human being, sunlight drenched spaces, petals & perfume, leaves, wood, vines, growing food, wisdom getting, making meals, awesome architecture, all things mid century, textiles, travel, designing clothes, building jewellery, interior design and stringing together words that paint pictures.
Beauty & Style Tips for Surviving your Adventures
When flying long distances I slather pawpaw ointment on my lips, my eyelids and up my nose! a perfect remedy for that dried out feeling that long flights inflict. I drink electrolytes every morning whilst travelling (in flight and on the road) keeps me alert and hydrated.
Name 3 things/people that inspire you
My beautiful son Chevy (27) is a constant source of inspiration, watching his willingness to grow and learn is an honour.
My old Maltese mum Kitty (92) through her own amazing life story has taught me to be a brave and courageous woman, good on you mum.
My partner Simo, is love and devotion has liberated my heart and my life...I’m a better person for knowing him. He inspires me to bloom.
It’s changed of late. It used to be the dolphin but I have this new pull towards horses. Their structure & majesty enthral me...maybe it’s all those decorated Moroccan horse Fantasias influencing me?!
Sardinia... to meet the last woman alive making sea silk. Every morning she dives to collect the silk from a particular mollusc, dries it and spins it into a fine golden thread that she then weaves into rare fabrics. This absolutely fascinates me.
Advice you would give your teenage self
Love yourself more and stop being so self critical.
There are many...but the most prominent and plentiful are my rag rugs from Morocco...they are so quirkily unique and they make me smile. There are other treasures and mementos I’ve found here in Essaouira at the Sunday flea market: mid century furniture, pottery and glassware.
Strangest/craziest place you’ve ever spent the night
Lost on top of a mountain on the Philippine island of Leyte whilst doing volunteer work, cutting a 60km walking track through virgin jungle. Lost on top of a mountain on the Philippine island of Leyte whilst doing volunteer work, cutting a 60km walking track through virgin jungle. The local maps were bad and misleading. The packhorses delivering our food supplies were being robbed and we ran out of food and water. We were exhausted, hot, bitten, scratched, bruised and covered in leeches. We ended up lost, high on a ridge that went nowhere but down. We had to stop walking when night fell and had to be tied to a tree trunk so that I could sleep without falling down the mountain!!
Name one experience that pushed you beyond your limits:
In 1977 I almost died in Bali from a serious acute illness...I’m lucky to be alive. At the sweet age of 19 I was unrecognizable to my poor disbelieving mother when she found me in hospital. My resurrection to health was profound and the whole experience enriched the way I view and value life.
Next for Colleen
I’m taking a year off to renovate my new home and plant out a delicious verge and fruit garden...and just walk the peninsula beaches close to my home....I relish the thought of not having to be “tour guide Barbie” for anyone.
Complete the sentence: I travel to…
...Connect. Each time I travel I ask myself “what magical connection will come my way on this trip?”...I have so many beautiful stories about the people’s eyes connected with. (One day a book or a memoir maybe?) these people have afforded me their truth, deep friendships, celebrations, treasured memories, the sadness and shared support around loss and even the great honour of helping a new life into the world. I’m so blessed to be held by amazing friends and family when I’m stationary!!
Roam Like Queens Womens' Travel to Morocco