Just got back from a Philippines GO LOCAL Road Trip with Tracey. It was something I have always wanted to do – get into the culture and not just go to a resort and sit on the beach where you don’t get to experience the real culture.
We went from seeing the rice terraces in Banaue to the Ocean in Puerto Galera. All the places were comfortable and clean. I was not disappointed with anything that was offered – it was an adventure I will never forget.
Thanks Tracey for taking care of me, and making me feel comfortable and getting me out of my comfort zone 🙂
We took a vacation with Follow Your Heart to Italy and it was the most amazing trip we had ever taken!
It was full of surprises and adventure, along with fun and romance. The host and guide were so accommodating and so informative and full of fun.
When we take another special trip like that, Follow Your Heart would be our number one choice. Thank you for the wonderful experience!
We spent 14 days on a go LOCAL small group trip in Morocco with Follow Your Heart Travel Experiences. Travelled as a small family group – my husband and I plus our kids.
The entire experience was unforgettable and far beyond our expectations.
We do travel a lot, however do prefer travelling by ourselves as we travel on a budget and do enjoy getting to feel the place – eat like local, meet local people, see things that we want to see.
Morocco was always on our bucket list, however we had a lot of shortcomings about travelling to Morocco on our own – safety, sanitation, unknown culture etc.
So, we’ve decided to follow a friend’s recommendation to go with this company which specializes in small group tours. Am I glad we did so!!!! First that we went and secondly that we went with this tour company!
All-in-all, what has made this experience so special, was the personal touch for our entire trip. We felt like we were welcomed into an extended family and were not really on a ‘tour’ at all.
Many thanks to Tracey from Follow Your Heart and our local tour guide Youssef for making this trip an unforgettable experience for us!
Not just a trip of a lifetime but a trip that started something for me. After many years, it reminded me of how life affirming travel can be and re-ignited the desire to explore places and cultures – every day of the Morocco trip was magical in one form or another – and just writing this review beings back a flood of wonderful memories about the people we met and the places we saw!
Our guides were wonderful – Youssef with his cheeky commentary and wonderful music (Desert Rose and Morocco are now inextricably linked in my mind forever more!), Rashid with his gentle manner and vast knowledge, and Mohammed who smiled more than he spoke and Tracey who held it all together for us!!
I loved the way the landscape changed every so often and sometimes several times a day, I loved the valleys and the gorges and the olive groves and the colour wherever we went …I loved the souks and the daily surprises within them – I loved the stories behind every place we visited and most of all I loved Essaouira and the beat of the Gnawa music that is now part of my favourite playlists! And the million ways in which eggplant is cooked and served, especially on that little balcony in Chefchaouen.
It was so so special to travel with an old friend and make new ones along the way (which is why Sri Lanka is now on my travel list). And every destination that was part of the itinerary was an experience worth having !!
My heart and my home are full of Moroccan memories so I say to you – Carpe Diem and all ….add Morocco to your bucket list and book it soon✈️
The Grand Journey of Morocco – this is my second one with Tracey Heppner and one of the most fun things of these trips is the unexpected you keep encountering – as well as the amazing flexibility of the team so it gets nice and personal!
Highly highly recommend!
Tracey and her team took great care and attention to ensure that we were well looked after and made certain that we saw the best of Tuscany and Umbria and places in between.
I fell in love with Italy and I can’t wait to join Trace and her team on another adventure!!
My thoughts re our Turkey Travel Experience (TTK).
Let me say, at the onset, that I have not joined a tour group for the longest time I can remember. I’ve always opted to arrange my own travel itinerary and do the tour according to a free-wheeling adjustable schedule. But this has, invariably, become tedious to do. So, this time, I deferred to the expertise of my good friend, Tracey, and for good reason.
What do I love about the TTK? First, I loved this group I was a part of. Each one was accommodating and sensitive to the concerns of each other. There was no air of prima donna and each one could easily adjust to any given situation. The concern and maturity of the group was quite evident and while there may have been a few occasion of nonchalance, it simply added to the ease and comfort each one felt with each other. It was funny that at times my attention would be called to comport myself properly especially during meals. (Ha ha ha.) Actually, it did not deter me from doing what I ordinarily do. I noticed, however, that after a few days of the repeated menu of salad, meat balls, chicken or fish, I realized I was in the company of gourmets. Who can forget our oft repeated request to the waiter, “can we have salt, pepper and hot sauce, please?”, to add flavor to the food. And at times, the salt would be stuck in the container that we would vigorously try to wriggle it out. It was fun though.
Among the places we toured, I would say that one of those that impressed me was our visit to the village at Ormana, known for its button houses. What caught my attention was the renovation being done by the owner of the restaurant, Berberuglu, where we had lunch. He had bought an old house near his restaurant to convert it into a boutique hotel. He shared what he had to go through negotiating with about 30 heirs to complete the transaction. He also said he was committed to ensure that the renovation work would retain the design of their heritage. Upon entering the house, you can sense a peculiar but pleasant smell, and it was due to the cedar wood which was used. He continued with his promotion telling us that the wood was imported from the best source which was in Lebanon. Not only is it durable, it is also expensive. And from the Scriptures, we are told that King Solomon built the Temple using the best materials, and it was Cedar wood he chose importing it from Lebanon.
There was another village I took note of, Demircidere in Bergama. As we stepped into the village, we were greeted with freshly baked bread from a common oven of the village, and a bottle of locally made wine from grapes. We had lunch at the house of the village officer and we were treated to a vegetarian diet of eggplant, yoghurt, mushroom, vegetable salad and bread. The old houses in the village were a sight to behold giving a glimpse of how people lived during the olden times.
For sure, the other places we visited: the ancient ruins aplenty, the mosques, the other villages, novelty shops, salt lake and the other bodies of water, mountains upon mountains, valleys and kilometers of land all planted with fruit bearing trees, pines, olives, wheat, etc., were awesome, to say the least. It makes you ponder if this is the land of milk and honey. I surmised that this must be the reason why emperors and kings battled to possess this very rich and fertile land. What is impressive is how organized the government is in managing its resources, preserving its historical sites and culture, developing the countryside and infrastructure, which all collaborated to build a people who are industrious and proud of their nationality. That amazes me and makes me say, “I truly enjoyed TTK. It was well worth it”.
So we embarked on the Turkey trip, thanks to the recommendation made by my friend Suki, whose opinion means a lot to me.
So despite some initial hiccups, we (my mom, aunt and me) reached Turkey for yet another family holiday. This one was a bit different as it was an organized one; a first for all of us. Nonetheless, the trip did refute most clichés attached to ‘pre-organized tours’ as it was one of the most personal and well-planned ones..definitely showcasing exclusivity and taste. We visited places, totally off the beaten track; did things probably considered non-touristy and experienced so many things new and enriching..whether it was for our soul (at Rumi’s mausoleum), our brains (thanks to the endless history lessons), our palates (can’t forget the yummy bakalavas) or our homes (the carpets, pottery and my Turkish lambas (lamps) (-:!
We were also fortunate enough to be part of a group who we felt as comfortable with as we would with family, and thus could share the laughs, emotions and of course the hugs with so much ease and comfort (-:
So we came back with lovely memories, which we can’t stop reminiscing about with each other or sharing with others and maybe we will relive them by making another trip to one of the most beautiful and charming countries we have visited…
P.S please do not ask me for what happened in Turkish history in which year BC or AD as I have forgotten everything or give me grilled chicken for another few months (-;
I just returned from the June 2015 trip to Turkey, and I was truly astounded at our guide’s knowledge. He was indispensable on our visits to some amazing historical sites .
To truly enjoy this trip, I would suggest that you take an abiding interest in history, ancient or biblical. If your interest extends to the Romans or the Bronze Age that would be great too. Further, be prepared for extensive walking, through some well-kept and some ruinous amphitheaters, cities and temples. Of course it helps if you have an interest in shopping — the carpets, pottery and jewelry showrooms in Cappadocia are outstanding.
So, gather around your best buddies, your friends or your family — really, anyone that you would like to hang out with for twelve days and get ready for a good time.
Great experience which has become a part of my life. Agree totally with Suki and Shyamala’s Review. This TURKEY trip has enriched my life!
Bev and I spent a wonderful 2 weeks in Turkey on the Turkish Villages Tour organized and hosted by Tracey.
As experienced travellers, this was our first organized tour and we had been a bit nervous about it since all of our previous travel had been done independantly, However the positives were day after day after day, and the negatives were non-existant. Great itinerary; very knowledgable and experienced guide (Cem), and a fabulous host Tracey leading Team Tracey around a beautiful country like Turkey. Bev and I had been to Turkey on a number of previous occasions, yet the itinerary managed to deliver surprising and unique destinations on a daily basis.
We are already looking forward to our next tour with Tracey. She certainly puts her heart into the experience.
Where do I begin to describe our 12 day tour in Turkey with a wonderful group and a gem of a guide?
Bosporus sunsets, fairy chimneys, hot air balloons, icy underground lakes, enchanted pine forests, heady Raki, soulful music, cobblestone villages, Hittite history, pomegranate Turkish delight, Ataturk, whirling Dervishes…… simply a mouth-watering concentration of culture, history, food and scenic vistas. We covered over 4000 km by road and enjoyed the experience all the way.
Would I join Tracey and Follow Your Heart Travel Experiences again? In a heartbeat!
Just back from a first travel experience with Tracey some friends and a few strangers to Turkey.
I have had 12 days of sheer magic. I can’t think of a single thing that was not perfect. The itinerary, the company, the drives, the accommodation, food, music, dance, history and culture we were immersed in – and of course not to forget the exclusive shopping that was organized for us! Who else could have organized an exclusive fashion show for us???!
Am gonna keep my eyes peeled for the next travel experience that Tracey puts together!
Just got back from Turkey encompassing a 12 day Follow Your Heart Travel Experience.
It was a small group tour with just the 10 of us, which was perfect. The itinerary was very well organised, not only did we cover all the main sites like Istanbul, Ephesus, Troy, Cappadoccia, Konya, Pamukkale and Ankara but were also taken to quaint little villages that have withstood time since thousands of years. We even got to eat a home cooked meal with a real Turkish family! From a cruise of the Bhosphorus to the beauty of Aegean Sea to Mediterranean Sea and an amazing scenery of volcanic cave mountains from a hot air balloon, we covered it all very comfortably in a Mercedes van with Wi-fi ( perfect for keeping in touch with family and uploading our photos on Facebook!) Food was delicious and we got to try every type of Turkish cuisine, from yummy kebabs to desserts. All inclusive.
Our tour organiser, Tracey Heppner was very sensitive to all our needs and a great companion who even helped us with some photography tips! Being a professional photographer herself. Our Turkish tour guide, Cem, was knowledge personified. There was nothing he didn’t know, a total walking encyclopedia, who even helped us with shopping of Turkish carpets and jewellry.
Can’t speak highly enough of this trip where lasting friendships have been established as a lot of us had never met before. We are planning another one with Tracey and the same set of people for 2015!