ABURY meets Travel Writer Fiona Caulfield
Posted on 23 November 2016
Fiona Caulfield is a writer, consultant and founder with a great passion for travel and unique experiences. She was born in Australia, lived in New York and moved to Bangalore in 2004, where she started the Love Travel brand. The Indian series is now regarded as the ‘flag bearer of India guides’ and these books are the only luxury guides in India. With the goal of enabling the readers to fall in love with each destination, Fiona Caulfield wrote some of the most authentic guide books about India, taking you away from the common tourist trail immersing right into the depth of culture. The handmade production and the focus on conscious travel underline her love not just for travel, but also for people and for the environment. We are thrilled to share some of her inspiring words with you!
Start by tagging yourself with three words.
Traveller. Curator. Storyteller.
We believe that “hands tell stories“. What do your hands tell about you?
I see stories, I see my personal story seeing the link to my parents in my hands, my broken finger reminds me of abseiling in a remote gorge in outback Australia and a trip that began a love affair of trekking and remote places and a scrappy piece of red string linking me back to mother India.
If you could choose, what would you like to be able to do with your hands?
I would draw and paint, indeed I would love to be able to illustrate my writing.
Looking back on everything you’ve done in your life - What is the one thing you are proudest of?
Getting this far, a life time of travel, and living in many places, often being a little too close for comfort to some very scary events. I also am proud of creating a wonderful wide circle of friends and being a cupid for India.
“One of a mind” underlines our strong belief in equality and the value of sharing. How does intercultural exchange benefit our global society in your eyes?
Like travelling, any kind of cultural exchange kills ignorance and awakens curiosity; if lucky, we get to open both our eyes and our hearts.
What differentiates India from other places?
India is like all other places, all together, all at the same time. Outside of India, it feels like someone has turned down the volume and flicked the switch to black and white.
You compare falling in love with a city with falling in love with a person - what are the parallels?
Your senses become more engaged and you simply feel more alive, that happens with both people and places. Also, I believe we fall in love with sensual details, aroma, sound, taste, touch not simply facts and data points. We fall in love with the way he holds our hand, kisses our neck, laughs in the morning, sings in the shower not with this job title, his height, his educational qualifications or I hope his bank balance. With a destination, we fall in love with the smell of jasmine at the flower market at dawn, with a late afternoon chai, seeing a man wearing a suit worship a cow on the way to his job in an investment bank, hearing the bells ringing in a temple - not with fact sheets and sightseeing.
We are delighted to add your India guide books “Love Travel Guides” to our selection. Do you have a personal favourite and why?
I don’t have a favourite, which is like asking to choose a favourite child. I try to love in the moment, am most in love whatever I am working on at the moment and wherever I am at the moment. However, I must admit to a slight bias towards the soulful city of Kolkata which is the place that lured me to India in 2004 and also is the focus of our most recently released book, Made in Kolkata.
© All photos via Fiona Caulfield