South African Travels – an Introduction

by Lisa Call on July 26, 2009

in Inspiration

Zebras in Africa - photo by Darrell Call 2006

The History

I’ve taken several art workshops with Nancy Crow so I’ve known about her South African arts and crafts tours for years and have always wanted to go on one. I love the colors of the African landscape (at least in photos) and I love arts and crafts, so this is pretty much the dream tour.

In the fall of 2005 I was at a workshop with Nancy and I told her I wasn’t going to do anymore workshops with her and instead I was going to save up and attend her next African adventure. I had no idea where the money was going to come from but I knew I wanted to do this.

She only does the tours every 3-5 years so I figured I had some time to save up, so I did a bit of calculating and realized that putting back money each month for the trip wouldn’t get me there anytime soon. I still dreamed about going on this trip but saved no money for it.

When I took yet another artist workshop with Nancy in 2007 (never say never) I told her again that I was going to go on the next South African tour and to let me know as soon as she started taking sign ups as the trip sells out in a week.

At that time I had $0 saved up for the vacation with no idea where the money might come from but I didn’t let that bother me, instead I just thought about how awesome it would be to go on the trip.

Making it a Reality

So along comes June of 2008 and I got an email that the sign up page for the African tour had just gone live and did I still want to go? My answer was a resounding positive YES! And, not surprisingly, because I always seem to manifest what I want, I actually had the money to go.

That same week I sold my house and as long time readers might recall, I sold my house for more than I had asked for, a lot more. More than enough to cover a month long trip to Africa. So here I am – just 2 days away from being on a plane to Africa.

Speaking of planes, I hadn’t thought much about the expense of the plane ticket and it turns out I had enough frequent flyer miles to get there for free. Pretty convenient as it turns out tickets to Africa aren’t on the cheap side.

[The story of my amazing house selling experience here: Achieving Success – it’s another way cool story about things working out exactly like I wanted them to.]

My Plans

I’ve never been on a group tour before. When I went to New Zealand in 2000 it was with my family and we rented a car and did whatever we wanted on our own schedule, so this will be a new experience for me.

I had originally intended to do a bunch of planning and figure out what I could see and do in the areas where we were going and be “in the know”. I then did a huge home remodel and those plans went out the window.

I’m now on the “don’t worry about it” plan.

I only read the itinerary a few weeks ago and only because I was sitting with the nurse trying to figure out where I was going and what shots I would need. She thought that was pretty funny. I figure the right stuff will happen as it needs to.

I’m flying out a few days before the trip starts and a quilter I met online has offered for me to stay with her family, which is just about as awesome as it could be. The internet is a fabulous place.

I have bought a Dell Netbook so I will be able to send updates and stay in touch (don’t tell the folks at the day job this). I’m not sure how much internet access there will be so I’m not going to try to make plans as to how much blogging I’ll be doing. We’ll just have to wait and see.

My Art

I have no doubt this trip will have a wonderful influence on my artwork. I have a new moelskine sketch book and intend on using it and my camera often to record my adventures.

Most of my planning has been on the art project that will ensue after I return home.

I’ve outlined a new South African art project, which I unveiled in my studio newsletter earlier today. It’s a chance to prepurchase artwork from this project at a fairly significant discount by paying 1/2 up front.

An ACEO is $14 now and $14 in October(ish) when the work is complete. Several folks have already reserved their South African Impressions artwork.

You can read about the details here: South African Impressions

Mats for Sale - photo by Darrell Call 2006


The Photos

I’ve been including photos in my blog post, newsletter and art project page that my dad took in 2006 in Botswana and Zambia. This trip was his final big adventure as he was diagnosed with cancer a few months after his return and passed away the following year.

I love the connection to my dad that I feel in making this journey.


paula July 26, 2009 at 7:41 pm

wow lisa, its just so cool you are going to do something you dreamed of doing for awhile now. and very touching about your fathers visit there too. i’m sure you will get bucket loads of inspiration and well as a reprieve from reality as you know it. i look forward to hearing how you were touched by the land and people..knowing you love the desert, as do i, i know it will spectacular. have a safe wondrous journey!

Nathalie July 27, 2009 at 2:08 am

Sounds Great!!!!

I went to South Africa last summer just the four of us and we loved it!!! Extremely…. No crafts for me there, and I was surprised at how low level their art actually is….. Not to say that there aren’t any, just not open to the tourists as I thought they might be. They come from other African countries.

The fact you’re going on a special tour with someone who knows the trade will probalby lead you to your heart’s desires!!!!

My husband took loads of photos, but the images and impressions are in my head and one day will come out in some form or other (I’m quite slow at this process….)

Enjoy your trip, just live it!!!!!

Lisa Call July 27, 2009 at 5:46 am

Thank you Paula!

Nathalie – yes I think with guides they will know where to go – we have a whole bunch of places mapped out to visit. Your experience is interesting and makes me glad I’m going on a tour.

Inspiration comes when it’s time!

Mary-Frances Main July 27, 2009 at 7:40 am

Have a WONDERFUL time. A bunch of our “day job” clients are South African travel people (in one way or another) and I have to say before I saw pictures it was never on my radar. Now I can’t WAIT to go. I’ll be following your travels – I’m sure it will be a life-changing experience. (my understanding is that Africa always is!)

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