These days it’s much cooler to Glamp than it is to simply go camping.
When journalist, author, and designer Julia Chaplin coined the term Gypset (gypsy + jet set) in 2009, to describe an international group of artists, entrepreneurs, surfers, and bon vivants– who lead semi-nomadic, unconventional lives, she could hardly have imagined how the term would come to encompass not only that privileged few, but the way an entire generation travel in general. Taking a high-low approach to the open road, fusing the freewheeling of a Bohemian gypsy, with the sophistication and global references of the jet set. has become the norm.
It is also an alternative way of traveling based far more on creativity and resourcefulness, than it is on cash.
“Gypsetters are equally as comfortable in a luxury hotel or a teepee, bare feet or high heels. (or even better, barefoot in a luxury hotel, or high-heeled in a teepee.)” Chaplin has said. “The theory behind Gypset is that real luxury is actually soulfulness, creativity and experimentation.“
Glamping is certainly a spinoff of the Gypset movement, but as with most everything, it’s not a reinvention of the wheel.
Luxury camping has been going on as long as Nomads have been pitching their tents from the Sahara to the Silk Route; filled with tribal weavings, comfortable mattresses and pillows, these shelters were hardly spartan. A feast served on huge hammered silver platters in a Sheik’s tent in Morocco would not feel in any way impoverished or lacking in luxury.
And perhaps nothing comes close to the Campaign furniture designed during what is now known as the Empire period, for Napoleon’s forays through Europe. Now that was Glamping!
Going on Safari in (Southern and East), Africa can also be a form of Glamping (albeit a rather more dangerous one), but the latest craze for sleeping under the stars, enveloped in down and Frette linens on a real mattress, can be directly traced to the Gypset movement.
The way we travel has changed. We no longer want a generic, one-size-fits-all vacation. We want to explore on our terms and immerse ourselves in local culture, and we no longer just want to simply witness nature—we want to live in it. A fusion of glamour and camping, Glamping is a way to authentically experience some of the most awe-inspiring locales around the world.
And it’s much more than a nice tent. The glamping movement is growing, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Across the globe, you’ll find incredible destinations, each offering their own unique advantages. You can wake up in a yurt on a mountaintop in Bhutan or spend a few nights in a Redwoods canopy in a treehouse. Take in panoramic views in a teepee. And that’s just to name a few.
Angelisa Espinoza of Heritage Inspirations knows a trend when she sees one and jumped on the opportunity to Glamp out in Taos!
Having initiated Glamping tours of Chaco Canyon last year, Angelisa had an epiphany one day, watching the sun setting from her patio.
“I’d been thinking for a while about crafting a multi-day experience here in my own backyard of Taos. Inviting people to experience it, and travel deeper alongside me.”
Heritage Inspirations already runs tours to Taos Pueblo and Chaco Canyon National Park, two of three New Mexico UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Angelisa outlines these tours and others on her website: We wander into the homes and studios of the artisans themselves along the historic High Road to Taos and the galleries and studios within Historic Taos. We travel to the edge of the Colorado Plateau, to a land so vivid with color, the hike cracks open your heart and invites inner reflection. We explore the architecture and interiors of Santa Fe textiles with a local who invites you into her own home for biscochitos and cota tea. We even invite you to select your navigation vessel on the Rio Grande, taste wine at one of our favorite Dixon treasures, and hike in ancient basalt. New Mexico makes it easy to integrate these powerful stories and settings into our trips every day.
“Glamping is our new passion because it combines remote outdoor experiences, with luxurious camping facilities, so you do not have to forsake pleasure and comfort while experiencing our great, but hard to reach, outdoor locations.” Angelisa told me when we met recently.
“It’s a way to experience untamed and completely different parts of our region, without having to sacrifice creature comforts.”
And now, this invitation to spend time in the glorious Taos landscape; basking in the ethereal light, enjoying mouth-watering meals (cooked by Angelisa and Tommy, both serious foodies), while allowing the High Desert to work its magic.
As she envisioned this new tour (Journey Within) it organically grew to become a transformative, holistic multi-layered experience with gourmet meals, active adventures, traditional ceremonies involving sage (you’ll learn to make your own smudge sticks), along with the luxe accommodations, over a three-day period.
It’s actually the ideal tour for women travelling alone, who want to experience the raw and rugged natural environment without fear or trepidation, but it would also be a fantastic romantic getaway for an urban couple needing to slow down.
Beside experiencing our great outdoors in luxe accommodations with farm to table meals, Angelisa has a packed itinerary in store for you; A visit to Taos Pueblo, paddleboarding on Lake Abiquiu and hiking at Ghost Ranch.
You’ll practice restorative yoga under the big Western sky and discover the reasons and rituals behind smudging, while creating smudge sticks from the cedar, pinon and Artemisia growing around your camp site. The perfect take home souvenir!
Camped (or rather, Glamped) out in the sagebrush above the Rio Grande, just a short drive from the town of Taos, you will certainly feel Faraway from the Everyday.
The tour begins and ends at the El Monte Sagrado in Taos, where you might want to spend a night or two under a real roof with hot, running water, before heading back home to civilization.
For more about Angelisa Espinoza, Heritage Inspirations and all they offer, do visit the sites linked below. For more on the Gypset scene, Julia’s site has always been linked on my sidebar.
All images thanks to Heritage Inspirations, photographs by Paulina Gwaltney,
Featured image taken by Angelisa Espinoza