There's something about Mary...

The best-selling author, expert botanist and inveterate traveller has been an inspiration to thousands of women.

Mary Moody spent several years as a reporter and feature writer on various Sydney publications, including Australian Women's Weekly. She later moved to the Blue Mountains with her young family and became a passionate organic gardener, using her journalistic skills to write and edit more than 50 gardening books and magazines.

Of the many books written, her recent release is The Accidental Tour Guide: Adventures in Life and Death, a powerful memoir of love, loss and discovery. She's also made a film on a local rural French restaurant, Lunch with Madame Murat, for the SBS Network. For Aussies based in New South Wales, you’ll probably recognise her from ABC's top rating show Gardening Australia.

On top of her many skills, her love for the outdoors has seen her designing and leading small groups to fascinating places for 26 years.

“Travelling opens my eyes and my heart to other cultures. It gives me an opportunity to connect with the natural world at a deeper level, and there is nothing like walking from town to town or village to village to really gain an insight into how other people live and work.”

Mary believes exploring a destination on foot is the best way to truly experience a place and gain local insights through personal interactions with local communities. It's what travellers can anticipate on her exciting suite of tours to Morocco, India, Mongolia and France with World Expeditions in 2020.

A big part of her learning experiences from her travels was her decision to take a 6-month sabbatical in a medieval town in southwest France, purchasing a nearby village house which she still visits every year. As an Australian woman living part time in France, she wrote four memoirs, a cookbook and several new gardening books.

“Some of my trips have a botanical focus and some are themed around the food and wine of the regions where we travel,” she says.

“All the trips include some walking as I believe this is the best way to truly experience a place and engage with the people.”

When Mary lost her husband in 2014, part of her journey of recovery was to reignite her passion for living – that is, to boldly go where she has never been before and experience the joys of new adventures – in her travels and in her everyday life.

In 2020, she will be heading to four countries leading an impressive Ladakh trek, a botanical journey through Central Mongolia, introducing inquisitive travellers to Morocco's culture and Atlas mountain scenery, and taking food lovers on a culinary and walking Camino experience in the beautiful southern corner of France.

“My aim is always to create a sense of ‘shared adventure’ and to enrich each tour with as many personal interactions with the local communities as possible.”

Her journey forward saw her selling the farm where she had lived for 15 years and moving back to the mountains where she is developing a large garden in an extended family home with her son Ethan, his partner Lynne and their three children.

Blessed with eleven grandchildren, her passion for her family, food, gardening and travel are what continue to brim her with life and love.

Mary Moody, France

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