Summer is in full swing down here in Australia. Beach, travel, holidays and long, lazy, carefree days are all the rage down under. It is the perfect time to plan projects, create calendars, and think about textile travel adventures.\n\n\n\nI always research the needlecraft and textiles of a place before I travel there. It is a great way to make a connection with a foreign location. This year I am planning a personal textile tour. I want to make my whole trip just about meeting the local textile artists and visiting traditional studios and artisans. I haven\u2019t made a final decision on a destination yet, but I\u2019m leaning towards Indonesia or one of the Pacific Islands, being close to Australia and all that\u2026.\n\n\n\nIf textile travel is a new concept to you, or you don\u2019t know where to start, here\u2019s a few ideas on how to plan it:\n\n\n\nTraditional Lao-Tai embroidery, Thailand\n\n\n\nAn organised Textile Tour\n\n\n\nQuite a few travel companies offer specialised tours for textile lovers. Google is your friend here, as the best option for you will depend on where you are in relation to where you want to go. A tour departing from Sydney will not be much use if you are in the UK or the US. South America and Asia are two of the most textile-rich parts of the world with many different cultures and tribal traditions in relatively close proximity to each other but don\u2019t dismiss Europe or North America either.\n\n\n\n2World Textile Tours\u00a0operate from Australia to several destinationsPuchka Peru\u00a0does fabulous tours to PeruTextile Odyssey\u00a0covers a range of destinations in Asia\n\n\n\nPatteh, traditional Iranian embroidery\n\n\n\nAccompany a Textile Artist or Researcher on a Specialist Tour\n\n\n\nA much more personal and in-depth way of textile travel, where you live with the locals and immerse yourself in the local culture. Find someone you admire or want to learn from and travel with them. Again, do your own research about textile people in your area.\n\n\n\nKerryn James from\u00a0The Adventuress\u00a0regularly organises trips to Morocco to meet the artisans she works closely with.Barbara Mullan\u00a0takes small groups with her to Gujarat where she has close relationships with artisans.\n\n\n\nAboriginal textiles, Tarnanthi Textile Fair, Australia\n\n\n\nRetreats and Workshops\n\n\n\nWeaving, indigo dye, block printing, silk embroidery \u2013 the list of specialist textile techniques is endless. Look at blogs, magazines and websites about the skills you want to learn and find a retreat offering these classes. If other people can do it for yoga or cooking, we can do it for textiles.\n\n\n\nThreads of Life\u00a0in Bali has several batik, indigo and other live-in workshops planned for 2017.Bryan Whitehead\u00a0offers traditional Japanese Indigo workshops at his studio outside Tokyo.\n\n\n\nKikoy sellers on the beach at Malindi, Kenya\n\n\n\nCruises\n\n\n\nNeed I say more? Float on a boat with fellow needlework lovers, while making friends and learning a new skill.\n\n\n\nNeedlework Tours & Cruises\u00a0offer a wide range of crafts and destinations.Craft Cruises\u00a0has a huge cruise itinerary.\n\n\n\nKenyan Kikoys blowing in the wind\n\n\n\nCraft for a Cause\n\n\n\nThe world is full of people in need. If you feel like you want to make a difference with your craft, you won\u2019t have to look far. There are outreach groups, NGO\u2019s, aid organisations, refugee centres, and community projects in every town and city where you can use your skill to help someone. Start local. The joy will spread far and wide.\n\n\n\nIf circumstances permit, we can all broaden our horizons, learn something new, spread some joy, and use textile travel to build bridges and foster new relationships. The world of textiles is an amazing place and I hope you get to experience it.