Our Blog

Taking Breaks in the Field

In our busy lives, it can be challenging to find time to chill out and then achieve quality rest when we do. Yet, rest is essential for building wellbeing; for one, it helps our bodies to replenish. In this blog, I share a simple practice I observed while in the field...

Building Bridges of Connection With Laughter

Connection is central to our human experience and underpins our identity. Fostering connection creates a sense of belonging, which is essential to our wellbeing, as thought leaders and researchers, such as Brené Brown, tell us. Yet, as they also point out, we are...

How to Start a Nature Journal

Practising Mindfulness in Nature with the Illustrated Nature Journal. ‘The land is the real teacher. All we need as students is mindfulness.’ Robin Wall Kimmerer. Are you looking for a fun and creative practice to combine your love of nature with mindfulness? Or...

New Cusco Retreat Dates

It is with great delight and excitement that we announce new dates for Cusco retreat. We will be travelling to the Inka heartland in October. This retreat has been several years in the making and has been made possible by the wonderful support of my friends in Cusco...

Happy International Women’s Day

Today, 8th March 2019 is International Women’s Day. This day is observed in many cultures and celebrates the achievements of women all around the world. Over the past hundred years, this day has also been a mechanism for raising awareness of social, political and...

Becoming a Child of the Storm

Have you ever marveled at the sky during a thunderstorm and wondered what it would be like to be touched by lightning? I can tell you from experience that it is a truly transformative experience. In this blog, I share with you my story. After my encounter with...

Creating Joy with Pachamama

In more recent times, studies have shown that spending time outdoors is very beneficial for your health and wellbeing: for example, it can help fight short-term memory loss, reduce anxiety and stress, and improve your ability to focus.I have myself experienced some of...

Learning to Love Nature the Andean Way

We must discover our kin, the other animals and plantswith whom we share this planet.We are related to them with our DNA and evolution.To know our kin is to come to love and cherish them.~E.O. Wilson In many traditional societies throughout time, nature is respected...

The Coral Tree: A South American Queen in Australia

On the walk last week I discovered a Cockspur coral tree (Erythrina crista-galli) on the edge of the creek close to my home. I live near subtropical rainforest on the East Coast Australia, and I can easily spot the coral tree in amongst the gumtrees and banksias when...

Llamas and the Play Dough Challenge

A few years ago, while working on an excavation just outside of Cusco city with a team consisting of archaeologists and representatives of a local Quechua speaking community, I gained several key insights about the nature of creativity. These experiences inspired...

Book Review: Grandmother’s Song

Recently, I was trawling through the book shelves of my local library when I discovered 'Grandmother's Song' by Barbara Soros, and illustrated by Jackie Morris. This picture book is set in a village located in the heart of Mexico and focuses on the beautiful and...

Drawing Artefacts as Creative Play

Painting watercolour illustrations of ancient Andean objects is one of my favourite past times. I love to paint and draw because I find it very relaxing but recently, I discovered that that drawing artefacts also supports my own problem-solving process. As I create...

Ana Solana’s Photographic Diary of the Inkas

During the month of October, we are celebrating Ana Solana and Team Ancient Explorer’s adventures at Inka places in Peru by sharing photographs from her field diary via our social media pages. As you, our fellow ancient explorers already know,...

Planning A Retreat For Ancient Explorers

At the moment, I am coordinating our very first retreat in Cusco, Peru, which will take place next year, and I confess that I am very excited about it! For a number of years, friends asked me about travelling to Peru and when I was going to organise a tour. At first,...

Planning A Creative Adventure

At the end of a recent school holiday workshop about Mayan pyramids, a parent approached me and after thanking me, she commented that she wasn’t quite sure what the workshop would be like when she booked her children in. She also wasn’t quite...

Meet Qowa, The New Ancient Explorer

¡Hola amigos! This week my new amiga, Qowa, joined Team Ancient Explorer and I wanted to introduce you to her. Can you guess what kind of cat Qowa is? At first, you might think that Qowa is a leopard or a tiger cub because her tawny fur has...

June Celebrations in Cusco

Happy solstice explorers! I am so excited because later today I am going to the festival called Inti Raymi at Saqsaywaman, Inka ruins right above the city. June is a wonderful month in my hometown because there are lots of big fiestas (a...

How to Get Up When You’re Down

Resilience is a hot topic at the moment, especially in light of the growing number of people suffering from depression. Resilience is derived from a 17th century Latin word meaning ‘leaping back’ and this captures the essence of what it is to...

Animating Ancient Explorers

Lately I have been asked what inspired me to create Ana Solana and her other friends. In this blog, I share her origin story. Ana's creation story narrates different challenges I have faced since starting my own business, which is...

Ancient Explorer Celebrates First Birthday

We are celebrating our first birthday! It has been an extraordinary 12 months for the team and I. A year ago, I started Ancient Explorer with just an archaeological tool kit, a library that includes archives of my very own explorations, a...

Making Films about Ancient Places

Over the Christmas break, my nieces and nephews, Mi’a, Kona, Safia and Liban, decided to make films about their imaginary adventures at Machu Picchu after learning about our latest creative writing and art competition. I confess that I was so excited! I...

Ancient Explorer Celebrates the Opening of e-Store

Team Ancient Explorer is celebrating this week as we achieved another great milestone. Finally, after many months of preparation, we are happy to announce that our online store is now open! Just in time for Christmas, the first product available is our Ancient...

Welcome to Ana Solana’s Field Diary

¡Hola! Me llamo Ana Solana. Hi, my name is Ana Solana. I'm from Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inkas of Peru. My family has lived in Cusco for many generations and I am related to Atawallpa, the last Inka king. I speak Spanish and Quechua,...

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