Melanie Gow, writer and photographic artist, portrait by Daria Marczak, wedding and food photographer at Plenty to Declare Photography. Daria takes a photograph with a rare sensitivity that makes her subjects look illuminated from inside by their essence.
photograph by Daria Marczak

Life is a brief shot at something incredible and I am, first of all, a mother charged with bringing up two men of the future. That’s a serious job I think is best supported through travelling.

If we are to live fully on this pathless adventure we need to learn to read the inner essence of a landscape, but most importantly, we need to master our own inner landscape.

I have taken my sons out into the world before they were even born, and it is a life’s work to show them the different normals of this planet we call home.

In wandering on the boundary of the unknown we find the courage to go beyond that which we fear; when we are no longer afraid we move beyond courage to find faith in ourselves to forge meaning in the tender wrestle with life.

Biography of Melanie Gow:

Born and brought up in Kitale, a remote town in Kenya, East Africa, we kept secret from people who didn’t even want to come there. I  was born in the back of beyond, forcibly repatriated to a country I only knew from Enid Blyton books, and have travelled a long way since. All that has convinced me travel is the best thing I can do for my children.”

Melanie has been traveling independently since before the Internet, or mobile phones, in fact before the break up of Yugoslavia. “I was born in the third world, got on a Magic Bus at 16, travelled slowly down Europe and all the way to Egypt, and lived in Israel on a kibbutz and returned during Intifada. Travelling with my children is a deliberate decision to parent daringly; to show them they live in one world with different normals, and give them the unique values and resources only travel can to make them successful in an unpredictable future.”

Melanie has travelled five continents with her sons; north to south down India, around East and South Africa, the bottom right corner of Australia, and from LA to New York across America by trains, planes and automobiles. Before walking for 33 days over the Pyrenees and across Spain for 800km to Santiago de Compostela.

Studying Art, and Dramatic Art, she initially went into film-making initially; she was the first British woman director with a film released in cinemas, writing and directing a feature film that was awarded Best Woman Director at The Festróia Festival Internacional de Cinema de Tróia.

When she had children and her eldest son was chronically ill. She looked after him full-time and, with a change in his treatment, he rapidly recovered. She spent the next five years travelling the world studying different medical approaches and researching why her approach worked. As a writer, it made sense of the circumstances to put the story in a book to help others. Toasters Don’t Roast Chickens: the story of an ordinary mum who challenged conventional medical thinking and transformed the health of her chronically-ill child, was published in 2008.

Her book, Walking With Angels, was a crowd-funding success – 172% funded in 28 days – and has been the subject of a three year tour. She has given a TEDx Talk, spoken on more than 48 radio stations, including BBC National Scottish Radio, and 9 regional BBCs – she continues to travell all around the country giving her talk on the pilgrimage.

For a year during this, Melanie gave up work and volunteered in the refugee crisis in both Europe and at home, and the parallel between a pilgrim and a refugee is the current subject of her new book.

“Having been 2nd generation born in East Africa, and repatriated to a country I’d never seen, to a world in which a pilgrimage is a privileged choice, to working in the largest humanitarian crisis in our time, I find I can’t ignore the story that has so much to teach us about the world we live in”

She intends to walk across Canada on the Trans Canada Trail, to raise awareness for refugees and

Speaking Engagements

Melanie brings to festivals, conferences, conventions, retreats, halls, schools and corporate events “an inspiring grace and a fascinatingly simple but effective message”

“Melanie engages, uplifts and moves her audience with storytelling, beautiful photography, and words of wisdom in a memorable performance.” Ian James

            “Highly recommended – in fact it should come with a warning; it is very likely to be inspiring and life-changing” Angela Johnson

See press about Melanie and her work here

Melanie Gow offers talks on “Walking With Angels”, about her walk with her two sons, aged 12 and 16 for 33 exceptional days over the Pyrenees and across Spain for 800km to Santiago de Compostela. A walk that gently changed their lives.
You can contact Melanie Gow here through the contact form.