Monthly Archives: October 2013


Gertraud Wild, author, photographer, and adventurer, first crossed paths with Spirit of the Senses almost twenty years ago during a chance meeting with someone while at Biltmore Fashion Park.    She and her husband joined the group right away.


Gertraud and her husband David Ricks live in Vienna, Austria and reside part of the year at their home in the greater Biltmore area.  She describes the salons of Spirit of the Senses as the soul of Phoenix for her.   The salons offer an abundance of exposure to the arts, sciences, and culture that gives enrichment to her every day life.  “Spirit of the Senses makes me feel at home and the group provides a continuity and belonging while I’m in Phoenix” she says.


Over the past few years, Gertraud has been invited to talk at salons about her exotic walking treks in different parts of the world.   She has spoken about her travels in Ethiopia and in Nepal.   She has also written two books in the German language about these treks.   The two books are filled with her photographs that reflect her personal encounters and offer a diary of how she experienced her travels.  Her salon discussions at Spirit of the Senses have provided her an additional way to revisit these experiences and show others images of her personal treks.


“When traveling I like to experience directly the places I am visiting by having a close  relationship with the place, the people and the culture.  I want to experience with all my senses.”


One evening at a salon discussion, Gertaud spoke of her travels with her oldest son Lawrence through urban and remote parts of Ethiopia.  She showed photographs of the people she met along her trek and discussed her encounters with the culture and religion.


Another evening at a salon discussion, Gertraud discussed and shared photos of her 21  day trek in Nepal with her younger son Robert and daughter Anna-Sophie.  In preparation for her trek in the Himalayas, Gertraud trained by hiking Piestawa Peak every day.   Gertraud’s trek to Nepal was close to the Tibetan border along ancient trade routes to the base camp of the mountain Manaslu, the eighth highest peak in the world.   Gertraud and her son and daughter also trekked in the sacred Buddhist region, The Tsum Valley.


Gertraud is planning her next salon for sometime this winter with Spirit of the Senses.   She will discuss her 14 day trek along the World Heritage Trail through the Wachau Valley along the Danube River in her native Austria.


Spirit of the Senses brings different perspectives together in conversation on important issues.  Spirit of the Senses invites many of the leading thinkers and talents in the arts, architecture, science, medicine, law and philosophy to have conversations that enlighten awareness of the world and stimulate ideas.  Many of these salon discussions are hosted in homes near and in the Biltmore area.   In addition to the salons hosted in  the Phoenix area, Spirit of the Senses plans salon trips to New York City, California, and Boston.   If you would like to become a part of the conversation you can find information about Spirit of the Senses at or by calling (602) 906-0091.


Robert, Anna-Sophie, Gertraud Wild in Nepal

Robert, Anna-Sophie, Gertraud Wild in Nepal


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