Meet Shila Desai, Owner, Conceptualiser, and a general One-Woman show
“The best travel isn’t necessarily about vistas or 5 star hotels. It’s about interaction with local people, culture, and lifestyles.
I am a hands-on operator, involved in every stage of conceptualizing, planning, and organising a trip until it’s perfect for you. I’ll dry run before taking a group out. Then I accompany most groups to make sure everything lines up. I lavish the same care on custom tours, because there’s no such thing as a second chance on your vacation.” ~~ Shila
Beginnings E.Y.H.O. had no intention of being a travel organisation. It started when Shila arranged a trip to India for her writing friends in 2011, which morphed into a full-scale adventure with a Bollywood legend, private receptions with Maharajas, and an overnight train across India . . . experiences beyond the realm of a casual traveller. Travelling with an insider made it an exceptional trip. Out of that first culinary-themed trip was born “Eat Your Heart Out” Tours.
Shila was born in Kenya in a 23-member extended Indian family. Every year, her family took a steamship back to India. Shila developed roots in both East Africa and India. Her passion for her ancestral lands infuses all E.Y.H.O. trips. She is an award-winning writer, and is fluent in Kiswahili, Gujarati, and Hindi in addition to English and French.
Group Leaders Every EYHO expert is a passionate individual committed to adding to your experience. No hidden agenda, no blasé attitude. Just a desire to share their homeland or field of expertise.
EYHO Signature Experiences
North India and Mumbai • Dharavi slum visit with college kids who grew up there • Royal families of Rajasthan • Holi, Spring Festival of colour • Cooking demos with royal chefs • Guests of the Indore royal family • Bollywood • Insider shopping secrets
Gujarat and Kutch • Guests of a 3500-strong rural co-operative for exquisite textiles and embroidery • Access to non-commercialised tribal villages • Kite festival in a local Ahmedabad home • Meal with artisanal family in Dhaneti village
East Africa • Cook out in Nairobi • EYHO’s Iron Chef Masai Mara • Visit to Lake Nyanza self-help community • Visit to Kiambu orphanage for street kids • Private villa stay in Zanzibar • Visit with Hadza Bushmen of Lake Eyasi
More added every year!
“The Cooking with Maharajas 2011 Tour was a wonderful and accessible way to see India again after thirty years. For me, the highlights were travelling through vibrantly coloured Rajasthan during the festival of Holi, Ajanta and Ellora Caves, wonderful meals, the spectacularly beautiful and peaceful Fort Ahilya, and our very knowledgeable tour guides. I would go again in a heartbeat.” – Alison C.
Recent Press: The Great Indian Reality Show — Desi Magazine
Where to next? Check our upcoming tours! Or contact us for your custom dream trip.