Dr Colleen Nordstrom is a death educator who believes that we in Western culture urgently need to talk about death and grief. She is recognised for her respectful and engaging style of opening up conversations about the human experience of dying and bereavement. She draws on diverse cultural perspectives and spiritual traditions to show that there are many death-ways available to us beyond the common script prescribed by contemporary Western society.
For over two decades, Colleen has undertaken research and taught end-of-life studies to university students, ranging from palliative care clinicians to paramedics. She has a PhD in Medicine with expertise in living with advanced cancer, and the effects on carers after death.
Colleen is a Canadian-born Manitoba Metis and a long-time student of shamanic spiritual practice. She has lived in Australia for 25 years, where she resides on the beautiful South Coast and travels often to Bali, island of the gods.
To get a taste of Colleen’s approach to death education, and its capacity to shift how people experience death-related grief, read here about her collaboration with Australian-based Mexicans and their sacred ancestral commemorative practices of Day of the Dead.
Our tours emerged from a love and appreciation of Bali and its people. Over the years, Colleen has travelled often to Bali. With every journey her understanding of Balinese culture grows. She shares a personal relationship with a number of diverse people within the local community.
Colleen Nordstrom Tours started with a simple premise – conceived with local Balinese in the shadow of private family cremation ceremonies – of bringing others to this beautiful island to show them its exquisite art, colourful performances, and to take them on a journey into the culture and rituals that sustains its people and nourishes a community that has a knack for creating beauty around every corner. It’s from this spirit that our tours emerged.
Colleen Nordstrom Tours are designed for anyone with an inquiring mind – especially those with an interest in culture, art, animism, spirituality, healing, death, bereavement or afterlife studies. Our journeys are designed to get participants unique experiences, giving you the opportunity to learn about Balinese culture and customs. Our itineraries are designed with great thought to enrich your travel and study experience, while ensuring respect to the land, spirits and people.
We believe our tours give you an authentic cultural experience. Bali is the location we know and love – and it shows in what we do. Colleen Nordstrom Tours are created in collaboration with Balinese individuals, based on established personal relationships with families, artisans, proprietors and other local individuals. This allows access to private homes, behind-the-scenes visits to studios and galleries that would be nearly impossible when travelling to Bali for your first time or with other, larger tours. We travel at a more measured pace than typical tours, providing you time to relax, explore, ask questions and connect with locals.
Our group size is limited to a maximum of 12 participants – good for solo travellers or travelling with friends. With such small groups, we’re able to give personal attention to each tour guest and we can be more flexible with each day’s plan, adjusting to conditions and events that present themselves. The small group size also means that we spend less time organising for activities – and it gives better opportunities to access your local guide with plenty of time to absorb Balinese culture. This ensures a more rewarding and fulfilling experience for our guests.
Colleen Nordstrom Tours cares about the experience that each and every tour guest has on our trips. Colleen makes her knowledge available during the tour, providing each guest with a solid “bridge” between Balinese and Western cultures. She also ensures opportunities to integrate and deepen your experience with each tour theme.