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Harry, Peru Guide, from The Dispatch, Fall/Winter 2018
What led you to a career guiding?Definitely that I traveled young—since I was about 8 years old. I traveled a lot because of my mother and her job as a traveling teacher.
What makes your country so special?It’s an ancient country with lots of tradition, history, gastronomy, places of interest, great people, and lots of different type of landscapes and micro-climates. Words are not enough to describe the way we Peruvians have been blessed.
What do you enjoy most about guiding?Sharing experiences with people, especially making them feel inspired and awe-struck when they see a special place for the first time (the way I felt the first time, too!). I also love the fact that guiding is connected with your inner soul.
What has been your favorite adventure outside of your country?I took a ride on a Harley Davidson from Dallas, Texas, to Iowa in 2009 with my brother, and since that time, riding a motorcycle is one of my favorite things to do on my personal vacations.
Where would you like to go that you haven’t explored yet?Patagonia, Bhutan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and for sure get to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in North Dakota. Also Milwaukee, eventually.
What’s your favorite food?Mondonguito a la Italiana, a Peruvian dish with Italian roots made with tripe, peas, carrots, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes.
If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?My Grandfather. He was a great carpenter, so I would ask him to teach me those greats skills he had, which I believe was part of his personality.
Do you have a personal motto that you try to live by?Love your freedom and go for a ride…
Karen, Africa Specialist, from The Dispatch, Summer 2018
What led you to a career with Boundless Journeys?My father was European, so from hearing him speak another language when he phoned his “mutti” to his love of skiing and chocolate, I always felt a connection with far away lands. In the late 70s, my aunt—a teacher—lived in Islamabad and trekked in the mountains of Pakistan. Her slideshows of the people and scenery showed me a world very different from home. These influences made me crave travel… and I knew to do the kind of travel that I wanted, I’d need to make it what I do every day.
Why do you think traveling is important?Travel shakes things up in a way that is good for mind, body, and soul. New sights, sounds, and smells remind us of how diverse, wild, and sometimes weird our planet is.
What’s your favorite thing about traveling?Catching up on movies in the air! Just kidding…Travel focuses me on being in the moment, something I think we all could use a little more practice at. Time slows down, and I can stop thinking “what next?”
Where would you like to go that you haven’t explored yet?That is a tough one! Namibia has been near the top of my list for some time now. Endless dunes, rare wildlife, incredible stars.
What do you enjoy most about your job?I love the fact that we get to plan adventures for people who enjoy traveling as much as we do. I love connecting with our partners around the world—some of the people I work with most closely are in Cape Town, Maun, Arusha, and other far flung places. I love that the subject matter that we are working on is such a positive and life-affirming thing.
If you could live anywhere not in the U.S. where would it be/why?Today I will say Cusco, Peru (tomorrow could be different!). My husband and I fell in love with the whole country, but in particular the atmosphere in Cusco. It’s a bustling little city with a small-town heart, full of historic architecture, excellent restaurants, colorful markets, fascinating artwork, and they love a good festival. A short drive brings you deep into the countryside with great hiking and mountain biking and ancient Inca ruins around each bend in the trail. Bonus, the climate is pleasant!
If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?I was going to say Deepak Chopra, but I think what I’d really like is to have lunch with Deepak Chopra’s parents. I bet they have some good advice on raising well-adjusted kids.
Do you have a personal motto that you try to live by?Recently, it’s “Slow down and savor each moment.” I’m still practicing.
Irena, Croatia and Slovenia Guide, from The Dispatch, Spring 2018
What first got you interested in a career in tourism?As a young girl, I read many books by Alma Karlin, a Slovenian traveler, writer, and poet. She inspired me for traveling, exploring, and anthropology. I always liked to travel, explore new places, and meet new people, so I’m happy I managed to find a way where I was able to combine everything into my work.
What makes Croatia so special? The rich history and culture, one of the most beautiful sea shores, good weather, amazing food and wine, Mediterranean laid back culture…what else could one wish for!
What’s your favorite thing to teach/show travelers about your country? Definitely the people and their culture, their habits and way of living. I take an anthropological aspect and approach.
What has been your favorite adventure journey outside of Croatia? Bicycling in Southeast Asia.
Where would you like to go that you haven’t explored yet? Greenland!
What do you enjoy most about guiding? Meeting new people and hearing new life stories and experiences.
What’s the most challenging part of guiding? Arranging the perfect weather each day.
Do you have a personal motto that you try to live by?Do things that make you happy!
Katya, Marketing Assistant, from The Dispatch, Winter 2018
What led you to a career with Boundless Journeys?After a couple of different careers, I realized that travel was a constant in my life. I knew I didn’t want to work for a big, impersonal company, nor one that just hit main tourist sites and called it a day. When I discovered Boundless Journeys, I knew the type of travel experiences they planned mirrored the type of travel experiences I enjoy for myself.
Why do you think traveling is important?I firmly believe that interacting with and even just observing other cultures nurtures tolerance, acceptance, and empathy. Travel also provides a better understanding of one’s place in the world economically, culturally, politically, historically, etc. Having worked in education for a few years, it was apparent to me that introducing children and teenagers to other cultures is paramount to producing a well-rounded global citizen.
What’s your favorite thing about traveling?I really love trying new foods and famous specialties that I know will be authentic—pad Thai in Thailand, falafel in the Middle East, sticky toffee pudding in Scotland, real French croissants and specialty cheeses that aren’t available in the U.S.!
Where would you like to go that you haven’t explored yet?Africa for a safari!
What’s the most unusual food you’ve eaten?Pig brain. I won’t do that again.
What can’t you travel without?A real book. With pages. I certainly understand the appeal of e-readers that can be loaded with multiple books, but for travel, I don’t want to worry about breaking it, losing it, or running out of battery.
If you could live anywhere not in the U.S. where would it be/why?This is so tough. My first inclination is somewhere in Italy, where I have relatives and friends. But Edinburgh is a favorite of mine, too. I also like remote, windswept islands.
If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?The Dalai Lama. I know a lot of people say that, but he embodies warmth, lightheartedness, generosity, wisdom, and intelligence. I find his thoughts on science and religion, human nature, and acceptance fascinating and inspiring.
Wangchuk, Bhutan Guide, from The Dispatch, Fall 2017
What first got you interested in a career in tourism?I was always into history since my school days. I always enjoyed my Bhutanese history lessons, and as I grew older, it didn’t take me long to decide to become an ambassador of the country as a tour guide to expose my knowledge to the visitors who wanted to visit and know Bhutan.
What makes Bhutan so special?Bhutan is the only country in the world to be the first country to believe more in Gross National Happiness than Gross Domestic Product. Secondly, Bhutan and the Bhutanese are always protected by our guardian deities in the form of our beloved kings against the external influences, and we enjoy the peacefulness under the leadership of our kings.
What’s your favorite thing to teach or show travelers about your country?A question which I would love to write an essay on! My favorite things to show my travelers are the happiness we Bhutanese people enjoy with our contented mind, love for the country and king, believing in karma and gods, how to protect Mother Nature, and our preserved culture, because the pride that comes on my face when the visitors appreciate our culture and country is immeasurable!
What area or country would you like to explore?New York City in the USA for sure. I grew up in a small county of a small country, and if I ever get a chance to explore, I would love to see the total opposite of that, which New York City is!
What do you enjoy most about guiding?I enjoy knowing people who want to know Bhutan and interacting with people from a different part of the world with a different culture. I just love meeting new people. And my enjoyment starts from day one when I am guiding my guests.
What is your favorite food?My favorite food is anything that I cook (just local Bhutanese food). If I have to name one, it’s known as “kewa datshi” potatoes with chilis and cheese.
Do you have a personal motto that you try to live by?My personal motto is quite simple: “life is short, smile, and stay contented.”
Emily, Assistant Destination Manager, from The Dispatch, Summer 2017
What led you to a career with Boundless Journeys?A winding road! My interests are diverse, but I’ve always loved learning, teaching, and exploring. Professionally, I’ve been a writer, trip leader, outdoor educator, and teacher—but travel and adventure have always been underlying themes.
Why do you think travel is important?I think humans are similar across time, place, and culture in that we could all be a bit more kind and empathetic, and we learn lessons best from experience—particularly those that help break down stereotypes and that complicate our sense of “what the world is really like.” Traveling is also a great responsibility, especially when exploring remote corners of the world and interacting with many people who might not have the means to set out on a trip abroad. As travelers, we impact the places we go and the people we meet, and we should strive to do so in a positive and respectful manner.
What is your favorite thing about traveling?Everything is new! As children we are so perceptive and constantly questioning and wondering and gazing around in awe…Then we grow up and sort of lose that wonder. I think traveling brings it back.
Where would you like to go that you haven’t explored yet?The South Pacific and beyond! Papua New Guinea and Indonesia have been high on my list for a long time. Also, New Zealand… Also, everywhere…
What do you enjoy most about your new job?Well, I’m new…but I LOVE that I am surrounded by maps, conversations about destinations all over the globe, and like-minded people who also get excited about visiting new places.
What’s the most unusual food you’ve eaten?Raw goat heart in Tanzania. It’s not my favorite.
What can’t you travel without?A water bottle, book, journal, and travel-sized down blanket.
If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?This one is tough…I’ve always wanted to meet Lucille Ball! She was hilarious, savvy, a bit of a rebel, and broke down barriers for women in Hollywood in so many ways.
Nick, Camino de Santiago Hiking Guide, from The Dispatch, Spring 2017
What first got you interested in a career guiding?When I first moved to Madrid in 1990, I joined a hiking club to improve my Castilian, stay in shape, and make new friends. Eventually, I volunteered to guide for the club. That’s how it all started!
What makes Spain so special?There is something really special about the warmth and hospitality of Spaniards and their capacity to enjoy life. That’s why I love living here.
What’s your favorite thing to teach/show travelers about the country?So many things! But primarily, the varied and fascinating history of Spain, its diversity of languages and landscapes, and the importance of gastronomic culture in the daily lives of Spaniards.
Where would you like to go that you haven’t explored yet?I would really love to hike in New Zealand and Japan.
What do you enjoy most about guiding?I find it utterly wonderful introducing people to and sharing the delights and peculiarities of my adopted country.
What’s your favorite food?That is hard to narrow down. It spans the gamut—sea urchins, octopus, grilled sardines, Palamos prawns, and a very rare Basque chuleton (bone-in steak) accompanied with good wine or a dry Spanish cider.
If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?I’ve always thought it would be amazing to have a conversation with Charles Darwin. He was a genius and transformed the way we think about the natural world and our place in it.
Do you have a personal motto that you try to live by?Carpe Diem! You’re dead for a long time, so get the most out of your life!
Kristen, Asia/Pacific Manager, from The Dispatch, Winter 2017
Why do you think traveling is important?I think anytime a person is taken out of his or her daily routine, to experience the world outside of the daily grind, it is refreshing, eye-opening and energizing! Meeting people from a different country and learning about their country’s history and culture cultivates empathy and combats narrow-mindedness and egocentricity. There are so many lessons to be learned from the world outside of our own!
What’s your favorite thing about traveling?See above!
Where would you like to go that you haven’t explored yet?I would love to experience the culture and wildlife of Africa.
What do you enjoy most about your job? The shared enthusiasm both my colleagues at Boundless Journeys and our travelers have for discovering the world.
What can’t you travel without?A book. I catch up on my reading when I travel. A book is easy to pack, it isn’t breakable, and it doesn’t need to be charged because its battery ran out.
If you could live anywhere not in the U.S. where would it be and why? Australia or New Zealand. I love the Australian people and their sharp wit. Australia is a large and diverse country with so much to offer. But I must say that the New Zealand landscape is stunning, and to live surrounded by that type of beauty must be wonderful.
If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?My great-grandfather Stefan Bernarsky. As a young man, he set off alone for the USA, leaving his home in southern Poland. I know some of the basic facts about why he left, but I would love to know more. How did he feel? Did he ever get homesick?
Do you have a personal motto that you try to live by?Wear your joy of living like a crown. This phrase is from a poem about a dog, but who better to teach us how to live life with endless enthusiasm than a dog?
Eric, Tour du Mont Blanc and Haute Route Guide, from The Dispatch, Fall 2016
What first got you interested in guiding?I was born and raised in Chamonix, a place with an economy based on hosting guests from all over the world, so they can discover the incredible beauty of the area, topped by the highest mountain in the Alps!
What makes the Alpine region so special?Its deep background of mountaineering (1786 was the first ascent of Mont-Blanc); traditional agriculture with roots dating to the 15th century, high needle-like peaks covered with ice and snow, all the obvious evidence of a young and spectacular mountain range that is reachable and right there in front of you, and also, the numerous countries along the Alps each with its own character and traditions.
What’s your favorite thing to teach/show travelers about your country?All of it! The history, the food, the geology—why things and people are the way they are!
Where would you like to go that you haven’t explored yet?The rest of the world—I will run out of time I am afraid—specifically, South America and Nepal.
What do you enjoy most about guiding?Being outdoors, being active, exploring and sharing the region with people, and teaching them what I know about the area.
What’s your favorite food?Cheese—there are so many of them and all so good!
If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?My Dad, so I could tell him all what I did not have time to say, learn from him still, share our love for the mountains, then go and climb them on the same rope.
Do you have a personal motto that you try to live by?On a church wall, it is written “Bien faire et laisser dire,” which translates into something like “Do your very best, and let the others talk about it.”
Michelle, Destination Manager, from The Dispatch, Summer 2016
Why do you think traveling is important?Exposure to different cultures, peoples, and lands is key to refreshing and opening your perspective both in a personal and worldly way. Traveling is like Pandora’s Box—one door leads to another, and another, and another—it’s endless. Once you take a bite, the appetite never goes away.
What’s your favorite thing about traveling?Stepping away from your routine and leaving space for the unknown to happen. I also enjoy gaining a richer perspective on life through conversations with locals and moving across new terrain whether on wheels or feet.
Where would you like to go that you haven’t explored yet?Mountains!—Slovenia’s Julian Alps, Swiss Alps, Italy’s Dolomites, Patagonia, Himalayas, Canadian Rockies…
What do you enjoy most about your job? There’s so much! Piecing the logistics puzzle together, getting others excited about traveling to incredible places and then making it a reality for them; hearing guests rave about their trip when they return, and traveling vicariously through seeing their photos.
Why is it important to travel responsibly?The earth is only so big, and traveling is a mutual thing—considering what a people and place give us when we travel (inspiration, opportunities, lifetime memories, invaluable experiences), it only makes sense to give back by helping to sustain these places for future travelers.
If you could live anywhere not in the U.S. where would it be? French Alps. Mountains, people, croissants, and cheese—what more could you want in life!?
If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?Marie Paradis who was the first woman to summit Mont Blanc on July 14, 1808, at a time when mountaineering was dominated by men! She was in quite rough shape at the summit—suffering from severe altitude sickness and unable tospeak or see. It wasn’t until thirty years later that the second woman summited, Henriette d’Angeville, who was personally congratulated by Marie. I wouldn’t mind hearing both their stories over a coffee or two!
Do you have a personal motto that you try to live by?Work hard, Play hard!
Nicky, New Zealand Guide, from The Dispatch, Spring 2016
What makes New Zealand so special?New Zealand is a “Moa’s Ark” (Moa is a big flightless bird that existed for thousands of years before going extinct shortly after the arrival of humans to NZ)—the geographic diversity and collection of unique and endemic species that exist only on New Zealand’s islands is remarkable. It’s also fascinating to step back in time to experience the combination of English order and Pacific Island “laid back-ness” that Aotearoa (Maorian) New Zealand is known for.
What do you enjoy most about guiding?I love the diversity of places to visit and the variety of guests whom I have the opportunity to meet and learn about. I also enjoy sharing a little bit of real life in New Zealand that traditional tourists don’t often get to see. It makes for a richer and more authentic travel experience.
What’s your favorite thing in New Zealand to show travelers?I love showing visitors New Zealand’s natural landscapes, particularly on foot. It’s a much more intimate and engaging way to see a country and a better way to meet some of the local characters—floral, faunal, and human!
What has been your favorite adventure journey outside of New Zealand?Traveling and trekking in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan for its gentle people, phenomenal mountainous landscapes, thoughtful development, and foresight for the preservation of its natural and cultural capital.
Where would you like to go that you haven’t explored yet?I think Africa for its wildlife preserves and game and the chance to meet the African people.
What’s your favorite food?Any fresh, organic vegetables—preferably picked by my own hands!
If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?Definitely the Dalai Lama for his outlook on life and positivity.
Do you have a personal motto by which you try to live?Question everything. I also like the quote “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” I am not sure who said it first, but it resonates with me.
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