Making the World a Better Place Through Travel
Hometown: San Pedro, California
ITMI graduation year: 2011
Travel bucket list: Galapagos Islands, Fiji, Antarctica, Alaska
Tour essentials: My phone, sunscreen and yoga mat
What or who inspired you to become a tour director?
When I was a child, my favorite thing to do was lying on my back in the grass watching the clouds and wondering where they were going and what I would see if I could sail along with them. I was born with “wanderlust.” It has taken me to many foreign and wonderful places throughout my life, and when the opportunity presented itself, I made my passion into my profession.
How do you balance your personal life with your travel career?
Easy. My travel career is my personal life.
What qualities do you feel make for a good tour director?
A dear friend of mine put it this way: you must have the patience of Mother Theresa and the adventurous nature of a Viking… besides the obvious skills of a good organizer :) I believe a good tour director genuinely likes people and keeps a positive attitude, is well informed and always puts the well being of his/her guests first.
What advice would you give to a first-time traveler?
Know the basics about where you are going and ask lots of questions. Have an open mind and stay flexible; expect surprises. Relax and enjoy the experience.
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
Galapagos Islands, Fiji, Antarctica, Alaska.
What are three things you must always take with you?
My phone, sunscreen and my yoga mat.
If you could design your own customized tour to reflect your passions, what would it look like?
I would love to connect history with lifestyle and show off my roots : through the beautiful countryside of Bavaria: The fairytale castles of Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee of King Ludwig II, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the impressive Zugspitze in the Bavarian Alps, the Koenigssee and of course the beautiful city of Munich, a modern metropole that kept its traditions and is the heart of Bavarian hospitality.
Name someone famous you’d like to travel with and where you’d like to take them.
Craig Childs. I love his books and think it would be a great adventure to float down the Colorado River discovering the mysteries of the Anasazi with him.
How has tour directing impacted your perspective of the world?
Although the world seems to become smaller with every tour, there will be always more to see, more to learn, something I did not notice before.
What advice would you give someone if they wanted to become a tour director or guide?
Be sure you know what a tour director does. It is not “just a cool job” but a commitment and your heart has to be in it. My best advice is to contact ITMI!
Do you agree that a tour director is actually an ambassador of goodwill? If so, why?
Yes, we definitely are ambassadors of goodwill. We not only show our guests around, we also represent this country. Many visitors from foreign countries don’t speak English well and mostly rely on the tour director. I have a wonderful opportunity to make a positive impression.