Hometown: Lima, Peru
ITMI graduation year: 2011
Travel bucket list: Turkey, Portugal, South Africa
Tour essentials: cell phone, a bottle of water, and a cameraYvette Kaplan had just graduated high school when she told her mom she was leaving home. Her motivations were stronger than those of the typical 18 year old.
What or who inspired you to become a tour director?
The passion for learning about and sharing the beauty of this world; I’m sure all this passion started when I was a little girl. I so loved the way my father used to tell me such vivid stories of our family and our region’s history. From him I learned that we can share feelings like love, passion, desire to explore, admiration for people and places, and the value of deep contemplation, just by telling stories in the right way.
How do you balance your personal life with your travel career?
After a tour ends I have my “self” time to recharge my own good energy and emotions, and try to make my schedule in a way I can take care of my health along with some personal pampering.
What qualities do you feel make for a good tour director?
Passion, patience, attention to detail, empathy… Passion is life’s fuel, so needed to share experiences, patience to face the interesting challenges we might have, empathy to feel the untold feelings, and attention to detail to really make sure all goes wonderfully.
What advice would you give to a first-time traveler?
Make all your senses involved in the experience! Enjoy the difference! Fill your eyes with different styles of beauty! Breathe the aromas; let the breeze from abroad caress your skin; let exotic melodies fill your ears and heart, taste the world! … Go and explore!
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
Morocco, Turkey, Portugal, South Africa, Pantanal in Brazil, Copper Canyon in Mexico, Serengeti National Park, Victoria Falls, Bhutan…. Basically any corner in this world I haven’t been yet.
What are three things you must always take with you?
My cell phone, a bottle of water, and my camera.
If you could design your own customized tour to reflect your passions, what would it look like?
It would be a tour mainly for photography and design lovers, focused on history, art, and design, mixed with fine and fun dining. Getting to know not only the iconic historical places, but also, local art and design to see a different perspective of the areas visited, and discovering how historical elements can influence modern artists and designers. It would be a tour full of “little” touches and surprises to fulfill the senses of creative souls.
Name someone famous you’d like to travel with and where you’d like to take them.
I would like to travel with Marco Polo and visit with him, in modern times, the areas he visited, to see how the world has changed, as learning from exotic lands full of rich art and culture.
How has tour directing impacted your perspective of the world?
I realized through all these years that tour directing makes your mind and heart more open and flexible; it helps you to appreciate more deep contemplation. Tour directing makes you really appreciate the world, and celebrate our cultural differences and similarities.
What advice would you give someone if they wanted to become a tour director or guide?
Make sure you are in love with this profession; it is really rewarding and fulfilling, at the same time, it could be physically and emotionally demanding, with long periods away from home. If you are in love with it, go for it passionately.
Do you agree that a tour director is actually an ambassador of goodwill? If so, why?
Of course! A tour director is the link in between visitors and locals, we encourage people to travel and appreciate cultural differences, and the more we appreciate our differences in the world, the more peaceful we will be. We will tend to make more friends from other cultures, therefore it will be harder to develop negative feelings about different nationalities or cultures.