What should we know about your job?
I have the greatest job in the world. I love my job. I spend my days showing off once-in-a-lifetime experiences. And I get to use my love of travel, history, art, food and current events to help people decide their dream vacation.
What makes this job so different?
First, it’s the experience of the staff—I’m surrounded by people with an incredible wealth of knowledge about the world. Then, throughout my day, I’m on the phone with people, and I’m encouraging them to seize the day and try rare experiences. I share helpful tidbits about destinations and enjoy the in-depth conversations with guests as well.
What is the most popular trip?
The Around the World trips always sell out.
Why is Around the World such a popular expedition?
On Around the World, you’re seeing the world’s best highlights. Nowhere else can you get so many experiences in one trip. And some of these destinations and experiences are endangered, like the Great Barrier Reef. People know this. They feel they need to seize the day, see these sights now before they disappear.
What is the most common question you get?
The jet experience. Even though it’s actually a small part of the entire experience, it’s an uncommon experience, so I get a lot of questions. Jet travel is unique. There are no night flights. There are no layovers. We fly direct every time. A normal plane holds 250 people. We only take up to 78 people, leaving plenty of space, which is a very comfortable way to travel. There’s even a physician on board.
Plus we provide visa kits, packing information, and we take care of all the currency issues, so you’ll never have to worry about how much to tip a bellboy in the Maldives. So we take the hassle out of travel, freeing people up to fly around the planet in comfort.
People are also curious about what to wear. They wonder if they need to be fancy or pack black-tie attire. We have no black-tie nights. We want our guests to be comfortable.
I also get questions about the activity level on the trips. Our trips are not incredibly strenuous, but we’re also not just sitting around the beach all day. Our guests like to explore and discover.
Do guests tend to book right away?
No, even if they want to, I make sure they have all the information they need. I send them information by email after the call so they can take their time, and I answer all their questions before they commit. It’s three incredible weeks of their life, and we want to make sure they are confident with what they are buying.
What do guests take away from our trips?
People on our trips have been to such unique destinations. They’ve made purchases from all over the world that remind them of their magical three weeks spent with us. They make new friends on the trips but are also eager to share fun stories with their friends at home.
You spend a lot time talking with guests about their dream vacations. Do you ever get to meet them?
Yes! A few times a year I meet up with guests on our trips, and it’s always a surprise who I’ll meet. Once I sat in a seafood restaurant in Mumbai and spent hours listening to a former record executive tell stories about his days touring with AC/DC, Michael Jackson and Foreigner. I’ve also shared meals with ambassadors and National Geographic lecturers.
Where do you want to go next?
I want to travel to Suriname and French Guiana to see the Islands of Salvation. I’m fascinated by the history of Devil’s Island. The island is a former French penal colony and also served as the setting for the book Papillon by Henri Charrière.
You have a ton of travel stories. What are some of the crazier moments?
Once during a gorilla-trekking trip in Rwanda I accidentally got between a teen gorilla and mom. Though there have been zero incidents of gorillas attacking since this program started, the teen gorilla ran over my feet to try to get to her mom. It was equally thrilling and terrifying at once.
Another time, I was leading a group in Iran. I was in the middle of a lengthy negotiation over the price of a Persian rug when I lost the group. I wandered a bit around the market and then realized two guys were following me. I sped up, walked fast, tried to lose them but they still tailed me. When they finally caught up, I was ready to defend myself. Turns out all they wanted was to practice their English. So we talked about pizza and Led Zeppelin as they led me back to my group.