What is your favorite travel memory?
Choosing a favorite travel memory is extremely difficult since each journey you take and each place you see is unique and provides individual travel moments. However, seeing a new city or place for the first time will always amaze me.
In 2007 I took a bus from Washington D.C. to New York City – the first time I ever visited this magical vibrant megacity. After driving for several hours I could see the skyline of New York starting to loom in the distance, and the Empire State Building and other famous skyscrapers came into view.
We got closer and closer until we entered a long tunnel that would lead us right into the city center of the Big Apple. I will never forget the moment we got out of the tunnel and New York’s massive skyscrapers and immense buildings rose up out of the ground turning the busy streets full of people into urban canyons. Simply breathtaking!
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
Every time a student returns they share wonderful stories with us, about the places they’ve seen, the people they’ve met and the challenges they’ve mastered.
One special story that comes to my mind is regarding a student who participated in our EcoQuest course in Southern Africa. This experience opened her eyes and made her realize that her true passion is living and working surrounded by Africa’s nature. After she came back to Germany she decided to take part in our one-year Professional Field Guide course.
Her goal is to stay in Southern Africa and to work in one of the spectacular national parks. Very courageous and inspirational!
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
Phew, tough question! I think if I could go on any of our programs I’d pick our fantastic volunteer project in the Maldives. I would love to see this natural paradise, and at the same time make a valuable contribution to sustainable species conservation. The project focuses on whale sharks – a very impressive species, but unfortunately highly endangered.
In the project, volunteers swim with the animals, measure them, take pictures of them and therefore gather important information to develop further conservation measurements. This combination of adventurous island trip and educational volunteer stay is what fascinates me.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
I think what makes our company unique is the time and effort we put into each of our students’ preparation phase.
It is important for us to get to know our students, to understand their expectations, to answer all their questions and to make them feel well cared for. We also make sure to keep in touch with them throughout their entire time in our project/course.
When a student returns home, calls us and says: “I had the best time of my life, I want to go back” – in moments like these I am really proud of my team.