Staff Member Spotlight: Emma Uri

Title
Chief Reservations Manager + Trip Director

Photos

A native of Seattle, Washington and resident of Athens, Greece for over six years, traveling is an everyday part of Emma’s life. Outside of leading trips in the summer, Emma manages programs in Europe, Asia, and the USA for TFT, holds a Master’s Degree in Southeastern European Studies from the University of Athens, and still finds time for some urban walking, hiking, taking photos, baking sweet treats, swimming, and coffee dates.

What is your favorite travel memory?

One of my first international trips on my own was during my study abroad experience - I went to Cairo with a couple of my fellow classmates. We decided to take the metro to the pyramids (which can be done!), but clearly seemed lost. A kind man approached us with his son in hand and told us he'd help us get to where we could find a tour group for the site, as they had also come in from Alexandria to see this Ancient Wonder of the World. Our day was a success based on the kindness of a stranger and the basic human connection which reaches across country boundaries.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Since joining TFT, I have become more entranced by this world and confident in my own endeavors. The world is a magical, complicated, diverse place, and adventures are around every corner. Being surrounded by people who also share this passion has allowed me to explore my own home, whether state-side or in Greece, and to dive into the world with open arms.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

One of my favorite parts of traveling with teens is seeing how the experience of traveling changes their lives - with social media, I get to follow along on their journeys into adulthood and how travel becomes an integral part of their lives. From study abroad in college to volunteering, internships, and working abroad, it's amazing to see where the world takes us.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Our Greece Island Hopping for Older Teens has a special place in my heart - I have been based in Athens for over six years now and I feel like this program encompasses the best of the Cyclades for the teens -- beaches, history, Grecian summer nights, delicious food, and some of my favorite local spots! We master the Greek public transportation of ferry boats, learn to make some of the best Mediterranean dishes in the world, enjoy pristine beaches in the afternoon, and immerse ourselves in local villages.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Every person on the TFT team is dedicated not only to sharing their passion for international travel with others, but teaching how travel can be done. It's amazing to have a strong, solid network of like-minded individuals who love discovering the world with teenagers. We all put our passions into the work we do, and that is clearly evident during our programs during the summer with the teens -- we are having fun while traveling the world with new or seasoned teen travel companions!

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Every person who comes to TFT doesn't come just to travel - they come because they love what travel has done to their lives and have a passion for working with youth. I can speak from experience that my travels during middle and high school inspired me to make travel a part of my adult life, and everyone at TFT has a similar story, providing a passion for our work not often found elsewhere.