Camping out under the star with a Maasai community, deep in the Tanzanian bush. We cooked a BBQ together and shared stories through a translator learning from one another. Every now and then a giraffe, elephant or gazelle would pass by and we would often hear the roar of a lion far in the distance. It was such a privilege to learn about how sustainably they live using the nature around them with minimal impact.
Staff Spotlight: Dom Parker
What is your favorite travel memory?
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
I have realised it is important to keep chasing your dreams and your life long goals. One day, sooner than you think, it can happen. My dream was to found an organisation leading expeditions to Tanzania. One day that came true.
It's not all been roses since I made the decision to found GLV, but it's been so worthwhile. I have learnt that living your dream is not all fun and games or what you expected, but we each have our calling in life; once you have figured that out and start living it, then you can be the person you were meant to be and be that best version of yourself. Although now running GLV, which has felt like the destination all along, I can look back at my journey to getting here and have learnt not to take that journey for granted.
Don't waste that time: your journey will define your destination.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
I think the biggest impact you can have on a student/volunteer who attends one of your trips/expeditions is for them to have a positive, life-changing experience that changes the course of their life for good. One volunteer I led was so inspired by the experience and the way of life with us he didn't want it to end. He came back to work with us and still to this day, inspired by his experience with us, he has gone on to do similar work in his own company in Tanzania.
That one trip had the power to allow an individual who didn't know where they were going in life or what they wanted, to now create a dream and provide a direction and ultimately a new career and life they love.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
For me, it would have to be the 4-week Conservation, Culture and Adventure Expedition. I have always found that variety is the spice of life.
There is so much you can experience with this expedition, every day is different. This trip allows you to experience the best of Tanzanian's cultural and adventure activities while conserving the environment and living sustainably throughout.
Four weeks is enough to really get to know and understand the locals and their way of life as well as pack in as much as GLV and Tanzania have to offer you.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
What really makes us unique is that we take the time to listen and understand our volunteers as well as the communities we work with. Even before our volunteers join us on the trip we get to know them, what their interests are, what skills they can bring and how they want to make a difference. We then do our best to tailor-make their experience to ensure it is enjoyable, beneficial and impactful as possible.
This goes for the communities we work with. We love to sit and listen to understand the needs, hopes and fears. What makes me proud is there are people from other sides of the world wanting to share common goals such as reforesting deserted land and we are able to bring these people together to achieve their goals.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Not thinking your right and your way is the only way. I think it is important to constantly and continually learn from others, look at what people are saying and what is working well elsewhere.
The world is rapidly changing, sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad. I think it important to observe these changes and get a good understanding of them before you make a decision to either dismiss it or blindly join it. Keep learning, keep adapting and keep aiming to do what is right for the world around you.
At GLV, we don't believe success is how much money we make or how big our company can grow we believe success is what positive changes we can make to our staff, volunteers, communities, and environment.