Meet GeoEx Ambassador Fiona Chalom

About me

My husband and I live in Los Angeles, and love to travel to interesting places. Our hobbies include being involved with art museums and visiting other kinds, like those that focus on natural history.

How I like to travel

I want to get off the beaten path before places change markedly. It is also important to me to see them now while I am able to do so. Much of Europe and other developed countries are more accessible—I'll go there when I need a handrail. When I travel, I don't want to be in some 30-person group; I like that GeoEx groups are small.

Your organization takes care of everything, soup to nuts

From start to finish, I feel secure with your organization. You have a wonderful team of people that makes the trips work. That is why we keep returning. I know I am very picky, and you have been very patient with me.

I also come back to you because you can deal with my need to tailor a trip for my family. Travelling with kids can be challenging, and you have always accommodated my input. For example, when I wanted to go to Southeast Asia, Tina sent me an itinerary she had previously done for another family, and we used that as a starting point to design the trip that I wanted.

My latest favorite trip is India

I loved it all: the sights, the food, the hotels, and the guide were amazing. But we have done many other trips (mostly custom) since we started traveling with GeoEx, including to Myanmar, North Korea, Thailand and Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, the HimalayaMongolia, Peru, Ethiopia, Southern Africa, Laos and Hong Kong, and Rwanda. All my trips have been enjoyable experiences.

Your catalog is a wonderful starting place. It is gorgeous—far nicer than any others I have seen. I look through it and see what strikes my interest. I also like being able to go online and get the itineraries I want right way.

Trust is very important to me

You don't need to be my best friend, just tell me truthfully what you know. It is so important that you have people who have been to the places I want to go. Everyone I have dealt with at your organization has been very honest with me. If they hadn’t been to a certain town or village, or hadn't done a certain activity, they told me. Your staff is informed, intelligent, and trustworthy.

Your trip leaders are the cream of the crop

I wouldn't come back to you if they weren't. Some other companies' leaders don't speak very good English. Though they may be super intelligent, I need someone I can understand. All of your trip leaders have been knowledgeable, efficient, and effective, and you do a good job of matching them to the group.

For example, on our trip to Peru we were thrilled with our Cusco guide, Rosa Alegria. Her breadth of knowledge of Inca and Peruvian history was encyclopedic. We also found her refreshingly frank about the strengths and weaknesses of her country. She is such a warm and kind person. We were never rushed despite being out of breath on some of the hikes; she maintained a great attitude and was encouraging. I could not recommend her more.

Comparing GeoEx to other companies

I have traveled with a couple other companies. With one, we had a really poor experience in Costa Rica, and with the other, which doesn't do medical screening of guests, we had to travel with folks who were not physically able to do the trip! They don't customize anything like you do, and your staff is more accommodating and responsive.