Meet the GeoEx Travel Experts: Corinne Edwards
Corinne Edwards has just moved into a new position at GeoEx. We sat down with her to talk about her travel experiences and philosophy, and her goals in her new role.
How did you first get interested in travel and what were your first significant travel experiences?
I attribute my desire to travel to receiving National Geographic magazines from as young an age as I can remember. Every story and photo gave me an urge to be there and see for myself-as if they were brochures advertising the world. If these fascinating places really existed, I needed to visit them.
Unable to decide on a major in college, I pondered my biggest passions. At that time, I had only been as far as Mexico and Canada, but seeing and sharing the world was my most pressing desire. I ended up coming across an ad for a “Travel Careers” program at a nearby college, so I enrolled. Immediately after completing the two-year program, I hopped on a plane for my first overseas trip-a solo backpacking tour of some European highlights. If I was going to sell and work in travel, Europe was a must! It was about three weeks of valuable travel lessons, enriching travel experiences, and reassurance that I was entering a career I would endlessly be excited about.
What countries have you visited?
I’m lucky enough to have ventured far and wide. In addition to visiting Western Europe, I’ve explored many countries in Asia (including Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Nepal, India, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan) and Latin America (Panama, Costa Rica, and Mexico), as well as Iran.
I have a special fondness for trekking and have enjoyed expeditions in Nepal, Ecuador, Peru, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, and New Zealand.
What trip or trips have especially shaped you as a traveler?
They’ve all varied quite a bit. My time in Panama was probably the most rugged: traveling solo to remote villages and small towns really increased my overall desire to get out of my comfort zone. Coming back from that particular trip gave me new perspectives on modern ways and an appreciation for cultures that find happiness in simplicity. The experience affirmed the importance of travel, not just for me, but for everyone. No matter where I’ve been, meeting people from around the world, whether a local or another traveler, and learning about other ways of life has always been enriching and inspiring.
What’s the meaning or excitement of travel for you?
Exploring outside my norm. If it involves trekking and/or being outdoors, even better! Not only do cultures vary, this world has so many incredible environments to explore.
What about your job as GeoEx Director of Global Sales most excites you and/or gives you particular satisfaction?
The endless learning about new corners of the world, and sharing that excitement with clients who also value exploring. I’m looking forward to helping travelers who are interested in treks find the expedition that is best suited for them (in terms of rigor and region), so they can have a really rewarding travel experience.
What’s your most memorable travel experience?
There have been many, but one that really stands out is visiting Iran. It’s often considered a “dangerous” destination, but to go and feel how incredibly warm and welcoming Iran and the Iranian people truly are, was an experience I’ll always appreciate. Seeing is believing!
Another is trekking to Everest Base Camp, which was literally a dream come true. Being at the base of the highest mountain in the world and envisioning the setup of early mountaineers was surreal.
What’s a special travel experience that you’ve been able to arrange for someone that has been especially successful or meaningful for you?
I once had a client request a very detailed trip to the Azores, to research their family history. The trip was very successful and through my research, I learned a ton about the islands (including the boatloads of people who migrated to the Bay Area from the Azores due to the whaling industry)! Months later, I received a second Azores request and felt like a total pro.
I also get extra giddy when helping plan a trek, especially to less traveled peaks in Nepal. Exhilarating treks are plentiful, and being surrounded by the highest mountains in the world is indescribably humbling.
Is there anything else about your travel experiences or philosophy that you’d like to tell us?
I am a strong believer in the power of firsthand experience. For me personally, seeing is believing… This leads to better understanding of anything foreign and more compassion for others, as well as expanding innate perspectives on faith, what brings happiness, and how best to live. I’m constantly chasing those exhilarating feelings of growth and learning, so my motto has been “the more foreign, the better.” I find it endlessly rewarding to help or inspire others to explore this amazing world!
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