Meet the GeoEx Travel Experts: Kim Anderson
Kim Anderson is stepping into a new role here at GeoEx as a Director of Global Sales. We recently 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 was originally interested in space travel. As children, my brother and I made model rockets and studied the planets. We were in the local newspaper for launching our models (with the help of our teacher, of course). The space program was a huge part of our education. However, four decades ago, my opportunity to travel was wrapped in a flight attendant uniform instead of a flight suit. My flight attendant career was a wonderful place to fuel my wanderlust, and I feel fortunate I was in a place in my life to be so mobile and adaptable.
What countries have you visited?
I’ve never counted countries, but I estimate I have been to Japan more than 700 times! I’ve also traveled to Antarctica, India, Myanmar, China, Taiwan, Russia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Galápagos, Chile, Italy, France, England, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Canada, and a half dozen islands in the Caribbean!
What trip or trips have especially shaped you as a traveler?
I love solo travel. It was never a goal to travel alone; it was just easier to pick up and go rather than try to coordinate schedules with friends. This forced me to reach out to others instead of depending on my traveling companions for company, and led to some most interesting travel experiences. It also made me fearless (almost).
What’s the meaning or excitement of travel for you?
I love that I am always surprised by something when I travel. This is sometimes good, and sometimes not so much, but it’s always interesting. I can confidently say, “It was never dull!”
What most excites you about your role as a GeoEx Director of Global Sales?
I enjoy meeting kindred spirits. When a traveler calls with a particular destination in mind, I really am excited for them. By reaching out to GeoEx, they have already established their curiosity and spirit of adventure. I know that adventure travel means different things to different people, so I try to listen carefully and ask questions that allow travelers to share their vision. When I have a sense of their comfort zone, if I think of something they would love that they haven’t considered or may not know about, I’ll suggest that, gently pushing the envelope a bit and making sure they’re aware of all the spectacular options. If they have an interest in Antarctica, for example, I can suggest optional camping or kayaking as part of their journey. My most important goal is working with them to arrange a trip that meets their dreams.
What’s your most memorable travel experience?
My most recent (and memorable) experience was taking part in the Polar Plunge in Antarctica. It’s a bit of a tradition there. It isn’t scheduled on the daily activities, but when conditions allow, the crew announces “Polar Plunge” and the willing (some say crazy) participants don swimsuits and robes and line up to voluntarily jump into the icy waters of Antarctica! I would estimate that at least half of the guests participated; the other half took photos and looked on shaking their heads in disbelief. It was exhilarating, invigorating, and-yes-crazy, but I wouldn’t have missed it. It was an amazing bonding experience: From that point on in the expedition, as I passed my fellow Plungers, we would exchange a knowing smile and giggle. Thinking about it still makes me smile and giggle (and shiver a bit).
What’s your most memorable GeoEx travel experience?
I had the opportunity to travel to Bhutan with colleagues celebrating our longstanding relationships there. It is such a special place. My favorite part was “glamping” along the Mo River in Punakha.
Is there anything else about your travel experiences or philosophy that you’d like to tell us?
My mantra is: Travel with an open heart and a small suitcase. The happiest, most relaxed travelers in baggage claim are the ones with the least luggage!
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To learn more about the many far-flung destinations that GeoEx travels to, give Kim, or any of our experts, a call at 888-570-7108.