Teaching Traveling: Group tours are a brilliant way to see the world easily and affordably. Here to give the inside scoop on one such group, Intrepid Travel, is Maya Markowitz, Digital Marketing Manager for the company.
Maya, tell us about yourself.
Maya: Hello! I’m from Santa Rosa, CA. I lived in Australia in 2008-2009 on a working holiday visa and took that time to travel around Australia and New Zealand.
I also spent 9 weeks in Southeast Asia on my way home. In addition to that, I’ve spent most of my adult years making travel a priority in my life.
I’ve been at Intrepid Travel for 3 years. I used to work in B2B marketing for companies large and small. After feeling little connection to what I was selling, I looked for a change in industries along with a company that aligned with my passions.
At Intrepid Travel, I’ve been able to feed my travel bug while staying in touch with the latest and greatest in digital marketing. We’re finding so much traction in the US market the last few years, not just because the country is so large but also because there is a change in sentiment on what’s important in life. People are looking to collect experiences rather than things and we’re well positioned to meet that need.
TT: Such a great shift! Tell us about a great travel experience you have personally had through Intrepid Travel.
M: Last Summer I had the opportunity to take our Explore Croatia tour (click for details) which is 8 days and starts in Dubrovnik and ends in Split. I was impressed with the abundant seafood and the local wines. The ocean vistas with islands dotted in the distance were just breathtaking.
Dubrovnik with its orange rooftops was stunning, especially since I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan and a lot of it is filmed in that city. From there we visited the island of Korcula where we explored and enjoyed a private dinner at the home of a local family. We then boarded a ferry to the more lively island of Hvar. We visited the farmers market, hiked to a vista point and ate dinner on an outdoor patio. We also rented a water taxi and spent the day island hopping at beautiful beaches.
Our final destination was Split, the only thriving city that exists within palace walls. After a city tour, we happened across a local food & dance festival and spent the evening under the stars. Those are the moments we treasure as we travel.
TT: Love it! How did you chose this particular tour?
M: I have always been intrigued by Croatia as many have referred to it as the new Italy. I conveniently tied the trip to Croatia with Intrepid Travel along with a solo travel trip I had planned in Italy.
TT: Brilliant. Now, what is included in the cost of an Intrepid Travel trip?
M: The Explore Croatia trip included 2 breakfasts and 1 dinner, in country transportation which included private bus, ferry and local bus as well as all of the accommodation, a local guide and several activities which range from city tours to wine tasting.
TT: So convenient. I took a similar group tour in India, and it’s incredibly useful to have all those logistics and expenses taken care of by experts. So, tell us one moment from your travels that was particularly fabulous.
M: My favorite moment on this trip was at dinner on the island of Korcula. We took a local bus across the island to this small town and entered what looked like someone’s home. This family had prepared an entire meal served family style.
The food kept coming and coming and they were local delights we would never have ordered on our own. Not only that, but much of it was grown on site by this family. We shared lots of laughs as a group which made for a beautiful night.
TT: How have your travels impacted you in your current career? Did your Intrepid Travel trip teach you anything new? Was it a learning experience?
M: Traveling always reminds me of the importance of connecting day to day. Both with the people you love as well as the people who pop up in your life unexpectedly. It teaches resilience and flexibility as nothing ever goes as planned (but a local leader certainly helps).
TT: How have your travels impacted you as a person?
M: Traveling has given me perspective outside of my own personal bubble and comfort zone. It pushes you to do things you may not normally do which challenges you as a person and forces you to expand your mind to the realm of possibilities.
TT: What advice do you have for people who are dreaming of travel and learning through cultural experience?
M: As I mentioned earlier, I spent a year in Australia on a working holiday visa. As far as I understand, Australia and New Zealand are the only countries in the world which allow this for people under 30 years old. More info on the visa here.
My other piece of advice is to make travel a priority. People always say, “I want to go here but…” There will always be obstacles to travel be it money or time but with a well thought out plan it’s always possible. And take the chance to travel when you’re between jobs, negotiate it into your offer letter.
TT: Thanks so much, Maya! Readers, what questions or comments do you have about her travels or Intrepid Travel group tours?
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The author, Lillie Marshall, is National Board Certified Teacher from Boston who has been a full-time public school educator since 2003. She launched Teaching Traveling in 2010 to share expert global education resources, and additionally runs Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog, and DrawingsOf.com for educational cartoons. Do stay in touch via subscribing to her monthly newsletter, and following on social media with the links below!