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Learn what people really do at work

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Adventure Travel Specialist

I’m the vice president of a high end adventure travel company that specializes in Asia, South America, and Africa.


I typically work from 8 am to 6 pm, but often handle crises in different time zones, which means sometimes I wake up at 3 am to send emails to India or get phone calls at midnight by a client stranded in Patagonia.


The majority of my day is aimed at selling trips. That means I oversee everything from our annual catalog design, email blasts, advertising, press releases, paper and cyber and social media.


It’s a small company, so I also manage human resources and other managerial stuff – keep track of our insurance and bonds, banking, boring office stuff. I send and receive emails regarding the operations of our trips to our operators in 15 different countries. I handle phone calls from potential travelers and clients who want to know if they will die trekking in the Himalayas or get eaten by a whale shark in the Galapagos or the ethical reasoning behind traveling to Myanmar or Tibet. When I travel to our destinations for research and development, that means I am meeting with our operators to make sure they are following our level of standards. I do hundreds of hotel inspections and stay in anything from an eco-lodge in the Peruvian Amazon to a $900 a night villa in Chiang Mai, Thailand.


I test out activities that our own clients might enjoy, from traveling across the Thar desert in India by camel, to trying not to throw up as I sail across the Drake Passage on my way to Antarctica, to ziplining in Nicaragua, to caving in Belize, to sitting with Boreno headhunters getting drunk on rice wine. We try to find obscure festivals and cool things to do while you’re on a trip with us. This allows us to design and create award-winning itineraries from all the big name magazines out there – Nat Geo, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast, etc.


I probably won’t even talk to you if you are thinking of doing a trip for under $2,000 a person. Most of our trips range around $5,000 per person just for the land portion of the trip, but we also have clients who pay about $15,000 and up. I have had clients who pay one night extra for a presidential suite at a five-star hotel just so they don’t have to store their luggage down in the lobby. But I have clients who are toll booth collectors or someone who just came back from a deployment in Iraq who has saved up every penny they have just so they can do one dream trip with us.


I wear jeans to work. My dog can snore under my desk. I pretty much have a cool job.

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