Sustainable travel has been an issue I have been interested in for a while now and through G.A.P Adventures, the sponsor of the grand prize for our soon to be launched Travel Story Contest, I was able to learn more about the topic of sustainable tourism.Danielle Weiss, a former tour leader for G.
A.P, is now the company's Sustainable Tourism Coordinator. While I was quizzing Danielle about sustainable travel issues of course I asked her a bit about herself and her connection to the adventure and eco-travel industry.
As she started to tell me more about her background, I realized that I had a very interesting person right there in front of me, who has lived, worked, studied and volunteered in a number of foreign countries. Needless to say, I needed to find out more about Danielle and her background.Danielle completed a degree in environmental studies at the University of Waterloo and during her college years she travelled to Guatemala and Costa Rica. In her 3rd year of studies she went to Ecuador for two semesters.
During the first semester she worked on academic studies, while during the second semester she volunteered in a coastal jungle project where she provided environmental education to local children, got involved in a tree planting program and worked in a women's program.That year in Ecuador truly changed her life - Danielle came back a different person. The most striking experience was that she had developed a strong distaste for the materialism that is so prevalent in our western societies.
A key memory for Danielle was meeting a family who had walked for four days through the jungle with a sick baby to try to reach medical facilities. Unfortunately the family did not reach the hospital in time and the baby died. Images like these shaped Danielle's realization how hard life is for so many people and how lucky we really are.Danielle will tell us how difficult it was to come back to Toronto and not surprisingly she went back to Latin America not much later.
Over a period of several years, Danielle lived, worked and volunteered in different locations in Latin America and fell in love with the countries, the language and the people. She will share stories of survival where she literally survived on about a dollar a day. During one of her stays in Latin America she linked up with G.
A.P Adventures and eventually become one of their tour leaders. In the upcoming interview, Danielle will tell us more about her travel experience and her experience as a tour leader, continuously on the road for 12 months.
Today, Danielle is back in Toronto, and after various positions at the head office, she has become G.A.P's Sustainable Tourism Coordinator. Through her work Danielle makes a difference in a number of Latin American communities and demonstrates how individuals and private businesses can lend a hand to people in need..
Susanne Pacher is the publisher of a website called Travel and Transitions(http://www.travelandtransitions.com).
Travel and Transitions deals with unconventional travel and is chock full of advice, tips, real life travel experiences, interviews with travellers and travel experts, insights and reflections, cross-cultural issues, contests and many other features. You will also find stories about life and the transitions that we face as we go through our own personal life-long journeys.Submit your own travel stories in our first travel story contest(http://www.travelandtransitions.com/contests.
htm) and have a chance to win an amazing adventure cruise on the Amazon River."Life is a Journey Explore New Horizons".The article with photos is published at Travel and Transitions - Interviews.
By: Susanne Pacher