In today’s up close and personal industry profile, we speak to Insight Vacations’ US tour director Todd Geist, without cramping his space too much.
The challenge for the industry is: Getting people off the cruise ships and onto our coach.
The things I like about my job: My office changes daily to places that are among the best in North America with no need for a tie or office cubicle. Meeting fun travellers from overseas is also an interesting way to connect with the world, and having half the year to make my own plans and pursue personal travel is a definite perk.
And the frustrations are: Being gone from home for weeks to months at a time makes it hard to maintain relationships, and I always miss the same birthday parties and music festivals every tour season.
If I didn’t work in travel I would be: Homeless
Favourite airline? Whichever one just offered me the lowest price to go on vacation.
My proudest moment was: Successfully driving an auto-rickshaw 3,000 km up the west coast of India with friends as part of a charity race.
The naughtiest thing I ever did was: Not sure that one would be suitable for print.
I try to relax by: Watching movies. If I have a free afternoon on tour, I’m probably at the movie theater switching off my brain for a few hours.
The last time I feared for my life was: See the answer above about my proudest moment.
If I can, I always try to avoid: Negative people. Life is too short to spend it around people who are miserable.
I really wish I had: A house in San Francisco.
The best advice I’ve ever received was: When travelling don’t compare everything to home. Just because it is what we are familiar with doesn’t mean that it is the correct or only way of doing something.
I don’t understand why people: Have no desire to travel overseas. It is one of life’s great pleasures!
My greatest weakness is: I can be too trusting. This has gotten me in trouble a few times over the years.
And my greatest strength is: My organisational talents acquired from my mother. It makes tour directing a fun puzzle.
If I won a $1 million lottery (aside from travelling) I would: Buy a house in San Francisco.
If I was prime minister I would: Probably be Australian…or British…or Japanese… Now if I was President of the USA, I would find a way to make it easier to encourage young Americans to travel overseas. I think getting out in the world to see different cultures and points of view is crucial to breaking down misconceptions about life outside our borders.
If I could be someone else for one day I would be: Someone with a lot of money. Then I would buy and furnish a house in San Francisco and give it to Todd Geist.
I’ve always wanted to travel to: Antarctica. It’s the only continent I haven’t set foot on, and I hope to pull it off in the next few years.
My favourite holiday was: So many good ones to choose from, but my 2006 two-month trip around the world stands out. I kept heading east until I was back home and visited Turkey, Egypt, UAE, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.