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Denise

Denise has been a restless soul since her childhood. She puts this down to the journeys she made from her home in Italy to Romania to visit her grandparents every summer holiday, crossing the mysterious and fascinating world of Communist Western Europe. She strongly believes that it is not all about your final destination that makes a trip, it’s the travelling and cultural encounters that happen in between.

Denise studied for her BA in Oriental Language and Literature at Venice University, spending a summer in Hangzhou University in China as part of her degree. During the holidays she meandered through Europe, Asia, North and Central America, Australia and North Africa.

After finishing her studies, Denise worked as a tour leader in rapidly-evolving China for many intense years, before settling in Sudan where she managed a fixed camp in the middle of the desert for eight years. It was during her time in Sudan that she had a chance meeting with Wild Frontiers in early 2014, which inspired her to go on the road again.

Denise now resides in Paris after falling in love and starting a more complex journey… a family! Most recently she has enrolled at the Sorbonne University in Paris where she plans to study a Master’s degree in Geopolitics. She speaks Italian, English, French, Chinese, Romanian and a little Arabic.

Specialist: China, Iran, Jordan, Oman, Sudan


Interview

Q: How did you fall into tour leading?

A: It just happened! I suppose it was a natural way to marry my passion for travelling with a way of supporting me economically.

Q: What do you like most about tour leading?

A: I like sharing my enthusiasm for a country, a culture, a bazaar or a pastry. When travelling with a group, I like to listen to everyone’s wishes in order to match personal expectations and the needs of the tour. A holiday is a life experience and whether you're a “leader” or “travel companion” you become a part of it.

Q: Where is your favourite part of the world?

A: Asia: it's introspective, mystical, proud and tireless.

Q: What has been your biggest travel highlight?

A: I would say the Terracotta Army of Xian in China: an impressive site and breathtaking encounter with human size warriors, each with individual aspects and personalities.

Q: What’s the one thing you couldn’t travel without?

A: I never travel without my earplugs!

Q: Which famous person would you most like to travel with?

A: Travelling with Darwin would have been a fascinating experience.

Q: Have you ever made a cultural faux pas?

A: Yes, probably when I asked a Sudanese friend to accompany me to a local concert without asking her husband for permission first!