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Vivian

Vivian is only the fourth government licensed tour guide in Ecuadorian history. Originally from Quito, she studied Tourism and Hotel Management and has lived and worked in both the US and Europe. Vivian is married with one child and has travelled the world promoting Ecuador and its two largest travel agencies.

Specialist: Ecuador & Galapagos


Interview

Q: How did you fall into tour leading?

A: I was 22 and it just seemed like something that would suit me so I undertook university courses that would allow me to get my tour guide licence. I was the fourth person licensed by Ecuador (license #004) - today, twenty-four years later, there are over 800 people.

Q: What do you like most about tour leading?

A: Meeting interesting people with so many different occupations and backgrounds from all over the world such as a Nepalese government minister, NASA scientists and several thousand others.

Q: Where is your favourite part of the world?

A: Ushuaia, Argentina and the wildly romantic, desolate Patagonia.

Q: What has been your biggest travel highlight?

A: Flying in a light plane over the spectacular Grand Canyon with my then 12 year old son temporarily at the controls!

Q: What’s the craziest request you’ve ever had from a client?

A: Going on a crazy one hour, rural, high Andes, high speed cab chase with our departed tour bus to retrieve a client’s cell phone - waving it down, finding the phone and racing to Quito airport to catch the client just before take-off for Peru. I later realised a cell phone was not worth risking my life for!

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

A: A sense of humour and my first aid kit, which has helped many clients with toothache, cuts, abrasions and contusions.

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

A: Alexander von Humboldt.

Q: Have you ever made a cultural faux pas?

A: While talking on the bus intercom to a U.S. travel group I accidentally referred to President Obama as Obama Bin Laden. Later, on telling this to my U.S. husband he said: “You’re an IDIOT!”