International Women’s Day: Hear from the incredible women at Wendy Wu Tours!

We handpicked a few of our dedicated women here at Wendy Wu HQ London and asked them about their experiences on a tour with Wendy Wu Tours. 

Meet Arti: 

 

 

Name: Arti Gondalia

Job Title: Call Centre Manager

How long have you worked at WWT? 11 years & 6 months 

Where have you visited? Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina & Brazil (all with WWT) 

What did you like about going on the tours?

The inclusions and touring as I probably wouldn’t have ever seen as much I have on the Wendy Wu tours, had I booked this independently.  The knowledge of the guides and national escorts really made my trip!

Destination knowledge aside, the whole experience itself, was eye-opening. Experiencing different modes of transport from tuk tuks to local trains and the authentic cuisines in each country which are most definitely unlike the restaurants in London.

What did you learn on the Tours?

I learned so much more about the countries visited than the standard tourist and got the best experience of the attractions. China to see the Great Wall, Vietnam to experience the Cu Chi Tunnels, India to see the Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu in Peru – just to name a few! I also really enjoyed learning about the different cultures in each destination! 

What was your biggest achievement on the trips?

The tours I have been on are completely the opposite to the type of holiday I would book myself. I  usually opt for a beach holiday with some excursions here and there, but mostly I just relax and unwind so these trips and tours definitely took me out of my comfort zone!

The escorted touring, the amount of walking, the long days etc were completely new for me, however I got so much from all the tours and am so pleased I did them! For example, reaching the top of Machu Picchu  was something I never thought I would do! Also, not giving up on the Great Wall in China when there were tourists in all directions, was something I am proud of myself for! The thrilling boat trip at Iguazu Falls (when I have a fear of water) was also a massive highlight that I will never forget.

What extraordinary experience do you still talk about now?

When I visited India, I was lucky enough to see five tigers in Ranthambore when some people may only see one! There is so much more, the list is endless. 

Favourite life quote or mantra:

“Memories take you back.  Dreams take your forward.”

Meet Heather:

Name: Heather Greening

Job Title: Special Groups Product Manager

How long have you worked at WWT? 3 years

Wheer did you visit?

On this particular trip I went to Latin America and did Peru, Argentina, Brazil (Rio – for carnival) and Iguassu Falls (both Brazil/Argentina sides), and Chile. 

What did you like about going on the tour? 

Since I had a private guide throughout, we got so immersed within each culture. Lima has a huge scene for gastronomy, and we were taken to one of the best hidden restaurants there for typical ceviche. I got to experience ice trekking for the first time on Puerto Moreno Glacier down in Argentinian Patagonia and, as a personal highlight, experience the famous Rio Carnival at the Sambradome! 

What did you learn from he tours? 

That Rio Carnival is an endurance test! I’ve already started practising my skills for lasting longer next time 😉. I didn’t realise that it starts around 9-10pm at night and goes until 6am roughly (for five whole days!). I lasted until 4am, which I thought was a good effort though the Brazilians thought otherwise!

What was your biggest achievement on the trip?

How many Caipirinhas and Pisco sours I drank! I even impressed myself! 

What extraordinary experience do you still talk about now? 

I would have to say the ice trekking. It’s not something I would usually do, or think of doing; so for me this was completely out of my comfort zone. It was amazing though! 

Meet Catherine: 

Name: Catherine Woodhouse 

Job Title: Senior Graphic Designer 

How long have you worked at WWT: 18 months 

Where did you visit on your tour? 

China – Kunming, Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-La.

What did you like about about going on the tours? 

I liked that no two days were the same! We were able to go off the beaten track but still have the reassurance of being with an expert guide. We had some early starts but we saw so much!  Tony, our local guide, was always on hand to answers our questions and his knowledge and enthusiasm for the local area made the holiday unforgettable.

What did you learn from the tour? 

Travelling helps you to become comfortable with pushing your boundaries outside of your comfort zone.

What was your biggest achievement on the trip? 

Being a solo traveller on a group tour was a new experience for me! Travelling in a group with like-minded people is something I’d wholeheartedly recommend.

What extraordinary experience do you still talk about now? 

Venturing into the mountains in China was truly memorable. I really enjoyed taking the Cangshan Mountain cable car rising high above the city of Dali and Erhai Lake in the southern province of Yunnan, China. Climbing around the wooden walkways above a sea of clouds was incredible!

Favourite life quote or mantra

”Once you have travelled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey” Pat Conroy.

Meet Alexia: 

Name: Alexia Christou

Job Title: Personal Travel Consultant 

How long have you worked at WWT: 18 months

Where did you visit on your tour?  India, the Golden Triangle

What did you like about going on the tour? 

Shimla’s beautiful scenery, the delicious food, the great weather and the daily chai!

What did you learn on the tour? 

Never take anything for granted! We are so fortunate to have everything that we do.

What was the biggest achievement for you on the trip? 

Avoiding ‘Delhi Belly’!

Favourite life quote or mantra:

 “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list” – Susan Sontag

Last, but by no means least, we caught up with our Chairwoman Wendy Wu. 

Meet Wendy: 

Name: Wendy Wu 

Job Title: Chairwoman & Founder 

How long you’ve worked at WWT: Since the very beginning! 

What places have you visited? 

Everywhere! I like to be knowledgeable of the destinations we cover with our tours. 

What do you like about going on our tours? 

The extraordinary experiences, the expert guides and the fantastic service which is second to none! 

What have you learnt from the tours? 

Whenever I go on a tour, I take time to get to know the other people on the tour. I listen to their stories, their feedback and take ideas and suggestions on how to make our tours even better. 

What was the biggest achievement for you on the trips? 

When a tour sells out again and again, or when customers return for another tour – that to me is the best achievement! Knowing you have created something that people want to go on and recommend to their family and friends. Tours such as Japan Uncovered are special to me because we are the only ones to have this tour – we created it! That’s why we are the UK’s No.1 China and Japan Experts! 

Favourite life quote or mantra

“You can always do better!” I believe in pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and believing in yourself. 

One last question whilst we have you Wendy. How do you strive to inspire the staff (not just women) who work at WWT? 

I always say that no question is a stupid question, and I will always take time to listen to people that ask me a question or want to talk about something. As a business we make sure staff are kept up to date and in the loop as much as possible and that they feel they have someone to talk to if they need to. 

I always try and inspire people to do their best and always recommend that they travel and see the world! 

Wendy posing at the helm of the Victoria Mekong cruise vessel in Cambodia.

The women from our current group enjoying our ‘Chile Top to Toe‘ tour – wishing us all a Happy International Women’s Day!

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