This week, we meet Guest Traveller Gillian Scaduto, a Two’s a Crowd Tour Host. Two’s a Crowd is an award-winning tour company exclusively dedicated to celebrating solo travellers; making it easy and safe for them to travel the world at a fair price and share amazing experiences with like-minded people. Their motto is “Travel solo but never alone” and their clients are said to enjoy the best of both worlds: private time with personalised attention and low single supplements. Let’s see what tales a well-travelled Tour Host has to share…
I’m a travel addict on the freeway to recovery… That freeway leads to the nearest airport!!
Yes, I guess admitting you have an addiction is not the best but a travel addiction is one I’m happy to work on. The rush that fills me from the moment the plane is circling over a new destination is one of excitement and fear mixed with the wonder of courage. Travel takes you out of your comfort zone it challenges even the most experienced traveller.
To travel well is like putting together the ingredients of a good recipe. Trial and error with many tastings can be half the fun. Although since I landed my dream job as a tour host for Two’s a Crowd four years ago, it’s been a culinary magical gift. Travelling the world with like-minded people is a gift that keeps giving to both you and the clients who come on tour. It creates memories, it can place you out of your comfort zone and it provides a sense of structured adventure.
The essence of travel is moments both heart-pumping and serene; riding a gondola through the mystical canals of Venice; setting a nervous foot on icy, iridescent blue glaciers in Canada. On a quiet evening, cruising in Alaska, a pod of whales silently pass, exuding the calmness of the Sistine Chapel.
I travelled across the sea to Morocco and went sand surfing in the Sahara. I drank tea with the local Berber people, and felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude and compassion for their warm hospitality.
Kenya provided a pinch-me moment when, snug in my tent, I heard branches breaking and looked out to witness a family of elephants majestically pass our camp site only stopping briefly as the matriarch looked my way. To salsa dancing in Cuba with moustached men smoking cigars, to weaving in and out of traffic on the back of a vintage red Vespa in Florence, and yes, red definitely goes faster.
My role is not all glamorous globe-trekking. I’m responsible for the logistics, confirmations, planning, damage control and group dynamics. That can mean dinner reservations at the Eiffel Tower, silent disco-dancing to the beat till all hours in Alaska, coordinating synchronised tyre-swimming in the crystal waters of Croatia, or riding a bike along the Seine canal as the top button of my jeans pops from over-indulgence. It can be offering a silent time for reflection to take in beauty from places like the Canadian Rockies to Monet’s garden.
And then there are the moments, such as when someone turns to me, elation on their face after they have climbed, huffing and puffing, to the top of the Sun Pyramid in Mexico, that I enjoy most. It is the people I connect with and share these incredible experiences with that I find most rewarding.
One of the most fulfilling aspects of being a tour host is watching clients gain confidence; you witness them achieve lifelong goals and overcome fear with encouragement, confidence and courage. One thing they have in common is the ability to rise to the challenge that travel offers.
So, wrap a gift for you, by sharing this gift of creating priceless moments of wonder, with others, on a Two’s a Crowd Tour. The hardest challenge is to decide which one!!
Getting the perfect partner for a selfie is easy when you have a killer smile like this guy; couldn’t resist his charm and big brown eyes. I became a bit of an alpaca and llama expert by the end of my trip and took numerous photos capturing their personalities and inner ‘Blue Steel’ smile. He was the instigator.
Curiosity of other cultures goes both ways when you travel. My budding amigo photographer was all ears and eyes checking out his images. Kids are kids all over the world, playful, curious and delightful.
The morning had arrived, one we had anticipated since we set out to visit South America. The alarm went off but I was already awake listening to the angry sky above and the heavy downpour of rain which had become constant. my heart sank as thoughts of not witnessing Machu Picchu at its finest seemed inevitable.
We set out with optimism and as the shop keepers opened up, music competed with the rain. Of all the songs to play, the “Macarena” sent our feet dancing through the puddles whilst waiting in the queue for the bus. We must have sent a life line to the Gods as the clouds slowly dispersed to reveal Machu Picchu in all its glory.
The sun came out and cast vibrant sunbeams through misty clouds that hovered in the valleys. Some places just demand silence – Machu Picchu is one of them. You receive more than you seek when you venture to this mystical place.
Sometimes when you travel the best moments are when you’re just sitting observing taking the time to absorb the day-to-day activities watching everyday people do everyday things differently.
About Gillian Scaduto:
What Gillian loves most about travelling is not just the awe inspiring historic sites or majestic landscapes that take your breath away, but also the food and the people who warm your heart. She’s travelled all over the world from Egypt to Argentina, Vietnam to France and has the ‘travel bug’ well and truly! Gillian also speaks Spanish fluently. Bien hecho!
For more information about Two’s a Crowd travel, click here.