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Emma McCormick

After working for several years in banking and finance and deciding it wasn’t for me, I headed off on a travel gap year. My first stop was Southern Africa for 6 weeks of culture and big game, before flying on to South America. Touching down in Buenos Aires it was love at first sight! I travelled through Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay and then up into Brazil in time for the famous Carnival, a celebration of Afro-Brazilian culture and music with bustling street parties and block presentations. After this it was time for me to head across to Bolivia on the ‘death train’. When I arrived into the eastern city of Santa Cruz I spent 3 months learning Spanish and volunteering with underprivileged children.

I continued on to explore the otherworldly salt flats of Salar de Unyui and across the great Lake Titicaca into Peru. It was here that I was able to achieve my lifelong dream of visiting Machu Picchu. Arriving at sunrise and watching the clouds clear to reveal the amazing ruins is still one of my favourite ever travel highlights! I then ended up in Arequipa, the ‘White City’ in the south, where the relaxed lifestyle and near year-round moderate weather made me want to stick around. I spent almost a year here volunteering with children, working on my Spanish and then teaching English and working in a bar.

When I eventually ran out of money it was time to go home and get a ‘real job’. I ended up ‘falling into’ travel and I was instantly hooked! It was something I loved, and I was good at. It wasn’t too long though until I got itchy feet again, this time I was off to Central America, where I spent 3 months travelling around Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras, where I stayed to run a hostel and get my PADI certification on the small island of Roatan. Since then I’ve taken agents to Chile and Ecuador, staying in a lot of the hotels and lodges that Chimu work with and experiencing the fantastic expedition style ships in the Galapagos. I hope to get down to Antarctica in the near future and spend some more time exploring the polar regions of the world.

I have worked in Australia, the UK and New Zealand in a range of retail, inbound, outbound and wholesale roles and now I am lucky enough to find myself here at Chimu, heading up the product team. Latin America and the Polar regions have always been my passion.

I love the culture, people and food of Latin America and the sense of adventure and getting off the beaten track when exploring the Arctic regions. Every adventure in the region is so different and unique. You really need to be willing to adapt and to go with the flow of things to get the best experience, which is the kind of travel I enjoy. I always try and keep that sense of adventure in my role at Chimu and in sourcing a range of sustainable, exciting and memorable accommodation and experiences for our guests to experience when they travel with us.   

Emma McCormick

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