We are excited to announce that our new Assistant Travel Manager, Helen Duley, has started at Caledonia this month!
Helen is an MSc Environment and Development graduate from The University of Edinburgh where she wrote her Dissertation on community-based ecotourism in Southern Belize.
Not only has Helen travelled extensively in the UK, but she is also passionate about exploring new countries and cultures around the world. Having lived and worked in Spain for a year in between her degrees, Helen developed a love for the Spanish language and culture and began planning a trip further afield to South America. In the winter of 2017/18, Helen spent four months backpacking through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile; getting to know the vibrancy and diversity of life in Latin America.
Before joining Caledonia, Helen worked with a community food growing social enterprise in Manchester and a global mobility company in London. She is excited to share her enthusiasm and love of travel with Caledonia.
HEADING STRAIGHT OUT TO CUBA
Helen is excited to be heading out to Cuba in July to take part in our two-week Cuba Salsa Holiday in Santiago. Her trip coincides with Santiago’s vibrant Festival del Caribe, this annual music and dance festival is a joyous and colourful celebration of Caribbean culture. Each year the festival is dedicated to a guest country, this year being Uruguay, and a delegation of their top performers is welcomed to Santiago de Cuba, performing alongside top Cuban and other Caribbean artists. Helen is looking forward to meeting our local contacts in Cuba and our customers on the trip! Find out more about our Cuba Salsa Holidays here.
GETTING TO KNOW HELEN
What inspires you to travel? Getting out into the world and exploring the diverse landscapes and experiencing how life is lived in different countries.
Favourite country visited so far? I am struggling to pick one but Spain, and the region of Galicia in particular, holds a special place in my heart after living there for a year. The local food is delicious, the people are friendly and the beaches are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever visited! India with its vibrant and wonderfully chaotic character is also a favourite along with Peru for the stunning hiking opportunities in the Andes.
Most memorable moment whilst travelling? Experiencing the Salsa Festival in Cali on Christmas Day in torrential rain, hiking the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu arriving at sunrise on my birthday and staying with Mayan families in the Belizean rainforest!
A moment of culture shock? Arriving back in London after my first trip to India and noticing the smooth and quiet flow of traffic, the limited interactions between people on the street and the long orderly queue to get onto National Express bus!!
On holiday I…like to eat local food, speak to local people, climb mountains or go to the beach and swim in the sea. All preferably somewhere hot!
I would love to…explore the other half of South America – Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. And get to know more of Cuba of course!