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Probably my enthusiasm for different cultures arose already as a small child, during regular family visits to Bangladesh. Various travels, my tourism studies and different jobs in the tourism industry showed me that travel can combine cultures, create income opportunities and even serve nature conservation. Hence, I was completely under the spell of the industry. After a year in Asia, a job vacancy from Travel Nation led me to Brighton. I am now looking forward to helping other travellers have impressive experiences.
I’ve studied in the beautiful (and cold) Harz mountains in Germany, on the rough coast of Denmark and did an internship in Australia to warm up again.
Because I’ve always loved travelling, the tourism industry attracted me quite early. Since my first school internship for a small tour operator, I have remained faithful to the industry in the last 14 years. I studied tourism and helped organise a conference for sustainable tourism in Asia/Pacific during an internship in Australia. Afterwards, I worked as a quality and product manager for a sustainable tour operator in Germany, where I’ve trained tour guides and staff, was involved in a campaign for human rights in tourism and organised tours mainly to Africa.
Regina has visited:
I go to concerts, meet friends, hike or rock climb.
I am camera-shy.
Teaching English in Shanghai or becoming a dive master in Cambodia or guiding excursions for a hotel on the Maldives or organising travels in Uganda.
A fishing village on a small island in Cambodia. The life there was too good to move on quickly. In the morning I worked at a small bungalow resort at the tip of the island, surrounded by the sea. In the afternoon, I either helped the divers over and underwater, explored new jungle treks, guided travellers to the various beaches or visited friends in the village and learned Khmer before I swam in the sea with illuminating plankton when it was dark. Glorious times!
Myanmar! The various ethnic groups with their different traditions, the thousand golden pagodas, the sunrise in Bagan, the incredible open-mindedness and hospitality of the locals, the tea leaf salad and the lonely, beautiful beaches in the South exceeded all expectations.
Live from the rucksack (a big zip helps).
This question makes little sense to me, because if I wanted to live somewhere else I would probably just go for it. We’re not trees, we have legs instead of roots! I am absolutely happy living in Brighton and therefore I do not want to live in any other spot right now. At some point I will probably return to the tropics and I could imagine living in New Zealand in the long term.
My eight-month backpacking trip after finishing school was my first big trip: Asia for the first time without the family, the incredible wideness of Australian landscapes, the freedom of life in the camper van, the diversity of New Zealand and encounters with people from all over the world were more impressive than I had expected.
My favourite beach is a beach on an Cambodian island Koh Rong Samloem. Why? Because I lived on it in a house above the water. Through the holes in the floor I could even see fishes swimming below me.
Uganda, because here I had my most impressive nature experiences so far - my first safari and the close encounter with mountain gorillas living in the wild.
A typical dinner with my host family in Cambodia: I asked what was on the menu and understood "snail." Snails are not my favorite food, but I wanted to stay polite and tried a big spoon. Somehow however, the snails were quite bony. It turned out that it was “snake” in the curry.
The first time I went to Australia, I worked on a horse farm. During my second visit I helped organising a conference on sustainable tourism. In Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam I was a tour guide, in Cambodia and Myanmar I worked in small bungalow resorts and in Chia I worked on an organic farm.
Since my father is from Bangladesh I regularly visited one of the poorest and most densely populated countries on earth. Growing up in two different worlds meant culture-shock was somehow normal to me. I first became aware of this when I travelled around Asia without my family and realized how different this world was to most of my travel companions.
I found my trip from Myanmar across the border to Thailand quite strange. Apart from me the driver took a couple of local hitchhikers along. Everyone left cakes and other pastries, which was stored next to me. At every police control, the cake stock pile became one or two cakes smaller.
Shanghai. The city is not only full of contrasts between rich and poor, East Asian and Western culture, modernity and traditions, it also has really good restaurants and bars.
The wedding celebrations in Cambodia have always been a great pleasure for young and old. The whole village was invited, there was special food, a lot of beer with ice and at the end everyone ended up dancing around a table.
After a couple of weeks I’m usually craving an extensive breakfast with friends, proper bread and cheese.