I’ve long been captivated by the beauty of the landscape and the spirit of the people in these remote frontiers. My 30-plus years in sales and marketing is enhanced by an entrepreneurial spirit and a natural affinity for the great outdoors. I gained some serious guiding chops as a co-owner of Wanapitei Canoe and Northern Expeditions, specializing in Arctic canoe trips. And I was the co-founder of Destination Arctic, a tourism marketing consulting company. In 2004, I became co-owner of Horizon & Co., and after I spent 6 years as co-owner and president, the US$12-million boutique travel company was sold to Kensington Tours, and I went on to become the chief experience officer at Arctic Kingdom Polar Expeditions. Deeply passionate about the Arctic and the business of experiential travel, I joined Quark Expeditions as Vice President, Sales in 2012. Since I took the reins as President in 2014, the company has continued to grow and innovate, receiving numerous awards for its breakthrough programs and products.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from traveling?
My advice is to travel to both poles! The Arctic and the Antarctic are the last 2 remaining great wildernesses on our planet. Admittedly, I was bitten by the Arctic bug many years ago, and before my first trip to Antarctica, I didn’t think any place on earth could rival my love for the Canadian Arctic. Well, I was wrong! Antarctica is equally spectacular in so many ways. Call me, and I’ll be happy to share my thoughts as to why!
What advice would you give someone traveling to the Polar Regions?
Experience + emotion = memory! When I travel anywhere, I strive to dial up both the experience and the emotion by getting out of my comfort zone, and the result is both a lifelong memory and a feeling of what I call “maximum aliveness” or “revitalized awareness.” To paraphrase Kurt Hahn, the founder of Outward Bound, we become more alive by simply changing our environments, particularly through adventure. In a unique setting where we can no longer count on things as they were, our senses become more finely attuned and our instincts sharpen, a sure ticket to revitalized awareness.