Get to know some of the people who might be helping you organise your next trip.

Erin Aquino

Africa & China Consultant

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve worked for Peregrine for 6 years and am currently working part time after taking some time off to start a family. Am really loving being back in the office immersing myself in the world of travel! I had itchy feet for a long time, working and traveling overseas for about 7 years before I returned to my lovely hometown Melbourne! My favourite place to travel to is Africa, and can’t wait to be able to take my little girl to see the wildlife, amazing culture and beautiful landscapes on offer in Africa. 

What is your most memorable travel experience?
Spending a few days with the Mursi people in the Omo Valley region in Ethiopia.  Felt like I was smack bang in the middle of a National Geographic Magazine!

What is your best travel tip?
I always travel with a pegless clothesline!!  Great for the quick clothes washing in the hotel sink!

What is the next destination on your wish list?
Looking forward to going to the Philippines!

Why do you love to travel?
I love taking a break from everyday life and stepping away from the day to day realities of work and bills etc!  I enjoy seeing how others live and of course who doesn’t love tasting the local food! 

 

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Zoe Rees

Charity Consultant and South East Asia, Himalaya & India Specialist

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My passions in life are quite simple, with Travel being No.1. I love every aspect of it from getting out there and experiencing things first hand, to simply learning about new destinations, cultures, food, languages, people, wildlife, landscapes and architecture. For this reason, when I'm not travelling, you will find me happily with my nose in a travel writing book.

Having dual nationalities, I caught the travel bug from a young age, travelling frequently to the UK.  After completing a university degree in Travel and Tourism, I took off on the “right of passage” for all Aussies - a working holiday to and around the USA, Mexico and Western Europe.  I was away for almost 2 years before returning home and entering the travel industry in 2002. Since then, I have travelled extensively through East and West Europe, East Africa, the Middle East, all of South East Asia and parts of Australia. My most recent trip was a trek through the Annapurna’s in Nepal followed by an exploration of northern India.

From my years studying Tourism at university, through to my own experiences travelling, I have come to realise how Travel and Tourism can be so beneficial to a country, yet at the same time have the potential to be equally as destructive. To preserve and sustain these fragile cultures and environments and maintain the authenticity of the experience is vital for the future of travel and tourism and of the countries we visit. That is why I am lucky to be able to work for a company that reflects my beliefs and passions in the way we operate on the ground. Plus I can be a part of helping educate travellers on the destination they are visiting and teach them respect for the various cultures and way of life. 

What is your most memorable travel experience?
For anyone that works in this industry that is like asking a mother who is their favourite child! There are so many, and each place offers something different and memorable – that’s why we love it!

From an emotional perspective, it would have to be Cambodia. I will never forget my time spent there - not for the food (though one of the best meals I have eaten in south east Asia was a Khmer dish at a local village), nor the fascinating culture and beliefs of the Buddhist way of life, nor the many beautiful temples and architecture (like at Angkor Wat). What resonates most in my mind is the people.

These people who have been and still are going through, some of the worst hardships I couldn’t even imagine, yet they are some of the happiest people you will meet. Despite living in a war torn country with constant reminders of the horrific events under the ruling of Pol Pot’s regime; they have a radiance of peace that emanating. What’s their secret? I believe it stems from two main qualities they possess, that many of us do not.....the ability to genuinely forgive and to have a great perspective on life, always seeing the positive in any situation.

As my local guide proceeded to tell us, in quite a matter or fact manner, how his neighbour had tortured and killed his father, his brother, and his uncle, my jaw dropped. Yet to this day, they live amicably side by side and they have no hostility towards each other what so ever. His rationale - what is the point in revenge? We can’t change the past, those working for Pol Pot did so to save their own life. To instigate retaliation would mean a new war and they would suffer even more from it. "We just forgive and move on" - simple as that!

Whether or not you agree, it’s an admirable outlook. Visiting those places, see the affect of the Agent Orange and the land mines which continue to claim victims daily really puts your own life into perspective.

And from a physical sense my trek in Nepal is also very memorable. It was such a sense of achievement to reach Kopra Ridge and see the stunning view of the Himalayas. “Slowly, slowly” our Sherpa’s would tell the group – “there is no rush”. But for me they were unnecessary words - I was having trouble tearing my eyes away from the scenery, to look down at my feet where I was going, that slowly was the only way to take it all in!  Our Annapurna Dhaulagiri was also even more of a special trek for me, as it is very much inline with my travel ethics. Peregrine discovered this route and set up a joint venture with the local community. All profits benefit local schools and village projects.

What is your best travel tip?
I always take a sarong with me, to use as a blanket on those chilly air-conditioned buses in Asia, a pillow, towel, or to cover my shoulders/legs etc when entering temples or sacred sites….oh and earplugs! 

What is the next destination on your wish list?
Bhutan, the “Last Shangri La”, has been high on my forever-growing list. To experience such an unspoilt destination is a rare opportunity these days. The rich unique cultural heritage and environmental landscapes remain largely intact due to its isolation from the rest of the world until quite recently, combined with the Bhutanese government making conservation a priority. Bhutan is a model for proactive conservation initiatives, from banning plastic bags to cigarettes. Add to that the architectural masterpieces that are the spectacular monasteries and the Himalayan Mountains. And of course the people – warm and friendly, living in a respectful and happy manner in accordance to their Buddhist beliefs. Bhutan is an enlightened country that I think many (particularly the western world) can learn from - any country which measures their economy in ‘Gross Domestic Happiness’ has to be pretty special.

Why do you love to travel?
I am completely blown away by how much is out there to experience, beyond our own world that we live in on a day-to-day basis. I also love the fact that as much as you learn about the places you go, you also learn about yourself – it’s both a physical and mental journey.

 

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Erin Rogers

Latin and North American Consultant

Tell us a little about yourself:
After studying Travel/Tourism at university, I embarked on my first solo trip to Europe with a U.K working visa in my hand and never looked back. Since then I have been lucky enough to travel through The U.K, Europe, Canada, the USA, South East Asia and South America. Once I returned to Australia I began working as a travel agent before coming to work with the Peregrine private groups department.

What is your most memorable travel experience?
It’s so hard to choose just one! I have been lucky enough to travel through the Highlands of Scotland on a few occasions. The scenery is just spectacular and the people are so friendly! At night we would head down to the local pub for a meal. Some the rural Scots don’t spent much time around foreigners so they were very excited to have us try the local whiskeys and have a dance.

What is your best travel tip?
Always bring eye mask and earplugs! You can’t always control when, where or how you will have to sleep.

What is the next destination on your wish list?
I hope to be off to Cuba at some stage this year or perhaps giving the Inca Trail in Peru a go.

Why do you love to travel?
What I love about travel is that first afternoon in a new country when you can’t wipe the smile off your face. Everything, even the mundane and familiar seems like a thrilling new challenge. Catching a bus, checking into your accommodation, getting a beer, they all seem so exciting! I also feel it’s important to see how the rest of the world lives. It helps you really appreciate what you have at home and enriches your life.

  

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Julie Moloney

Administration Assistant

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I feel like part of the furniture here at Peregrine!  I have worked here since I was young and fancy free and have enjoyed seeing the world with Peregrine & Gecko’s.  Im now a Mum to two little boys so I don’t get to travel as much these days.  Now I just get to organise fabulous trips for other people!

What is your most memorable travel experience?
Trekking a long hard trek up a vocano to sit with the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda was definitely a highlight.  However, I would say visiting Toul Sleng in Phnom Penh was the most memorable, and haunting experiences.

What is your best travel tip?
Always carry a few USD1 notes in your wallet.  So handy for those awkward tipping moments…do I or don’t I tip?

What is the next destination on your wish list?
A family trip to the beaches in Thailand!

Why do you love to travel?
To experience all cultures (and to remind me how lucky I am to have what I have in Australia!)

  

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Chriss Perry

Group Sales Manager

Tell us a little about yourself:
I have had an amazing 23 years in travel starting in retail travel with Thomas Cook back in the 80’s followed 7 fantastic years with Traveland.  With 2 primary aged children 11 and 8, a Husband of 18 years, a dog and 3 chooks you will find me a person with a deep passion for travel and for making peoples travel experiences the most memorable possible.

What is your most memorable travel experience?
I have over my years visited about 18 countries with my favorites being Egypt where I have been twice.
My highlight, without hesitation, is a visit with my dad, Brian to the Australian War Memorial at El Alemain where he was able to pay respects to his great uncle, a truly emotional and remarkable experience.

What is your best travel tip?
Always expect something to be challenging whilst your away, these are the adventures that make the best stories when you get home!

What is the next destination on your wish list?
Since joining Peregrine my list has grown considerably!! I haven’t been to South America as yet but am planning to walk the Inca trail early next year.

Why do you love to travel?
I love the thrill of packing my bag, reading up my Lonely Planet book, checking my passport, heading off to the airport for that thrilling walk through the big glass doors to a new adventure that never ceases to inspire and amaze me at this wonderful planet we live on.

   

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