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Hi, Talia Salem here, the new Marketing Coordinator for The Undiscovered Travel Collection.

Those who know me, know I love to travel. Traveling is something that is part of my very fiber. My passion for globetrotting and discovering new places arose in me at a very young age. I got my first passport at five months old and soon after went on my first international trip to Amman, Jordan. While I was not yet in control of my travel schedule, or anything for that matter, this early experience with travel undoubtedly stuck with me. 

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Growing up I made many more trips to Jordan to visit my mother’s family and explore the region. Each time I returned home with a slightly different perspective on the world, but I didn’t fully realize the importance of these experiences until I got to college. So when I was offered the opportunity to study abroad while working on my Bachelor’s degree at UCLA, naturally I accepted. I packed up my bags and moved to Paris, France for one year to immerse myself in the French culture, which included taking all my courses in French. While living and learning in French was challenging at times, especially considering how frequently I was asked about my political views during the Iraq war, I attribute my mastery of the French language to France’s intellectual curiosity about other cultures and other peoples’ opinions on politics and the world.

This year living in the cultural capital of France was indescribably enriching. The city is a veritable crossroads of different cultures, political beliefs, people, perspectives, and activities. It was also the perfect jumping-off point for traveling to lesser known, more intimate destinations in France and Europe, which allowed me to experience the authentic culture outside of the mainstream tourism meccas. (It is very rare to meet a Parisian that is actually from Paris; if they tell you they are, lookout for the unmistakably southern French “twang.”) This year of traveling in Europe led me to another year of living in France, which gave way to many other trips in other countries and eventually a career in the travel industry. 

As a traveler, travel industry professional and a travel writer, I always seek out new experiences and that feeling of being stimulated by a completely foreign essence. These days, an authentic and novel travel experience can be hard to come by. America has found its way into many destinations. You can hear American top 40 in a club in Dubai and eat McDonalds in China. And while these are the effects of globalization and they have a place in the tourism world, many travelers like me seek out a more unfamiliar experience.

 My quest to uncover new, off-the-beaten-path destinations is what attracted me to The Undiscovered Travel Collection. Our portfolio of destinations, communities, lodges and settings are largely unknown to the traveling public and provide a distinct and meaningful sense of place. The Collection is authentic by nature—and not only because authenticity is a huge travel trend right how. Our members do not have to hype up their local cuisine, high employment of local residents, or well-protected natural settings, because this is the inherent experience that The Collection offers.

We hope that you find something undiscovered in our Collection. I am signing off for now.

A la prochaine (until next time),

Talia Salem

Published in Our Journal

When someone asks me where I am from, I cannot really say one place. I rattle off a list of countries and states, it is almost easier just say that I am from D.C. I have lived abroad for over a quarter of my life. In a sense, I have spent my life traveling and it drives a major part of me today.

I live to explore international destinations and learn about the various cultures (that is me in Vietnam pictured below). I seek out those exclusive offerings I can only experience onsite.  Recently, I have been interested in returning to various destinations that I have not visited in approximately 10 years.  By doing so, I can see how much that country has changed and been influenced by Westernization and globalization.

These experiences have permitted me to bolster my skills to interact with people from various cultures and have fueled my passion for the greater tourism industry. There are so many amazing tourism destinations, many of which are still undiscovered to me, that will lead me to the discovery of a new part of myself and the world.

I hope you find something Undiscovered in The Collection as I plan to share these unique experiences with enthusiastic travelers like me and you.

-Michelle Rasper

Published in Our Journal

Hello to all our readers,

Jackson Stubbs here. I’m a Marketing Coordinator with Solimar International’s Undiscovered Travel Collection. I enjoy sports, the outdoors, and probably most of all, traveling (my travel list is long but not specific; I’ll go anywhere I haven’t been before, and I’d like to get back to few of the places I’ve already seen).

Born and raised in Melrose, MA, I have had a keen interest in traveling since I was in elementary school. My parents took me on a number of awesome trips around North America and Europe in my younger days, and I caught the travel bug sometime back then, which is good because it got a little boring spending most of my time three blocks from where I was born.

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These traveling experiences developed into a passion for encountering new cultures and helping people less fortunate than me, and in the summers of 2008 and 2010, I participated in a research and development project in a rural community in Nepal (that is where I am in the picture above). Living with, learning about, and helping the people of this impoverished village inspired me to get into the development field. This experience also allowed me to witness first-hand how responsible tourism can benefit the economic development of poor communities, which ultimately brought me to where I am today.

With Solimar’s Undiscovered Travel Collection, I work on marketing for community tourism enterprises in East Africa in an effort to promote sustainable tourism and strengthen the economies of local communities. I am on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube all day getting the word out, but I do a lot of writing and editing as well, which suites me just fine (those who know me would say that I have the horribly impolite habit of correcting people’s grammar) and this provides me the forum to do that without making people want to forcibly shut me up.

As for the future, I hope to continue my travels, live and work abroad in the development industry, establish new relationships, and share my experiences with anyone willing to listen, which hopefully includes you.

Until next time,

Jackson

Published in Our Journal

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