Photo Source: Gaëtane and Instagram
If you are anything like us, as you scroll through your feed you come across those group travel photos. Yes, THOSE travel photos where a group of twenty or more are all smiling at some exotic destination, holding on to one another so tight, it's hard to believe they were strangers before hopping on their flights. And you, at home sitting on your couch start thinking to yourself, "I want to get in on that, but..." Queue the skepticism and negative self talk. STOP! We've got just the fix for you and after this interview you'll be ready to make your next trip a group trip!
This week we interviewed Travel Content Creator and Stella Travel Founder, Gaëtane. As a frequent group traveler and group travel agency owner, Gaëtane let us in on all the benefits of group traveling. She even shared with us some helpful advice and tips for all our group travel rookies! That's not all folks! Keep reading to get to know Gaëtane, learn about her crazy travel story in Brazil and so much more.
Tell us about yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do? What inspires you to travel?
Hello fellow travelers, my name is Gaëtane and I was born and raised in Haiti but now I live in the States. By day I am a manager and in my free time a travel content creator and entrepreneur as I have my own travel company.
Being from a small country I always wondered what else is there. Lucky for me, my mom likes to travel as well so I never really had to wonder too much! She would make sure we (my sister and I) not only traveled within our own country but internationally. I had my first passport and passport stamp before I was 1. I enjoy learning about new cultures, their food, the language, the history and of course the people. I love it so much that I’ve lived abroad in Spain and Peru and can’t wait to try a new country for a couple of months.
Why should everyone try group travel at least once? What are the benefits to group travel?
The first big trip that gave me the travel bug was studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain. I was part of a group and it was great. When you sign up to travel with a group, you already know that most if not everyone in the group already has something in common. They already have the same expectations. Group traveler is great for those that want to go but friends keep bailing out, they are guaranteed to make new friends with a common interest. Some of the benefits are : new friends, someone to take your pictures always, safety in numbers, and affordability.
To those wanting to try group travel, but maybe afraid to take that leap, what is your advice to them?
I always tell myself we have one life to live and we better live it well. My advice to those afraid of group travel is to jump in and take the leap but first do your research. If you are joining a pre-planned group trip make sure the company is reputable, has good reviews and that the trip is something you would be interested in. Try going with a friend the first time so you have a familiar face with you. If you can’t go with a friend, try to get in contact with others joining the trip and get comfortable with them before the departure date. Another piece of advice I would give is to not overthink the whole thing and to have fun.
With the world so vast, how do you choose which destination to go to next? Are you a save and travel bucket list person or a spontaneous, I found a cheap flight for next week kind of person?
I love that question (laughing emoji). I’m a bit of both depending on the destination and my urge to travel at the moment. For example: in November 2020 after being quarantined at home since March, my friend and I in a matter of 3 days booked a trip to Mexico as we needed to get out and be on a plane. With that being said, I do have my bucket list of countries I want to visit and for those I plan as I like exploring places that aren’t to cliche and I want to ensure that I have the best experience.
Share with us your craziest travel story! We want all the deets!
I don’t know if this qualifies as a crazy story but, in March 2021 my friend and I went to Brazil and decided to explore a spot we saw a picture of on Pinterest (i know, crazy huh). We barely had a week to find a tour guide, a place to stay etc… We went to Jalapao, Brazil. An extremely remote paradise, so remote we almost gave up as we couldn't find a guide that spoke English and there was no way we would adventure so far without someone to translate for us. After a 10 hour flight, we finally made it to Palmas, Brazil and all we had was a picture of our driver because he spoke no English, we don’t speak Portuguese and the internet was being a little slow in that area so google translate was almost of no help (shame on me for not downloading the offline app). From there on we had a 5-7 hour drive to make it to Jalapao which is where our tour guide was going to meet us. Imagine two girls who do not know a word of Portuguese and a driver who only knows Hello in English on a 5-7 hour drive at night with no internet. Let me tell you, all sorts of crazy ideas went through our heads but it was too late to go back now. When we finally made it around 1 AM and met our guide, it was a relief to hear English and be around civilization. Our trip in Jalapao was 2 nights and 3 days and it was one of the best trips I've ever been to. That driver is the nicest teddy bear I know, making us laugh even though we could barely understand him and our tour guide was the sweetest making sure we were comfortable, he was always with us so nothing ever got lost in translation. Those 3 days in paradise I will always remember. I am now working on a travel blog about this trip and there you will get to see how well our interaction was with the people of the town.
Where else can folks find you?
For now only really on Instagram ( @gaetanevoyage ) as I develop my blog and Youtube Channel.
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