This week’s Girls that Go! is with Laura Montes, a tour guide in Cordoba, Argentina. Here, she tells us her experience with backpacking (and backpackers), her dream trip and what she couldn’t live without.
GoGirlGuides: I was lucky enough to meet you, but our readers don’t know you, so tell them a little about yourself!
Laura Montes: My name is Laura and I live in Córdoba, Argentina, a little Mediterranean city surrounded by beautiful mountains and astonishing lakes ! I’m a Tour guide and at the moment, working as a Travel Coordinator (Tour conductor) all around Argentina and Brazil. I’m so glad and thankful! Welcome to Cordoba Go! Girls : )
GGG: How long have you been on the business side of travel, working in tourism? How did you get into it?
LM: After I gained experience as a travel coordinator and guide as well as 5 years of studies in a tourism and hotel management school, I found my self living the job-dream, traveling and opening roads to knowledge.
First, I started working in a hostel while I was studying. I fell in love with working with young people from around the world.
After a few years working at this I noticed that it was a great market that was not in the spotlight, and thought it was a cool way to get into it by studying it. So after a hard work season I wrote my thesis about “Alternative Tourism and Backpackers”.
GGG: You said “backpackers don’t mix with tourists,” which is why you are so interested in creating tourism designed for backpackers, what are some of the differences?
LM: The difference is the motivation backpackers have when arriving to Cordoba and the ideas they may have had about the city.
Cordoba has much more to offer than history and like Rease said, its hard to find “cool stuff” for young people (at first), so I try to give them the rock and roll they want!
It’s a home made combination of adventure and real life.
GGG: A lot of travelers shy away from organized tours because they can limit what you experience, but you said you like to show “a combination of little things that make life in the place, not just tours.” How do you accomplish that?
LM:I take away boredom by offering and sharing stuff they’ll never do in a traditional organized tour. I offer the whole spectrum: adventure, nature, people, parties and lots of details. There is no limit to the experience if you know what are they looking for. You have to know them to please them.
GGG: Have you done any solo traveling? What was the experience like?
LM: Yes, I’ve done a couple of solo trips, and I can tell you that in my experience I just do my own thing. I’m not a tourist in the purist way. I’m an outsider of the touristic system. That’s how my vacations are, just nature and myself.
GGG: What is your dream trip?
LM: I dream about distances all the time. Lots of my dearest friends live abroad so my dream is to travel and find that warm hug again. I’m also lucky enough to “work” on a trip.
GGG: I couldn’t live without __________.
LM: My memories. Every piece of knowledge I have collected on my trips, all good and bad memories, little treasures hidden in culture, history, and mainly in nature. I definitely couldn’t live without the amazing feeling that comes to me when I remember my travels.
GGG: If I could do anything over again I would _____________.
LM: I would repeat it all over again, all those things that make me who I am. I would just try to be more self confident and confront all the same things with a big smile.