Meet the Team

Thomas Prieur

Chief Experience Officer

The countries I’ve lived and worked in:

France, Canada, Ireland.

My top tip for moving abroad:

When I land in a new country, I usually go straight to the local market, and check out the type of produce they have, pay attention to the way people communicate and what they eat. Then I usually proceed to the nearest food stall and order whatever people around me seem to be eating and enjoying. Best way to get an immediate shot of local culture!

My top travel moment:

While in Tokyo, Japan, I was sitting at this tiny elbow to elbow yakitori place, I started ordering whatever people around me were eating. This was a very local joint, and after a while the table next to me proceeded to send me a round of sake, and I immediately returned the favour. After a few exchanges of “courtesy”, we ended up bringing the two tables together where they introduced me to a bunch of local dishes I had never heard of before. It was a table of local office workers who were decompressing after a long day at work. This was my first night in Japan, and it could not have been a better introduction to what it is to be a Tokyoite!

Lizzie Shipley

Digital Marketing Manager

The countries I’ve lived and worked in:

England, Canada, Panama, Honduras, Colombia.

My top tip for moving abroad:

Go for a run! You’ll get familiar with your local surroundings, see the sights and earn the beers after. Also, book a ticket to Sofar Sounds to see local artists performing in intimate venues.

My top travel moment:

There are too many! But I’ll always remember my first big solo backpacking trip, which started in the hustle and bustle of Bangkok in Thailand, and the exhilaration of being somewhere totally unlike anything from back home. On my first night I got wonderfully, purposefully lost at a night street market; after looping the narrow alleys I settled on the plastic chair of a discreet market stand and had (to this day) the best curry of my life (this was before Thai food went global – when everyone carried thumb-worn issues of Lonely Planet, relied on internet cafes to email home and Sriracha hadn’t become a household staple). Yes, it’s a well trodden path, but it cemented a lifelong obsession with travel.

Shawna Sanders

Sales & Development Manager

The countries I’ve lived and worked in:

Canada, USA, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, South Africa. 

My top tip for moving abroad:

Learn the language! I found making an effort to hang out with local friends rather than relying solely on other expats for company to be key in becoming fluent in Spanish. Taking language classes, using apps like DuoLingo, or finding a language exchange buddy can all be great ways to begin learning a new language.

My top travel moment:

I have three! Watching the length of the Amazon drift by from my riverboat hammock in Brazil and Peru, DIYing a low budget safari in South Africa with a rental car and borrowed camping gear to road trip through Kruger Park and experiencing green sea turtles nesting on the beaches of Tulum, Mexico. 

 

Robyn Downie

Travel Coordinator

Countries I’ve lived and worked:

Scotland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada

My top tip for moving abroad:

Pack less than you think you need, other countries have just as many malls as home if you forget something! Push yourself out of your comfort zone and say yes to opportunities, especially if you are travelling alone and trying to make friends. Meet-up events and hostels are great for socializing and meeting new arrivals. Also, hostels are not as scary as your parents think they are. They’ve come a long way since the 80’s and 90’s and some are incredibly beautiful – I’ve stayed in ones that have hot tubs, free pancake breakfasts and cinema rooms!

My top travel moment:

I spent three months working in an outback pub in Australia which was an incredible opportunity to get to know the locals. I became friends with some members of the community who were aboriginal elders, who shared their love of their land with me. They showed me how their grandparents taught them to forage, hunt and work in the outback, and I felt very privileged to witness this authentic side of Australian culture.

Another unforgettable experience was in the small beach town of Kaikoura in New Zealand. The town is home to a large pod of dusky dolphins, and you can take a boat out into the ocean to see them in their natural habitats. For those that are brave enough, you can also join them in the icy sea for a swim, but unlike in an aquarium, they are free to leave whenever they choose. Often they will swim laps around you, playing and squeaking in excitement while you try to keep up.

Tater

Chief Security Officer

The countries I’ve lived and worked:

Canada, France.

My top tips for moving abroad:

Sniff out the food scene.

My top travel moment:

Meeting sea dogs for the first time!