Travelling has always been part of my life, I was born in South Korea, grew up in France, lived in London for a year, and now live in Italy. My year in London was decisive as I discovered one of the greatest cities in Europe, it is so attractive, so alive with so much to offer. I decided to take the path of tourism. My wish was to communicate with people to share my love about European history. I obtained a professional licence in tourism but at the same time I was already working in a Travel agency, as a tour operator, for a customer hotline, as an animator in a family resort, as an hostess of a river cruise and as a Tour Director.
I love the idea of participating to other's people happiness “I am here for each one of you ...” This is usually the conclusion of my welcome meeting. I understood that being a Tour Director was really my mission, showing the beauties of Europe, helping people out during their adventure around.
I love food (French girl), I like finding the place that would be typical or that will be the best value; from the little bakery shop that would offer the freshest pastry to take away, to the most typical "Trattoria" in Tuscany. I love music; I studied for 12 years at the national music academy of Lyon. I think music can reflect a lot of different cultures: from the Walz in Wien, to the Tarantella in Naples to the accordion played in Paris' bohemian quarter or the yodelling songs of the Swiss folklore, it tells us how people communicate when they don't talk. Music and food are international and understandable by everyone.
Bring your smile, you are the one who will make this adventure unforgettable. Also bring a proper converter/ adaptor (all European countries don't have the same plug as you might think) as it will be a shame if you can't recharge your camera for the next day because the hotel reception is running out of those adaptors.
My favourite hobby is spending time with my family, reading, playing music and travelling in little villages in the surroundings of where I live, the truffle festival, the chestnut festival and an afternoon in a spa.
My favourite tours are covering France and Italy, my favourite countries. The grand tour of Italy is a wonderful experience that gives you the view of the most famous cities together with little extra views of small genuine towns. Another favourite is a special tour going around Switzerland on the Bernina Express, this is a real picturesque panoramic tour of what mother nature can offer in such a welcoming country that is Switzerland.
I always explain to my guests on the first day: ‘‘I can do a lot for you, but there are two things I can’t do anything about, the traffic and the weather”. Indeed I was on our Best of Europe tour. After the first week we'd already visited four countries, passing through the four seasons. It was spring in The Netherlands, autumn in Germany and winter in Switzerland, can you imagine snow fall at the end of June? This was an exciting and exceptional experience. We then traveled to Venice, Rome and Florence where temperatures ranged from 40 – 42 ºC, this was the most unexpected forecast of the entire season, but that's all part of the experience that my guests will probably never forget.
Here we are, on the road again. After a few weeks off I am ready, with my batteries recharged, I have good energy to start again. Sometimes things can go wrong with bad weather or traffic delays, but sometimes everything seems to smile at you, which is what’s happening on my tour. 16 days of sunshine from the picturesque Swiss Alps to the splendid venetian laguna, down to the eternal city of Rome and the unforgettable island of Capri. Even when the rain comes, it stopped when we were stepping out of the coach. My guests are smiley and hungry to discover ‘The Best of Europe’ and are happy to share with me what Europe has to offer - great historical cities, genuine little picturesque towns, welcoming local population and renowned gastronomy.
Today was a wonderful scenic drive through the south of France on the route to Napoleon. We stopped for lunch in Castellane, a little perched village in the breathtaking setting of the gorges of the Verdon River, where some of us went to try the creperie (pancake restaurant) which I recommended and a coffee stop in Sisteron with the majestic medieval citadelle overlooking the town. One of my group came back to the coach telling me how wonderful the French pastries were and even if he couldn't pronounce the name of it, the hot chocolate was probably the best hot chocolate he had ever had. Why do I still love my job? When I hear ‘thank you for today Clarisse’ and because each day is better than the previous one.
I will spend my new year guiding the ‘A taste of Europe’ tour. We started the tour with a visit to Amsterdam where we discovered a really cosmopolitan city, full of energy and food for all tastes. I opted for a Dutch lunch of some fresh fried fish from a fisherman's shop at Volendam by the port, which is the best in town. On the 31st of December 2011, we started the festivities in the afternoon as the new year was ringing around the world already, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore were among the first ones. We spent new years eve in Paris, in a restaurant full of travellers coming from all around the world, of all ages and of different religions to spend the last hours of the year together. Me and my group spent the evening eating delicious French delicacies, drinking wine and champagne and singing and dancing with people we had never met before. It was a great way to remember the last day of the year. The old year has already gone now, but we had the best time ever.
From the monumental church, Notre dame de Paris to the breathtaking view from the steepest cogwheel in the world climbing the Mount Pilatus, where from the top we felt like we were in paradise over a bed of soft clouds. Our evening out in Venice really helped my group to break the ice, we were a bit cold but hooked our arms together and danced at the rhythm of a quintet playing music on St Mark's square with the Magical lights of such a romantic evening. Our honeymooners were walzing with happiness and finally we visited the Eternal City, Rome. Walking around where almost 3000 years of history is to be discovered is amazing. I enjoy coming back each time with different people, I like reading everybody's feelings in eyes.