Where are you from and where have you lived?
I’m originally from Vancouver, BC, Canada and have also lived in Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz, California, and Cyprus.
Tell us about yourself—what path led you to becoming a Zegrahm Leader?
I used to work as a lecturer for a company called INTRAV, working on a ship called the Clipper Adventurer in the early 2000s. I got wind of Zegrahm from another lecturer, Paul Harris, who I’d worked with. I made an inquiry and believe that Black Sea might have been my very first Zegrahm trip. This was more of a cultural trip since and I had a Ph.D. in Art History and knew the Mediterranean very well, it was a good fit. I love being at sea, so small-ship expeditions were perfect and the guests were engage and really valued educational aspects of travel. I was so impressed at the professionality of the staff. Every trip was a masterpiece.
What other jobs, positions or credentials do you have?
I am a university teacher and writer with a Ph.D. in Art History.
What other fields are you passionate about?
Photography, film, and writing.
Any awards, publications, appearances documentaries etc. do you have?
I made a documentary film called The Stones of Famagusta: The Story of a Forgotten City (2008) and have written a couple of travel books, including Palermo, Travels in the City of Happiness (2014) and The Hippodrome of Istanbul/Constantinople (2019). I have also written an architectural and archaeological field guide to northern Cyprus.
What organizations are you a part of?
UC Santa Cruz and Smithsonian Journeys.
What excites you (or what do you enjoy) about working for Zegrahm?
I like adventure when I travel. I don’t like to take the routes others usually take. That’s been a rule for me since I was in my early 20s backpacking around the world. Zegrahm manages to offer trips that are well-organized for groups, but maintains a sense of exploration and adventure.
What is your favorite Zegrahm memory?
See next entry. In truth, however, there are so many.
Can you tell us about a time that you were on an expedition that ended up taking an unexpected turn or made an unexpected discovery that took you off the planned trail?
We were heading from Alexandria to Beirut when news came in about some rapidly evolving civic unrest. We had to come up with a new plan quickly, and there weren’t too many good options in the area. I suggested going to Famagusta and Kyrenia in North Cyprus, and that’s what we did. Since I’d just written a guidebook on the area and done a documentary film on Famagusta, I felt suddenly very useful and had a chance to share something that previously the people on our trip had not known about.
What non-for-profits or causes do you support or feel strongly about?
Land conservation, eco-system conservation, and marine sanctuaries.
What are your top three countries or regions in the world to explore?
Turkey, India, and Italy.
What’s left on your explorer’s bucket list/where do you still want to go that you haven’t been yet? Why there?
The Antarctic. I’d love to see the last wild place.
What does being a part of the Zegrahm family mean to you?
I like working with a team and doing trips with the same teams. Many of the people who work at Zegrahm have become friends and the trips are a great chance to get together again.
Who is the Zegrahm Explorer/Traveler?
The Zegrahm traveler is someone who wants to do something a bit different, to explore and not go to the predictable places. The Zegrahm traveler is also someone who cherishes the educational aspect of travel.