Women sharing their wisdom is a kind of enduring oral history. It’s not storytelling, per se. It’s the outcome of someone’s story, her observations, or experiences – it’s the lasting impression and often one worth retelling.
Transforming wisdom into action, AdventureWomen learned long ago that our women adventurers thrive when they feel supported while traveling. The role of Trip Ambassador was created and history was made! This month, we’re introducing the first of our new Ambassador Series – stories about the women who accompany every adventure, providing our guests with in-country support, advocacy, and care. They share a wealth of wisdom on travel, while learning so much from you!
To lead off the charge, meet Eliza Hatch, Director of Guest Experience at AdventureWomen and one of our many intrepid Ambassadors. Here’s her story…
Fun Facts From Eliza’s Travels
Top Three Fave Countries: Tanzania, Thailand, and New Zealand (but she notes, it’s hard to narrow these down!)
Passions: Travel, of course! Learning about the culture, cooking, music, history, and traditions of places she visits
Talents: Loves playing piano, singing, and listening to music from everywhere she’s traveled
Outdoor activities: Hiking, skiing, swimming, kayaking/boating, and biking. “I love trying new outdoor activities and I’m always finding new favorites!”
Eliza’s Reflections from the Salkantay Trail in Peru
On AdventureWomen’s challenging Lodge-to-Lodge Trek in Peru toward Machu Picchu in 2018, Eliza hiked alongside 13 incredible women through rain and sun, thinning mountain air, windswept plateaus, and glute-busting high-altitude switchbacks. Approaching the Salkantay Pass at 15,213 feet after five hours of impressively tough hiking, Eliza was struck with the magnitude of sacrifices and personal challenge every woman on the trip had successfully embraced to achieve her dream of completing the Salkantay Trail.
Realizing that they were all “tired, sore, dirty, and feeling like we were going to climb forever,” Eliza suddenly had tears of pride fill her eyes.
As she watched each woman round the switchback on their approach, Eliza reflected,
“I knew how hard I had worked to get there, but I also knew how much harder some of the other women worked to overcome injury, to train while juggling a family and full-time job, or to deal with the mental challenge of hiking for so long. I was so proud to be a part of this group of strong, independent, supportive, remarkable women, ranging in age from their early 30s to mid 60s. We felt like a family and a team.”
“She was not just our ambassador, she was a critical part of our group! She was always encouraging me and giving me confidence.” – Susan S.
What brought Eliza to that elevated awareness of her guests’ commitment to this adventure? She’s been traveling since she was 22! Out of college, Eliza journeyed around the globe, visiting 11 countries. She got the travel bug and has traveled to 28 countries since then! She knows the joys and challenges of travel first hand. However, while working as an Ambassador, Eliza has listened to the many stories our guests have told, sharing tales around a fire, over cocktails and a delicious meal, skiing, hiking, and sometimes just lounging by a pool.
Over the course of her ambassadorship, Eliza honed her talent for leadership and encouragement. While hiking the Salkantay Trail, she worked with her brain but lead with her heart, urging everyone through the Seven Snakes switchbacks, supporting one guest overcome her fear of heights by ascending Huayna Picchu, and sharing in a blessing ceremony by a local shaman. Reaching their ultimate goal of Machu Picchu, she and the group spent the whole day exploring, and got to be the last group in the citadel there to watch the sun go down. It was, as Eliza said, “a magical experience.”
“Unfailingly kind and encouraging. A superb resource and a really interesting and fun person.” – Marcia M.