Travel Director: Dominic Dear
Regions: Discovery Tours: France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium
Trafalgar’s Travel Directors play a key role in providing each of our guests with a truly memorable experience. From the moment your Trafalgar journey begins, our Travel Directors share their local knowledge and provide a personalised, one-of-a-kind insider’s view of each destination. They are experienced travellers, learned historians and culture buffs whose job is to help you become immersed in the places you visit.
This week, Travel Director Dominic Dear took a few minutes to talk to the Trafalgar Blog to share some of his experiences and give some insight to why he loves what he does.
Tell us a bit about yourself Dominic…
I was born and raised in London, but studied in Wales, Spain and Portugal. I’m multilingual (7 languages) and have always liked history, geography and the arts. I’m also fond of cinema.
What is the best part of your job?
Being able to travel to the places I love and to share my passion for them with others. Europe has become my work place. I think I have the most wonderful office in the world!
What’s your best Hidden Treasure?
My favourite Hidden Treasure is a group of houses in Oberammergau in Southern Germany. They are covered with frescoes depicting stories like Hansel & Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood. They’re such a surprise and so unusual. Our guests get really excited when they see them.
What is your favourite place to take guests?
I can’t say I have one – Europe is so full of contrast and variety. The Venetian canals in the moonlight, the Alps on a sunny day in autumn, the streets and buildings of Paris lit up at night – how can you compare these things? They’re all beautiful!
What is your most memorable ‘on the road’ moment?
A man from the Australian Outback once told me that he had opened his blinds at Engelberg in Switzerland, and had been stunned by the beauty of all that he saw. “When I look out of my windows at home, Dominic, all I see is brown dust” he said, and, somehow it made a very deep impression on me. I realised that sometimes we are instrumental in bringing our guests moments of joy that they will never forget.
What vacation photo would you recommend our guests have to take?
The view overlooking Positano never ceases to amaze me. It would have to be one of my favourite photos.
Your staple travel items?
An iPod, a camera (of course) and nowadays, a kindle. I also have a small, light electric kettle. The majority of the hotels in Europe still don’t provide one in the rooms. Hopefully this will change with time.
What is your tip for feeling like a local when travelling?
Travelling with a group is wonderful. You have companionship, people with whom to share your experiences, and normally a lot of fun. But don’t be afraid to strike out on your own from time to time, because that is when you will really feel like a local.
A favourite local saying you need to know is:
“Chi non risica non rosica”, “nothing ventured nothing gained”.
What is your favourite food within your region?
That’s an impossible question – I love it all! Paella in Spain, Spaghetti in Italy, Strudel in Austria. That’s the thing about Europe. There’s so much to choose from!
Must buy souvenir?
It can be a postcard, a trinket or a work of art. I normally ask myself “Will I regret it afterwards if I don’t buy this?”, and if the answer is “yes”, I buy it.
What or who is your biggest inspiration?
I admire anyone with the strength of character to see things through. Maybe Martin Scorsese.
What is your best travel tip?
Travel with an open mind and an open heart. The rest will all fall into place.