Travel Director: Greg Martin
Regions: The American South, the American Midwest, the Rocky Mountain West and Desert Southwest
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 Greg Martin 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.
What is the best part of your job?
The opportunity to impart my knowledge and passion for the places we visit gives me great personal satisfaction.
What’s your favourite travel book?
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, By Dee Brown.
What’s your best Hidden Treasure?
Often overlooked, and mostly unknown in Rapid City are two 12′ sections of the Berlin Wall, anti-tank barricades, and signs that read ‘You are leaving the American Sector’ in English, Russian and French. It is South Dakota’s unsung ‘Shrine of Democracy’ that was donated to the city by a local resident. It is one of my favorite Trafalgar exclusive Hidden Treasures because it not only elicits a “who-da thunk”, which is fundamental to our Hidden Treasures; it also evokes some emotional responses in our guests that have served in our armed forces.
What is your favorite hangout?
Fritzel’s Jazz Club in New Orleans.
What vacation photo would you recommend our guests have to take?
Jenny Lake in the Grand Teton National Park.
What are your staple travel items?
Earplugs and charged camera batteries!
What is your tip for feeling like a local when travelling?
Walking through residential neighborhoods (in Jackson, Wyoming, and then to the top of Snow King Mountain. Taking the St Charles street car line in New Orleans, Louisiana.
A favorite local saying:
“I bet I know where you got your shoes” in New Orleans, but if you hear it, be careful as it is a scam. You would think they were implying they know where you bought your shoes, but “where you got them” is on your feet in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Must buy souvenir?
In the Southwestern USA ‘Rattlesnake eggs’ for the kids or grandchildren back home. In Memphis, a copy of ‘The Million Dollar Quartet’ at Sun Studios. In Seligman, Arizona a copy of ‘The Angel of Route 66’ and then have Angel Delgadillo personally autograph it.
What or who is your biggest inspiration?
Last season (2012) I had a guest that was 96 years old, traveling on his own, that left some guests in their 60s in his dust. Al was ‘off the charts’ when it came to living life for the day. We would stop the coach and he would be off to see it all. Arriving to hotels, he would be at the bar telling stories about storming the beaches at Normandy and being in FDR’s second inaugural parade (1937) when he was in the Army (and usually had a cadre of women 30, 40, 50 even 60 years his junior as an audience). He even tried to bet me that if he made it to 100 that I would buy him a free Trafalgar guided vacation. I told him “no way, we might have to make that 110”.
What is your best travel tip?
Come with an open mind, great curiosity, and quest for new experiences!