3 female Travel Directors on how travel empowers them every day

3 female Travel Directors on how travel empowers them every day

3 female Travel Directors on how travel empowers them every day

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To honor International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the enduring empowerment of travel. To get the most valuable insights on what travel can offer women, we spoke to three of our expert female Travel Directors, Brittney, Lorena and Belinda. Here they share how travel has shaped, educated and inspired them.


Brittney, an American native from Texas, is bursting with love for her home country. Her work in college and university admissions took her to different parts of the United States, fueling her love for travel. When the pandemic hit, Brittney took the opportunity to re-evaluate her career and became a Travel Director. Since the fall of 2021, she has been leading tours across the US with Insight.

“Travel has inspired my thirst for learning,” Brittney tells us. “It gave me the opportunity to dive deep into American history and the world’s interconnectedness. I’ve learned the science too as, when leading tours in National Parks, you’ve got to understand how these landscapes came to be.”

“A question that I am often asked is how do you travel so much when you are a mum? I joke about it with my male colleagues because that’s not a question they get asked. But this is the way that we’ve always known it. I’m a better mom and a better spouse when I can have some time to myself to go out and do what I love. I can then come home and really focus on family. I think it is important to show my son, and everyone, that women can hold leadership roles, such as a female Travel Director and challenge societal gender norms.”

“Travel has also given me the self-confidence to just go out and tackle things. And if you have questions, ask questions, it’s OK to not know everything. Vulnerable is part of the journey. Travel has taught me to give myself grace in moments of uncertainty, reminding me that it’s possible to be confident without being in control all the time.”

Tours to tempt you: American Parks Trail, America’s Magnificent National Parks

Related article: 4 Insight female guests on why they choose to travel solo with us


Lorena is a specialist in leading Insight Vacations tours in Italy, her home country. “While I love exploring new destinations, my heart remains in Italy,” she tells us. “It can be both easy and challenging to lead tours in my own country, given its unique qualities and characteristics, but that’s what makes it exciting!”

“Working as a Travel Director has given me strength and confidence. When I started, I was young and very shy. The first time I led a group I barely looked at anyone! Now I’m the complete opposite. Through travel I have become braver in facing any kind of situation. I have the confidence to speak up, for example, if I have some rights which I feel are not respected.”

“Travel has helped me to break down traditional barriers. When I started 25 years ago there were a lot of restrictions for females in Italy in regular life. That’s why I chose the job, as a female Travel Director I get freedom. I love meeting people and learning about other cultures, and there is so much to see in this world.

“As an example of how brave I have become, in 2018 I founded an international charity to help children in Africa,” Lorena tells us. Smiling children Italia is a non-profit organization, supporting children in Kenya through schooling and education. “It is amazing to bring an idea to life like this. And if I look back to how I was when I was young, I would never done it.”

Tours to tempt you: Italian Intermezzo, Country Roads of Northern Italy

Related article: How to embrace the new ‘out of comfort zone’ travel trend in 2023


Belinda was born in Adelaide, Australia and at the age of seventeen received a Rotary Exchange scholarship to spend a year in Scandinavia. “The experience was bigger than I ever expected, and it had an overriding impact on me,” she says. “It drove me to explore the world, and it really shaped my life.”

“After time working in the hospitality industry, I decided I was going to try to travel the world for free by working in travel,” she says. “When I started working as a tour guide though it was still a male dominated industry. In fact, women have only really been allowed to do that role for a couple of years. I was fortunate to join TTC though Insight’s sister brand Contiki, a company that celebrated female Travel Directors and women and I loved it. I would have done it for nothing at that time!” Belinda also spent some time working as a flight attendant before returning to the road and has now been a Travel Director for over 20 years.

“When you travel, it not only opens your mind, but also your heart. You start to connect with the world,” she says. “It created a thirst in me to celebrate differences, uniqueness, tastes, and cultures. The opportunity for connection was a big driver for me. To discover stuff that I had no idea about.”

When asked what qualities she has got from travel she tells us “Openness, which breeds curiosity. I’ve become very curious person and that I think is really healthy. travel has also taught me humility, kindness, compassion and empathy. I think travel makes us better people.”

Tours to tempt you: Inspiring Iceland, a Women Only tour, Classical India with Nepal

Related content: Travel Directors’ most wanted: The Insight tours they want to run in 2023 and why

If our female Travel Directors have inspired you to pack your bags and explore the globe, take a look at our worldwide collection of premium guided tours.