Experts + Insiders:
Around The World
Here’s a quick tip to keep in mind, should you ever meet talented B&R Trip Designer Lindsay Owen: do not make the same mistake I did and challenge her to a game of “Anything you can do, I can do better.”
It’ll take awhile, because she’s modest, but as soon as she says, “I can fly a plane to Antarctica” the game will be over and you’ll be left feeling embarrassed that you had been sitting on your pronunciation of “supercalafragalisticexpialadoshus,” thinking it would be a sure winner.
But believe it or not, a career in the travel industry wasn’t inevitable for B&R’s resident aeronautical expert. Born and raised in North Vancouver, Lindsay hadn’t really considered the world outside of southern British Columbia until after completing her Bachelor of Commerce degree, when a five-month backpacking trip around Europe proved as eye-opening as it was fun.
“In hindsight I guess it was kind of predictable,” she says now, remembering that first big trip. “I still can’t quite describe it, but I fell in love with the freedom and discovery that comes with travel.”
Before she knew it, she found herself propelled into a career in aviation (propelled into aviation—get it? Sorry, couldn’t resist.) where she spent the next eight years working, living and exploring all seven continents as a commercial pilot. After visiting more than 30 countries and filling two full passports with stamps, Lindsay says she’s thrilled to be back in her hometown and designing trips that facilitate the sort of in-depth exploration she fell in love with.
“There’s really nothing better than feeling your horizons expand as you learn about a new place, a new culture,” she says. “It’s so rewarding to know that as a trip designer, I get to give people those kinds of experiences.”
Years in Travel Business: 3
Years with B&R: 3
Countries/Regions of Expertise: Alsace, Argentina, Augusta, Georgia (The Masters), Australia, British Columbia, Berkshires, Bhutan, Nepal, Bordeaux & Dordogne, Burgundy, Greek Islands, Ireland, Myanmar, North Carolina, Tennessee, Peru, Prague, Vienna, Provence, Rioja, Scotland, South Africa, Tanzania, Tuscany, Utah, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos
Countries visited: 37
Countries lived in: Canada, USA. (Based on your definition of ‘lived in’ there might be a few others…)
Trips planned: 50(ish)
Trips guided: 2
Q&A with Lindsay
Let’s start with the obvious. Everyone at B&R has their fair share of wanderlust. When/how did you first get bit with the travel bug?
I can’t put my finger on a certain event or experience; I have just always been interested in seeing what else is out there!
What Lindsay Does Best
To really know Lindsay is to see firsthand what she does best. With her new portfolio of North American adventures, you’ll explore some of the continent’s most majestic landscapes by air, land and sea. (Not a bad introduction, if we do say so ourselves.)READ MORE
What’s your preferred method for immersing yourself in a country or region?
The best way is to have a personal guide, whether it is a friend or a stranger, getting the insider’s view is always the most interesting.
Favourite trip you’ve ever taken? (I know, I know, but try to narrow it down to one!)
A week of backcountry skiing in the Selkirk Mountains!
Favourite hotel in the world?
Staying at the Cape Grace was the most incredible hotel experience that I have ever had as far as 5-star service. And I wasn’t even there for 24 hours!
Favourite restaurant in the world?
I think a great meal is determined more by the company with whom you share it rather than the food itself.
This one’s often tough for our trip designers to answer, especially after having planned over 50 trips, but are there any moments or experiences your travellers have had that really stand out as being special?
I was absolutely delighted when a family of four went on a trip to Argentina and did a day of community service by visiting a local village. I loved the fact that they asked us to include that experience for them. What was even better was that upon their return to the US they asked me to arrange for an additional donation to be made to the community. Their generosity was touching and inspirational.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen or done while on a trip?
One of the most awe-inspiring and humbling things ever was seeing the northern lights surrounding us as we flew from Inuvik to Iqaluit (in Canada’s north) in the middle of the night. Mysterious green swirls everywhere!
What was the worse trip you ever took?
I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad trip—every experience is worthwhile.