Thursday, 7 July 2016

Latest at Earthstompers

Here we are, July 2016 and I haven’t even introduced myself! My name is Cindy Schalkwyk, I joined the Earthstompers Family in September 2015 and pretty much “jumped straight in”.

Knowing from a young age that I wanted to work in tourism, I studied hotel management after school while managing a local restaurant at the yacht club in Mossel Bay, my home town. From there I went more toward the accommodation side of things, managing a local Guest House and then a Backpackers. This got me hooked on the travel industry and I carried on managing two more hostels after that. The one is in Coffee Bay on the Wild Coast, probably my favourite part of the country! The other was close to Mossel Bay, in Sedgefield, on the Garden Route. This is where I was introduced to the Tour Operator industry and more specifically, Earthstompers. I decided after about a year in Sedgefield, I could really see myself as a tourist guide in South Africa and applied to do my guiding course. I wish to one day have my own tour company, where I can take people on tours through the magical places I’ve seen in South Africa.

I wanted to find a job where I could learn and train to be the best tour operator. The Earthstompers Tours that stayed with us on a weekly basis really caught my eye, with their attention to detail when booking guests and checking guests in at the hostel. Not to mention their awesome guides!! All girls might I add. J Since I hail from the Garden Route, it has a special place in my heart and I knew that it would be incredible to guide tours there, so I asked Hendrik to let me know if he had any vacancies, and the rest is history…

I don’t only guide our Garden Route & Addo tours; my job description also includes marketing our Earthstompers products, attending events and conferences and making new business connections. I really enjoy this part of my job as I have been involved in the youth travel industry for the past few years and can now continue to work with some familiar faces. I also assist with coordinating weekly tours, daily admin and soon to be part-time babysitter for Chrissy & Hendrik’s baby boy who arrived on 8 June! William Hendrik Human J <3

I’m very happy to be representing a company with such high standards and sincerity. When I take people on tour, I am proud, not only of my country but also of Earthstompers and all the hard work Hendrik & Chrissy have done to get where they are today. 10 years of operation! By being on the road as well as in the office, it gives us an advantage in knowing our product standard, making sure it is consistent and also building relationships stronger than ever before.

I would like guests to see South Africa through a real local’s eyes when they come on tour with us. Enjoy our country like we do, see the places we love and really have an experience they never expected would happen! With Earthstompers’ tours, I am happy to say I have already had many tours that even exceeded my own expectations. The endless gorgeous landscapes, ever-changing vegetation and a unique sunset and fire every night J This country is one-of-a-kind and you just can’t help but fall in love with it!

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