LivingTourians with Wings - Rosa Silva
Where are you from? Tell us a little about your city?
I'm from Marinha, a small "village" surrounded by the Ria de Aveiro and the city of Ovar, very close to Furadouro beach and the stage for one of the biggest carnivals in Portugal. It belongs to the district of Aveiro.
When did you join the Living Tours family and what is your role?
I joined the Living Tours family in February 2013. I currently direct the product and hiring team to Portugal and Spain.
Why Living Tours? And why Tourism?
At the time, I was working in an international hotel chain, which is today the largest hotel chain in the world, as supervisor of the 24/7 team of ambassadors for the EMEA region. A multicultural team spread across the different time zones of the world and in fact the team and the project started to show themselves to be firm and stable and I started thinking about moving on to another challenge and eventually in Portugal. A friend who was already part of Living Tours told me about a vacancy for which I applied. I had the opportunity to have a very sincere and open conversation with the CEO of Living Tours, Rui Terroso, who told me a little about the project, its objectives, and its ambitions and from the start I believed that I could add value, help in the continuous growth of Living Tours, to be the best offer in Portugal. Today, the best offer from Portugal and Spain. Tourism has always been the area I wanted to be a part of. Not only for the interest in getting to know the World but also for showing it, speaking other languages, living with other cultures, living and providing a unique experience to those who visit us. I don't think it could be another area. I'm still happy!
How is your workday?
Priorities first: communicate with the team and see if anyone needs help to resolve a situation, whether it's work tools, communication with customers or partners, and check if sales are operational so that work can flow. Then, resolve emails or other situations that are more urgent and have a greater impact on the company's overall performance, always prioritizing matters that allow for continuous improvement. Finally, not least, having time available on the part of the team, discussing the priorities within the products, partners, and distributing new tasks among everyone, always following this evolution, and giving feedback to the team. This feedback also includes training on-site for each element so that they can improve their performance and learn and feel that they are also evolving. It is this interaction between both parties (companies and teams) that allows both to grow.
What are your hobbies, how do you like to spend your free time?
Walking, planning trips, traveling, and reading, essentially.
How many countries have you traveled so far?
Of all of them, what was your favorite trip and the one that most marked you and why?
This is very difficult, I love to travel and each of these moments is special and a discovery that marks me! But I really enjoyed this last trip: Seoul, Hanoi, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam's history of war, hunger and pain marked a people that began to eat everything that nature gave, including snakes and rats, because it has gone through so many wars that its people simply with nothing to eat had to adapt. Then Angkor Wat, the largest temple in the world, whose empire focused on how they controlled the waters.
What is the best experience / tour you had on a trip?
Even today I have dreams about diving in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. A paradise on earth, a magical place that I love to return to when I have difficulty falling asleep. It was one of the most exciting experiences I've ever felt in my life! So much so that I had to go more than once!
What is your dream trip to take? And what experience are you looking for on that trip?
Explore route 66 in at least three months to be able to have an extended discovery area throughout the trip, of course Harley Davidson!
What is the best company on a trip for you? with friends, partner, family or alone? It's because?
Honestly, it is important to go but I travel mostly with my partner and with friends.
Cultural destination, beach or nature? And what activities do you like to do?
Whenever possible, I look for a mix: nature and culture.
If you could travel back in time, when would you travel and why?
If I could travel back in time, it would be for the industrial revolution, where great changes took place in the way of building, traveling, living ... a time when the transformations were immense and people and the world changed completely.
What's the best gastronomic experience you've had on a trip?
I love Thai food and when visiting the temples in Bangkok, we crossed the river and stopped at a small temple. In front there was a private house with a small courtyard, a table and a stove, fruit and groceries and a leaf with a drawing of a plate of food. We pointed to the food and it was made fresh, right next to us, it was the best Pad Thai I ate in Thailand.
What form of transport do you like most to travel? Car, train or plane? Why?
I like to travel by car because it gives you some freedom to go exploring and experiencing moments while traveling to the destination but I travel a lot by plane. In this last trip I used the plane, the bus, the bicycle, the motorcycle, the train, the metro and the boat!
What is your favorite place to visit in Portugal or Spain, why do you recommend it?
Honestly it is very difficult to choose but without a doubt the North of the country gives you a little bit of everything from Portugal: beach, nature, history, mountain, people, culture…
For you, what is the dish, drink and experience that no one should miss when visiting Portugal or Spain?
I think our wines and our cuisine are excellent and it is difficult to choose but you cannot miss Francesinha because it is a unique dish in the world just like Port Wine. Visit and explore at least one Port Wine cellar where it ages or go a little deeper and discover a farm, taste its wines and photograph its landscapes and stories. I think it is something not to be missed.
What is your favorite Living Tours experience / tour and why?
One of my favorite tours is Porto City Tour full day because it allows you to discover the city from a great part of its history and its most emblematic monuments, taste the francesinha that is the typical dish of the city, know and taste Port Wine and even enjoy the unique view that the bridge cruise gives you. All these elements together allow us to feel the true Porto and its unique authenticity justly classified as World Heritage.