Maria da Cunha – June 2016
Ever since I can remember, I was always fascinated by places outside of where I lived. Being brought up on an island and in a small town, I was very excited whenever I visited other towns or the city. I often accompanied my Mother to the city. I was fascinated with the visit each time although I would be visiting the same place over and over again.
In school we did not have a geography class but the history class was a major subject. I remember reading and thinking about all the places in the history book, how could there be another place or country somewhere else, how did this work? When my father immigrated to Canada I would keep wondering where is he really, how is it that he’s living somewhere else, how does it work to be in another country?
It was no surprise to me that when I came to Canada and was immersed in the school system that there were geography classes, I took them all. I wanted to learn about the places, people and cultures, I was absolutely enchanted. There was a course in Human Geography that I found absolutely fascinating and after taking this class I wondered how I could work with geography.
When I eventually moved into the travel field, first as a travel agent then as a meetings and incentives specialist, I felt like I was in a dream, I loved what I was doing. Learning about destinations, venues and interacting with people to help them make their travel dreams come true. I immersed myself in the business, took advantage of all the great teachings available from colleges, suppliers, conferences and networking. I love learning and I wanted to just soak up all that knowledge and share it with clients and people in general.
I was passionate about the work I did and industry that supported it. I further understood this passion when the majority of my colleagues did their job and went home and I would take an extra couple of hours to take a class or attend an industry event.
Early on in my travel days I had some amazing advice from my first Manager, a world traveller herself, when she said; Maria, travel to the far way destinations first because you just don’t know how long they’ll be available for a visit. Thanks to her advice I’ve had the absolute pleasure and feel very privileged to have travelled most of the world.
My travel career over the last 30 years has had a huge influence in who I am today and how I live my life. You acquire a very deep understanding of how people live, their environment, their culture and how it compares to where and how you live. It has made me appreciate, at a much deeper level, how privileged I am to be where I am and to have had the opportunity to experience the world and its wonders.
What I realize today is that travel is in my DNA and I want to continue to share my experiences, and knowledge to assist people in realizing their travel dreams. daCunha Voyages Inc. has been launched to fulfil passions for travel and to help in creating the absolute best travel experience, one that is not only memorable but also delights the soul.