American history mixed with a touch of drama?
Tour Director Erik Y. has you and your group covered!
Erik is one of the talented Tour Directors you will find leading some of our educational student tours.
Below Erik opens up about why he loves what he does and how he approaches creating moments that will stick with you and your group for years to come.
KB: Can you tell me your name and where you’re from?
EY: My name is Erik and I live in Orlando, Florida.
KB: How long have you been a Tour Director with EF Explore America?
EY: I actually was a Tour Director with EF Explore America just this last season so I just wrapped up my first season.
KB: What do you like about being a Tour Director?
EY: Well, first and foremost I’m an American history nerd. Secondly, I guess I do have a little bit of flare for the dramatic you could say. So with those, a very unique blending of skill sets, it kind of lends itself to tour directing, and so I like to share American history with students of any age, and I like to bring it alive by, you know, just engaging students in our destinations and just talking to them about where we are and bringing it alive.
KB: Have there been any times when something wasn’t on the itinerary but you made it happen?
EY: A special accommodation actually that myself and a fellow Tour Director pulled off for a group last season, they were on their sixth or seventh day of an eight-day tour and they had a celebration night where they went bowling. And the Group Leader said that they had a little bit of extra money in their budget to do something special and they didn’t really know what they wanted so they allowed us to be creative. And what we did was that night while they were bowling was we set up an ice cream sundae buffet for them. And we were in Washington D.C. so the bowling alley was in Bethesda, Maryland, which just so happens to be right down the street from where the Obama daughters go to school. So this particular ice cream shop that wound up sponsoring the buffet was the favorite ice cream shop of the Obama daughters. And so not only were the kids thrilled to have ice cream, but the fact that it made them feel connected to the first children was really a great experience for them.
KB: What do you like about leading groups from EF Explore America?
EY: What I like most about working with groups from EF Explore America is that there’s an extreme emphasis on education. When you talk about other types of student travel in general, there might not always be the emphasis on American history, social studies, culture, language, but everybody that travels with EF Explore America has that emphasis in their trip. And you’re talking about teachers normally within those subject matters that are looking to enrich their students’ educational experience with some sort of experiential, immersive environment like Washington D.C. or New York City. So that specific emphasis on each tour is awesome because that’s where my interests lie, and I’m glad to work with students and teachers that have the same interests.
KB: What does travel mean to you?
EY: Travel means to me the opportunity to see outside of your normal everyday life. If you have that experience to go to a new environment, it’s obviously going to broaden your horizons and just enrich you as a person culturally and through those experiences.