Meet Your Trip Director: Emma Uri
Edmonds, Washington in the beautiful PNW.
What do you do with TFT when you’re not leading trips?
I organize trips! From making hotel reservations, organizing daily schedules, or creating whole new itineraries, I’m working on trips in Italy, Greece, and all over Oceania. This all culminates in me writing a million emails and dreaming of all the traveling the students will do this summer and wishing I could be everywhere at once!
What were you doing before you started working for TFT?
Before TFT, I was working for a study abroad institution in Athens, Greece as their Social Media Coordinator and making coffees at a local pastry shop on the side.
The most underrated must-do activity you’ve ever tried:
Turkish baths – the most underrated, relaxing experience I have ever taken part in. I don’t know how these have gone out of fashion for the everyday person – it’s like a sauna/spa, but 100 times better.
How many Greek islands have you visited?
Weirdest food you have ever eaten:
Hmmm. In Greece on Easter Saturday, everyone gathers at homes after the midnight service (now Easter Sunday technically). Since Sunday will be a day full of lamb feasting, and traditionally people have been fasting from animal products during lent, the fast is broken with a soup called maryiritsa. This is a cabbage-liver-intestine-other innards soup that uses up everything that would otherwise go to waste. Sounds horrible, but tastes reasonably okay if you know and trust the chef. To be fair, not all Greeks eat this either, even though it is traditionally eaten…but when in Rome (er, Athens), right?
Describe one time where you’ve been up the creek without a paddle (so to speak) when you were traveling?
When I was in Cairo, my two friends and I decided that we had to take the metro to the pyramids (yes, there is a metro stop named Giza). So, we hopped on the metro and off we went – little did we know that the pyramids are not right next to the metro stop. With no phone, no map, and in the middle of seemingly nowhere, we could neither see the pyramids nor find anyone to help us. Luckily, a man and his 5-year-old son were also heading to the pyramids on their weekend visit from Alexandria, so he led us that way together. After navigating a public bus fifteen minutes down the road, and snagging a few camels, we were off and exploring the pyramids!
A good picnic or dinner at a nice restaurant?
Picnics forever! I enjoy a good potluck picnic where each friend brings a dish and everyone can snack on different foods. Whether it’s on the beach, in the city, at a mountain refuge on a snowy Wednesday night – it doesn’t matter!
Best packing tips/must-pack items:
I always pack little plastic grocery bags with me – sounds weird, but you never know when you may need to throw something in a bag. I’ve expanded my bag obsession into carrying around a couple reusable ones as well. Also, it is always handy to have a headlamp – you can read your book and get yourself around new places at night….or for the off chance that you need to adventure into a cave or water cistern around town.
What is your top tip to be a traveler, not a tourist?
- Find a supermarket. Go inside. Observe. Buy a treat for yourself.
- Find a book store. I like used bookstores or antique shops. Maybe this is just a personal preference, but bookstores make a place feel like home to me.
- Go about your day without a schedule – get caught up in a new conversation, spend an hour or two at a coffee shop or sitting in park – live in a place, don’t just visit it.