In June 2014…
after nine and a half years of working for one of the top small group operators in the U.S., my position was made redundant. I went home that day knowing that I needed a change. Abandoning the previous idea of becoming a wedding planner, I committed myself to becoming a tour operator that could transform peoples’ lives. It was almost as if my calling in life was knocking at the door once again.
Here I am; my name is Simla Sooboodoo. Combining my passion for making a difference and years of experience in the travel industry, I set upon an exciting new journey. The launch of my small group tours in 2015 enabled me to send people on amazing journeys of discovery to lend a helping hand in a sustainable manner such as creating job opportunities and teaching the basic skills of life. Hands on Journeys is an opportunity to create meaning in this otherwise chaotic world and above all, to discover oneself. When I walk into villages we are currently empowering, I see a bit of myself in a lot of these children in need. I look into the beautiful smiles and eyes filled with unspoken words to see a familiar face. My life required the intervention of a supportive force, thankfully, I was eventually provided with just that.
I bring together my library of experiences in one package with Hands on Journeys. The aim is to build a tribe with travellers who are willing and able to make an authentic difference while travelling the world and essentially understanding the identity of each destination while giving back. We will open the doors of opportunity for people as it comes from a very special place in the heart.
The concept of integrating volunteering into development and tourism is extremely dynamic and that’s how it should be; offering one inspired trip that will make a difference in everyone’s life – yours and the people you will meet along the journey.
I’ve fulfilled my dream of travelling by receiving opportunities from others. Only through my Aunty (mum) and Uncle (dad) was I able to excel; now it is my turn to give back! As human beings, we need to have more faith in ourselves, believe in who we are and what we do, the rest will unfold itself.
Yours in travel,