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5 minutes with … Jo Fordham

February 5, 2024

Introducing … Jo Fordham, Tour Manager

Please tell us a little bit about yourselfJo Fordham

I am a keen traveller and thrive on outdoor adventures and exploring new landscapes and cultures. Planning and leading tours, and introducing groups to new countries and cultures is rewarding. I have a Master’s Degree in Travel and Tourism Management, and in more recent years I have specialised in Health and Safety, including for overseas expeditions.
My hobbies include cycling, hiking, kayaking, sailing, skiing, squash, tennis, and flying light aircraft.
If it involves travel, being outdoors and being active then I will be there!!!! Working with Different Travel as a Tour Manager is an absolute pleasure for me, with the added benefit of supporting charitable organisations.

How long have you been with Different Travel? How did you get involved?

I have been a Tour Manger with Different Travel since 2020 when I gave up my “day job”. I was introduced to Different Travel by a good friend who had worked with several members of the team and has herself been a Tour Manager.

What was your first Different Travel trip? What made it special?

My first overseas trip was trekking in the Sahara, supporting a group raising money for a hospice. What made it special….everything!!!! The group were fantastic all supporting each other when trekking through the harsh desert terrain, with relentless heat, little shade, and no washing facilities. It’s really rewarding to experience a diverse group of people whose paths may otherwise not cross all working together with a common goal, to complete the challenge and raise money for a cause that is so close to their hearts. Then there is the team of local guides and porters who make a trek of this nature possible and going that extra mile to ensure the experience is an amazing one…encouraging us to sleep under the stars, cooking delicious meals on camping stoves, baking bread in the sand, entertaining us with local music, and educating us on the local traditions and cultures, and not to forget the memorable camel rides.

What has been your most memorable Different Travel adventure to date?

They have all been memorable, but if I have to single one out it would be my most recent trip to Nepal. After a rewarding trek in the majestic Himalayas the group spent 2 days experiencing first hand the work of this international charity in some of the poorest communities in the world. We interacted with children, parents, school leaders and women’s groups who were all benefiting from the charities support, it was a huge privilege for the group to be able to see directly the type of support their fundraising enables and the scope of support provided.

If you could go on an adventure with three people (past or present, real or fictional) who would they be and why?

Definitely my daughter for her energy and enthusiasm, and whose research on TikTok has lead us to some places I had no idea existed.
Sarah Outen, a very inspiring female adventurer by sea and land.
Simon Reeve, as his travel focuses on not only the environment but on so many other humanitarian factors that are key to truly understanding a culture.

What is your ultimate dream destination?

The Poles, North and South.

Which Different Travel adventure appeals to you, and why?

All of them, although the more remote and the more physically challenging the better!
If I had to choose from the current tours it would probably be the Artic Circle Survival Challenge in Norway due to the remoteness, the self sufficiency, the snow, and a chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

What do you love about working with Different Travel

There are many things, here are just a few:

The opportunity to support a wide range of charities, and to learn about the vital role they play in supporting a huge range of different causes both in the UK and abroad.

Supporting an group and experiencing a group working together to ensure that every member achieves their goal and the trip runs smoothly.

The opportunity to meet so many interesting people, both participants, local guides and people, and of course the Different Travel team.

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