Prof. Carol Dimopoulos is President of Perillo’s Learning Journeys where she brings her passion for personal transformation through transformative travel and community service-based programs to global destinations in Europe, Asia, The Americas, Africa and The Middle East. She is a prominent expert in both business and academia in the field of niche market, social, and transformative travel. Her engagements include speaking and teaching at The NY Times Travel Show, Ensemble Travel Network Conference, Yoga Journal Live, Travel Market Research, The Italian Travel Promotion Council, GIFTE Travel Network as well as numerous shows throughout her 20 year executive travel industry tenure. She is also the USTOA Modern Day Explorer Travel Ambassador to the Islands of Malta.
She brings the principles of personal transformation to the world of travel, creating experiences of moving from place to place to in a destination to fully absorb the culture and community. She is committed to servicing communities through the journeys and incorporates giving back through service projects. She holds an MBA and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Chicago-Urbana Champaign. She serves as an adjunct faculty member for SUNY where she shares her knowledge of business and organizational management with a focus on business ethics and women in business as well as global marketing and communications. Her enthusiasm and passion for transforming self and empowering communities through the travel platform invites travelers to think in new ways by investing in learning and growing through travel.
Travel Research Online (TRO): Hi Carol, thanks for joining us for this interview. How are you today?
Carol Dimopoulos (CD): Very well. Thank you.
TRO: The name Learning Journeys seems to be apropos for what you are trying to accomplish in the world of travel. Has the objective of learning and growing – becoming a better person, essentially – through travel always been of primary concern to you?
CD: Learning through travel has always been at the core at my vision. I have seen firsthand the positive impact learning immersions have when included in the travel experience. Both for the traveler and the respective societies they are visiting.
TRO: The speaking and teaching engagements you participate in span across the industry, which looks like a pretty busy schedule. How do you manage your time between those events, running a company, working on a doctoral degree, and teaching?
CD: Great question. I believe we all have the capability to live our dreams and reach our full potential. Time management and following your passion is the key.
TRO: What destination has taught you the most in your journeys?
CD: I learn from every culture I visit. Italy and Greece have connected me and my family with our heritage and roots. India shared a deeply rooted culture which is complex, yet simple and genuine.
TRO: Learning Journeys, as well as yourself, appear to focus on women’s well-being. What do you think is the importance of both the women-oriented travel experiences you offer through LJ and teaching women’s business?
CD: Women need to recharge independently in order to thrive. Focus on self-care is the most important gift a woman can give herself.
TRO: Your philosophy that destinations change but interests generally stay the same among travelers is, in my opinion, a fantastic foundation to build-out an experience for them. Is this one of the driving forces behind Learning Journey, and what are some other driving forces?
CD: The focus is always defining what each individual traveler is interested in and including opportunities to develop the interest, creating the opportunity to personally transform.
TRO: You’ve been working within the travel industry for almost 20 years. What do you think are the most important lessons learned so far? What advice would you give to up-and-coming agents as they find their way in, and through, the travel industry?
CD: I teach business development in the travel industry. My advice to new agents is to create a brand around their specific interests and become an expert in the field. Travelers have many options for booking mass tourism. There are very few experts in travel niche markets.
TRO: Can you tell us about any projects on the horizon for Learning Journeys?
CD: New for 2019, travelers will have the opportunity to immerse in a dream career in our
“My Week as a…” programs. Stay tuned.
TRO: Carol, thank you for your time. We hope to speak to you again sometime.
CD: Thank you for the opportunity!
For more information about Learning Journeys, visit the website at www.learningjourneys.com.