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Meet the Curator: Federico

"Getting out of your comfort zone by immersing yourself isn’t just for your own self-fulfillment, but it’s also a way of showing respect for the local culture."

Federico Aramburu
Origin travel curator

Federico’s passion for travel is much more than just professional travel planning. He’s also a digital nomad, moving around while working so he can vet out the best properties and experiences himself, having lived in Chicago, Girona, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, and Southern Italy, among others. But one of his most rewarding pursuits is teaching sustainable tourism to future generations of professionals at the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires.

Fede is constantly on the move to new places
What sparked your passion for travel and how did it become your career?

I originally was interested in hospitality when I began studying tourism but, as soon as I started working, I realized I love the travel planning side of it. For over 13 years I’ve worked in all kinds of travel agencies and it’s such a thrill to be involved in organizing a trip of a lifetime for someone. The more trips I plan, the more destinations I learn about and the more I want to keep traveling myself. I even became a digital nomad and began moving around to continue growing as a professional and discovering the world.

My passion for traveling spans across my life, from my job to my studies to my digital nomad lifestyle. But my biggest passion of all is teaching tourism to the next generation, and I’m always eager to share my knowledge as well as learn.

How many countries have you visited? What were your top 3 and why?

I’ve been to 32 countries and counting! It’s hard to choose a top three, but I’d have to say Spain, Argentina, and Morocco.

I’ve lived in Spain and studied for my master’s degree in Girona. What I love most about the country is how diverse all of the different regions are and that it almost feels like visiting different countries. The food, cultures, and landscapes all change from Andalucia to Basque Country to Catalonia and others.

I’m from Argentina and that obviously has something to do with it, but it truly stands out for its amazing nature and landscapes. In Argentina, you can find glaciers, waterfalls, wine country, lakes, and even the southern lights. It has it all.

Iguazu Falls in Argentina

Morocco was a country that really pushed my limits. I immediately felt attracted to the country for its culture, religion, and customs. It was a culture shock because I’d never been anywhere like that, but I also learned so much about Islam, the markets, and the flavors of Moroccan cooking.

What’s the place you most want to visit that you haven’t been to yet?

There are so many places, but the first one that comes to mind is Vietnam.

Why is it important for travel to make a positive impact?

As with everything in life, travel has its positive and negative impacts. Many people just think about relaxing on the beach, walking in historical centers, or trying new foods, but I teach my students about the other side of tourism, too. Destinations get so overcrowded that the residents move away (what’s a city without the locals?), prices go up, and the benefits often go to corporations rather than the community.

Tourism has to be sustainable and create a positive impact in both the traveler and the local community. Residents should feel that their city is getting better because of tourism, not worse. Travel has the power to do a lot of good things but it has to be managed properly and not be seen only as a source of income, because in reality, it’s so much more than that.

How can you promote positive change when traveling?

The most important rule is to be respectful of the place you’re visiting and the people who live there, so you’re not disturbing residents in their daily life. But travelers should go beyond that by contributing back to the community, which means shopping in markets, buying local brands, eating at family-run restaurants, etc.

Try to understand as much as you can about the place you are visiting, both by reading up before your trip and experiencing new things while you’re there. Getting out of your comfort zone by immersing yourself isn’t just for your own self-fulfillment, but it’s also a way of showing respect for the local culture.

What’s the most surreal travel experience you’ve had?

In 2021, my boyfriend and I were on a full-moon trek through Iguazu Falls in Argentina. After taking a train through the forest, we hiked to the lookout point over the Devil’s Throat, the most important waterfall at Iguazu. In that spot, with the moon reflecting off of the falls, I proposed to my now-future husband. It was so special and surreal, and such a privilege to celebrate that important moment in such an amazing place.

Which was the most memorable property you’ve ever stayed at? Why?

One of my favorites was Six Senses in the Douro Valley of Portugal. I went there in November, so the fall colors of yellows, reds, and greens mixed in with the vineyards and mountains made it so special. Sitting on the balcony of my room and enjoying the view with a drink was such a memorable experience. The property itself is gorgeous, with amazing food and—of course—even better wine to accompany it with.

What item can you not travel without?

Definitely my computer. As a digital nomad, traveling with my computer lets me work from anywhere.

Pick one of your favorite photos from your travels and explain why.
Agave fields in the home of tequila

I was in the town of Tequila, Mexico, which is one of the biggest producers of the famous spirit. Exploring the agave fields and the distillery while learning about this cultural drink was such a memorable experience.