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Meet the Curator: Virginia

"To travel is to discover the unknown, to learn about who we are and what everyone else is. It gives us the opportunity to see the world from different perspectives..."

Virginia Rovagna
Origin travel curator

Virginia has always had a passion for travel, whether just a quick weekend getaway, a month-long trip, or even completely relocating to places she wants to visit. Born and raised in Argentina, she's also lived in Brazil, Portugal, and now Spain, but she's always on the lookout for her next adventure. Her perfect trip would be packing the many generations of her family into a remote villa somewhere in the wilderness, where she can enjoy day hikes and delicious home-cooked meals.

What sparked your passion for travel and how did it become your career?

I get it from my dad. He was always an avid traveler so I was able to travel a lot as a kid with my family and he always took us on amazing vacations. Then when I went to university, I started my degree in international relations but switched after my first year to tourism. It was such a natural and easy decision to make. I think travel planning has always been in my blood.

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

I think 27 so far! I don't know how I could pick a top three, since every one of them was special to me and changed me in spiritual ways. But if I had to narrow it down, I would first say my home of Argentina. It's where my roots are and what my essence is. It's such a wild and vibrant place that's also insanely beautiful. It has such a unique mix of nature, culture, remoteness, and magical people.

My second choice is Greece. It really is a paradise on Earth, but also Greek people are so welcoming and you can see ancient history on display everywhere.

And last but not least would be Peru! There really is something magical and spiritual about the country. Everything from the food to the culture to the people, it's all such a trip.

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

Antarctica, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Jordan and Egypt

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

Because to travel is to discover the unknown, to learn about who we are and what everyone else is. It gives us the opportunity to see the world from different perspectives and to become more empathic towards others.

How can you promote positive change when traveling?

Do things that push you farther from your comfort zone. Really try and merge into different cultures or expose yourself to nerve-racking situations that you wouldn't normally take on. When you're somewhere new, you have to absorb all you can in order to become a better version of yourself, but always while respecting others' boundaries and cultural rules.

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

Once in Morocco, I was walking through the souks of Marrakech in the middle of August, so just imagine how hot it was. Even standing in the shade it was over 100 degrees. Then all of a sudden, I walked across this public funeral service taking place out in the open in the middle of the street. The body was just there lying out, but all the people were eating and celebrating life next to it. The mix of everything—death, the vibrancy of the crowd, the heat—really stuck with me and it was such a surreal moment.

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

I would probable say Pacuare Lodge in Costa Rica or Verina Terra Hostel in Sifnos

What item can you not travel without?

My phone! It has everything I need from maps to the camera to a translator in one device.

Pick one of your favorite photos from your travels and explain why.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. Whenever I see the photo, I still feel that "I finally did it and It was so worth it" thing.