F1S: Speaking of travel, you have visited over 100 countries. Do you have any favorite destinations—and what have you learned along the way?
Erika Reategui: In recent years, there were five destinations I really wanted to visit—and I’m lucky to say that, right before the pandemic hit, I was able to see all of them: Mongolia, Madagascar, Nepal, Borneo and Papua New Guinea. And they were each truly incredible.
I’m based in the U.S., and love traveling to far-off destinations and experiencing and discovering what other cultures can offer and teach us. I’m an explorer at heart. When I set my mind on a destination, I just go for it. I believe you can—and should—learn from any destination you visit. I’ve learned that when you’re on the road, it’s best to be open, adaptable, and willing to welcome new cultures, new ideas, and new ways of doing things.
F1S: What advice do you have for other women in the travel industry—and beyond?
Erika Reategui: I think women should set and focus on a goal, and work hard to achieve it. When you get a job, don’t just see it as a job, but as a career—one in which you could eventually become a leader. This is particularly true in travel. There are many different avenues you can take in this industry. My advice would be to meet and talk with people who are in roles that interest you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and then forge your own path. Perseverance, tenacity, and determination are key across the board.
And, most importantly, never stop learning and educating yourself. Just because you have a degree, for example, doesn’t mean that’s the end of it. You have to continue to increase your knowledge in your chosen field to both meet the goals you set for yourself and grow as a person and leader. And you hear it so often, but, never give up—work every day to give the best you have to give. There’s no doubt in my mind you’ll be rewarded for that.