Returning to the fold on an annual basis, Yves Bousquet is one of Insight Vacation’s many frequent flyers. Married for 37 years with three daughters, Yves has worked as a teacher and school principal in Canada for over three decades, and is currently employed by the Saskatchewan School Board as the coordinator of its Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program. A build-it and fix-it man in his spare time, he loves learning about peoples, places and languages and is always seeking new ones out, wherever they might be. As long as his wife, Cathy, comes along too. We caught up with Yves to find out about his background; his favorite Insight Vacations trips, his lasting memories, and where he plans on travelling next…
Can you tell us a bit about your work?
“I assist and co-ordinate teachers in Saskatchewan with a high school program that was created for aboriginal youth to teach them about entrepreneurship. This program was created by aboriginal teachers and is guided by traditional teachings. It’s part of an initiative that was created by the Right Honorable Paul Martin, the 21st Prime Minister of Canada.”
How did you get involved?
“I spent most of my career in schools with a high percentage of indigenous people. At first I knew nothing of their ways but I found them very patient teachers. Over a period of 30 years I learned many customs that served me well in my line of work. So when I retired from teaching I found myself well equipped to continue engaging with aboriginal people.”
How did you first come across Insight Vacations?
”Our neighbors suggested the company when we planned a joint vacation together.”
Are there any particular elements that you look for in your ideal holiday?
“We love to visit new places but we always make sure to research them first. Wherever we go, we like to make sure there’s lots of history and several chances to meet new people. Seeing the major sights that, in Canada, you merely hear or read about such as the Colosseum in Rome, David in Florence and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, is important to us too. They always leave us awestricken so we’ve started to tick them off one-by-one.”
What were your first impressions of your first trip?
“It was wonderful. We were terribly impressed by our Tour Director; she was so very knowledgeable and spoke several languages. We loved it so much that we kept booking the optional excursions, too. Perhaps the part that made the greatest impression, however, was the fact that we didn’t queue for anything – such a tedious part to any holiday.”
Where was this?
“The title of the trip was The Highlights of Europe. It meant we saw several countries including England, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland. Our first stop was Bruges, which I remember possessing a very pretty town square – we sat there with a beer and watched the world go by. It was so peaceful that we’ve returned twice since.”
How many trips have you made with Insight Vacations to date?
Did you make any lasting friendships on any of them?
“Yes, we are especially fond of some Australians we met on our very first trip. We are in touch with them all the time.”
What makes you return to Insight Vacations?
“It is always nice not to have to worry about the standard of hotel you might be put in or whether the experiences you’ll have each day will be any good or not. With Insight Vacations you never have to fret.”
What does Insight offer that others don’t?
“I think it has more comfortable seating on its coaches and includes more site visits than other companies.”
What’s your favorite anecdote about a trip you’ve taken with Insight Vacations?
“We were eating pizza opposite the Colosseum at dusk when suddenly the huge structure was lit and opera singers started up. It was such a surprise.”
Has Insight Vacations changed the way you travel?
”Absolutely. Before Insight Vacations we would never have even thought of getting a coach tour. Now we always choose Insight Vacations whenever possible.”
What was your most memorable Signature Experience?
“In Venice we sat in St Mark’s Square one evening and listened to orchestras competing with one another as we enjoyed a glass of Champagne.”
Where are you headed next with Insight Vacations?
If you could choose any person in the world, who would your favorite travel companion be?
“It’d have to be friends or family! You can’t beat them.”