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Meet the VagaHQ team


Founder and owner of Vagabond (but really wants to be Bear Grylls when he grows up). Originally from Scotland but has lived in Ireland for many happy years with his wife Amy and 3 kids. Rob started Vagabond in 2002 after travelling in Southern Africa and thinking that a more active adventure tour would be a great way for visitors to experience Ireland. Rob is an outdoor enthusiast (hiking, mountain biking, sailing and wilderness camping) also a keen amateur historian (with an MA in Modern History). Rob is currently the president of the Irish Tour Operator Association and is dedicated to fighting for sustainable tourism and travel.

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Amy is Vagabond’s ‘marketing dictator’ with years of experience in blue-chip brand marketing and also with Vagabond. Originally from south Dublin, she met Rob at university in Scotland, from where she holds an MA in Psychology. Amy is a keen outdoor enthusiast, a really fast runner and qualified sailing instructor, not to mention a mother of three young children (four, if you include Rob). She has travelled extensively in Europe, Asia and Africa. Her favourite travel experiences include safari in Africa, Italy’s Amalfi coast and the south-west of Ireland. 

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Russ is our Transport and Operations Manager. He's a guy that people tend to look up to, standing 6’5’’ in his socks. He's a fully trained ambulance medic and is also handy enough with a chainsaw (he has trained in horticulture and worked as a landscape gardener). Having travelled extensively through Europe, North America and Australia, Russ loved showing people around Ireland and sharing his passion for, and knowledge of, his country. Russ’s calm and professional style instantly made his passengers feel at home and welcome. We are also proud to say that Russ was shortlisted by Outside Magazine as one of the top 20 guides in the world. This makes him the tallest shortlisted guide ever.

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In 2012 Gillian decided she had enough of being down and dirty every day to become Vagabond HQ’s first permanent recruit (outside of Rob and Amy). Gillian’s attention to detail and tenacity in seeing projects through to the end is a legacy from her previous life as an archaeologist (though not as mucky). In her own time, she keeps rescue hens and provides all the office staff with the freshest eggs ever. Interestingly, all our Sales and Reservations team hail from Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland. We reckon Gillian has a secret clause in her working Ts and Cs that insisted on this.

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Ciara is the first point of contact for our Driftwood guests. We reckon what put her ahead of the other job applicants was her answer to the key interview question of ‘…ice cream or cake?’. Ciara has a degree in Veterinary Nursing and loves animals of all shapes and sizes, which is why she gets on so well with our VagaGuides team! She loves to visit new places and has traveled extensively in Europe. She also loves food — ice cream and cake — and is the only person we know whose laugh can alternate between an uplifting giggle or a rather scary cackle.

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Meet Derry (from the Irish word Doire, meaning oak). In his first weeks at Vagabond HQ he quickly demonstrated the qualities of the oak (strength and endurance) in his work. Derry has a rather eclectic background. Having studied History and Politics he spent a year Japan before moving to London, where he completed his Masters degree in Web Design. He has worldwide travel experience, and tried many jobs along the way – selling sushi in London, picking kiwis in New Zealand and even cleaning toilets on a car ferry (we intend to test his skills on that one).

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Emma is our specialist for Vagabond Cultural Adventure Tours. You could say that she has a natural talent for her job; Emma's dad previously led tours as one of our VagaGuides. Who knows? Maybe Emma will follow in her old man's footsteps as she has a freshly minted driver's license. Fashion graduate Emma loves chatting to all our future guests, but being a native of Australia, she especially enjoys hearing the accents from Down Under!

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