We sat down with one of our first ever Hosts to join Triple, Julia, to get to know her and hear why she decided to come to Sweden from Russia. Read on to find out how Julia merges her Russian heritage with Swedish culture.
You’re Russian, how did end up here in Stockholm?
15 years ago, I fell in love with the Swedish rock-pop duo Roxette, and started visiting Sweden back and forth to learn more about where they came from. I fell in love with everything Swedish, the history and nature and moved over here
How did you hear about Triple?
Actually I saw ad on facebook for an extra job as a Host, and since I was already very knowledgeable about Sweden and I has been guiding before, I thought it could be interesting to show people around. I was also excited that Triple was a new, young startup doing something different.
What do you like most about working with Triple?
For me, the best part is showing people around and meeting such a variety of travelers, I’m very inspired by the people living here. I also love that being a Host feels like a collaboration with Triple, the team are always interested in our feedback, they’re accessible and they’re international.
Is there a favourite part of your activity that you enjoy the most?
I like the challenge of overcoming people’s expectations. I can decide how I want to plan my activity and there is free range to do be creative, so I have the ability to make it unique. I always get new questions from travelers, and feel a different dynamic from one booking to the next. The travelers I meet through Triple are open minded and they don’t expect me to know every single thing about the history of Stockholm. They’re often looking for more of a real connection to what life is truly like here. The travelers that I meet through Triple are more human in that way, they’re very friendly, and are interested in both Sweden and Russia (they usually guess that I’m Russian, or I’ll tell them), so they ask questions about my life, and there’s a wonderful exchange in learning about each others culture.
What tips would you give to someone who wants to become a host?
Be true to yourself, there are many hosts with different traits, and there is room for everyone. Travelers want a wide range of things from their activity – some like to meet a host who knows a lot of history, others prefer to just see things through your eyes, and enjoy what you do on daily basis. I say do some research and get inspired by other hosts too.
When you take travelers on your activity, what do they experience that they wouldn’t otherwise, if they used a tour company?
When visitors choose Triple they get more personal experience, more like meeting a friend – you have conversations with people that you wouldn’t get with a tour guide from a big company. Travelers who use Triple feel more free to ask questions. With it being more intimate they feel more comfortable to speak up and have a good conversation.
Give us an example of a great experience with a traveler you recently had.
I got a booking from a group of people from Asia. They actually gifted me some souvenirs from their culture, and it felt like meeting a friend of a friend. I actually received something from the traveler, rather than me gifting them, which I actually love to do. Something that surprised me, is that lots of tourists give tips, even though they’ve already paid for the activity, which is a nice way to be thanked and understand that they enjoyed it!
Do you have another job?
Yes, I’m Swedish teacher!
What motivates you on a daily basis?
Meeting new people and putting ideas into action, it’s always fun to see your ideas come to life. Teaching in any capacity is so important to me, and aside from my work as a teacher, I also get to do this in a new way when I host.
How would you describe the travelers that you meet when you host your activity?
They have an interest for learning something which cannot be found in a travel guide, that you can only learn from a local, someone who knows and more importantly loves their city. I hope triple grows, so that I can do this in other cities!
Here are some of Julia’s activities: