Meet One of Our Tour Coordinators, Kalea Wiseman

Kalea in Patagonia

Kalea in Patagonia

Kalea Wiseman just celebrated her one-year anniversary at Academic Arrangements Abroad, where she started out as an Assistant Tour Coordinator. Prior to joining the firm, Kalea worked designing, selling, and leading educational trips to Cuba. She attended the University of San Diego—where she earned degrees in political science and Spanish—and also studied abroad in Havana, Cuba, and Montevideo, Uruguay. In early 2016, Kalea will become a Tour Development Coordinator working in Cuba and New York.

What is your hometown?

The Pacific Northwest is my homeland. I was born in Seattle, Washington, and raised in Salem, Oregon. I’ve traveled around that whole part of the country.

Who would play you in a movie?

Being the girl from Dirty Dancing Havana Nights would be my ideal situation.

City you most recommend to friends

Havana. Always Havana. It’s just such an enchanting, mysterious, welcoming place. It surprises me every time I go. It also changes every time I go.

What city would you drop everything to see?

I would love to go to Istanbul. I have a dear friend from college who is from Turkey, and she always brought back the most beautiful jewelry and crafts. I think it would be interesting to visit.

What do you enjoy working on the most for Arrangements Abroad?

I really love tour directing, which is probably why I’ll be doing a lot more of it next year. I love helping people have really interesting and unique experiences on the ground.

Special skills

Salsa dancing, speaking Spanish, and enjoying life!

Most visited websites

Cuba Absolutely, OnCuba, and The Havana Times  for information about Cuba, and The New York Times for general news.

Kalea WisemanWhat is something about you that surprises people?

The first time people hear me speak Spanish. Native Spanish speakers are especially surprised because I look so American, but I speak Spanish with a strong Cuban accent.

What are some things you can’t travel without?

A few nice dresses (they’re easy to wear, but they look good), a notebook (to take notes about trips and remember details and experiences), and a sense of humor.

Number of trips traveled on

While I was studying abroad in Montevideo, I traveled around Uruguay and also visited Buenos Aires and Patagonia in Argentina. Other countries I’ve visited include Spain, Portugal, and Mexico.

With Academic Arrangements Abroad, I’ve taken three trips to Cuba, with another one coming up soon and many more to come.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’m looking forward to spending more time in Cuba and working with our really experienced Tour Directors there.

Kalea in Cuba

Kalea in Cuba

Book Club Selection for January

House of the Spirits coverOur next book club selection is The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende.

Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende is considered one of the first successful women novelists in Latin America. She is the author of eight novels, a collection of stories, three memoirs and a trilogy of children’s books. She writes in the style of “magical realism.” Allende’s works have been translated into more than 27 languages and have become bestsellers across four continents. In 2004 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

According to one review, “The House of the Spirits is an enthralling saga that spans decades and lives, twining the personal and the political into an epic novel of love, magic, and fate.” The novel tells the tale of Chile’s 20th-century history through three generations of the fictional Trueba family.

Our discussion will probably be in late January.  Happy reading!