We thought it was high time the whym team introduced themselves and put some faces to the name! From trekking Patagonia and watching elephants in Kenya, to (almost) getting arrested in Belgrade and Italy find out what the whym team love, and hope to forget, about travel in their own words.

Jess whym

          Jess Vincent          Digital Marketing


Marcus whym

Marcus Vaingcourt-Strallen Managing Director

Emilie whym

        Emilie Naudé         Marketing Manager

           Martin Key         Technical Manager

You work at whym because….

MarcusI started the business and nobody else has volunteered to be Managing Director yet!

Jess I am very passionate about languages, travel and exciting new start up projects. I wanted to work in a small team where, as the newbie, I could really get stuck in.

Emilie Working for a start-up I love that I can get involved in everything, I’ve definitely got used to thinking on my feet! I joined the team when “whym” was merely an idea, it’s been great to see that idea develop into the product it is today.

  The company is full of innovation, so it is somewhere I can apply my love of technology the newest customer facing solutions that may make a difference in someone’s life.


Partying at Carnival in Rio with the Cariocas, what’s not to love?!

Can you speak any languages?

Jess Yes, Spanish and French.

 Nothing fluently, a little French that I learnt in school.

MarcusI remember a few phrases from my childhood Swahili; I used to speak fluent Nepali about 40 years ago, but it is very rusty now; I can hold a reasonable social conversation in Schwyzerdeutsch; and I can make myself understood in French but never manage to understand what is being said back to me.

Emilie  Sadly not, I did try to learn German and French at school with limited success. Even after the best part of a year in South America I still couldn’t hold a decent conversation in Spanish or Portuguese. The shame!


The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul teaming with cultural delights!

Tell us about places you’ve visited. Your favourite country is….

MarcusI have lived and travelled extensively through the world, though have not yet been to South America.  The country I have most enjoyed visiting is the remote area of North-east Nepal.

Emilie  Can I just say continent instead? South America!! Brazil and Colombia are probably my faves.

Jess Such a hard question! I think it has to be Spain. I lived in different parts of Spain until I was ten years old, so it holds a special place in my heart. I love the food, the weather and the relaxed atmosphere.

 So far, Nepal. Such a great country and a great people, everyone is wonderful despite all their recent hardships.


Beautiful Nepal wins the whym “favourite country” vote. It’s easy to see why….

And your favourite city…

Jess  I love Berlin and Barcelona, but London is still my favourite!

Emilie  I also love London. But Sydney and Rio de Janeiro are strong contenders.  If only London had sunshine and a beach!

  Istanbul was great, full of culture and excitement.

Marcus  I love walking around cities.  London is my favourite city, but New York, San Francisco and Amsterdam have all provided me with a good few days of pleasure exploring them on foot.


Momos: dumplings found in Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. And a firm favourite with our technical manager Martin.

My best travel memory is…

Emilie  Oh, this is too difficult to answer. So I’m giving a list…diving the Great Barrier Reef, Carnival in Rio, trekking Patagonia, exploring the Salt flats in a 4x4 and cycling “the world’s most dangerous road” in Bolivia, I really could go on, but I’ll leave it there!

Jess  Seeing a herd of elephants up close at a drinking hole in Kenya.

Marcus  Trekking for hundreds of miles in Nepal

  Waking up to beautiful sunrises over the mountains somewhere in the Peruvian Andes.

Best travel moments: Watching elephants in the wild. Awesome!

My worst travel disaster is…

Marcus Being arrested in Belgrade because I was being driven in a car that the Police thought belonged to a local mafia boss. I was very scared for about half an hour until they figured out they had the wrong suspect.

Emilie Becoming very sick in La Paz, Bolivia. I had, unbeknown to me, caught an antibiotic-resistant parasite (with a long Roman name that I can’t remember).  After 10 days of being very sick and miserable in a hostel, I ended up in hospital on a drip for a few days. I spent most of the time alone and confused as to what was wrong with me and what was happening. I laugh about it now, but it was quite scary at the time.

We might be biased, but London is our resounding favourite city.


Jess  I was on a train from Milan to Nice last summer near the end of my interailing trip and my two friends and I unknowingly got onto a train that was not included in our ticket fare. After a shouting match with the Italian train conductor (neither of us could understand each other) the train suddenly stopped and there were three policemen waiting to escort us off the train. Luckily, a lovely Italian man who spoke good English came to the rescue and was able to explain our mistake, and the policemen let us go.  

  Realising the night before my flight back from Nepal that I had booked the flight for the wrong month! I almost got an extra month of holiday… Thankfully a wonderful host at the Hostel was able to get me back on track over the phone to the airline.

Travel disasters in La Paz, Bolivia. Turns out, not an ideal place to get sick!

In your opinion, the tastiest food is…

Jess  Mexican, every time.

  This is a difficult one! Nepali momos are pretty amazing though.

Emilie Mexican or Vietnamese, I’m indecisive.


And your preferred tipple is….

Emilie  Prosecco!

Marcus   A smoky single malt.

Jess  Prosecco, or Coronita if I’m eating Mexican.

  From my travels, a Peruvian Pisco Sours is always good.

Breathtaking Iceland — location of one lucky team member’s next trip!

You last travelled to…

India and Nepal.

Jess  Greece

Emilie  Brugge, Belgium

Marcus Italy

And you’re next visiting…..

Jess  Iceland

  I have nothing planned. Wherever the opportunity arises!

Emilie So far undecided, but I definitely owe my dear friend in Amsterdam a visit!

Marcus China to look for partners for whym! If my marketing manager will let me have the budget.

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