Andrew, Andolf, Andy Fo, however you know Andy, you know he deserves the honour of being Free & Easy Traveler’s Employee of the Month. He is amazing at his job, a great friend, and the best travel companion you could ask for! Read on to find out why Andy Fortnum is such a gem to have around! We love you Andy!
We’ve had the joy of watching Andy flourish from a Trip Leader in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia all the way up to the Southeast Asia Leader Manager! He’s been an incredible asset to the team in so many ways, including his thirst for knowledge and his “I’m here for you” demeanor. He his highly dependable as a manager and a friend, and it’s that mix of professionalism with a personal touch that makes Andy such a great person to work with!
Andy used to be known for his luscious locks until he cut off all his hair, but his inviting smile still remains to greet all of his new friends! But Andy is still known for his absolute friendliness. As one of his past leading partners said, he never draws a line between friends and strangers, his heart is open to everyone he comes in contact with, whether it’s our group members, the people we work with locally, or children playing soccer in the streets. He is a great role model for our leaders and anyone who travels the world!
A good sense of humour is key when traveling and leading trips. Humour keeps you, and the people around you, sane on long travel days and rough weather. Dad jokes? Andy’s got them. Goofy games to play? He’ll teach you. Random shirts that couldn’t possibly all fit in his backpack? He’ll pull em out when you least expect it. Yes, Andy’s sense of humour is what we all need in our life, and he really embodies that with his amazing laugh! It’s unique, it’s unmistakable, and it’s absolutely lovable. Wanna hear it? Show him some videos of penguins. Go ahead, try it.
Andy is honestly the best travel companion. Firstly, he knows SO MUCH history and fun tidbits about everywhere he travels and he loves sharing that information in fun ways. Secondly, you can have either the deepest, darkest conversation with him about all of your hopes and dreams, or the silliest, goofiest chat about absolute nonsense, and you’ll never feel judged and always feel listened too. Thirdly, he’s basically a kid in an adult’s body, so he’s up for any activity (even if he’s done it 100 times) and his curiosity is always in overdrive. Hanging out with Andy abroad ensures you’ll try new things, learn new things, and never want to leave!
If you see Andy out and about while leading trips, he is probably looking for a great cup of coffee, packing around a jar of peanut butter, and dropping everything to go sing some karaoke! He’ll likely be wearing his sushi board shorts (which all of his Korean students called his food pants when he was teaching English there), a weird hat he bought at a market, and one of his favourite t-shirts. If you see him, make sure to buy this guy a beer and ask him about the best places to eat and the history of the town you’re in.
But don’t take it from us, take a look at what others who have traveled with him have had to say:
“Whether it be eating food at a delicious restaurant, teaching people about the history of a country or playing in a ball pit, he always has a smile on his face and is jumping up and down with excitement to dive right in. Oh and he always gives really good hugs.”
“He puts a serious effort in maintaining frequent contact with every leader out in the field, even if it’s just a simple “hey, I miss ya” message.”
“Andy might just be the most knowledgeable traveler I have ever come across. I am so fortunate to have shared this trip with him”
“My first conversation with him in Saigon truly meant a lot to me. Every convo I’ve had with him is something I’ll always remember.”
“Papa Andy (as I’d like to call him) truly is one of my favorite people that I’ve ever met. He’s very passionate about life, and is an amazing leader. He knows so much about the history of the country and you could literally ask him absolutely anything(and not feel stupid for asking) and he’d give you a genuine answer.”
Congratulations again Andy! Much love from HQ and from all of the leaders you help out every day by offering them a way to become better leaders and people.