Marissa comes from an Irish family with deep roots in the most northern stretches of Donegal, where her grandmother was born and raised. When Marissa was just five years old her aunt married an Irishman from the same town, and all at once she found herself at her first wedding and her first trip to Ireland. Growing up as her Nana's favorite grandchild, she has always felt especially close to her heritage and family's homeland.
Before Audley, Marissa joined EF Education First where she helped many see the world through educational travel, but also had the opportunity to chaperone a large group of Spanish-speakers to England, Ireland & Scotland as their translator. Even 20+ years after her first visit, the UK and Ireland still fascinates her with its thousand shades of green, but her favorite part is seeing the impression it makes on others as they experience it for the very first time.
When Marissa isn't traveling internationally she can be found hiking, enjoying live music or doing weekend trips around New England. Western Massachusetts, where she studied, and Cape Cod are some of her favorite local destinations.
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I'll never forget when…
Our journey to Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands in Ireland, was one of my all-time favorite experiences. Earlier in our trip I mentioned to one of the locals that we were taking a flight to the island and he mentioned something about it only taking a few minutes. Well indeed the entire flight lasted only six minutes! Being a bit of a nervous flyer, I was naturally a bit unsure about getting in this 10 person propeller jet willingly, but once we got up into the air and I could see Ireland's mainland behind us with the Wild Atlantic splashing against its shore, and the mystical Aran Islands I've always heard of ahead of us, I was in complete peace. I watched out the window as we passed over the Atlantic searching for dolphins and admired the island as we approached in the most memorable (of only two) ways to arrive to the islands. But, I'd say that little plane jaunt beats the ferry every time.