Valencia Private Tours is a family-run business started and owned by Sarah-Kate Redding, an American- born dual national of the US and Spain. She was brought up traveling back and forth from Maine to the Dominican Republic where she became bilingual at a young age in an international ex-pat community.
After programs abroad in a variety of countries and graduating from a ‘Little Ivy’ back in New England, Sarah-Kate came to Spain in 1999. After teaching English for a while, she met her Valencian husband and they have 3 trilingual children together. She started as an official guide of Spain in Barcelona in 2005 and did tours for high-end tour companies all over Spain, France and Portugal and virtually guided in every city major city and town of interest.
VPT was the first private tour website dedicated solely to private tours in Valencia and started in 2012. As it grows, Kate has taken on other guides on a freelance basis. Sarah-Kate still does the majority of tours in English or Spanish, but has a handful of highly selected guides with the same fervor, love and communication skills in other languages as well, such as French, German, Italian and Russian.
As VPT grows, it has taken on a small team of administrative help and on popular demand has also started Private Spain Tours (www.privatespaintours.com) for full-service tours around Spain and its neighbors and Sol Events (www.solevents.es) for business and private event planning.
We don’t believe in tourism. We do not meet you and bring you into our home as tourists. There is no such thing. Tourists are what we like to call “Traveling Anthropologists”.
A friend of mine, a Doctor of Anthropolgy, told me once, “The job of the anthropologist is to make the different familiar and make the familiar strange.” And that’s what your brain is doing all the time you are traveling, even if you don’t know it.
At every given moment that you are a part of and witnessing a foreign land, your brain is busy at work, even if you just think you are on vacation and looking out the window. Our minds are constantly categorizing what we see, hear, feel, touch, smell, taste as different or familiar to us and often making opinions about it, if we like it or not. Whether we know it or not, we’re busy at work traveling around figuring out what makes these differences. There are no simply random differences in our world. For example, when you notice that our cars here are smaller than in the US, it’s not just because we like small cars. Our roads are smaller since some of them have been travelled since 2000 years ago when the car wasn’t even thought of; our carparks are smaller; and our gas is more expensive. The clarity that comes with understanding these small differences leads us to think about how we live in our own countries.
Travelers play an important role in our society. To distinguish these categorical differences and similarities in our cultures is to bridge the gap between them. By learning more about other cultures and what we like and dislike, we inherently learn more about ourselves. “Traveling Anthropologists” are like the philosophers in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave: Once you have left the cave, once you have experienced travel, you will never again be the same, and when you go back you can bring your knowledge and findings to those still “imprisoned” in the cave.