Luxury Travel Associate

Nora Friend

I began working at The Society of International Railway Travelers in 2016 and now serve as a Luxury Travel Associate.

Almost all IRT travelers will interact with me at some point in the travel planning process. I handle the phones with aplomb and am usually the voice people first hear when they call.

Prior to my time at IRT, I was lucky to grow up in a family that valued and encouraged traveling. As an undergraduate student at Centre, I studied Japanese and studied abroad in Japan.

My four-month home-stay program showed me an entirely novel way of seeing the world. From the Kinkakuji Temple in Kyoto to the Akiyoshido cavern in Mine City, each day was exciting. Even though I was an “outsider” to my Japanese host family and friends, they welcomed me wholeheartedly as they shared their culture with me.

I firmly believe in the power of travel to enhance people’s open-mindedness and respect towards others. As a result, I’m excited to be working with IRT to help make your travel dreams come true!

I loved my 2018 foray onto VIA Rail’s Canadian and the Rocky Mountaineer. Read my blog post here.

Additionally, I had a thrilling time on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in 2019, as well as a fantastic stay at the world-class Milestone Hotel in London. Ask me about it!

I was honored to be nominated for Virtuoso’s Cruise Sales Rising Star Award in 2019.

Most recently, I graduated from the Virtuoso Certified Travel Advisor (VCTA) program in which I learned how to better manage complicated itineraries with many moving parts, and how to get the highest level of VIP treatment possible in Virtuoso hotels and on Virtuoso Voyages.

When I’m not helping to plan fantastic travel experiences for IRT guests, I enjoy spending time with my three adorable cats — Biscuit, Omelette, and Sunny — and my husband, John.