Meet Julia Wong, WWE’s Director of Marketing
Julia Wong is an indispensable member of the Wild Women Expeditions family. In the event of a tech meltdown, Julia swoops in with her coding cape and seamlessly rectifies all. She’s the Queen of SEOs (search engine optimization–more cryptic code speak), branding (she doesn’t even need an iron), clever marketing campaigns, eblasts–and is a blast to work with too. She’s a rabid fan of Welcome to Rexham, The Seven Sisters book series and harvest cheddar Sunchips. Our Marketing Director is full of surprises with random stories about skydiving in New Zealand, working at Harlequin and her pick-me-up soundtrack that includes Pitbull! She’s also lived in London, Ontario and London, UK! Did you know there are 29 Londons around the world?
Be sure to follow Julia on the Wild Women community page on Facebook May 6–12th, 2023, as she will be reporting from Utah on her first WWE trip–the Arches and Canyonlands Multisport Adventure. There are a few spots available on our fall departures for this high adrenaline trip in September and October 2023!
Hey Julia, tell us about your street cred…
I did my undergrad at The University of Western Ontario (now Western University), in London, Ontario and my postgrad at the University of Westminster Business School, in London, UK. My career trajectory has jumped from 3 years in the publishing world to 11 years in the travel industry. I’ve visited 32 countries (*and I don’t count layovers if I haven’t left the airport) and used to always purchase art wherever I travelled to, but I’ve now run out of wall space! Now I try to pick up something unique to remind me of the destination, and if I can find Christmas decorations, I’ll grab an ornament for my tree.
How did you land in the travel industry?
I did my masters in marketing at a university in the UK. Ironically, my final thesis project was based on an an adventure travel company trying to break into the Canadian market. The more research I did on the Canadian travel industry, the more fascinated I became. I was already an avid backpacker, so the idea of coming back and trying to find a job in the industry was my main goal. It took me a couple of years (I started off in publishing), but eventually I landed my first gig at an adventure travel company before moving on to a luxury cruise agency (which then turned into a premium motor coach touring company). And that led me to Wild Women Expeditions!
Where did you dream of travelling as a kid and what destination is on your mind now?
My one dream destination as a kid was to go to Egypt! But I never thought I’d get to it until I was a lot older. Turns out, the perfect opportunity came about in 2015 and I jumped at the chance. Egypt was still recovering from the aftermath of Arab Spring so I was able to see all the iconic sights without any crowds. Now, my dream trip is Antarctica! I’ve been very privileged to be able to travel to a lot of places in this world, but Antarctica, my 7th and final continent, still eludes me.
What was your most memorable family trip or what triggered your love for travel?
Every year, growing up, we would travel from Toronto to Vancouver to visit family. Eventually we started visiting other family members further away: Hong Kong, Indonesia, China. I don’t think I can specifically pinpoint any specific event or moment, I’ve just always loved to travel! My parents also threw in road trips to Montreal, Detroit and the classic childhood experience of Disney World, Florida.
What are you most proud of?
I’m pretty proud of the fact that I’ve completed five half marathons (my goal was to run them in different cities every time, because… travel! Duh!). Unfortunately, I had to end my running career due to heel pain. I’ve climbed Mt. Kenya, hiked the Inca Trail, and skydived in Queenstown but I think I’m most proud of the fact that together with my husband, we’ve managed to, so far, raise a 2-year-old son. Just 28 years and counting before he moves out of the house, right?
What’s it like travelling as a mom with a young kiddo at home?
I’ve only done a weekend away before, so this will be my first time being away for more than two days. I’ll let you know when I’m back! But I have every confidence that the kiddo will be fine. He’ll enjoy the chill-ness of dad, and honestly, Theodore probably won’t miss me at all!
What “take-home” recipe has been inspired by your travels as a reminder of a place you’ve been?
I LOVE food. I travel to eat. It’s always my mission to eat authentic and local food wherever I go. I still make lentils and sausages–an influence from my days of living in the UK. For a while, I made a lot of spring rolls (inspired by my time in Vietnam). I stopped because the deep-fried smell permeated everything! But now that I have an air fryer, maybe I need to make them again! When I have a once in a blue moon drink, I love a good gin and ginger ale. I wish I had brought back some Jawbox gin from Ireland!
What’s your favourite kick-ass song to run (or walk really fast) to?
Beyonce’s “Run the World” from her Girls album. It matched my jogging temp perfectly. That, and Pitbull’s “Timer” featuring Ke$ha.
Favourite go-to trail snack?
Nature Valley granola bars
Three things you can’t live without when you’re on the road…
Vitamin E cream (moisturizer for my face), my phone (so I can take photos) and tea bags (black and mint tea)
What name brand do you live by?
Smartwool, Lululemon and Osprey
Favourite travel memoir?
It’s not a memoir per se, but I love The Seven Sisters series of books. Each book takes me to a new country and the 8th and final book is FINALLY being released May 11! I have it on pre-order.
Favourite trail, campsite, park, beach…
I love a good glamping trip (which is probably why I chose Arches & Canyonlands Multisport Adventure – the Dead Horse State Point yurts in Moab!). My most favourite campsite is Silent Lake Provincial Park in Bancroft (northern Ontario). Camping to me always involves harvest cheddar Sunchips and PC chocolate chip cookies for snacks. Definitely bacon and eggs with the eggs cooked in the bacon grease, a nice hike around the trails of the campground and S’mores at night by the fire!
Sunrise or sunset?
If you weren’t a Marketing Director at WWE, what would you be doing?
I think I’d be doing something with food– food styling for magazines or recipe creation!
Name one peculiar thing in your home office…
My double screen. I can’t really work without a second screen now. Too many things on the go!
You can read more about Alex, our awesome Arches and Canyonlands Multisport Adventure guide here! Want to meet more members of the WWE team? Check out these profiles to learn more about Sonya, our Expeditions Support Specialist; Franny, our in-house polar expert and Program Manager; Caroline, our in-house horse expert and Community Engagement Manager and me, Jules, WWE’s content creator!