Meet Samantha Aeschbach!
☞ Local Experience Designer & Guide - Chocolate Enthusiast - Friend
Hello there! I am Samantha; nice to meet you!
I was born in Zurich, grew up in the Italian part, and had a grandmother from the french-speaking part of Switzerland. Throw in there a Jewish-Polish lineage from my mother's side, and there you have it: a genuine mutt!
My first and now renewed professional love was hospitality and tourism. With turns and twists of life, I worked in various hotels, cruise ships, as an interpreter, as a casino dealer, as a volunteer, and lastly, 13 years as a vice-consul for the Swiss government around the globe.
I moved back to Zurich in 2017, as this city, besides the energetic vibe and the multicultural character, offers a rich heritage of millennial cultures.
Throughout my journeys, I learned to cherish simple moments of delight: sharing a home-cooked meal among locals, being laughed at by half a dozen children on a Guatemalan chicken bus, hearing long lost legends told by village elders, buying locally crafted gifts, or spontaneously accepting invitations to explore spectacular yet desolate panoramas.
Talking to people from all walks of life, with strangers turned into friends, I learned to listen to everyone with equal curiosity. Friends for an hour, a day, or a lifetime. The intimacy of serendipitous encounters while traveling encourages a deep sense of bond, honesty, and trust.
This is my ethos on how I share Zurich and Switzerland with people who decide to visit its charming cities, foreboding and awe-inspiring mountains, romantic train rides, and mouthwatering local dishes. Mostly I mean chocolate, but we have other delicious delicacies too!
I am looking forward to meeting you!
Your Experience Host
Diploma in Tourism & Hotel Management (Lugano, Switzerland)
Crisis Management Course & Crisis Deployment Course 1 & 2 (EDA*)
SDC Field Safety and Security Course (EDA*/SDC**)
UNDSS Family and Personal Security and Protection Course
South America Rapid Intervention and Support Group (GIAR SA)
Dipl. Syst. Mindfulness Trainer & Coach & Consultant (CTAS, St. Gallen, Switzerland)
*EDA: Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
**Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
Professional Expat - 18 countries
Traveled passionately - 75 countries
Volunteered compassionately - 5 countries
Enjoyed 5-star hotels and travel
I had fun backpacking and hitchhiking
I ate pigeon in Bolivia
Surfed sand dunes in Peru
Swam with hammerhead sharks in the Galapagos
Pilgrimaged on the Compostela Way
I visited the happiest country - Bhutan
Lives in Zurich, Switzerland
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The Zurich Insider’s Story
The Zurich Insider sees its humble beginning in a fortuitous encounter with a local architect, that shared her knowledge about some secret spots hidden in plain sight in Zurich.
The fates orchestrated further coincidental rendezvous with an underwater archaeologist, a scholar of medieval churches, graffiti enthusiast, and a historian. I started to feel as if life was trying to push me in a particular direction.
Cat-like curiosity, a healthy touch obsession, countless hours buried under books in the central library, venturing time and again into charming alleys, talking to local experts, friends, visitors, and ex-pats alike, gave the initial spark for what was to come.
Passionate for fully immersing myself in local culture, and this time why not my native city, coupled with a flair for storytelling, further prompted me to share my discoveries with others in the late summer of 2019.
A diehard traveler myself, who always valued the off-the-beaten-path adventures, far from the large groups manufactured experiences, but also the luxury afforded of 5-star experiences, and a taste for quality over quantity, built a solid base for my new idea: Show Zurich, although not an exotic, remote and inaccessible place, quite the contrary, an international hub and a very well connected one, from quite a unique side.
Of course, the tours include places covered by guidebooks and thousands of Instagram posts.
Yet, on these tours, you witness Zurich from a slightly different angle, entertained, with a local Zurich guide, full of insider tips, anecdotes, and hidden history.
As for many, the beginning of 2020 was filled with anticipation of the new season, then nothing.
The world stands still, holds its collective breath, and chaos ensues. I will not deny it; the en masse cancellation, travel restrictions, and general fear almost halted my new enterprise and endeavors.
As the "new normal" emerges, as we adapt to the circumstances, I, the Zurich Insider, focus on changing and adapting with it. I keep strengthening my curiosity, compassion, and enthusiasm for sharing with what I do best: showing the remarkable hidden history of Zurich to its visitors and guests!
Looking forward to showing you the history, secrets & hidden spots in Zurich.
Your Experience Host
It is my firm belief that luxury resides in the delight of exploring beyond the obvious, in personalized attention, insider access, authentic engagement, and genuine hospitality.
Luxury is a feeling of easy comfort in knowing that your curiosity and respect for the local flair are appreciated and welcome.
With the transformative power of storytelling to unite and provide insight across cultural, linguistic, or geographical boundaries and insider access to hidden places, the tours uniquely convey the essence of Zurich and Switzerland.
I strive to make all my Swiss tours accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds and provide a local experience well beyond the usual "must-see" recommendations.
My passion and mission are to promote local history, locally sourced memories & souvenirs while fostering sustainable & holistic travel experiences.
I aspire to inspire travelers to connect with the place they are exploring.
The Experiences you choose, the way you travel, what you decided to explore and dedicate your time to, are a reflection and integral part of your identity. It reflects your values and what is important to you. So does The Zurich Insider.
We live our values with each and every tour. Travel is an opportunity to learn something new, discover oneself through experiencing new things, be challenged, and learn as we grow our vision of locally crafted meaningful memories.
Connection & Humor
Each Experience is a chance to instill a human connection with travelers, locals, and to partners, and to the present moment by appreciating the past.
To foster a deeper understanding of cultural differences and uniqueness and perhaps discovering similarities.
Without forgoing professionalism, a touch of humor, openness, cheerfulness, and an easy-going attitude are the final touches in our recipe for respectful interaction with our partners, travelers, and friends.
Passion & Innovation
The tours are a labor of passion, born from a sense of curiosity and wonder for what was and where we are going.
At each step and reiteration, the tours and the company develop and evolve whilst staying true to our essence.
We are committed to delivering our passion and perhaps transform it into yours. May it be only excitement for exquisite chocolate!
Integrity & Trust
An honest interaction starts in the transparency in our communication and our actions. We take our time to know our customers, stakeholders, and partners and build mutual trust by listening attentively to their expectations.
Thus, we can build incredible partnerships, deliver above expectations, and discern that sometimes values do not align. Clear and honest communication is paramount, as is the very highest of ethical standards.
Sustainability & Wonder
We do our best to foster and promote local souvenirs & crafts and reduce our carbon footprint by exploring places on foot or public transportation whenever possible.
To create an ecosystem that supports the destination's culture, arts, and taste by building long-lasting relationships with all the partners.
A sense of belonging and place, memorable experiences, and wonder replace conventional luxury with our private tours that bypass the manufactured tourist-everybody-has-seen "10 top things to do in Zurich”.