Our Team

Based here in the U.S. or in Cusco, we are ready to take you on the journey of a lifetime.

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Marissa Gandelman, LMT
& owner of Elm City Wellness

Marissa's first trip to India was not her favorite. At 19 years old, outspoken but insecure and full of wanderlust, she was in love with the notion of "exotic" India. 

But it was just a notion.

Stripped of her comfort zones upon arrival, India embraced her with full, loving and open arms. But she was too scared of this seemingly wild place to reciprocate the love. 

18 years later, and with no hesitation, Marissa returned to India with new eyes, and maybe even a new heart. She threw open her arms and let India inside.

And she never looked back.

Marissa moved to Peru, in 2010, where she lived, built a private practice and helped found the Healing House Cusco, a non-profit organization dedicated to the healing arts. Marissa opened Elm City Wellness in New Haven, CT, in 2013 and she travels the world part of the year teaching Stress Management Workshops and offering her skills as a Licensed Massage Therapist and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist. She returns to Peru a few times a year to host trips and continue her work with the Healing House, the local community, and her own personal healing and growth.

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Amy Larkin, archivist/photographer

Amy Larkin Gelbach is a museum junkie, idea factory and utopic contrarian who loves to look and believes fervently in the dictate "each one teach one." Amy runs a business to help individuals and businesses preserve and display their memories while taking too many photographs of her dog and soulmate, Bug.

She believes that the act of recording and cataloging memories makes meaning and is enthusiastic about teaching others how to hold the past with reverence while simultaneously acknowledging that we are constantly a part of the active making and writing of our own historical record. She serves as our trip archivist, developing an official historical record of the trip and will help trip-goers to slow their experience down by consciously acknowledging and honoring the making of memories through a workshop she has designed especially for our journey.  

More of an image hunter than a formal photographer, Amy is a self-taught capturer of images and moments. She will work with attendees to develop a photographic record that will be imbued with meaning and resonate with the larger purpose of our journey. Her focus will be on helping our voyagers to document AND experience their trip.  

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Chandni Aggarwal,
founder of Rural Odyssey

Chandni graduated from university with a degree in computer science and an MBA in Marketing. She was bitten by the travel bug in her college days, but remained in the corporate world for a few years until she summoned the nerve to break-up with her job and pursue her passion, thanks to a voyage with Semester at Sea.

Jaded by the crowds of tourists wherever the ship was at port, Chandni started building a travel company based on unique cultural experiences. She believes that travel is much more than visiting famous landmarks, picturesque places and eating good food. It should be able to make us understand life better, impact livelihoods and connect to the "human side" of these magical places.

She has been a part of Indian delegations to various prestigious international conferences hosted by Harvard University, the Malaysian Government, the Russian Government, and the International Franchise Association. In her free time, she loves to click, write, read, sleep, paint pots, chat and search cheap airplane tickets.  She loves working with people and loves to exploring the world.