Stephen McPhilemy

About Stephen McPhilemy

Stephen McPhilemy

“Stephen is my name and Ireland is my island”...
This is not only my favourite Braveheart quote, in my case it’s also true! I’m a patriotic Irishman, history nerd and a proud European who is VP for Operations & Marketing at WSA Europe.
 
After studying History & Politics at Queens University in Belfast, I opted against Journalism School because the Force drew me to the Irish Tour-Guide Academy –  the Travel World’s equivalent of the Jedi Temple. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to morph into one of Europe’s busiest Tour-Guides, my primary gig summer guiding with Rick Steves’ Europe Through The Back Door, where I’ve enjoyed my 15 minutes of fame appearing on Rick’s PBS TV series.
 
In my hometown – the Historic Walled City of Derry - I own a cosy little backpacker’s Hostel which is a relaxing labour of love, just as others might pursue gardening or yoga! Of all the accolades in my career, the highlight so far has been the walk up the red carpet to receive an award at the ‘Hoscars’ – the global Hostel industry’s glittering equivalent of the ‘Oscars’.
 
I have known Andy Steves since he was a Seattle adolescent, football-obsessed and day-dreaming of going to Notre Dame. Years later I watched with pride from the 40 yard line as he marched out on the field with the Irish Guard on matchday with the 'Fighting Irish' in South bend, Indiana. Now I’m using my expert knowledge of the European backpacking and student-travel industry to help my good friend connect study-abroad students to his unique and refreshing travel philosophy... luckily for me I’m also able to find time at WSA to do what I do best in life – guiding our tours!

Vital Statistics:
  • Position

    Operations & Marketing (Europe)

  • Favorite Gelato Flavor

    Stracciatella with a wee hint of Baileys Irish Cream (mmm, it's great, trust me!)

  • Hometown

    Derry, Northern Ireland

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