I’ve spent 38 years in the travel industry now. I kind of fell into it! While completing a real estate course, I was working as receptionist in an accounting business which also owned a travel agency. The day came when the travel agency was short on staff and I was called upon to help…and there began my love of helping people create their dream holidays.
Back when I started, airfares were expensive so my clients were those who could afford to make travel plans and corporate businesses looking to expand overseas. Today, air travel is much more available to those with a wanderlust. It’s a special experience helping people see the world. I also continue to help those same clients from thirty years ago to make their mark globally.
The industry was very different back when I started out. Technology has advanced the way travel works significantly and has opened up doors to travelers.
Today I still get the same kick out of helping my clients to design a holiday that truly ticks all the boxes on their aspirations, goals and needs.
I have visited 41 countries and a lot of them more than once, exploring the history and culture of the country. It is very important to me to try to learn the language or basic phrases to engage with the locals. I can manage a conversation in French, Italian and I know key phrases of Chinese.
Food. The phenomenon of travelling to enjoy the food of the country is nothing new to me. I have always focused on what people eat and why, and this leads to a greater knowledge of the local’s daily life. I love to immerse myself in these traditions.
When travelling with kids, luggage can sometimes be limiting. I had three little girls and one large suitcase travelling with me on the train through Europe. The best thing I did was choose undies, socks and small pieces of clothing in one set colour per person, so I knew whose was what when ruffling quickly through the suitcase.
I like to visit France and Europe, but I am also fascinated by the USA because it is so diverse from state to state with its history and indigenous past – and the food is wonderful, of course.
I like to use the notes feature in my phone every few days. I keep track of where I stayed, the room number, restaurants, food and wine I loved, and copies of my itinerary. I also take photo of something new on menus or a wine bottle so I can remember what I loved.