Welcome to Traveltalk’s new industry spotlight series ‘Tales From The Road, where we meet some of the industry’s most colourful characters and find out more about their industry careers and personal travel perspectives.
To kick things off, we’re catching up with the inimitable and irrepressible Walter Nand from Unique Cruises, who shares a hilarious story about when missing your flight really doesn’t matter.
Unique Cruises is a small river cruise wholesaler specialising in European and Asian river cruising and luxury barges in destinations such as the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Croatia and Italy.
The company’s recent partnership with A-Rosa River Cruises opens up a significant breadth of new product including river cruising along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers, visiting Cologne, Vienna, Budapest, Amsterdam, Basel and many other exciting ports.
So Walter, tell us a bit about your travel habits. To start with, do you pack light or take the whole wardrobe?
These days I tend to overpack with a combination of company branded shirts and casual attire as well as some more formal wear - because you never know when an opportunity may present itself.
Are you packed well in advance or a last-minute crammer?
Definitely a last-minute packer!
What keeps you entertained on a long-haul flight?
A combination of work and movies I would not otherwise watch.
Besides your phone, what essential technology do you travel with?
Either my laptop or my tablet.
Have you ever lost your bag while travelling? Did you see it again?
The one and only time I accidently packed my blood pressure medication in my checked bag, my bag was lost at AMS airport. I was hosting a river cruise famil and went a few days without my medication which resulted in an emergency visit by the German ambulance service.
Fortunately, my bag turned up at the ship and I was able to get back on track very quickly.
Tell us one of your best stories from your life in travel?
Whilst working in England, a group of expat Kiwi and Aussie colleagues (including yours truly) cut out coupons from the Daily Telegraph, so we all earned a £1.00 airfare ticket from London Heathrow to Paris, France. We all booked a weekend off and headed to the airport. We were having such a great time at the airport bar that we missed our flight!
When we arrived back at the staff facilities later that afternoon, our manager came to see us and asked how on earth we all managed to get to England in the first place.
Needless to say, it was then time to head to corner pub where we got a big cheer and a free round of drinks from the locals who had heard what had happened.
And finally, what is the most amazing place you’ve been in the world?
This is a very difficult question, but one place that stands out is Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Watching the sun rise over the largest religious monument in the world, with the Buddhist Monks sitting in the foreground, was very moving (even for a non-religious person) and is a lasting memory.
If you’d like to be featured in ‘Tales From The Road, contact Traveltalk’s Digital Editor, Matt Lennon, via matt[at]traveltalkmag.com.au
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