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Q: What was your first job and what did you learn from it that you still use today?

A: When I was young, I looked for golf balls (a lot). I used to climb trees, crawl on my hands and knees in and out of bushes, even walk through swamps and dams to find and get golf balls.

It was great fun and I loved it. I would then sell them back to the golf club, to golfers, to sport stores, to parents of friends etc. for pocket money.

On reflection, I think it taught me that you can earn money while having fun and that should sort of be a goal for life. Life should be a fun adventure of sorts.

So, I think that’s why I’m in the travel industry; it’s hard work, like looking for golf balls, but can also be a lot of fun!

Meeting and working with great people, going to amazing places and doing some incredible things for work is pretty cool. (By the way, does anyone need any golf balls?? I still have a few…)

Q: What’s the first thing you do when you start a new position?

A: I contacted a few great friends in the industry to let them know about my return. It really felt like returning ‘home’ in a sense and I received a lot of positive responses.

I made a lot of great friends when I worked for Peregrine Adventures & Quark Expeditions and it’s been great to reconnect, although I did keep in touch with quite a few.

I also told my brother, as I was sure that he’d be keen to hear about Ynot Concepts and our clients in Africa, as he also lived and travelled in Africa and absolutely loves it.

Q: What advice would you give someone wanting to start a career in travel now?

A: Just do it! There are so many wonderful people and opportunities in the travel industry, so just go for it.

The world is an incredible place and to be involved with inspiring and assisting people to see and experience the world is pretty special. The perks of the industry can be pretty good also!

Q: What did the pandemic teach you about yourself?

A: I learnt that I’m pretty adaptable and optimistic. While it wasn’t great, I managed to accept the reality quite quickly and adapted to the new set of circumstances we found ourselves in.

I ran every morning, ate well, read lots and got a dog! Teaching was challenging during that period, but I worked at a school that was well set up for online learning which helped.

Q: What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office?

A: Coffee. Long black.

Q: How do you think the travel industry is looking at this moment in time?

A: While there are challenges with the cost-of-living pressures etc., I feel that the post pandemic desire to travel is still very present. I also think that people have a renewed sense of the value of travel and don’t take it for granted as much.

The outlook therefore is very positive and I’m very happy to be back in the industry that helps facilitate travel.

Q: Who would you most like to sit next to on a plane, living or dead?

A: Great question and my answer probably changes daily. David Attenborough is the first person that comes to mind.

Others I’d enjoy sitting next to include Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Dian Fossey, Michael Palin, Sir Edmund Hillary and Sam Kerr.


Q: What are some of your favourite spots around the world?

A: Nepal – for the mountains, the people, the food, the culture and the mountains.

Tanzania and Zimbabwe – for the people, the wildlife and the scenery.

Colombia – for the people, the passion and the nature.

Q: What is your best travel story?

A: When I finished the Inca Trail in Peru (a long time ago), I apparently looked like a famous actor and was mobbed by a lot of females in Cusco.

Fortunately, my guide Julio saved me and we ran down alleyways and ended up in his local bar and had a great night. It was hilarious and possibly a bit overwhelming at that moment.

I also got stranded for two days/two nights in the middle of the Serengeti in Tanzania when I was 20! Long story, but I found myself on my own, surrounded by giraffes and zebras and no one else.

Fortunately, I was found before I ran out of food. A simple misunderstanding of sorts back in the day.

Q: What are you most looking forward to about working with Ynot Concepts?

A: Reconnecting and working with Rob Gurr, attending a few travel events and catching up with old friends, making new travel industry friends and meeting and visiting a few of our Ynot Concept clients in person!