In the spring of 2014, I traveled to Iceland with my best friend. The trip was full of pinch yourself moments, from walking between two active tectonic plates - with one hand on Europe and the other on North America -, to trekking up a glacier on an active volcano, to witnessing giant icebergs floating out to sea while a pod of orcas hunted seals off the beach. Each day was uniquely incredible.
After living and studying in Scotland, he moved to Sydney seeking adventure, once in a lifetime experiences...and better weather! His role varies from teaching people how to sand-board and surf, to helping fellow backpackers find employment and plan onward travel.
No two days are ever the same!
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
At Intro Travel, we live by our #smallchange initiative. Our goal is to make a positive change in each country we operate in by protecting the environment, supporting local communities, protecting animal welfare, and supporting cultural exchange and education. My professional background is in the energy industry, so working for Intro Travel has completely changed my attitude to the environment. I've given up my car, avoid single-use plastics, recycle as much as I can, and try to shop local wherever possible.
In terms of personal growth, the most important changes I have made are living in the moment and appreciating the small things. Whether it's sailing around Sydney harbour on a beautiful Australian summer day, or the smile your local barista gives you as you walk in. Taking time to enjoy and appreciate these moments can change your entire outlook on life.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
The best travel story I know of isn't immediately obvious. It doesn't involve beautiful sunsets up volcanoes or exhilarating skydives over the Great Barrier Reef. It's about a girl who was the quietest member of one of our groups about a year ago. She was shy and unsure of herself and didn't have the best life at home, but she bravely made the decision to travel around Australia and booked on to Oz Intro. By the end of the trip, she had made a great bunch of friends and headed off on a 2-month trip backpacking the east coast.
One year later, she has a partner, a job she loves, an apartment overlooking the beach, and is one of the most confident, friendly and sociable people you could ever hope to meet. She is a shining example of why anyone who is lucky enough to be able to travel should seize the opportunity with both hands. Stories like hers are why we do this job.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
I would love to go on the Japan Intro tour! Japan is a country that excites me for so many reasons. It is 100 years in the future and 1000 years in the past at the same time. I would love to experience the ultra-modern cities of Tokyo and Osaka, where you can buy a bowl of ramen or a pair of sushi-socks from a vending machine, or watch a robot prepare a 3-course meal and make cocktails.
It would also be incredible to stay in a 1000-year-old monastery and meditate to the sound of the monks doing their morning prayers. I love spending time outdoors, so hiking up into the mountains and seeing the snow monkeys bathing in the onsens would be incredible! Who knows, I might even be brave enough to get in myself.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
What makes Intro Travel unique is our approach to tours, such as Oz Intro.
We are not just here to make sure you have an awesome time while on the trip, we are here to support you for your entire time in Australia. If you need help finding employment 2 months after the trip ends, we are here to help with a dedicated jobs' board and expert advice on how to build a great CV. Or maybe you have been in the country for a year or two and need help with your superannuation account or have a question about tax. Again, we are only a phone call away and will support you 100%.
I am especially proud of my team when I bump into a previous group member on the street and they proudly announce they have an awesome job and are living their best life Down Under! Knowing that our team helped to make that possible is an incredible feeling.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
I think that to have a successful company you need to nail three main factors:
1. Being genuinely passionate about what you do
2. Having a great idea
3. Investing time and energy in your staff
You could have the greatest idea in the world, but if you don't pursue it with passion and determination, or you don't afford your staff the time and energy they deserve, then you probably won't succeed.