This week we get to know Alli Sinclair, tour guide turned author.
1. How long have you been in the industry, what and where was your first job?
I worked in the travel industry for twelve years but now write fiction full time. My very first job was receptionist at Peregrine Adventures. After six weeks I moved into their marketing department and my career in travel took off from there.
2. What’s your most amazing travel experience (one of them anyway)!
Only one?! My most memorable would have been standing on the summit of Mera Peak (6476 metres) in Nepal, gazing across the mountains and valleys framed by bright blue sky and Mount Everest towering above.
3. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever done?
My job as a mountain climbing guide wasn’t weird but it was definitely was unusual. I worked two summers on Aconcagua (at 6962 metres it’s the highest mountain in the Americas) in Argentina and it was a big adjustment from working in an office!
4. First ever country you travelled to? What was your experience like?
I travelled to Bali and quickly learnt that even though resorts were nice, I needed to get out and explore the island. I visited schools, small villages, snorkelled on remote beaches and was invited to religious ceremonies. The friendliness of the people and their fascinating culture made me realise there was a whole world out there that needed exploring and I haven’t stopped doing so since!
5. Wishlist of places yet to visit?
Antarctica is number one on the list. I got close when I was in Ushuaia in southern Argentina but not close enough. Ahhhh …. One day I’ll get my chance.
I’d also like to spend six months living in a small village in France, Italy or Spain as well as visit all the weird and wonderful festivals around the world (Night of the Radishes and La Tomatina festivals, anyone?).
6. Who was your biggest mentor/influence growing up?
Edmund Hillary. I devoured his books and watched his documentaries, hanging on to his every word, wishing that I could one day have adventures like him. I haven’t climbed Everest but I’ve certainly had lots of wonderful adventures!
7. How has working in travel changed you?
Working in the travel industry has given me the chance to meet an array of amazing people with so many different experiences and stories. I always love to hear about a new destination or somebody’s latest adventure and it makes me realise the world really is a marvellous place.
8. What’s your biggest life achievement to date?
Signing a three book deal with an international publisher for The Dance Card Series. I held book one, Luna Tango, in my hands for the first time recently and I’m not afraid to say I got all teary and you may have heard me screaming with delight!
9. What’s one in-flight travel tip?
I lived in Canada for a few years and would fly to Australia every year with my young kids and as it was a thirty-hour trip door to door, I needed to find ways to entertain them. I discovered $2 shops were a great way to pick up little toys and books that didn’t weigh much and I could wrap them up and stash in my handbag. The moment the kids got bored they’d stick their hands into the lucky dip and pull out something new to play with. Sure, they got spoilt and some might call it bribery, but when you have a four-month-old and twenty-two-month old and you’re travelling by yourself, these packages of joy helped immensely!
10. What advice would you give to someone starting out in the travel industry?
Read! There are so many fantastic blogs out there and thousands of interesting travel novels that can help you learn about destinations and cultures in an entertaining way. And don’t underestimate the value of talking to experienced people in the industry – they are a wealth of information and are usually willing to help out someone new.
A bit more about Alli:
Alli Sinclair is Australian born and spent her early adult years travelling the blog: scaling mountains in Nepal, Argentina, and Peru, rafting the Ganges, and riding a camel in the Sahara. She lived in Argentina and Peru and it was there her love of dance bloomed. When she wasn’t working as a tour guide, Alli could be found in the dance halls learning tango, salsa, merengue, and samba. All of these adventures made for fun storytelling and this is when she discovered her love of writing. Alli’s stories combine her passion for exotic destinations, the quirks of human nature, and the belief that everyone can dance, even if it’s to their own beat.
Luna Tango is the first in The Dance Card Series, published by Harlequin MIRA is now available in print and eBook.
Alli is giving one lucky person the chance to win an original oil painting of a couple dancing tango. All you have to do is send in a photo of anything tango related. You can strike a tango pose with your dog or friend; draw stick figures; have Lego people dancing tango; or dress your cat up as a tango dancer – the possibilities are endless and the more creative you are the better! The competition closes 7 September and you can read more about the entry requirements here .Good luck!
[colored_box color=”grey”]The Travel Industry Mentor Experience is a not-for-profit company established in 2009 to offer a range of business skills, development guidance and support sessions, within a mentoring and peer collaboration environment, to aspiring mid level management individuals of the travel and tourism industry.
The TIME program is focused on a Mentor/Mentee relationship that is ‘mentee-driven’. Mentors are drawn from the senior ranks of the industry and have generously volunteered their time and energy to the mentor process. They are matched to Mentees on the basis of non-conflicting business skills and experience that enables them to offer advice and perspective to the Mentee. The role of the Mentor is to hold their Mentee accountable and to offer challenging ideas that will inspire the Mentee, helping to building the individuals self confidence through praise, encouragement and constructive feedback.
If you are interested in joining TIME as a mentor or mentee visit their website. [/colored_box]
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