We talk ice cream van wars, travel bucket lists and being properly prepared for your first flight with Lindblad Expeditions’ GM, Gareth James.
1. How long have you been in the industry?
In the travel/hospitality industry since 2001. I was a Director and CFO for Carlson Hotels (Regent, Radisson, Park Plaza etc) between 2001 and 2012, moving into the expedition cruise industry in 2012. My first job was with Deloitte in Bristol, England.
2. What’s your most amazing travel experience?
So many travelling with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic – but also hard to beat South Africa – Cape Town, Garden Route and Lalibela Game Reserve or hiring Pangkil Island – a private island in Indonesia for a significant birthday.
3. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever done?
Ice cream man in my University days. I wasn’t aware there were so many turf wars with ice cream vans.
4. First ever country you travelled to?
France – Antibes as a 17 year old. Also, my first ever flight and I had no idea how to clear the pressure build up in my ears. I was in agony for hours even after the flight had landed until someone noticed my discomfort.
5. Wish list of places yet to visit:
Fortunately, many of these are wild destinations that Lindblad visits:
- Galapagos Islands
- The Arctic
6. Who was your biggest mentor growing up?
My father and my mother were my greatest mentors.
7. How has working in travel changed you?
It simply makes work such a more enjoyable working environment as well as offering some wonderful travel opportunities.
8. What’s your biggest life achievement to date?
Easy – a happy family and three healthy sons.
9. What’s one in-flight travel tip?
Don’t get worked up about it. It will be uncomfortable (long haul) but it will pass. Wear comfortable clothes and have a good book.
10. What advice would you give an industry newbie?
Be a sponge – soak it all up and learn as much as you can about every product and destination. Be kind to everyone as you will surely meet them again.
Have a question for Gareth? Leave it below and we’ll get you the answer.
Getting to Know You is our good will gesture to promote the TIME program. 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
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