The Senior Executive Assistant at Reho Travel has a flare for unique travel, telling KarryOn about that time she flew through Bahrain and a powerful travel experience in Israel.
1. How long have you been in the industry?
Nineteen years, I started as a receptionist with CTS in St Kilda.
2. Describe one of your most amazing travel experiences.
Israel – oh my goodness…Yad Vashem, the Wailing Wall, Dead Sea and seeing family that I hadn’t seen for 20 years… the depth of that experience will live with me forever.
3. Tell us about the weirdest job you’ve ever had.
I used to work for BBC Hardware, not necessarily weird as such but if you knew me, the fact that I have strong knowledge of how to mix paint, how many square meters a litre of paint will cover and what bolts and screws and which timber to use for a project would definitely surprise you!
4. What was the first country you ever travelled to?
The UK, when I was eight years old, we flew to the UK on SQ we stopped in Singapore and Bahrain where I saw my first assault weapon on a soldier guarding the doors of the plane.
We stayed in Manchester and my little sister and I came back with the strongest Mancunian accent!
5. What destinations are on your bucket list?
It changes all the time!
Having to choose I would say – Brazil for Carnivale, Europe – I would love to cruise Europe and the US…my sister lives there so the pull to just go there every year is very strong!
6. How has working in travel changed you?
It has opened my eyes to why people should book through a travel agent. I have worked in the industry through the Boxing Day Tsunami, the erupting Volcano in Iceland and the Bali Bombings.
I was also cruising the Western Caribbean out of New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. I don’t know what our clients or I would have done if we all didn’t have someone with the knowledge and contacts to help us!
7. Who was your biggest mentor growing up?
My grandparents, my grandmothers – I love to bake and cook and they were always doing both!
My grandfather was in the British Airforce and fought in WW2 and the stories he told were incredible and I don’t think we got all the stories either.
His stories made me realise that we have it so good – it is something we should all be grateful for.
8. What is your biggest life achievement to-date?
Building my own home. I got to choose the fixtures and fittings that would create my space. And I created the best kitchen ever!
9. What is your number one in-flight tip?
HYDRATION! I always take a pump spray of Evian water and Hydrolyte on the plane. I also say walk around even if you have to annoy the person sitting next to you – they should be moving anyway!
10. And one tip for new cruisers.
Don’t eat for a month before you go – and live in the moment, get into everything. Choose your shore excursions before you go and book them if possible. You don’t want to be disappointed if they are booked out if you wait!
Oh that’s three tips… sorry!
11. What advice would you give someone starting in the industry?
Be patient, learn everything you can and smile all the time. Customer service is what this industry is all about!
Have a question for Nikki? 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.
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