The Contours Travel Managing Director shares stories about his time driving Contiki’s ‘tiki’ van to dressing as an animal for his weirdest job yet.
1. When and how did you get started in travel?
I got into travel in the early 70’s after returning from a season of driving for Contiki in a “tiki” van. No one was doing overland camping tours to South America, so I partnered up with another driver and we started Bustrek Overland Camping Tours of North and South America.
2. What was your most amazing travel experience?
It would have to be my first six months of travelling around Latin America and experiencing everything on offer from the people, cultures the food, the wildlife and lifestyles.
3. What is the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
I was an animal fur-skin grader working around the London dockyards once…
4. What was the first country you travelled to?
5. What destinations are on your bucket list?
Mongolia, Guyana and Antarctica.
6. What is your favourite spot in Latin America?
The Andes Mountains.
7. Who was your biggest mentor/influence growing up?
Eddie Baldchino. He was the MD of Concorde International Travel and was such an inspiration, especially with his generosity with advice on running a business.
8. How has working in travel changed you?
Meeting so many people along the way, I’ve learnt patience and acceptance.
9. What is your biggest life achievement to date?
Building a successful business that has been running for 40 years!
10. What is your number one in-flight travel tip?
Skip every second meal.
11. What is your number one tip for visiting Latin America?
Never rush. Take the time to explore the different sides and facets of each country and its people.
12. What advice would you give to someone starting out in the travel industry?
To learn everything possible that comes their way, enjoy all of the opportunities they are granted and share wherever possible.
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