Say hello to the people of the industry who’ve chosen to work in ‘travel for life’ and see the travel industry as a fun industry. These are the ultra passionate, much-loved folk who continue to inspire others by going above and beyond in their everyday roles.

This week we catch up with Damon McManus, Senior Systems Engineer for Aerocare. Damon shares how he started in the industry, what inspires him and a message to all industry newbies.


What do you do in your role?

My role has evolved a lot over the past six years at Aerocare. Originally my background was in Linux System Administration and the role here used to consist of that, Network Administration and some support work. Now I’ve moved to more of a Dev Ops/Architecture role.

Aerocare is a company which is very dynamic and has been growing very quickly. We have moved all our services to the cloud to allow our infrastructure to be more dynamic and grow quickly with changes in demand. When Aerocare acquires a new contract, which requires one hundred new staff, our infrastructure needs to grow with this change. My role now involves architecting our cloud infrastructure to ensure Aerocare have the capacity to grow when necessary, administration of those services, assist with the network design of an MPLS WAN network and to assist with any new services the company may need.


What do you love most about working in the travel industry?

There is always something exciting around the corner. Everything seems to change so quickly that you are never sure what will happen next. Also, I love to travel so knowing the ins and outs of the industry and having contacts at airports make it easier to get around.


How has working in travel changed you?

It has made me much more aware of the industry and the people that work in it. I have a lot more respect for the entire industry from the travel agents through to the ground handlers, airlines and airports. There are so many moving pieces to try to get right and it’s a testament to the people in those positions that it all comes together.


Tell us about a recent, amazing travel experience

Oh there are so many! I recently went to Canada and the US and spent time in their National Parks. It was incredible seeing wild bears in Sequoia National Park (sitting 3m from me eating pine cones) and standing on the Athabasca Glacier in Canada. Spending time with Cowboys in Canada and exploring the cities. Drinking coffee in the Seattle Starbucks Roastery.  

We also went to India and saw the Taj Mahal. That was truly an eye opening and humbling experience. My father and his parents were born there to English/Irish parents and it was amazing to see the places where they grew up.


What’s the weirdest/most amusing job you’ve ever had?

I once worked for a weekend stuffing compost into containers to grow mushrooms. It was tough and smelly work!


What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen on your travels?

Our Intrepid Travel India guide Sana took us to see a Bollywood horror movie in Jaipur. Funniest thing I have seen in a very long time. The entire audience was shouting and cheering while very serious actors were doing some of the funniest and not-so scary things. An amazing experience. When the possessed heroine wrote “Love you” on her arm in demon scars we nearly cried with laughter. Maybe you had to be there?


How can we as an industry, travel to change the world?

I truly believe that travel is food for the soul. As a person is exposed to people in other countries and cultures their views change and they become more rounded people. Travel is the essence of that and as an industry it’s our job to facilitate that for people.


What’s your number one in-flight travel tip?

Do not have long legs. That one is pretty hard to change though.


What’s your favourite travel app?

Google Trips.


What advice would you give an industry newbie?

Get ready for a hectic pace in an exciting industry. Do not expect a lot of notice for the projects that you will need to bring to fruition but embrace them with gusto! Plan a holiday to reward yourself.


Who inspires you within the industry and why?

Though currently not technically in the industry yet, Elon Musk is continuously inspiring me at the moment. Between his planned trips to Mars and now talking about rockets to get from London to New York in 30 minutes it’s hard not to be inspired by his thinking.


CAREER:  Digital Marketing Specialist – Wendy Wu Tours

CAREER: Campaign Marketing Executive – KARRYON

Have you met Damon on your travels?