When one half of your family live on the other side of the planet, the plane is just like a car– a mode of transport. It’s not always to go to breath-taking sandy beaches or to hop on skis… it’s a way to be physically closer to the people you love. Travel for me became a love story itself. Being in new places, meeting new people, and seeing things you’d never seen before.
My fascination with travel began early on, and was probably prodded along by my parents. We often took holidays within Southeast Asia growing up: it was a stone’s throw away, after all. I learned to observe people and watch their smiles. Were they genuine, was I? Were they happy, was I? You see yourself reflected back in people from different walks of life, and that is the deepest connection you can have without knowing someone or speaking their language.
Queue my first ever real job at a travel agency, and I think I was sold for life. The intensive training that we underwent to know about everything, everywhere was eye-opening itself. From there, connecting with people through the job, I realised that travel is the biggest life lesson you can learn over and over again; it’s also where you learn to be Street Smart. Not everyone can be Book Smart or get all A’s on their report card (I definitely didn’t), but everyone can have their minds expanded by seeing and experiencing something outside of their comfort zone.
I think everyone should have a sales job at least once in their life, because you learn something that you learn also when you travel: how to walk in other people’s shoes. You are trying to sell an experience, not a product. ALWAYS. A sales process is a story, and the story is one that wins out, not the product. If I just sell you a night in a posh hotel in Bangkok, or if I sell you a night in the posh hotel in Bangkok right opposite the night market where if you-hang-your-red-swimming-trunks-on-a-chair-by-the-window-you-can-spot-it-from-the-other-side-of-the-river… what is going to be more exciting? Are you more willing to part with £80 for just another posh hotel, or for the opportunity to find your colourful clothing hanging in the window of a skyscraper?