Which countries do you cover, and how long have you been at Audley?
I cover India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. I joined Audley a little over 18 months ago, concentrating on North India. Within a year, I was embarking on my second research trip, to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
What made you choose these countries?
After leaving university, I was in no hurry to join the ‘real’ world of work. I’d spent eight months living and working in Argentina during my studies and couldn’t wait to go off exploring again.
India had always appealed to me — I love places with completely different cultures, languages and religions, and India had all this in abundance. After moving back home for a while and scraping together the funds, I packed my bag and set off for India for six months. I first visited Sri Lanka as a side trip from India, taking advantage of the short flight between the two.
Describe a typical day in the office
I put on a playlist, pour a mug of black coffee (washed down straight away with another coffee), and check through any new emails, usually while singing tunelessly to whatever music is playing.
One of the first things I do is make contact with everyone who’d like to talk to me about arranging their trip. I’m quite chatty, so I typically spend 30–45 minutes talking through their plans with them. The next step is to put together the trip itself, which is always tailored individually around the client’s interests and involves me checking the fine details with my colleagues in India and Sri Lanka.
If it’s travel season, my clients keep me fairly busy. I call everyone before they travel for a final run-through, and after they return to hear all about their adventures.
At lunchtime I stretch my legs and make sure I get a little exercise. I like to join the Wednesday spinning class, and on Thursdays it’s interval training (both arranged by Audley). On Mondays and Fridays, I go running with the some of the team. We also have barbecues by the river frequently when the weather is nice — these have been known to start as early as March!
What are the best parts of the job?
I love it when my clients come into the office to chat about their plans. You can build much more of a rapport when you meet people face to face. Also, there’s nothing quite like calling a client who has just come back from their travels to hear them say they had the most wonderful time and it was the best trip of their life.
I’d be lying, however, if I didn’t admit that the best part of my role is going on research trips. I’ve revisited some wonderful places and stayed in the most beautiful hotels since joining Audley. For me, another big appeal of working at Audley is the social life. The Christmas and summer parties here in particular are legendary.
Are there opportunities for progression in the role of travel specialist?
It’s clearly outlined how you can progress at Audley when you join, which was something that automatically appealed to me about the job. It’s great to be able to see exactly what you can achieve after a few years here. And, since promotions happen four times a year, you’re regularly bolstered by seeing your colleagues and friends move up the ranks.
I’m also extremely lucky to be working with such experienced colleagues. A few of my teammates have been here for more than ten years, and are always on hand to answer my daily questions. In turn, I’m now sharing my knowledge with newcomers to the team.
We're currently recruiting travel specialists for the following regions: Australasia, Southeast Asia and Japan, Africa safari, the Middle East and India. Visit our current opportunities for more details.