It’s got so much that entices me back every year. There’s always somewhere new to explore. Often I’m already thinking about where I’ll take my family on our next trip – even if it’s a year away.
OK, I do love the spicy food, especially Thai curries and even raw chillies if it’s with ‘gorengan’ in Indonesia. I love the hot balmy heat and warms seas to swim and play in. But I think one of the biggest drawcards is how friendly and welcoming the locals are. Coming back to Auckland and seeing a much more individualistic society takes a while to get used to again.
Back in 1999 I lived in Jogjakarta, Indonesia for a year learning the Indonesian language at university there. That was one of the best years of my life being submerged in a culture so different from my own.
A few years later I married my Javanese wife. We’ve now got 2 beautiful and well travelled daughters.
My journey in the travel industry started in the early 1990’s working at Go Holidays advising travel agents on where to send their clients. In 2000 I started my own travel brokerage selling holidays to Bali and then expanded to the rest of South East Asia.
I’m one of the original 5 travel brokers of “The Travel Broker” group which formed in 2002. Now we’re over 100 strong with more joining regularly. Not just anyone can become a travel broker. We are a highly qualified group, well travelled with years of industry experience.
You may have noticed that there’s been a decrease in ‘high street’ travel agencies. What’s happened is there has been a steady transition from travel shops to home based travel brokers. In the past having a street presence was important but now with the internet it’s no longer necessary. A lot of ex-travel agency managers and senior staff are choosing to become travel brokers as it’s a great lifestyle working from home (well, actually from a converted shed in my case) and spending more time with my wife and daughters. It sure beats a 40 minute drive into the town and those hefty parking fees!
When I travel I like to see plenty of hotels. Many of them I won’t even recommend to you, but I still like to see them anyway. When I walk around the city, I get to understand why and where the prime locations to stay are. I check out the rooms, the restaurant, the bar and pool (if there is one) but most importantly I like to feel the ambiance of the hotel cause I know that having a hotel that feels right to me will probably feel right for most kiwis.
I’ve got a mind that constantly tries to figure out how to improve things and make life easier and tidier. Whether that’s building something at home (I like to imagine I’m better at this than I actually am), coming up with new ways to work more efficiently or designing holidays.
It gives me great pleasure putting my mind to work creating holidays that I hope will be everything (and more) that you want it to be. I put a lot of thought into working out the best and most efficient routes, selecting the right hotels to suit your requirements and matching any sightseeing to your ‘want to see and do’ list.
It’s important to me that you have a holiday that’s better than you’d imagined it could be.
I always love to hear back from my travellers so please do call me when you’re back. It’s a great way to improve my service and will help planning future travellers’ holidays.
Asia Holidays Ltd is TAANZ and IATA bonded for your protection through 'The Travel Brokers', a division of Stella Travel Services (NZ) Ltd,
66 Wyndham Street, Auckland.