TRAVEL TALK WITH KIRSTY
- How long have you been in working in travel?
It’s been just over 7 years now. I started in April 2014.
- What is your favourite part of your job?
I am a natural born problem solver, so I love working in the fast paced environment of a busy international Airport. My absolute favourite part of my job, is saving a passengers holiday when it’s all gone pear shaped on them. Nothing more rewarding then seeing happy passengers boarding their flights that a few minutes earlier they thought they were going to loose.
- Countries Visited so far
I have been to 23 countries so far with so many more on my wish list.
Australia (SA, NSW, QLD, ACT), USA (Hawaii, California, Texas), Singapore, Thailand, UAE, Turkey, Greece, France, Monaco, Spain, Liechtenstein, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, luxembourg, Denmark, Netherlands, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
As a child I actually lived all over NZ and was lucky enough to travel this beautiful country extensively. We also lived in Australia and Scotland due to my dads job so we were lucky enough to travel a lot during our time living overseas.
- Favourite Country and why?
Without a doubt it has to be Turkey, I have been three times and I’m busy planning my fourth visit for when we can travel again. It’s hard to put into words why I love it so much but once you go there and experience it for yourself you will know why it’s so amazing.
This country is so different everywhere you go and the people are some of the most friendly and helpful I have ever met. They also have some fascinating history and like Alana, I could spend hours in a museum or wondering around ancient ruins, so Turkey is such an ideal holiday destination for me, the scenery is also stunning as well and of course, their food is absolutely delicious.
- Favourite Holiday Memory and why?
That would have to be attending the 100th Centenary ANZAC service in Gallipoli, Turkey back in 2015. It was one of the most surreal and humbling experiences of my life. A very, very special trip and probably one of the main reasons I fell in love with Turkey so much. It was also the first time I had ever travelled on a group tour and I was converted to this way of travelling after this trip.
- Favourite food?
I love trying new food when I travel, but my favourite would be anything from the Middle East or around the Mediterranean, it’s always so fresh and full of flavour. But Thai and Indian food are very close seconds, however nothing beats the amazing Turkish Breakfast’s, what a delicious feast they are.
- Favourite travel product/gadget?
My portable luggage scale haha. I am a notorious over packer, but I have learnt how to pack a lot better than I used to. I still fear getting stung with overweight baggage charges at the airport so I never leave home without this handy little gadget to keep me on track. Packing Cubes have also been a godsend, keeping my packing organised and under the weight limit.
- Favourite thing about travelling?
I really enjoy meting new people and learning about new countries and their cultures. I think because I work in a Retail store, I love talking to people and so when I travel I will pretty much talk to anyone and I find out so much about a country by talking to the locals. I also really love trying the local foods too. You can tell alot about a culture by the food they eat and I have tried some amazing food I would never have come across had I not been in that country.
- Destination you really want to visit next?
India. It’s been at the top of my wish list for years, and I can’t wait to get over there. I have always been fascinated by their culture and history and their amazing food is a bonus too.
- One thing you cannot travel without – aside from a passport.
My Camera! I love photography, especially Travel photography so I never go away with out it. I have actually had nightmares before flying out on a trip that I have left it behind haha. I love being able to capture these beautiful moments in time and being able to look back at them when I miss traveling.
- Favourite way to travel – Car, plane, boat, bus or train?
I work in an Airport and absolutely love planes and Airports, but crazy enough I’m such a nervous flyer. I would choose a Plane to get me where I need to go (obviously a must when you live down here at the bottom of the world on an Island) then definitely a Car to explore a country more in depth, I try to avoid domestic flights within a country if I can. I absolutely love a good road trip, “Have Car, Will Travel” is a family motto. I love being able to decide where I want to go and head off the beaten track if I feel like it, that’s usually where the best adventures are.
- Ever had a Holiday disaster?
Yes haha and Alana was with me. See even travel agents can run into trouble on holiday. But we learn and then tell our clients what to look out for, and holiday disasters make the best stories, but thankfully ours didn’t cost us anything.
We did a little girls only road trip through Turkey in early Spring back in 2017 with our other good friend who is an air Hostess. I remember we arrived in Cappadocia and the weather forecast was saying 100 per cent chance of snow that afternoon. We were so excited to be able to see this beautiful region of Turkey in the snow, so decided to quickly shop for souvenirs and have dinner in Goreme before it rolled in. As we ate, the snow arrived and it looked stunning. After dinner, pictures had to be taken of course until it dawned on us that our hotel was at the top of the hill. And if the snow was heavy down in the valley it was going to be bad at the top of the hill. So we quickly jumped in the car and headed up the hill, we were doing ok on the main roads till we hit our little street and the rental car had no traction at all in the snow. Despite our best efforts to get up the last bit of the hill we had to park the car in the ditch at the bottom and drag our suitcases up the hill to the hotel. We still laugh about that night today.
- One destination you were really surprised by and why?
Texas! I was fortunate enough to win a two week trip to Texas through work and it had never really been on my radar of places I desperately wanted to visit. But I was blown away by how beautiful and interesting it was, there were stunning views everywhere we went. The people were super friendly and we had a blast, we even got to met some real Cowboys. I would highly recommend it and would definitely go back again, It has won a piece of my heart for sure. And for anyone who loves a good BBQ, you haven’t tried BBQ until you have been to Texas.
- Best travel tip
Get Travel Insurance. You will never know when you need it. Working at the Airport I’m blown away daily by the amount of passengers that travel without it, then they are surprised when things go wrong and they start losing major money because they didn’t get it. Most people don’t take it because of the costs, but if you can’t afford travel insurance then you really shouldn’t be travelling. We travel on a year long world wide policy and its so worth the money we spend on it because you will never know when you need to make a claim.
- And finally, what is it about Travel that makes you so passionate?
I think Travel changes you and in ways we don’t even notice sometimes. It’s the best medicine to mend broken hearts, it’s an escape from the everyday norm, it’s an insight into how other people live and it’s an understanding of cultures and traditions. I always come away from a trip changed in someway and it begins to shape your personality and your passions. There really isn’t anything else like it that I have come across. Travel is deeply special to me and has moulded me into the person I am today. Without it I would be a very different person for sure and I probably wouldn’t be working in travel.