How many countries have YOU been to? Well we’ve just found out that Becky Greaves – Flight Centre’s pro when it comes to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific – has been to 72. SEVENTY. TWO. Thanks for putting the rest of us to shame Becky! That said, there’s still time to catch up; we spoke with Becky to find out what else she’s been up to during her tenure at Flight Centre, and how you can emulate her fantastic travel CV.
Right, let’s start with a bit of quick-fire: North Island or South Island?
Outback, city, fiordland or beach?
Was volcano an option? Definitely not city – depends on my mood as to preference, but any of the other three are fabulous.
Kangaroo, koala or quokka?
Koala – mainly because I’ve never seen one in the wild (only in a zoo) and I need to remedy that!
Now the nitty gritty: how long have you been working for Flight Centre?
16 years. God, nearly 17.
How has your career progressed in that time?
I started working as a consultant in the Flight Centre Putney store in 1999. From there I went onto manage five different stores and have since won four awards whilst managing those teams. I’ve attended 11 of Flight Centre’s annual Global Awards (a ceremonial weekend event for our top performers), but qualified for 13. I’ve also taken two sabbaticals – last one was a whole year, mainly in South and Central America – and now I work as a ‘Destination Owner’ at head office where I seek out the best experiences, tours and accommodation in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
What do you love most about your role?
The people I interact with on a daily basis, both internally within the company, and externally with our hotel, tour and destination partners. Most people in the travel industry are extremely nice, entertaining and fun.
How many countries have you visited in your lifetime?
At last count it was about 72.
What’s your favourite place on the planet and why?
Can anyone really just pick one? Pokhara (Phewa) Lake in Nepal has to be right up there – hire a rowing boat and take a picnic, a pillow, some music and a good book and row to the middle of the lake… with the Himalayas as your background scenery. Utterly enchanting.
The Galapagos is a very close second.
Where haven’t you been yet that you really want to go to?
The list is extremely long, but at the moment I’ve got it in my head that I want to go to: Uganda or Rwanda (to see the gorillas); Ethiopia (it’s supposed to be gorgeous); Bhutan (I loved Nepal, and I think it’s quite similar but far less travelled); Myanmar (before it gets too touristy – depending on the outcome of the recent election). Also Japan, China and Mongolia.
You get to see and hear about a lot of different hotels and resorts in your role: do you have a favourite?
No favourites, but I’ve stayed in some pretty lovely places – I stayed at the Tsala Treetop Lodge near Plettenberg Bay on the garden route in South Africa which was just amazingly beautiful. I also stayed at the Burj al Arab in Dubai which was amazingly gaudy!! However, we did have our own butler and the Jacuzzi bath was like a swimming pool! I’ve been pretty spoiled over the years…
What’s your top travel tip?
Simple: tickets. Money. Passport.
Also, take a multi-plug charger, maybe two. There’s nothing worse than not being able to charge your phone/kindle/laptop while travelling.
Last one: where are you jetting off to next?
Well, I’ve just come back from Mauritius (last week) so I feel a little like I shouldn’t mention holidays to anyone in my vicinity for the next month or so. That said, I think it may be Nashville and New Orleans.
Ready to launch your career in travel? Check out our Flight Centre Careers website today for a list of our latest vacancies.