GET TO KNOW ME TUESDAY! Life of a travel agent working from home. By Cory Edmondson

Get to know me Tuesday!

Get to know me and how I’m working from home. PLUS Tips and Tricks from my travel experiences!  With Cory Edmondson, Senior Cruise Consultant

 

I have to say, I didn’t think whilst shaking my head as the fireworks went off in Sydney Harbour  at midnight on New Year’s Eve, that this would be my 2020. I thought the worst of 2020 was going to be the clean up after the devastating fires - my was I wrong!

Coming into the New Year I was working for a coach tour company and had been for five years. It was time for another change and I was considering getting back into the Cruise industry. Having worked at ecruising 10 years ago, it was a no brainer to come back and I rejoined the team in mid-February. You might be thinking WHY, are you crazy? The Corona Virus pandemic was starting and the cruise industry was at the forefront of the worsening media coverage.

Once again you must be thinking… WHY? Well, it’s simple really. Since Brett started ecruising 20 years ago, cruising is the future. It’s ever-changing, ever-evolving, and always moving forward in the most innovative ways and this virus will not stop that movement. What’s better than getting onboard, unpacking once, seeing multiple destinations and meeting likeminded people – not much!

I know every day right now I am yearning  to travel again and dreaming of my next holiday. I cannot wait until we can all travel again, but for now, I hope we can all work on getting to know each other a little bit better and continue the amazing journey that cruising offers!

So, to start off, here is a little about me and how working from home has been going so far.

I have been in the travel industry for 13 years and have specialised in Ski/Snow holidays, Cruising, Asia and the South Pacific, America and Europe. I, unfortunately, didn’t get to travel when I was younger. My first trip wasn’t until I was 17 when I finished Year 12. Usually, school leavers go to the gold coast but that didn’t interest me especially when my best friend and I worked out that we could go to Thailand for double the time and half the cost!

My dad had always told me if you find a job you love you will never work a day in your life and upon returning from Thailand I knew that if I worked in travel, it would never actually be work. 13 years later, even during this trying time for the travel industry, I can safely say that my passion for travel has never wavered.

Being that Thailand was the first place I ever travelled and, having been back multiple times, I would have to say that it’s one of my favorite destinations, but here are a few more of my travel highlights over the last few years –

HAWAII

Hawaii is such a magical place and I was lucky enough to cruise to all the Islands onboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America. This is such a fantastic way to see all the islands without the multiple flights between and certainly the perfect way to get a taste of each Island so you can return to your favorite again on your next adventure.


I would have to say Kauai is my favorite island and I would highly suggest a Napali Coastline Helicopter flyover as a shore excursion. It’s just breathtaking and it’s the best way to see the island as most of the coastline cannot be reached by car.

 

SAN FRANCISCO

Something about San Francisco had my heart instantly. Its romantic, fun, quirky and a great mix between  city and nature. I am still in awe of the magnificent red wood forests and the breath taking height of El Capitan in Yosemite. If you are briefly visiting San Francisco, there is so much to be done. I spent 10 days there and still feel like I didn’t even scratch the surface. If you have an evening free and like garlic head to the Stinking Rose for some of the bet garlic infused foods you have ever tasted - The roasted garlic bulb is a must! If garlic isn’t your thing, I seriously recommend visiting La Taqueria in the Mission District for some amazing Mexican!

Memories like these are what’s really keeping me sane and motivated at the moment. I cannot wait to travel to new destinations and gain new memories when we can travel again. Working from home has been a weird transition having always worked in a team environment within an office and finding the motivation to get back into a routine can be hard for some.

Some of the key things for me to keep motivated have been:

  • Keeping a routine and being accountable for the routine. For example getting up at the same time every day has really helped, even on reduced work hours, and with no where to go, I am making a consistent effort to keep a normal scheduled day.
  • I have started gardening on my balcony (wish the poor plants luck). I think a lot of people have taken up gardening right now! It's very relaxing and, I have to say, before this my balcony was more like a storage area for random items and was never utilized so I am enjoying having my morning coffee out their whilst listening to the birds.
  • I have had to be strict with myself with my workload as working from home it’s very easy to log on early, work through lunch and log off late. So, every day before work, lunchtime, and when I finish for the day, I take my dog’s straight out for a walk so we get some exercise (pets have really benefited from this lockdown!)

Working from home doesn’t work for everyone but so far our team are all doing very well. We are still catching up on Zoom so everyone in the team is aware of any changes and new developments PLUS we get a visual catch up as we are all missing that social interaction, right?

With all this extra time at home, what have you been doing to pass the time? I am finding it amazing how productive you can be with just those few extra hours at home each day and chores you have put off for months suddenly get prioritized. I recently went through some things I inherited a few years ago and discovered some interesting things!

I found a lovely Kelvin and Hughes Nautical Sextant - isn’t it fascinating that once upon a time such a simple device was relied upon for navigation across the seas? Especially considering the wide array of technology available for navigational purposes today.

I also came across a Dollond London telescope. Once again, a fascinating insight into the history of how such amazing tools were once used to navigate, explore and travel the world, even before tourism started,  as well as these 2 old navigational tools. I also received some very beautiful canvas and wooden world maps - there is such beauty in how the world was originally perceived.

Being that I am in the Gen Y generation, it’s hard for me to fathom a time when people used such simple things to travel. This brings me to the NUMBER 1 TRAVEL TIP I learned – if in a foreign country ALWAYS take a hotel card with the address in the local language. This will save you hours searching for your hotel with a very understanding taxi driver that speaks no English whilst you franticly call home to get the hotel address translated in the local language. Let’s just say I learnt my lesson with that!

MORE TRAVEL TIPS AND TRICKS

Here are a few more tips and tricks for your travels:

  • I always take a refillable water bottle as well as a pen with me when travelling.
  • With my carryon handbag , I usually just push this under the seat in front of me and inside I use a handbag divider so that everything is segmented neatly and easy to pull out in the cramped seat space once in the air
  • If you are having trouble fitting everything in your suitcase, try and visualise what can be worn together so that individual pieces make multiple outfits. I am a true believer in rolling your clothes to maximize space and always the remember the hidden little spaces within shoes and so on for rolled up socks!
  • I am 2 types of traveler. I can either be a very relaxed traveler with no particular plans in mind or I am a very planned traveler with routes, timings, sights and all times logged. But, whenever I travel I try and leave my expectations at home as the best part about travelling is often the experiences that weren’t planned or the places you didn’t plan to see that can make the holiday even more memorable.

TOP PICKS OF MUST DO’S IN SOME OF MY FAVOURITE PLACES

Honolulu – Have a Mai Tai at Trump Waikiki Hotel or a Coconut Mojito at the Modern Honolulu, hire a Mustang and drive to the North shore, and make sure you get some traditional Dole pineapple whip.

Auckland – Spend a day on Waiheke Island visiting the various wineries and enjoying the magnificent scenery, especially atop the hill at Mudbrick Vineyard, otherwise a day trip to Coromandel Peninsula is worth the full day with a beautiful hot water beach.

Los Angeles – Laguna and Huntington beaches are great for people watching and getting the local vibe of LA, like most cities the Hop on Hop off bus is a great way of seeing multiple sights quickly and jump off and explore the areas that really interest you

Vancouver -  Gastown is a historical and quaint little waterside area showcasing a lot of the Hudson trading company’s history, as well as a beautiful  historic steam clock on water street. Whilst in Vancouver,  a visit to the Capilano Suspense bridge is a must but get their as early as possible to try and beat the crowds, for a taste of some local favorites head to Granville Island market.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little bit better, I look forward to helping you book an amazing holiday once this is all over!

For questions or enquiries, please contact Cory on cruiseadmin5@ecruising.travel or call 1300 369 848

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