Midweek Interview

Midweek Interview with Lindblad Expeditions’ Justin Southern

Today’s profile zooms in on Lindblad Expeditions Sales Manager for VIC/TAS/SA/WA, ACT, Justin Southern, who with that title sounds like a very busy man.

The challenge for the industry is…

Change and innovation is an exciting part of the travel industry but can at times pose unique challenges. Finding new ways to interact with clients, many of whom use the internet to book their travel is very important. There are opportunities here too as the internet allows us to showcase our incredible packages in new ways.

Connecting with my clients is always my primary focus.  I really enjoy getting to know them; hearing about their goals, wishes and dreams, all of which help me design for them experiences of a lifetime!

The things I like about my job…

I just love the product that we have at Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. The unique places we can explore with clients,  are simply once in a lifetime opportunities.

The authentic expedition ships can go where no cruise ship can, they are equipped to transport guests into the most breathtaking remote areas where no infastructure and ports exist.

The sense of peace, adventure, education and acccomplishment once you have completed one of these trips is life changing and the feedback we receive from our clients is really heartwarming. What’s not to like hey!

I also love to continually learn about what Lindblad is doing to give back to the earth.

In support of National Geographics Pristine Seas program, preserving the health of the worlds oceans, Lindblad are committed to donating over $500,000 per year for 5 years in order to protect the last remote/wild ocean regions on this planet, out of reach of overfishing, pollution and tourism. Pretty inspiring stuff..

And the frustrations are …

Time! There are just too many amazing destinations to explore in our world and I need the time to devote to all of Lindblad’s incredible trips.

If I didn’t work in travel I would be…

A chef perhaps, or at least a decent home cook in a small restaurant on the coast somewhere! I really enjoy learning about the cuisine of the countries that I visit and sampling it of course! Food can tell us so much about a country and culture.

Favourite airline?

Too many to list! They all have their special features. As long as it gets me to my destination safely.

My proudest moment was…

Marrying my beautiful wife! After that I would say being recognised for the passion I bring to my career in travel with being a Finalist in the 2015 AFTA Awards. It was a huge honour and I was humbled by the feedback from my colleagues.

The naughtiest thing I ever did was…

Getting my drone license. My wife wasn’t too happy with me at the time.  Now between travelling with Lindblad and  taking some amazing aerial photos within Australia, I am really time poor!

I try to relax by…

Flying my drone, playing tennis, firing up my pizza oven in the back garden, and catching up with family and friends.

The last time I feared for my life was…

The first time I bought my drone home for my wife to see..

If I can, I always try to avoid…

Frozen dinners!

I really wish I had…

Unlimited first class airline tickets so I could keep exploring the world with my family.

The best advice I’ve ever received was…

When I was a Travel Consultant I was told that a clients trip doesn’t start as soon as they step on the plane, but when the client first walks through the door of the Travel Agency.

I don’t understand why people…

Stay at home all the time.

My greatest weakness is…

Spending too much time taking photos.

And my greatest strength is…

My sense of adventure and willingness just to have a go.

If I won a $1 million lottery (aside from travelling), I would…

I would first experience all of of Lindblad Expeditions they have to offer, and support one of the Animal Cruelty causes to help give them a voice. Lindblad has played an active role in Galapagos conservation intiatives for over 50 years now, working with the Galapagos National Park and Charles Darwin Research Station.

I would gladly put my winnings towards supporting these committed communities knowing that the money will be put towards further research and conservation of local wildlife. Its only fair that the next generation of adventurous travellers get to expereince the same world we have.

If I was prime minister I would…

Make languages compulsory in all schools until the end of Year 12 at least! Learning a language gives you an insight into another culture.

If I could be someone else for one day I would be a…

Roger Federer – I would love to be able to play tennis like that! Plus he is an all round good guy!

I’ve always wanted to travel to…

Without any doubt Antarctica.

My favourite holiday was…

It was originally experiencing Alaska and the Inside Passage, but I have just returned with Lindblad Expeditions from the High Arctic on our ‘Land of the Ice Bears’ Expeditions and by far this has been my favourite.

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