Midweek Interview

Midweek Interview with TravelManagers’ Melissa Petrakis

For the last midweek interview of the year, we grabbed Melissa Petrakis from TravelManagers Australia and made her tell us all her deepest, darkest secrets. Just kidding, we emailed her.

The challenge for the industry is…

Continuing to provide clients with the kind of personalised service that online fare aggregators simply can’t offer.

It takes time and the touch of a travel agent to develop a rapport with a client, but it’s an essential part of delivering the best possible holiday experience.

The things I like about my job…

I work with an amazing crew of personal travel managers who between them have a vast wealth of knowledge and experience. Behind every booking, there is a story and a journey, and I’m grateful to be a part of it.

And the frustrations are…

I find it difficult to use that dreaded word, “no”, although I recently read a book entitled, “The subtle art of not giving a ****” by Mark Manson, which gave me an interesting new perspective on the issue.

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

An art therapist. I feel free when I am using my creative abilities, and I would love to help people express the way they feel through art.

Favourite airline?

Skippy the flying kangaroo (Qantas) – I can genuinely say I’ve never had a negative experience with our national carrier.

My proudest moment was…

When I lost half of my body weight – a total 55kgs. It took a lot of persistence and determination, both of which I’ve been able to apply to other areas of my life.

The naughtiest thing I ever did was…

I wouldn’t know where to start. Let’s just say I always try to behave!

I try to relax by…

Taking a walk along the coast with my dog.

The last time I feared for my life was…

While I was walking the coastal track at the Royal National Park, I came across a brown snake.

If I can, I always try to avoid…

Time wasters and ineffective delegators.

I really wish I had…

More patience.

The best advice I’ve ever received was…

To read “Barefoot Investor”, by Scott Pape. It’s a guide to managing money for Australians and it motivated me to rethink my financial future and how to reach my goals.

My greatest weakness is…

Chocolate. I have considered seeing a hypnotherapist, but then I remember that life’s too short to not eat chocolate.

And my greatest strength is…

My little spark of madness.

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

I would buy my first home in Sydney, then use the equity in the property to purchase an investment property.

Gradually I’d have enough passive income to be able to work in Calgary, Canada. Technically it’s still travelling, but that’s the plan.

If I was prime minister I would…

Ensure every Australian citizen has access to free education and affordable childcare.

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

A talented fashion designer. I grew up with my grandmother, who was a dressmaker. She inspired me to start drawing dresses from the age of five.

I’ve always wanted to travel to…

Cape Town, South Africa.

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