Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with APT Travel Group’s Mladen Vukic

This week, APT Travel’s GM of product showed us his best home-haircutting techniques, and we smiled and nodded while we watched him slowly descend into madness.

What are you reading?

Outside of the daily, weekly and monthly reports which seem to preoccupy a large part of the day, there is also The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company book sitting on my bedside table, which I’m looking forward to reading.

I won’t say how long it’s been sitting there though.

What are you watching?

I’ve really been enjoying a lot of virtual tours and Facebook live events taking in some amazing trips across the globe.

Here at the APT Travel Group, we’ve been doing a number of these live sessions presented by various guest speakers and, I have to say, I’ve learned something new from each one.

What are you listening to?

Gioli & Assia live sessions. A talented duo playing from some amazing places. Their latest session from Scopello, Italy aboard an old gullet is a great relaxation for the senses.

What are you cooking?

Pulled pork as well as wood-fired pizzas… sometimes the two are combined for what becomes a very delicious collaboration.

How are you staying fit both physically and mentally?

These days, staying physically fit seems to be easier of the two for most people. I find time away from the screen is very helpful for the mind.

Working from home, while having many benefits tends to prolong the amount of time spent in front of the screen, so setting time aside away from any kind of technology is critical.

What’s something positive you’ve witnessed or experienced since the coronavirus hit?

The incredible teamwork at the APT Travel Group. From the McGeary family and their support and presence during this time, to the management team and all the incredible colleagues who together have navigated and continue to do so anything and everything 2020 has thrown at us.

What have you learned about yourself amid the crisis?

I really dislike video calls and I am just as bad at cutting my own hair as I had always imagined… if not worse.

What’s your advice for others in the industry on coping with the crisis?

No industry is without its challenges. We just happen to be amidst the biggest challenge we’ve ever faced. It’s important to remember and reflect on all the positives as to why we are part of this industry and look forward to the days when those good things are back again.

Where is your favourite domestic travel destination?

Cannot go past the Kimberley. Has to be THE most amazing destination in Australia.

The colours, the stories, the picturesque vistas, amazing characters and yet so untouched. Whether it is a 4WD tour along the incredible Gibb River Road or an expedition cruise along the mighty Kimberley Coast, there is nothing like it in the world.

What is the one international travel memory keeping you going through this time?

Leaving the centre of London in an Uber at 10:30am for a flight departing from London City Airport at 11:15, and still making the flight… with checked luggage. If that is possible, anything is.

Where do you want to travel to once international travel restrictions ease up?

There is a small island a short ferry ride from Split, Croatia called Solta. I’ve heard a lot about it, flew over it, cruised past it, but never set foot on it. That is my goal for 2021.


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