Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with TravelManagers’ Marlene Lane

This week, we caught up with a member of TravelManagers’ national partnership office team to find out how she’s been faring amid the COVID-19 crisis.

What are you reading?

I’m currently reading Perfect Imperfect: The Beauty of Age, Accident and Patina and For the Love of White, as I’m decorating my new house. I also have a copy of Becoming Michelle Obama waiting for me to start.

What are you watching?

I’ve just finished the fourth season of The Crown. I also just binged watched The Queen’s Gambit as well as the latest season of The Split.

What are you listening to?

Since we’ve been at home more, my daughter has got me into listening to country music, and I’m enjoying it. I can’t say I know who the artists are yet, but it’s a nice change from a playlist of Elton John and Led Zeppelin that my husband has on a continuous loop.

Amy Winehouse is always a favourite go-to of mine.

What are you cooking?

Simple Mexican dishes of late, as I love the fresh ingredients and lots of lime (maybe also because they go well with a margarita!). My chicken burrito bowls are a hit.

How are you staying fit both physically and mentally?

I’ve been walking at the beach most days and have recently started up pilates again, which I love.

I also have regular Zoom calls with friends and family interstate and overseas, and have been catching up with local friends in smaller groups.

The webinar series that we were offered through our Network & Employee Assistance Program was great, with advice and tips on how to transition to working from home and manage a changing environment.

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

During lockdown, I loved seeing so many families riding their bikes together and absolutely everyone outside walking and enjoying more of the simple things.

At work, I’ve loved reading and sharing the stories of how our personal travel managers have helped families stranded overseas to return home safely.

What have you learned about yourself amid the crisis?

Being at home more has made me realise what I value from my surroundings and re-evaluating the things I want to work towards in the future.

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

Stay connected to your friends and colleagues in the travel industry. It has sometimes been hard when other friends and family members work circumstances haven’t changed, so I realised they weren’t experiencing the same effects of COVID as I was.

My Zoom and in-person catch-ups with the TravelManagers team have been great to support each other.

Where is your favourite domestic travel destination?

There are a few. I love driving up or down the coast and discovering a new beach – my favourite is still Hyams Beach on the NSW south coast. Being a tennis fan, I always love my annual trips to Melbourne for the Australian Open.

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

Swimming in the Adriatic while on a sailing holiday in Croatia with friends two years ago. I love the feeling of being away and exploring a new destination.

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

Kamari Beach, Santorini. My husband and I had to postpone our trip this year, which was to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary at the same hotel where we spent our honeymoon.


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