Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation’s Michael Cassis

Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation’s trade account manager for Australia and New Zealand told us that he can’t wait to get his kicks on Route 66 once this whole pandemic thing settles down.

What are you reading?

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.

What are you watching?

All the classics! So far I’ve re-watched Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, The West Wing, Once Upon A Time and more. As for new stuff, I’ve been watching The Umbrella Academy. Maybe the better question is what haven’t I watched!

What are you listening to?

The Hamilton soundtrack.

What are you cooking?

I was in the US just before COVID, so I have a new obsession for cooking shrimp (prawn) tacos.

How are you staying fit both physically and mentally?

I’m trying to block time and stick to some sort of routine. I’m working as normal from home and just making sure I try to take at least an hour a day to go for a walk or do some exercise. And making sure I have some Zoom/in-person catch-ups with friends scheduled each week.

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

I think seeing the incredible resilience and camaraderie that has been shown by so many in the industry during this time is not only a reflection of the generosity and calibre of the people within the industry, but also how creative and nimble they are.

What have you learned about yourself amid the crisis?

I’ve learned I’m far more patient than I thought I was – but haven’t we all?

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

Take whatever time you can to upskill, whether it’s product training, or a course on marketing, leadership or business strategy. Anything you can do to prepare for the resurgence (and there WILL be a resurgence) is going to set you ahead of the curve.

Where is your favourite domestic travel destination?

I have a soft spot for the Gold Coast. My family holidays were always at the Gold Coast, so there’s definitely a bit of nostalgia at play with that choice.

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

I was incredibly lucky (and unlucky I guess), in that I was overseas in March. What was supposed to be a four-week roadtrip up the US Pacific Coast Highway was cut short to just 10 days, but that’s just fueled my desire to continue the adventure as soon as I can.

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

Oklahoma, of course! I can’t wait to get my kicks on Route 66 to exlore the quirky roadside locations, colourful characters and wide-open spaces across the state.

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