Midweek Interview

Midweek Interview with FiftyFive3’s Tamara Kobiolke

This week, we met FiftyFive3 founder Tamara Kobiolke for a quick coffee or five. Oh, and this interview.

The challenge for the industry is… Keeping up to date on all the amazing changes and new product that are coming out and keeping one step ahead.

The things I like about my job are… The people, the diversity, the amazing experiences and emotional connections that you can make. It’s so inspiring and so much fun to create amazing memories that people remember forever.

And the frustrations are… Time zones! I need to communicate with people all over the world, and the greatest frustration is time zones (or that we need to sleep at all).

If I didn’t work in travel, I would be… Renovating old houses. I love the technical side of a renovation side, as well as the interior design element too.

My favourite airline is… Hmm… that’s tricky, as I’m a fan and a frequent flyer of multiple brands, each offering what I need for each destination I’m heading to. However, the most memorable flight was with Logan Air, landing on the official landing strip – the beach – on the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

My proudest moment was… Getting dual citizenship, I had lived in Scotland for 14 years at this point, and it didn’t really hit me just how important the fabric of Scottish life had become to me until I was in the naturalisation ceremony and it all kind of tumbled in to my mind. I am 100 per cent a true blue Aussie, but the United Kingdom is such a special place to me and I am so grateful for the opportunities I was given whilst living there.

The naughtiest thing I ever did was… Sneak from premium economy to business class (the cabin was completely empty) and slept for eight hours on a flight from London to Las Vegas. The air steward winked at me though, in a “I see you” kind of way, so I guess it was okay!

I try to relax by… Running, yoga, wine, food. Or getting on a long-haul flight and ignoring the fact that WiFi exists on planes these days.

The last time I feared for my life was… I’m not sure I ever have, thankfully.

If I can, I always try to avoid… Eating cucumber. It’s the devil’s food!

I really wish I had… I’m very content with what I have. More time would always be nice though!

The best advice I’ve ever received was… ‘Hope’ is a bad management strategy. You can’t hope for something to happen. You must make it so.

I don’t understand why people… Put others down to make themselves feel better. I don’t get how that works.

My greatest weakness is… Stubbornness.

And my greatest strength is… My positivity. And my ability to sleep on any flight, in any seat!

If I won a $1 million lottery (aside from travelling), I would… A little boring perhaps, but I would invest it so I could live off the earnings, help support my closest friends and family, and (this part more important and less boring) do volunteer work to help raise awareness and support for those living with domestic violence in Australia (to start with).

If I was prime minister, I would… Be more like Jacinda Ardern.

If I could be someone else for one day, I would be… Sir David Attenborough. What amazing memories he has and is still making.

I’ve always wanted to travel to… Rwanda to see the gorillas.

My favourite holiday was… A working holiday in Namibia, back in 2003 where I got to spend time across the entire country and work with the local communities on a mix of community and conservation projects. It changed my life.

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