In 2013 I was appointed Managing Director of Sunvil, taking over the helm from Noel Josephides. At that time I had worked alongside Noel at Sunvil for 15 years and together - along with our wider team, shared a mutual love for all things travel.
Whereas Noel can identify a road trip from Cyprus to the UK as his gateway to travel, I like to think that my first flight in 1974, the year of my birth, was enough to trigger a lifetime of passion. This was the year that BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) merged with BEA to form British Airways.
My next flight was not until 10 years later on a holiday to Majorca with my family. Even now I can remember being interested in how everything worked. I wanted to fly the plane, do the announcements on the coach and run the volleyball competitions on the beach. This feeling never escaped me and the pull of the industry led me to Greece at the age of 19 to work as a local representative.
Until this moment I had never been bowled over by a destination. Everything changed, and has since changed forever. It was on the island of Paxos that I first understood the value of the connections you make whilst travelling. The friends I made in those early years in Greece remain my friends to this day; in fact, many are our suppliers - offering guest accommodation or restaurant services in the Ionian. We share a bond that goes far beyond civilities, it is a shared love for Greece - spanning more than 25 years.
I continue to travel to Greece, both for work and for pleasure. I love nothing more than introducing my friends and family to the country I adore. My parents and husband are now Grecophiles in their own right, with both counting the days till we return. Admittedly, it wasn’t hard to persuade them of her charms!
If there is one thing I have learned from this current period of uncertainty, is that when the world opens up again, I want to travel freely to new destinations where I can make new connections and enjoy experiences without worrying about life back home. My honeymoon to Vietnam and Cambodia was probably one of the few trips I’ve taken without work at the back of my mind - for the obvious reasons it will be one of the most memorable trips of my life. I will never forget how my heart beat enthusiastically to the rhythm of the new sights, sounds and smells I encountered. The recent TV programme race across the world has reminded me that I need to sample more of our Latin America programme.
A date for my diary, however, will be Greek Easter 2021 (02 May) when - all being well - I will be in Greece, reconnected with my friends and enjoying a celebration to remember.