Over 200 guests had booked cruises with us that would stop off at Monaco and included a ticket for the famous race in May. Once my colleagues and I had helped our guests settle into their seats, I found myself sitting alongside them watching the 2015, 73rd annual event. And not just from the fan-zone or the cheap seats at the back, but in the main 'T' stand. I'm facing the pit stop area, directly opposite Lewis Hamilton's pit with his name blazoned boldly on top of the entrance.
I get a glimpse of the man himself, plus various other stars among the throng of F1 big cheeses and the frenzied media. What an amazing experience to be sat at the heart of one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world. I'm not a huge sports fan but I felt such a wave of excitement and joy that I was lucky enough to experience this through my job. Of all my perks working in the travel industry, this one ranked pretty high.
When it has seemed that it just can't get any better in terms of the destinations I am sent to, I'm often surprised. Let's go back to my first assignment - Los Angeles, for a week in March of 2014.
I’d been to LA before but only on holiday and in transit. My colleague and I were collecting passengers from the airport to take them to their hotel for a short pre-cruise stay. It hit me where I was working when we passed the Hollywood sign on the transfer. I wasn’t guiding the transfer but I felt like I needed to share my excitement with the guests and stood up to point it out to all of them. By the reaction, I could tell many of them were equally delighted. I guided transfers for many years when I worked as a holiday rep in Europe, but as lovely as Palma Cathedral and the Costa del Sol beaches are, they never quite had the same wow factor as the Hollywood Hills did.
Then there was the second time I remember feeling wowed by my place of work that week. We left the Sheraton Downtown hotel after our duties and headed for dinner. I mean, going out for dinner in downtown LA after work! Don’t laugh, but I felt like a Kardashian sister. Something my 13-year-old, small rural-Northumberland town based self only used to daydream about.
[to be continued…]
Check back next Friday for the next part of Gillian’s Diary Of A Tour Ambassador series
Hailing from sleepy Northumberland, Gillian Lowes realised her passion for travel at a young age and always dreamt of glamourous worldwide adventures. Having worked in a variety of travel roles over the years – including as a Front Office and Operations Manager aboard a cruise ship – Gill became an ROL Tour Ambassador back in 2013. At the last count, Gill has visited over 70 countries!
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