Aditya Munshi charts his own course with his travel company, The Wayfarer Travel Co, after amassing over a decade's worth of experience in the hospitality and tourism industries.
I started my career as a lawyer, ready to work hard and climb the corporate ladder. It wasn't long, however, before I realized that it wasn't really what I wanted. So I took a break and, it was during a ski trip that I felt inspired to set up my own ski resort. I spoke to a career guidance counsellor who advised me to pursue further studies in tourism and hospitality in Switzerland.
After graduating with a master's degree from César Ritz Colleges Switzerland, I got my first job as a management trainee with Amanresorts' first property in the USA at the Amangani in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I started as a porter/concierge and over the course of 18 months, worked across several departments with immense satisfaction.
I soon had the conviction that I was on the right path and I've been fortunate to have a career that has taken me to the USA, Peru, and now Australia.
My favorite job to date was working as a luxury travel specialist for The Andean Experience Company in Peru, where I gained invaluable experience crafting customized itineraries for clients. The job allowed me to express my creativity and leverage my deep passion for travel. I also got to stay at some of the top hotels in Peru such as the Belmond Palacio Nazarenas and completed a unique lodge-to-lodge trek to a stunning region in Cusco called Ausangate. I also spent four, unforgettable nights on a cruise down the Amazon River on the luxurious cruise boat Aria (part of Aqua Expeditions).
I've noticed that people are more price-conscious today, largely due to recessions, economic downturns, and other such factors. Even the wealthy affluent travellers who used to be willing to splurge on holidays, are seeking better value for money. Having said that, travellers today are willing to pay good money to experience something authentic or different during their travels.
Travel is no longer just about a staying at beautiful luxury or five-star hotel – it's about the experience. It could be the experience of staying with a local family on an island on Lake Titicaca, of visiting a cave in the American Southwest and discovering tools used by native Americans from centuries ago, or even witnessing sacred ceremonies at Ayers Rock - something that they will always remember. Experiential travel is about bringing home memories from the places you've visited. Memories that you will cherish and relay to friends and family.
Experiential travel is about bringing home memories from the places you've visited. Memories that you will cherish and relay to friends and family.
As my career has always been in the luxury segment, both in hotels and travel, a client of The Wayfarer can expect the finer touches in their travels such as having a personal concierge. For example if they traveled to Peru, we would provide them with a dedicated phone to reach their concierge to assist with restaurant bookings or answer any questions they may have. Travellers often face language barriers and having your own personal concierge helps them to overcome this. We also provide Native American guides in the American Southwest who really know the land, know the people, and respect the heritage.
It's impossible to name just one as I try to travel to a new destination at least once a year. One of the most exhilarating experiences I've had was in New Zealand where I tried 'Canyon Swinging' twice. You're fitted into a chest and seat harness then attached onto a rope swinging system. Following that, you basically jump off the cliff, into the canyon, and hope it all ends well (joke)! My most memorable would be my trek to Ausangate in Cusco, Peru - Nature at it's raw best.
I am an aspiring entrepreneur myself, although not very young anymore! The only advice I have is chase your dreams and with hard work, research, and dedication anything is possible.
Don't get disheartened by failure, as it only makes the challenge greater and the rewards are much higher once you have succeeded.