What would possess me, a seemingly sensible, well-paid public servant to throw in the towel and take to the road with a new business venture?
Founding Welcome Tours means coming full career circle for me. As a teenager I studied at polytech with the aim of becoming a tour operator. A placement with Wellington sightseeing legend Wally Hammond introduced me to a lasting friend and mentor. However in typical kiwi style, I headed overseas in my early 20's for an OE and then to varsity to do further study. From there, I found my way into various public service roles. The jobs were interesting and challenging and I gave my all, but come mid-2016 I was ready for a change. At this point I took time out to have a serious think about how I want to spend the 20-odd working years that I hope to have left ahead of me.
My love of travel has taken me across the globe - relaxing on Pacific islands, partying in Panama, nannying in the French Alps, sightseeing in Shanghai... Each time I venture away from home and have these amazing experiences I am reminded of what a special place New Zealand is. There are so many magical sights and great experiences right here at home - with language we understand, a currency we know, a timezone we're attuned to and great people to boot!
I want to experience more of New Zealand myself. It's time for me to get out from behind a desk and go and meet characters with crazy hobbies, get to know our plants and birds, understand where my food comes from, and have lots of FUN!!
Sue is the Director and Chief Explorer at Welcome Tours. Sue blogs about new discoveries and the things that matter to Welcome Tours.