In interviewing Holly from Stray Asia, she discusses her experiences as General Manager and what a typical day is like for her.
1) Did you do any backpacking or extensive traveling before working for Stray Asia?
Yes, I travelled for 10months through South America, alone when I was about 22. I lived in Canada for 1 year, and have traveled around Australia, Europe and UK.
2) Did any of the experiences in traveling help you in your current position as General Manager?
Yes, being able to cope in unfamiliar situations while traveling has helped. A smile always goes a long way!
3) Did you work as a guide or a driver before becoming General Manager?
4) Did you go to college to work in the hospitality/tourism industry?
5) How did you hear about the General Manager position at Stray Asia?
Through my role with Stray NZ.
6) How long have you been working with the company?
7) What is a typical day like for you?
Its always varied – I spend part of my time in the office where I assist and oversee the sales, marketing, administration, reservations, and operations here in Luang Prabang (Laos), and the rest of my time out traveling around SE Asia doing everything from catching up with crew, existing suppliers, meeting potential operators to work with, government officials or even travel agents coming checking out the Stray Asia product.
8 ) What is your most popular pass?
9) Why do you feel it is the most popular one with backpackers?
It covers our entire circuit, starting in Bangkok, traveling through northern Thailand, into the remote northern Laos (including our unique home stay stop at Ban Lad Khammune on the Mekong River), Vang Vieng and Vientiane, and then taking our time going through the south of Laos, stopping at awesome places such as the 7km Kong Lor caves, Monkey Forest and the 4000 islands. Then we take in the highlights of Cambodia – the capital city Phnom Penh, and Siem Reap for access to the breathtaking sights of Angkor Wat.
10) What advice would you give someone who has backpacked before but never gone the hop-on hop-off route?
For example, someone may have taken trains before to get to their end destinations but never considered taking the bus to get them to the same destination. What would you say to this?
Because Stray Asia provide you with a local Laos tour guide and western tour leader, you get to learn and experience far more than if you go it alone. It makes getting to the remote and un-touched places that are almost impossible to access without Stray suddenly accessible. You get to meet like minded travelers, and even hop off the bus if you want to do some exploring yourself. Accommodation and food is paid for along the way, so you get to choose how much you spend and where. It is the best of both worlds, give it a try for a few days and then decide for yourself!