Wanna come join the Topdeck Crew? From Trip Leaders to Chefs to Coach Drivers, Topdeck are now recruiting for awesome new Road Crew. Best job ever, right?! To get you inspired, we’ve got the seventh instalment of our new Road Crew Inspiration Blog Series where we’ll be answering that all important question: what’s it like to be a Topdeck Trip Leader?
Each week, we’ll be interviewing a member of the Topdeck Crew and learning all about what they do. Come have a read.
Melisa Harvey, Topdeck Trip Leader.
Melisa is 27 years old and is from Cape Town, South Africa. She studied history and ancient cultures at Stellenbosch University before getting a diploma in travel and tourism management. Melisa used to work in Marketing for a safari company and had the chance to go on safari and see lions, elephants, buffalo, hippo, leopards and cheetah.
Whilst she loves being on safari, she also has a soft spot for Europe and being in major cities every other day. For now, she’s enjoying the urban jungle.
We had a chat with Melisa about her experience as a Topdeck Trip Leader.
1. How did you first hear about Topdeck?
One of my best friends told me about the company and we discussed about doing a trip. After looking into Topdeck and the kinds of trips they do, I thought, now wouldn’t this be a dream job!
2. What made you want to become a Trip Leader?
I used to work in marketing for a safari company. I loved the job but it involved sitting behind a desk from 8am to 5pm. I had finished studying and had set myself up pretty well but after so many years of studying and working hard I wanted to do something amazing.
I thought if money was no object, what would I do? Travel the world. Why not get paid for my passion?
3. What’s the most rewarding part of being a Trip Leader?
I always thought the most rewarding part would be seeing the world. But it’s actually the people you meet. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting people from all walks of life and taking them on trips that change them.
Topdeck really does offer life-changing experiences and being a part of that has been the best part of the job. I love that Topdeck has given me the privilege to do that for others.
4. What’s your number one piece of advice for new travellers?
Don’t be afraid to get lost. Be open to making new friends and meeting people while travelling. That’s what it’s all about. Some of your best experiences are seeing the major sights but it’s the people you meet and get to experience it with that really makes it a memorable moment.
Also, put your phone down for the first few moments and take it in for yourself. Take your pics afterwards to remember it and to show others. Travel for you and not for your followers.
5. What’s your favourite song to get Topdeckers pumped for their trip?
Bitter Sweet Symphony by the Verve. Its a little cliché but it has the most inspiring message behind it when played at the right time.
It gives Topdeckers goosebumps and just sets the tone not only for the trip but in general: about just how lucky we all are to be where we are in that moment in time.
6. What’s one thing you pack every time you head out on the road?
I always have my portable speaker with me. It’s so handy for sunset picnics at the Temple of Debod in Madrid, sitting outside your cabin in Italy or being on the beach in Nice.
Music brings people together and creates great vibes.
7. Where have you been on tour that’s genuinely taken your breath away?
The best day I ever had on tour was in Interlaken in Switzerland. I went skydiving in the morning and in the afternoon went out on a paddleboat with a few of my passengers. The sun was out, the water was the most magical blue and we had a speaker playing some awesome tunes.
I remember just thinking: this is it, this is what life is all about. It’s all about sharing this experience with like-minded people and facing your fears in one of the best places in the world.
8. What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you/your group on the road?
I once did a Venice walking tour and the city was flooded! We had to buy plastic waterproof booties to continue the walking tour. The booties ripped and our feet got wet anyway but it was an amazing experience to see the city like that.
At times I was talking to the group with water up to my calves while the group stood on steps to keep dry!
9. If you could travel into space or to the depths of the ocean, which would you choose and why?
Into space for sure! Imagining all the possibilities out there and what’s ready to be discovered is thrilling. I would love to venture into space and discover it for myself.
Imagine being an intergalactic Trip Leader. New life goals!
10. What’s your Trip Leader nickname and why?
I don’t really have one… In South Africa we don’t really do shortened names or nicknames like the Aussies and Kiwis do. So, at home I’m known as Melisa.
Since joining Topdeck, I’ve become a Mel. I used to hate it! But now I even introduce myself as Mel. Even though I feel a bit like an ex-Spice Girl, I kind of like it and it’s definitely grown on me!
Been inspired having found out what’s it like to be a Topdeck Trip Leader? Become part of the Topdeck Road Crew and apply now!
Wanna come travel with Topdeck? We’ll see ya on the road.