This March marks the 10th anniversary of The Big Journey Company. We've asked Managing Director Sohrab to tell us his best bits of the last 10 years, and what he's looking forward to next...
What instigated the creation of The Big Journey Company?
The creation of The Big Journey company was down to a few affecting factors. Myself and two friends had all reached a stage in our lives where we all wanted to do something differently and do it well, alongside doing it for ourselves. The timing was just right.
How has the Big Journey Company team developed?
The beauty of working in a team stems from the diverse skills which each member possesses. We started off small, growing steadily, but as we did each member brought new skills and different ways of thinking to the team. I feel this has made us more robust and more efficient in our capacity to host more people. The most important thing for me is that we have been able to stay true to our beliefs and the quality of our product as we have developed. There is a saying, if you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go as a team. We have an amazing team, one I am very proud to be a part of.
Tell us about the countries which you have visited and the impact they have had on you…
The soul of the country you visit resides in the people who call it home, I often find that people have just as much of an impact as the things you see. On a trip to Egypt I played Backgammon with one of the local guides, we soon found ourselves playing two very different games which led to teaching each other the rules of Persian & Egyptian Backgammon. A true cultural exchange. When we visited a mosque later in the tour the guides, who were practising Muslims, sat with the guests & offered them the opportunity to ask them any questions they had. This was truly special for the guests who felt the guides had given them such an incredible insight into their religion, country and culture.
Can you possibly name a favourite country you have visited?
We set out with just 3 countries on our portfolio, we now visit nearly 50! That said my favourite tours are often based around wonders of nature and animals. The Grand Safari of Kenya remains at the top of my list, I still get excited when packing my bag for Safari even after having been lucky enough to go on them for the last 10 years.
What do you get out of traveling?
Food for my soul! Over ten years of travelling I have made wonderful memories through incredible experiences with people who have become great friends. We have travelled around the globe so many times with our guests, dancing, crying and laughing along the way. I have seen others experience both grief and love, helping them make the memories they fell in love with and recall the memories that sustained them when love was lost. It is a great gift to be a part of someone else's life.
Did you ever think you would be taking away so many people?
The plan was always to be the best that we could, hoping that if we stuck to that ideal, the number of guests travelling with us would steadily grow. As we grew the right people joined the team to increase our level of capacity whilst maintaining the quality. I look back on the last 10 years with a feeling of pride, and look forward with excitement.
What will you take from the last 10 years into the next?
My life lessons from the last 10 years are;
- To never take life and people for granted.
- Don't plan to do it tomorrow, do it today and enjoy it!
- Wear your best clothes.
- Tell those close to you how much you love them.
- Always do the right thing, it will come back to you tenfold.
Where to next for you?
I'm off to Norway for a few days of ice climbing and other winter activities with one of our Tour Directors Adam. After a few days adventuring we are heading on to meet up with Jackie & her guests on the Chase the Northern Lights Tour. The next tour I'm hosting is Costa Rica in April which I'm so looking forward to.
When it comes to where is next for the business, The Big Journey Company is at a very interesting point in its life, growing steadily & to plan. On the personal side, I get married next year so I am excited about that!
Escorting our tours has been a huge part of my life & I look forward to meeting more fellow travellers in the future. I'd love to shipwreck a group on a desert island for a survival-based adventure, I just need some people crazy enough to pay me to take them, any volunteers?