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Published on Tuesday, August 18, 2020

From regional sales manager to....travel blogger



Like so many travel industry workers, Beachcomber Tours regional sales manager Rupert Diggins was frustrated to find himself furloughed in March, unable to carry on with the job he'd loved for so long. Instead of providing a service to travel agents, he was forced to stay at home, and he was left with a feeling of letting everyone down. But, as he explains here, instead of twiddling his thumbs, he learned a new skill, which he's hoping will lead to a new career.


 



 


"With boredom kicking in, I decided it was time to put my mind to something that I had been considering for some time - learning how to create a website and a travel blog.

The idea came as a result of a Facebook blog that I did last year whilst out in Japan at the Rugby World Cup. This gained quite a following amongst my travel friends and even made it on to a travel conference social media session as to how to embrace the moment and capture your audience on social media.

Maybe it was that moment that unwittingly made me realise I could do something with my ramblings and develop a platform to showcase a 30-year career in travel, plus highlight my passion for the natural world, sustainability and eco tourism - all issues that have suddenly become more important in all of our lives.


 



 


Technology has advanced so much in recent years that developing a site is really not that difficult - gone are the days of needing to have geek-like attributes and an understanding of complex code. Yes you can purchase an off-the-shelf ready-made website but I wanted to use the time to get deeper into the development, and this I did.

After a couple of months of research, investigation, trial and error I launched www.justonefortheroad.com. It's not perfect, it's a little rough around the edges and I do try to ensure my personality comes through so it can be a little tongue-in-cheek at times, but I reckon we all need a bit of that in our lives just now.

Soon after launch and with our industry changing day by day Beachcomber invited volunteers to take redundancy so after a great deal of consideration, a poorly father needing care at home and this project in its infancy I decided that it was the right time to make the leap and so promptly took voluntary redundancy.

I think a huge number of us in travel, not just those who have sadly been made redundant, are asking ourselves whether it's time to try something else, however the majority of us are fighters, proud of our businesses and above all we love the industry, the people and we love doing the right thing for our customers and business partners.


 



 


With redundancy comes uncertainty but I also believe it brings opportunity, often when you are least expecting it. It's that chance to get up, dust yourself down and embrace change. If you look around there are individuals launching or investing in tech -driven or home-based businesses, a few companies are expanding while the majority are remodelling and resizing their own in this new normal that is now feeling already .....well.... the norm.

I guess by utilising my time during furlough, whilst not exactly creating the next Lonely Planet guide, I am keeping a foot in the travel door. ..... it's an industry that's been my life and like so many others despite the knocks of angry clients, refunds, last-minute quarantines and mixed messages, we have to remain positive and somehow keep this show on the road .... travel will be saved and it will be back, but until that moment I, and maybe you, will just have to enjoy 'just one for the road'."
 

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