We'd love that job

Winter Holiday Designer - Mike James, Exodus. I research and design adventure holidays for our winter brochure.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

What do you do?

I research and design adventure holidays for our winter brochure. That means meeting and negotiating with local suppliers in Scandinavia and even the Arctic Circle, and trying everything - from dog-sledding and snow-mobiling to cross-country skiing and bobsledding.

How did you get the job?

I always wanted to work in adventure travel. I did a tourism degree and then a few ski seasons in Val d'Irene, France, working in a restaurant.

I got a sales job here in '95, then did four years as a tour leader, leading adventure tours and trekking groups in the Himalayas and South America.

When I'd burnt out, I came back and moved into product design.

Does reality match the dream?

If I won the lottery, I'd keep doing it - perhaps taking a pay cut to do fewer hours and more travel. There's a lot of office work. The admin involved in arranging flight schedules can be a bloody nightmare, and even the travel isn't always perfect. I went to the Alps in August and spent the entire time visiting hotels. There's only so many times you can go 'wow' at a bathroom. But then I'm out in the wilderness at minus-25, with icicles hanging off my face, doing things that I dreamt of doing as a kid - and getting paid for it.

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