Meet the #IIGlobal2019 delegates as they embark on the Ultimate Education and Networking Experience of a lifetime to San Francisco & Washington DC.
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We caught up with Gary Steffens, Portfolio Manager: HPS Motor & Telco at Hollard. Here’s what he had to say..
Have you ever travelled overseas before and which is your favourite destination?
Yes, I have. My wife and I have travelled extensively and we both really enjoy Australia. I know, I know – but it’s more the amazing family we have there that makes the trips so worthwhile.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
Mauritius, all-inclusive package – they have activities for the kids, food and drinks on demand and a stunning beach to lounge around on. For a real breakaway to de-stress, this is an ideal place for me.
What is the best way to sleep on a plane?
Especially when flying through multiple time zones, focus on rearranging your sleeping patterns on the plane. This usually helps to manage the jet lag severity at your new destination and eases the transition. Now the sleeping – headphones on with good music playing softly, wrapped up with the blanket and the seat slightly back is generally good enough. Even better is to find an empty row and lounge across the seats.
What do you like to do while travelling?
I love to spend time exploring the various outdoors shops wherever I go. I am a passionate flyfisher and hunter and am always looking for new and exciting gadgets.
What are you looking forward to the most on this trip?
The opportunity to engage with industry and world leaders in financial services, especially Silicon Valley. This is such an exciting place in my mind, as the innovation and tech hub of the world. I truly hope it lives up to my expectations and I hope to bring back ideas of how we can reach our low-income market more meaningfully.
Tell us something fun about yourself that most people don’t know?
I used to do Latin American and ballroom dancing. I danced after matric for 4 years, and met my wife in a dancing class as well.
Do you have a method of packing your clothes when travelling?
I always check out the weather of my destination using a long-range forecast to determine my clothing needs, and then look through the itinerary to ensure I have the right clothing for the events (if any).
Then I make a checklist that travels with me to ensure I don’t forget anything (like phone chargers or adaptor plugs)
Then I pack enough casual clothes to last for 5 days (knowing there will be laundry services available of course) and rotate those throughout my trips.
I am a roller for sure, and roll my clothes to fill the space available in my bag to the maximum.
Once all rolled out, I place my smart clothes on top of the rolled items as smoothly as possibly, and cover them with a jacket or similar to keep them looking good for arrival.
What is the one thing that you cannot travel without?
My electric shaver – everything else can be replaced with ease if necessary. No-one wants to see my patchy beard.
If you could live in any other country where would you live?
If I had the choice, I would live in Australia – specifically Perth. The outdoor lifestyle is fantastic, and the facilities are just amazing for our kids to enjoy.
We have amazing family there already, but it would be hard to leave this amazing country (even with all its faults).
What country has the best food?
South Africa – I am a meat eater and I have yet to come across another country that has the same quality meat as we have. And there is very little (in my opinion) that beats a good old braai.
Do you have a song that reminds you of a road trip?
Simple Plan – Welcome to my Life.
The first year of Varsity this was our road trip theme song – great memories!
What is your least favourite thing about travelling?
It’s all very exciting for the first week, but after that, I generally start missing home and the routine we have.
This will be the first long trip I’m taking away from my family, so will be sad to not have them there with me.
Any Airport hacks to share with fellow delegates?
Keep your USB cable on you to charge your phone from the TV’s if you can’t find a plug; keep a pen handy for arrivals and customs; use the slow lounges when you can – great place to relax and find a seat
How will u be putting the SA in the USA?
By bringing our South African work ethic and interests in braai’s and sport I’ll start up conversations wherever possible to sell our awesome country.