with Darrell Wade, Co-Founder of Intrepid Travel

How long have you been in the business? 20 years. Since we started Intrepid.

What’s your biggest extravagance? I wouldn’t say I’m extravagant, but my biggest indulgence is that I take off three months a year, travelling with my family.

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? Getting caught up in a riot in Indonesia.

And I was once jailed in Iraq at gunpoint. But Indonesia was scarier.

What will be the biggest challenge for the industry in the next 12 months? For certain sectors, just survival. Some niches will be fine, but it’s not a happy place out there. People who can manage and keep their staff will survive.

What was the best piece of advice you ever received? ‘Don’t always listen to people.’ Three different people told us we shouldn’t start Intrepid Travel and I’m so glad we didn’t listen.

Whom do you most respect in the industry? Tony Wheeler of Lonely Planet. And Flight Centre founder ‘Skroo’ Turner – enigmatic but impressive.

If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be? The industry gets too emotional and ultimately it’s not professional enough. We’re not rigorous enough about our business and people go into a flap and a tailspin when conditions change.

What book’s on your bedside table? Half the Sky, about the role of women in developing countries.

What kind of car do you drive? A Mini, of course! [Wade is 6’4′]

Who’s the smartest person you know? My 19 year old daughter.

What’s your favourite destination? I always say I love where I was last, so in this case Brazil (which actually I did love).

What are the up and coming adventure destinations? Egypt. Romania is an interesting one. Zambia.

What’s the secret of a successful business partnership? Mutual respect.  My partner Geoff Manchester and I have never had an argument in 20 years.

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years? I think I’ll be retired and travel for about half the year and spend the other half at home in Melbourne.

What’s the biggest misconception about adventure travel? That you have to be adventurous!

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