INTRODUCING MIKE HENDEY
Fresh from the wonders of the far-east, Mike explains what drew him to MSG Tours
It’s always daunting, stepping into an office on your first day. It didn’t help that I’d also been away from an office for the past 14 months. Where do you sit? When do you offer to make a brew? What is everyone thinking about the new guy? How do you turn on this stupid computer?
I’m a week in now, have switched on the computer several times (by myself) and today received a detailed tutorial on how to make coffee to MSG standards (no mean feat when your boss’ alias is ‘The Barista’), so all is going well.
Firstly a little on my background. I’ve worked in travel for around 8 years now in one capacity or another. It’s taken me to some weird and wonderful places and introduced me to some fantastic people. I began by working overseas as an English teacher in Chengdu, China. On my return I fortuitously stumbled into a job assembling round the world trips for excited back packers at STA Travel. Next followed a stint arranging event weekends (particularly hen and stag dos) before my love for China overcame me and I found myself back out east guiding for tour groups in Yangshuo.
Below: Mike working with local masons in Nepal for All Hands and Hearts, helping to rebuild schools following the devastating earthquake in 2015
Sadly I couldn’t sustain the pace my party loving tour groups set so I decided to give my body a rest by returning to England and beginning work arranging educational tours for school groups. After two years of both operating and selling these trips, I decided I wanted to try educating them myself, I mean how hard can it be? Absolutely exhausting is the answer as it turns out.
So it was bags packed again as I began work once more in the far east as an Outdoor Educator. Primarily it involved teaching kids, through activities and team challenges, how to communicate and develop social confidence. Long days, lots of noisy students, hundreds of flights all over China but an incredible and eye-opening experience that took me to every corner of that amazing country.
Above: Mike and his team on tour in the deserts of Inner Mongolia
So I’ve got a fairly broad background across a range of areas. Which is what has led me to this new adventure at MSG Tours. The company’s ethos of Delivering the Unexpected is exactly what I have always tried to do. I love the idea of taking your average tour and finding ways to make it stand out from the crowd. There is so much of the same out there to choose from that I’m privileged to represent a company who want to do things a little differently.
I’m also that guy who claims ‘I could have made it’ when it comes to football having been involved with Nottingham Forest and Leicester City as a lad. Sadly it wasn’t to be but I have maintained a love and passion for the game that I know will translate into our sports product.
So here’s to 2019 and the beginning of an exciting chapter with MSG Tours!