Nicola Veltman, who is currently on maternity leave with her second bub, is a founder and director here at 1000 Mile. She was motivated to start 1000 Mile after identifying a gap in the corporate market for SME businesses. Nicola was inspired to create a travel company that offers both transparency into the industry and gives back more to clients in value and service. She has realised this dream by ensuring that our Travel Experts have on average 15 years of experience. This means that each dedicated consultant is truly an expert in their field. Focusing on smaller portfolios also means faster turnaround time. Nicola is also passionate about promoting great work-life balance.

What made you decide to jump into the travel industry and why?
I actually studied journalism at university and thought I was destined to be a travel writer. Travel has been in my blood from an early age – my family is spread across four continents so the passion for it has always been there. At 20, after graduating from my degree, I went to a local travel agency to book my around the world trip. I was in contact with our consultant Kate, who looked after us, for months. Her world seemed exciting and she loved what she did so I told myself that when I get back from my trip that’s what I want to do…15 years later and here I am.

What is your favourite travel memory?
WOW there are so many as I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to over 60 countries. I would have to say that seeing Machu Pichu for the first time really stands out. I remember after the long trek I was sitting on the hilltop watching the sun rise with the lamas grazing and thought ‘I’ve arrived.’

What has been your most challenging travel memory?
About five years ago I took eight months off to travel solo and I went camping in Africa to see what I was really made of. For a girl who hasn’t even camped in the garden this was a real eye-opener and really pushed me out of my comfort zone. There were tears and there were laughs and most importantly, I look back now and know that this trip has formed a part of me.

What’s your favourite airline to travel with and why?
I am a Qantas frequent flyer through and through – it feels like coming home.

What’s your favourite travel perk working as a travel agent?
The educationals I have been fortunate enough to go on, from Paris to Las Vegas to Malaysia to Darwin, in order to know a product better to share with my clients.

What’s next on your travel bucket list?
Definitely Antarctica. I want to go to Patagonia to see the whales and then sail from the southernmost point in South America to see the wildlife that live in the coldest part of the world.