Biting Questions with Miral Mousa, TrailFinders Canada

Open Jaw

Miral Mousa in Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile

Where were you born? In Amman, Jordan. I emigrated to Canada in 1991 – my husband was already here.

What was your 1st job? In Jordan, working as an office assistant at my dad’s medical clinic.

How long have you been in the business? I started as a travel agent with Thomas Cook in 1996 and have been with TrailFinders since 2000.

Tell me about your 1st airplane ride. (Laughs) I wouldn’t remember! I was a small child – my dad used to go to university in Egypt and we went back and forth.

How has the business changed since you got into it? The use of the internet has affected it to the point where it’s almost out of hand, there’s too much information and too many options for clients. Plus worldwide events affect us both positively and negatively.

Do you have a specialty? Southeast Asia 1st, Middle East 2nd and Chile/Argentina 3rd.

If you could have any job in the business what would it be? I think I have it! In our office we also escort tours to some really exotic destinations. Seeing clients’ reactions is amazing.

What was your best FAM? We don’t do FAMS per se, but we like to travel independently on our own inspection trips. Asia – including Laos – would be up there, also some places in Chile and Argentina. For sure.

What drives you crazy? (Laughs) Little annoyances in the job, people not doing their job properly or paying insufficient attention to detail. A lot of people don’t take the time to read.

What was your biggest individual sale? For a couple, close to $40,000, doing a few countries in Southeast Asia. It was a lot of work to put together but also a lot of fun.

What’s the 1st thing you do when you get into a hotel room? Before unpacking I take a clear photo. I always look at the floor and in the bathroom. Smells are very important too!

Do you have a magic sentence to close the sale? We don’t really have a big challenge to close the sale - people trust you when you know what you are talking about. We have a lot of repeat and referral clients.

Do you have any time management strategies? Prioritizing!

How do you cope with jetlag? With difficulty – I use No Jet Lag pills which are fantastic. I shower and change as soon as I check in, and try to do things according to the local time zone.

If you had to spend 6 months in a destination, which one would you pick? That would be a toss-up between Southeast Asia and Chile/Argentina.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? What I really wanted to do, which was be a doctor.

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