From ice-skating across the globe to trekking through South America, Natasha Iacona, assistant management accountant at Intrepid Travel, tells Rochelle Beighton about her career.
Natasha Iacona, assistant management accountant at Intrepid Travel, leapt into the world of travel at a young age as a figure skater competing internationally throughout Europe and Canada.
“Travel first became important to me when I was nine. Through ice-skating I had the opportunity to compete in some amazing countries such as Hungary, Switzerland, France and Italy,” she says.
Deciding against skating professionally, Iacona graduated from college in 2008 and began working at Sherringtons LLP, an accountancy agency in Basingstoke, where she trained part time for her Association of Accounting Technicians qualifications.
It wasn’t until she was made redundant, and worked a brief stint as an analyst for Vodafone, that she rediscovered travel in 2010 when she began working for The Family Adventure Company as an accounts executive.
“When I left school I thought I would run away from maths, and I never really saw myself working in travel. I didn’t know much about adventure travel when I first joined and thought it was about throwing yourself off mountains or something. But working there opened my eyes; I learnt that travel is what you make of it.”
In 2012 The Family Adventure Company merged with tour operator Intrepid Travel. Iacona then took a six-month career break to volunteer, clearing vegetation in the Galapagos Islands, and to explore South America.
“I started in Mexico and tried to fit everything in – Brazil, Chile, Peru – I went everywhere except to some of the Central American countries.
“The Galapagos was my favourite because of the people. I stayed in a small guesthouse and the owners made me feel so welcome. I’ve been to India and Nepal and found the locals were equally lovely. Often people who have so little are happiest and we can learn a lot from them, the main lesson being that you don’t need material things to be content.”