Being the head honcho of a loyalty programme company that essentially deals with travel, it's not surprising that Manish Dureja, MD and CEO of InterMiles (erstwhile JetPrivilege), says his greatest passion is to travel far and wide. However, he makes sure he stays away from the usual destinations. From the overwhelming Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska to experiencing the world's biggest Christmas market in Austria and enjoying a high-speed drive on the famed Autobahn in Germany, Dureja keeps his holidays offbeat.
"Last December, we drove almost 1,500 Km within Europe. I spent hours at the Christmas market in Salzburg, understanding how they make the popular mulled wine, which is consumed hot." Dureja looks forward to his vacations not just to unwind but also to learn about new cultures and traditions. "I want to go back to the Mendenhall Glacier once more to understand about the local people and culture. I landed on that glacier in a helicopter and spent about an hour over there and what struck me most is how the locals care about nature and preserve it."
Back home, Dureja makes it a point to visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar. He says the pull is not so much religious; he finds it to be the biggest equaliser. "You sit in the langar hall and however big you may be professionally, it makes you realise that you are just like everybody else, a commoner. That's a powerful feeling and it keeps you grounded."