Sometimes people from tiny places fear the big world and never leave. But sometimes, they love the world and never go back. They become travellers.
This is the case with Lenor Botma, the co-owner of Fusion Travel and Tours.
She started life on a small farm in KwaZulu-Natal – too small even to bother to name – grew up in Richards Bay, then moved all the way to Pretoria for studies, and simply stayed on. But it is only a base for when she can’t travel.
“I love to travel,” she says. “It is one of my favourite things to do. To see different places but also to broaden your own cultural frame of reference, that’s so enriching.”
It is thus only natural that after initially studying Accounting, she moved her sights to an Honours in Hotel Management and Tourism. And then started working in travel.
“I’ve basically done everything in travel agencies,” she says. “The accounting side to the consulting side and everything in between.”
This gave her a good idea of what it takes to run a travel agency. And when the opportunity to buy Flight Specials Centurion in January 2008 came across her road, she jumped. “Back then, we were only two people running the business. Me and the accountant. And we worked!” she remembers.
Through the culture of hard work and good work, the company steadily started to grow. Eventually they had to move from the Southlake Centre, because they needed more space. But always keeping that culture of good and hard work.
“The most awesome part of this job is to see how we pull together as a team when an obstacle or challenge presents itself,” she says. “Everyone stops what they are busy with and jumps in. We rely on our different strengths and we solve the problem. And we have a happy client. That is truly awesome.”
In September 2016, great teamwork led to the birth of Fusion Travel and Tours – a company specialising in corporate travel and event management. Lenor is very philosophical about opportunities that come across one’s way. “Sometimes you have to first close the door of one opportunity before the next opportunity materialises.”
When she is not being philosophical or working, she enjoys the ocean. “My favourite holiday spot is any place next to the sea with my family,” she says. “And scuba diving. I love everything about it. That is my ultimate happy place. The beautiful colours below the water and the weightlessness. I think I need to travel again!”