Everything about Oriana Caldeira (34) is superlative. Her hair is curly and wild. She works enthusiastically. She travels often. And she talks a lot.
“I talk about random things all the time,” she laughs. “I don’t know why, I just do it. Maybe it is the Portuguese blood in me!”.
The random conversations seem to strike a chord with her clients and peers alike. Just recently she’s been nominated as one of ASATA’s (Association of Southern African Travel Agents) Top Leisure Agents in the country. She’s been working in the travel industry for over a decade.
“When I was fresh out of Damelin,” she says. “I was told about an internship at a travel agency. I applied for the position and got the job.
"Lenor (my current boss) was my assessor. After my internship, I stayed on with the agency for three more years until Lenor opened her own agency.
"I asked her if she was looking for an employee, came for a talk and bang! I have been working with Lenor for ten years now. Clearly, she cannot get rid of me!".
In a stressful job where attention to detail is very important and Oriana’s most valuable lesson rightly is to “never assume, it’s the cause of all screw-ups”, it is refreshing to learn she is not at all stern and serious.
“I love playing ‘Noot vir Noot’ with Anel in the office,” she explains. “Why? I’m testing her knowledge. One day she will win a lot of money with our help.”
However, it is not just fun and games in the office. Oriana says that the best part of the job is basically the whole job: “Booking holidays for clients”.
The added benefit of getting to travel herself is of course also very nice.
“I love to travel,” she says. “It is wonderful to see different things to your own life and to experience other cultures and food.”
Food and people play big roles in the life of this Mediterranean personality.
“I enjoy relaxing with family and friends. They keep you sane and put you in your place,” she says. “Normally, when you are surrounded by family or friends, there is food too!”
And then, of course, there is chocolate.
“Chocolates and I are very good friends,” she says. “I grew up in a café, need I say more?”.
Even her favourite saying makes mention of the decadent, sweet treat: “Life is like a box of chocolates, all different inside.”