While the most common reason to visit Spain would be for the food, there are plenty of other reasons to go. Like horses.

“I loved the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art in Jerez,” says Belinda Ladner, when asked for a highlight from a recent trip. “The day we visited the riders weren’t in costume, but they were still training. I could have stayed there forever, watching them go around. The horses were beautiful, and the grounds were stunning. Then we went sherry tasting afterwards, so it was close to a perfect day.”

Back home, Belinda starts most days with an early morning walk along the back roads of the Byron Bay hinterland, where’s she’s lived for a couple of years. The area represents a sweet spot, somewhere in between the laid back country vibes of her hometown in western Queensland, and the frothing energy of life in Sydney, where she was previously.

“I’m so pleased I grew up in the country,” she says. “I think it’s easier to come from the country into the city, where people who’ve grown up in the city sometimes find it hard to adjust to the isolation out west. The quiet freaks people out.”

Something else that would spook most people is the idea of travelling to a war-torn country like Afghanistan, but that’s a place Belinda would like to visit in the future.

The horses were beautiful, and the grounds were stunning. Then we went sherry tasting afterwards, so it was close to a perfect day.

“I don’t want to go right now,” she explains. “Hopefully in 10 years it will be different over there, because I’m not drawn to the danger or devastation. It’s more that old cultures like that really appeal to me.”

Being responsible for the TripADeal payroll, among other responsibilities as the financial controller, Belinda stays busy keeping staff bank accounts happy each week. For her though, the joys of work aren’t all monetary.

“I’ve worked a lot of places, and the good thing about TripADeal is how it’s always changing and evolving. It’s exciting to be on the rollercoaster.”

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