An interview with Mike Jarosky - our man in Sydney
* Personal Trainer
* Exclusive Travel Group Guide and Experiential Travel Guru
Q. How long have you lived in Australia?
Originally from Chicago, I first came to Sydney in 1998 as a backpacker and toured the country. From Sydney to the Great Barrier Reef, the friendly people, the beaches, the beers! The food and the weather – I was suddenly addicted to Australia. While Studying for my MBA in Economics from Chicago University and also studying in Sydney I decided that I wanted to live in Australia. I was accepted and in 2003, I packed two bags and moved with no mates and no clue. Ultimately I quit financial consulting and wrote a book, became a personal trainer, writing a Health and fitness column for the Sydney Morning Herald and guide for The Exclusive Travel Group.
Q. What did you do when you first came to Sydney?
I jumped off the plane and went straight to the Sydney Opera House. I was captivated by how beautiful it was. Pair that with the Sydney Bridge and Harbour – you have one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Even now, 11 years later I still get excited when I see that view. Showing Sydney to Exclusive Travel Group guests for the first time is such a joy for me. There isn’t a city in the world that offers such beautiful harbour views.
Q. When did you become interested in travel, guiding and developing your own experiential experience?
A few years ago, as a personal trainer I was appearing on a radio show describing some of the amazing Sydney walks and hikes- it just suddenly dawned on me that I could share ‘my Sydney’ with my current clients and offer this experience to visiting guests as well. I was soon taking clients on hikes and walks using a water taxi stocked with fresh seafood and champagne! The Exclusive Travel Group suddenly rang me out of the blue and began to use my services. These first hikes have now turned into a full scale travel experiences and countrywide guiding.
Q. How long have you been working with the Exclusive Travel Group?
It has been 6 years now. Whenever the ‘ ETG Bat Phone’ rings it is an exciting phone call for me because I know I will soon be meeting an interesting person, couple or family on vacation. Every guest is varied, demanding and fascinating.
Q. You are not only a guide and travel specialist but you are also a Concierge Service?
Being a successful Concierge Service means having your ear to the ground. Not only do I have to know how to plan and execute the perfect day, I also need to have a full little black book. Impossible restaurant reservations have to appear, Opera House tickets, early check-ins organised, etc. I make it my business to know everyone because that is my business!
I have always think of Sydney as ‘My Girlfriend’ and I love showing her off to the Exclusive Travel Group guests. I provide the finest local knowledge with a casual yet first class experience- nobody know this city like I do.