To Houssam Abiad, the lines usually drawn between work and leisure are all but indistinct.
“You have to enjoy what you do,” he articulates.
The young South Australian certainly thrives from wearing many different hats – as an Adelaide City Councillor, focused on preserving and growing the business and economic development in one of the fastest growing cities in Australia; as a multi-awarded serial entrepreneur with at least three established businesses in the information & telecommunications technology and food & beverage industries; and as a strong advocate for community engagement and multiculturalism.
While his trips often start out work-related, Houssam draws enjoyment and wisdom from personal experiences while in a new place. His travels have taken him across the globe, to the Gulf region including the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon as well as the United States, and that does not include the places he has been to for dedicated holidays.
“To me, travel is as much about the people as it is the place. Who and where you connect with, such as discovering a street by accident, that perhaps only the locals knew about. My travel memories are created around exactly these places and people,” shares Houssam.
The value of connecting with the local community cannot be underestimated.
Houssam revealed that where possible, he prefers spontaneity to meticulous planning and preparation when it comes to seeking these travel experiences. While he would see online search as his first point of reference for essential information such as where to go to observe Muslim prayer times or for shisha, there have been occasions where online searches have offered inaccurate information.
“I would certainly see the value of being able to connect with the local community, although that is naturally a time-consuming process,” he says.
Houssam added that he definitely see the potential advantage of an app or a service which would allow musafirs (travellers) like himself to quickly connect with the local community.
As he continues to make his mark around the world and on behalf of the city he calls home, Adelaide, there is no doubting Houssam will inspire and inculcate in young musafirs everywhere the same passion and integrity to serve for the greater good. And to enjoy themselves while doing it.