Growing up, nothing quite compared to the peaceful freedom brought on by those long summer holidays away from school.
Those three months off meant catching up on all the things we loved to do – be it swimming, holidaying with family, or even sleeping – and we’d all return to our classrooms in September feeling absolutely refreshed (although somewhat sad to be back).
As soon as one enters the corporate world, summer becomes quasi-indistinguishable from the rest of the year.
If it weren’t for the change in temperature and the occasional festa, we’d mindlessly go about our day-to-day responsibilities unaware that the season that was once synonymous with absolute freedom is upon us.
But Alliance CEO Michael Bonello is adamant about not falling into that trap.
So as summer dawns over Malta, you can expect Michael to take a step back – even if it’s just for a couple of weeks – to indulge in his own little bubble of Mediterranean bliss before it’s too late.
“I’m definitely more of a summer person,” Michael tells MaltaCEOs.mt.
“It lets me spend time with my family and friends, as we’re all more available for each other than in the busier winter months,” he continues.
But that doesn’t mean Michael stops working altogether or thinks the season has no downsides – if you can call them that.
“This summer I feel I’ve managed to juggle work with relaxation time as we’ve kept working full speed ahead on our plans to open no less than five new franchise branches imminently, and two more branches by the end of this year.” he continues. In August, Alliance won five prestigious awards at the Real Estate, Property, and Development Awards, including Michael Bonello himself winning “Best Real Estate CEO of the Year 2021”.
“The only bad thing about summer is that most enjoyable social activities – which are now happening practically every day – revolve around delicious food and drinks,” he says. “So it becomes much more difficult to avoid gaining weight during these months,” the CEO confesses.
But when summer offers so many benefits, it becomes quite easy to overlook such a ‘downside’. The biggest benefit of all, Michael thinks, is the time to go abroad, “away from crowds and the hustle and bustle of cosmopolitan cities.”
“This summer we got a private yacht charter around the Adriatic coast of Croatia and that was an excellent break for my family and the other families who joined us,” he recalls. “The holiday took place in very safe surroundings, and it was great to be ‘switched off’ from the world for a couple more hours than usual,” he says.
Whilst Michael’s a big fan of taking some time to switch off, that is not to say that he doesn’t enjoy the big city life.
“If I had to pick my best-ever holiday experience, it would have to be the trip to the Maldives and Dubai that I had done a few years ago,” he continues. “We had the chance to relax at a super resort for a few days and then experience the fascinating futuristic city of Dubai – all in the same trip,” he exclaims. Talk about finding the perfect balance.
Now Michael’s had plenty of awesome holiday experiences, but it might be a rare negative experience that will remain engrained in his mind for years on end.
“My definitively worst holiday experience was being held under arrest for about 30 hours in Sicily in a case of mistaken identity,” he recalls. “Even though in the end the unfortunate misunderstanding was ironed out completely, the ordeal had left me a bit jaded and very cautious,” he concludes.
University degrees still offer a route into industry, but nowadays, there are different ways of getting a dream job.
Pauline Micallef was speaking after Yachting Malta took part in the Cannes Yachting Festival.
He said that the improved rating comes ‘despite unprecedent circumstances which have affected both the local and international markets’
He was the entrepreneur who brought the Toyota car brand to Europe more than 60 years ago.