I moved into travel 18 years ago as a Director of TravelQuest following a rather different career as a bank manager and have worked in both Portugal and Sweden.
For skiing - you can't beat Breckenridge USA.
China, Japan or India - I can't decide. All have fascinating culture to immerse yourself in.
I recently booked some clients on a three week tour of China which sounded really fascinating.
Books, books and books
I have been extremely lucky to visit many countries, but my favourite is definitely Cambodia. The people are so friendly, the scenery and culture amazing and the food delicious.
1) Be organised, book an airport lounge if possible, its a nice relaxing start to your holiday.
2) Make sure you have adequate travel insurance.