Ready to meet another one of our incredible Brand Ambassadors? Good, because we can’t wait to introduce him to you! The Brand Ambassador whose story we can’t wait to share with you today is the savvy Damir Kolaković (@DamirKolakovic on Instagram), and he’s got way too many amazing travel tips and trips to share with you.

Originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina  – and now currently based in Minneapolis/St. Paul – wanderlust plagued Damir has traveled all over the world (to 38 countries and counting!). He’s got such an incredible thirst for adventure and experiencing new people/cultures, we just know you’re going to love every bit of what he has to tell you here.

meet damir airline

Who is Damir?

Currently a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that this sweet Midwestern guy was actually born in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina . At the time it was still part of Yugoslavia, and a major civil war was just beginning in the region.

Damir and his parents left Bosnia as refugees and moved to live in Germany for what ended up being seven years. Later, and right before Damir entered second grade, his family got the opportunity to move again, and this time to the United States. They’ve been Midwesterners ever since.

This early traveling experience sparked a small bit of wanderlust in Damir, a desire that would only grow over time. Thanks to a best friend working in the Fargo airport (Hector International Airport) Damir got to have his first taste of living the #NonRevLife, and he’s never looked back.

meet damir airline

Joining the Airline Community

This good friend, who’s mother and aunt also worked for airlines, would – with his flight benefits – jet to exciting destinations on the weekend. Damir found this intriguing and exciting since most of his family lived scattered across the globe, and this limited his ability to see them.

Damir applied, and was hired to work as a contractor for Delta in Fargo during college. With Fargo being a small airport, he got the opportunity to work in many different roles (everything from de-icing the plane to checking people in at the gate). He now credits this with his ability to understand struggles that many different airline employee positions face.

During college, Damir took some internships out in Los Angeles, but immediately missed traveling. Not wanting to lose his benefits (or take them away from his parents) Damir continued to look for a position within an airline, and this time found the role of gate supervisor available.

meet damir airline

Working for an Airline

Although he wanted to originally find an “in-house” position, he was thankful for the opportunity to gain some management experience, as well as being able to help his parents continue to fly free.

When he later saw the flight attendant position open up, he jumped at the chance. This lucky duck got in at a great time and now has good seniority at a junior base. Although he still has a passion for PR and advertising (the areas he majored in) he’s found so much more in his job as an FA.

Now he gets to travel the world, see his family, and make up his own schedule. Sounds pretty sweet right? Well, it gets sweeter. When asked why he originally continued on in the airline path he said this;

“When I was a young child, I saw my parents put their lives on hold. They sold everything they had and moved across an ocean for the hope of giving me better opportunities to grow up into. I never forgot how difficult it was for them to basically drop their lives and put all their effort into their child. It is a debt that I will never be able to repay.

I continued on in the airline industry path in order to give my parents the great perk of flight benefits. It is one way I can give back to them. I enjoy the moments when they are able to travel and relax. They have worked so hard their entire lives and I continue working hard every day in appreciation for what they did for me. My only goal is to make them proud of the move they made early on in their lives. They are my greatest inspiration in life.”

meet damir airline

Damir Tells All – Rapid Fire Questions

After crying our eyes out over his beautiful tribute to his parents, we decided to throw some rapid fire questions at Damir, to get his thoughts on travel tips, customer encounters, and life in general. Read on to see what he had to say.

Damir, you work for a really cool airline, and you sure seem proud of it! What’s your favorite part about working for Delta?

“I really love Delta because it’s international and that means I get to meet people from all different background and cultures (both from fellow employees and customers). Everyone’s got an awesome story to share. All you have to do it listen.”

You’re so right! Everyone has a story. Speaking of stories, what’s your favorite one you’ve heard while working?

“Once I had this sweet older woman in first class that I was talking and joking with, that told me she bet she had traveled to more places than I had. I kind of laughed her off, knowing I had been to quite a few, but played along anyway. Turns out she has been to 106 countries!

She had traveled with her husband everywhere, and they even went and visited their son who was working for this great cause in Africa. Later when her husband’s health declined, and he started to lose his memory, he told her his one regret is that he wished he would have traveled with her more.

Little did he know he gave her the world already, literally.”

Oh. My. Goodness. Is your goal to make us completely break down in this interview or what? That’s amazing! Okay, let’s move to something a bit lighter… what’s your favorite travel hack/tip?

“I would have to say my tip/trick/hack would be to always A: Do your research, and B: Go with the flow. Doing your research is incredibly important, just to know what you’ll be up against, and more importantly for your safety.

Going with the flow is important as well because that’s where the best adventures happen! My favorite trip was to Nicaragua. We had a friend plan it all, and in fact, I wasn’t ‘all in’ on the destination to begin with, but it was incredible.

Have you ever hiked a volcano and gone volcano boarding? Well if you haven’t, you should, and it’s in Nicaragua where I wouldn’t have gone if I wasn’t already going with the flow.”

meet damir airline

Such great advice! Okay, what about your weirdest airport encounter? Do you have one?

“I do, but I would say it’s actually an ongoing encounter. I often run into people that can’t find their gate. Literally, you’d be surprised how many people come up and ask. Also, another weird thing is when people lose their mind after missing their flight.

I know travel is stressful, and there are so many emotions going on during it, but you’ve got to realize that the airplanes run on airport time – not yours.”

That’s very true. Alright, now we have to ask… since your Instagram is so stinking good we could cry (again), how did you get started in photography?

“So one day I was going through travel blogs and posts looking at everyone’s travel pictures and basically came to the realization that… hey, I can do that too! So it all started when I bought my GoPro camera. I played around with it so much and tried to learn as much from online tutorials to get great captures. I’m currently on my third GoPro (??‍♂️).

I lost my first GoPro when I was kayaking on a lake in Minnesota. It was not secured tight enough and fell off and sunk to the bottom during a video. The second was stolen from me when I was traveling through Ecuador with one of my best friends. We ended up being robbed on an overnight bus while we were sleeping. Both of our GoPros and cash out of our wallets were stolen. I’m on my third one now and I protect it as if it is my only child.

The pictures and videos you see today are all the products of many trial and error moments. I currently use the GoPro Hero5 camera for all my pictures and videos as well as capturing shots on my GoPro Karma drone. I’m still learning and teaching myself new tricks and techniques with the camera but I’m having a blast doing it!

I do it because I want others to see and experience what I have without actually going to the location. Not everyone has the same opportunity as myself to travel so I try to share special moments for others to experience it and I hope they enjoy the posts.

I do it because I want others to see and experience what I have without actually going to the location. Not everyone has the same opportunity as myself to travel so I try to share special moments for others to experience it and I hope they enjoy the posts.

I get inspired by other travelers who have been to places I haven’t and by travelers who captures moments in creative ways! I’m always looking to capture videos and pictures in new ways to share locations with others! If I end up getting positive feedback from locals of that area or from friends back home on certain posts, it fuels me to continue my passion of traveling and capturing moments!”

That’s great. You’re great! Alright, last chance. Any final words to your fellow wanderlusters and Interliners?

“Yeah, I would say to just go for it. Just do it. You’ll regret not going for it later! There’s always something to do and always a memory to make wherever you are, so just make it happen!”

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Thank you Damir, we loved getting to know you and getting to hear your story! If you don’t follow Damir online you absolutely should right now. He’s got just the best photography and inspirational quotes to get you motivated! That’s all we’ve got for now Interliners. We’ll see you later with more Brand Ambassador features. Until next time, safe travels and keep your eyes on the skies!

Author: Emily (@ID90 Travel)

Emily is the Content Marketing Specialist here at ID90 Travel. An avid non-rev flyer (she grew up in the industry), and passionate private pilot, Emily can’t get enough of all things aviation. When not writing awesome ID90 Travel content she can be found on a Texas patio, being one with nature, or annoying her ID90T co-workers with her many, many, crowdsourcing questions.