Chris Mercieca / LinkedIn

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, young adults and remote workers have brought about a surge in solo travel.

Solo travel has its benefits, allowing individuals to have greater control of their schedules and opening themselves up to meeting new people from different parts of the world.

Hailing from Gen-Z, Happy Pot Co-Founder and CEO Chris Mercieca exemplifies this growing trend, with him becoming more eager to travel more, even if it means doing so on his own.

In the most recent instalment of this year’s MaltaCEOs.mt summer interview series, we caught up with Chris to learn more about his planned trips for the summer, as well as what his best and worst experiences abroad were.

Launched in 2022 by Chris and fellow business partner Ġorġ Vella, Happy Pot is a business venture that makes fully customisable and sustainable plant pots from recycled bioplastics. While still a relatively young CEO, Chris’s days are still packed to the brim with things to do, making trips to recharge even more enjoyable.

Are you a summer person, or do you prefer winter? Why?

I’ve recently converted to a summer person, mostly because I have more time on my hands to travel and learn new things. The days are longer which means that I can get more work done, and an ice cold Cisk hits different in the blazing heat.

Are you looking forward to this summer in particular? Why?

This summer should be interesting to say the least. It’s still early days for Happy Pot but these next few months will see us take our biggest steps yet, so I’m motivated to make sure we hit our targets and very excited to see how it plays out. I’ve also planned a few short trips around Europe, so I’m hoping this summer will be a good mix of business and pleasure.

Chris Mercieca Chania / LinkedIn
Chania, Crete, where Chris Mercieca went to on one of his most recent solo trips / LinkedIn

What’s your favourite thing to do in the summer season? Why?

Definitely travelling – the further the better. There’s something about being away from home that strangely makes me feel at home. I enjoy experiencing new cultures, finding hidden gems, and seeing how the other half lives. I’ve recently taken up solo travelling, so I hope I’ll get to do that more often as well.

Do you prefer going out or staying inside during the hotter months?

The summer days are too beautiful to be wasted away at home, but often get obnoxiously hot (especially in traffic), so, I would say a healthy mix of both is usually the way to go for me.

Will you be going abroad? If yes, where to and why?

Yes! I was in Bulgaria a couple of weeks ago representing Malta as a Social Change Maker in a youth Erasmus project, along with two other young innovators from my hometown of Nadur. In August, I am planning my first ever visit to the Netherlands where I will be meeting with some key players in the Dutch startup scene and catching up with an old friend.

What’s your dream summer destination? Why?

I have a few of them, but Indonesia is definitely at the top of my list. The wildlife and natural beauty are apparently among the most beautiful in the world, and it’s the perfect place for a serial adventure enthusiast like myself. I am planning to spend a month or two there in the summer of 2024, which will be my first ever trip to Asia, and surely not my last.

Chris Mercieca Chania1 / LinkedIn
Chania, Crete, where Chris Mercieca went to on one of his most recent solo trips / LinkedIn

What’s your best holiday experience?

My best holiday experience would have to be the road trip with my family from Miami to Michigan in 2021 which saw us drive thousands of miles in three weeks across eight states.

What’s your worst holiday experience?

I think it’s safe to say I’ve enjoyed all my holidays, but my worst holiday-related experience would have to be arriving in Malta after 23 hours of travelling and three layovers from Norway to find that my luggage had been lost. Not too great.

Companies are encouraged to invest to stay ahead of the curve. As a business leader, how will you be investing in yourself this summer?

Some form of investment always precedes return. For me, this summer is about scaling my skills and getting into the right mindset for exponential growth. I’ll be putting in the work every day to make sure that we hit our targets, while affording myself the time and space I need to reset and recharge.

From recharging your batteries to taking on a huge task – do you have any particular goals for the summer?

By the end of this summer, some of my personal goals are to read 10 books, camp in Comino, and learn basic Dutch. Naturally, we have some pretty big targets for Happy Pot as well, but you’ll have to stay tuned to find out more about those.

Featured Image:

Happy Pot Co-Founder and CEO Chris Mercieca / LinkedIn

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