Why Travel Beyond

I love the company culture at Travel Beyond; it’s a fun job and I work with the best colleagues. We have lots of inside jokes from our annual staff retreats and a shared love for travel, and we are passionate about tailoring the “trip of a lifetime” for each of our clients! I love working with a close-knit group of like-minded people who enjoy their jobs and each other! What first caught my attention about Travel Beyond was the focus on Africa, which has been close to my heart since my first trip seven years ago. What sealed the deal was that Travel Beyond had put together a trip for “The Bachelor” which is one of my favorite guilty pleasures, and which I’ve auditioned for twice!

Countries Visited

USA, Canada, El Salvador, England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Vatican City, Austria, Switzerland, Greece, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kenya, Brazil, Mozambique

Education

BA, double major in International & Intercultural Studies and Narrative Studies, minor in Anthropology, Pitzer College

I studied abroad three times in three different regions and did an internship overseas as well. Following my freshman year, I was one of two students selected to participate in a summer program in conjunction with the Pitzer Vaccine Development Institute in Gaborone, Botswana, where I did independent research on local agriculture for the development of plant-based vaccines for cattle, which are a source of wealth and status in Botswana. I also did a course on intensive Setswana language and culture and traveled with my classmate in Southern Africa after finishing coursework, which inspired me to return to the region the following year. I was awarded a grant to attend to the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, where I traveled and did an internship with Global Girl Media mentoring young women in journalism. I was surprised and delighted to learn that some of my mentees spoke Setswana as their mother tongue. From South Africa, I flew directly to Morocco, where I spent several weeks living with a host family in Fez, studying colloquial Moroccan Arabic and spent the fall semester at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, where I studied Comparative Religion, Islamic Art and Architecture, Arab Society, Media & Society and French. I spent the spring semester in 2011 in Beijing through the Pitzer in China program, where I did an independent project on Media in China and took courses in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Mandarin Chinese, Chinese History and Culture and Chinese Calligraphy.

Career History

My first job after college was selling cars at a local dealership. After a short six-month stint in auto sales, I moved to Kenya for a six-week internship at Africa 24 Media, where I was a writer and producer for a television show called Africa Journal, which is a magazine style program that features positive stories from throughout the continent, and airs in Africa and beyond! I returned to the states and worked in high-end retail sales for about a year until I joined Travel Beyond three years ago.

Why I’m a Travel Manager

I aspire to become a Consultant and presently work closely with Craig, Marsha and Marguerite on each of their bookings.

Where I’ve Lived Abroad

Botswana, Morocco, China, Kenya

Most Memorable Travel Experience

My most memorable trip was to the World Cup in South Africa in June and July 2010! As the recipient of the Katie Lawson Memorial Award, I was able to travel to South Africa to do community-based research and service. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon an L.A. based organization called Global Girl Media, which was using the spotlight on the World Cup as an opportunity to train young women as citizen journalists. I was an intern at their pilot program in Soweto, South Africa, and I accompanied the students as they interviewed political and cultural icons from around the world and produced stories of personal and national significance. I spent the other half of the month-long tournament traveling in Cape Town and Durban, where I was doing interviews and watching games in person and at the FIFA fan parks. I got to attend two matches: Netherlands vs. Cameroon and Spain vs. Portugal! I absolutely fell in love with South Africa and left my heart behind. I was blessed to have the opportunities to return to explore the country in 2015 to go on safari and spend time with my South African “family” for the holidays and to return again in 2016 with my own family!

Recommended Right Now

South Africa! It’s diverse in so many aspects of the word and offers so many different things, so you can mold your trip to fit your tastes and interests. You can have incredible wildlife sightings, experience some of the world’s finest dining, visit beautiful landscapes all throughout the country and have rich opportunities to learn about the cultures and history.

Favorite Lodge

&Beyond Bengeurra Island

This lodge is beautifully appointed, recently renovated, and perfectly located on the beach of paradisaical Benguerra Island! The service is top notch and the hospitality is genuine. Since there are lots of villagers who live on the island, you’ll get a glimpse into the local lifestyle while enjoying the utmost in luxury in your home away from home. My room had ample outdoor space, including a covered sitting area on the deck, a private plunge pool and a swinging beach bed, all just a few footsteps away from the water at high tide! &Beyond Benguerra Island is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a book by the beach, and the lodge has an excellent library full of books to borrow! The snorkeling and sunset dhow cruise are both magnificent and not to be missed! My favorite hang-out is at the dhow bar, which was remodeled out of an authentic traditional Mozambican sailboat which had floated onto the beach! If you’re looking for the perfect place to unwind after the hustle and bustle of safari, look no further than this blissful island!

My Most Recent Trip

My most recent trip was to Botswana and South Africa with my mom and dad! Since working at Travel Beyond, I’ve also been on safari to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique, where I had another opportunity to practice my Portuguese with native speakers. Before that, I went to Brazil in 2014 for the World Cup. I traveled to Fortaleza, Paracuru, Combuco, Brasilia, Alto Paraiso, Salvador, Morro de Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Ilha Grande, and it was a whirlwind introduction to what quickly became one of my favorite countries! In my three weeks in Brazil, I saw six matches (Ghana vs. Germany, Cote D’Ivoire vs. Greece, Ghana vs. Portugal, Nigeria vs. France, US vs. Belgium and Netherlands vs. Costa Rica), ate lots of shrimp and tropical fruit and swam at some of the best beaches in the world! I’ve been studying Portuguese for three years and can’t wait to return to Brazil to explore more!