Southern & East Africa – luxury and cultural safaris
South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Austria, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, The Netherlands, Jamaica, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Ecuador (Galapagos Islands), Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar
BA in Speech Language Hearing Sciences and BA in Psychology, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
I began working at Travel Beyond when I was 16 years old as an Intern. I worked here throughout high school and college, before returning full time shortly after graduation. I also held the positions of Travel Producer and Travel Manager before becoming a Travel Consultant. During my time at the University of Minnesota, I also worked on research projects for the Educational Psychology department and with children with developmental disorders – another passion of mine.
Professional Awards & Accomplishments:
- Travel Agent magazine 30 Under 30 Recipient
- Certified SA Specialist
Where I’ve Lived Abroad
Why I’m a Travel Consultant
I love taking someone’s ideas for a trip and transforming them into a fabulous adventure. My goal is to include unique options in an itinerary that the client wouldn’t necessarily have thought of on their own. There is so much culture and beauty out there in the world to experience and I love making it possible for my clients to take it all in.
Most Memorable Travel Moment
Attending the Palio in Siena, Italy. It is an amazing horse race between the different contrade (neighborhoods) of the city, dating back centuries. The residents live for the event that happens two times a summer. The race is a total of three laps around the track, which happens in the main part of town, and lasts about 90 seconds. I could actually feel the anticipation and excitement from the tens of thousands of people that surrounded me.
Recommended Right Now
I recommend an experience that pushes you a bit out of your comfort zone. The number of fascinating opportunities to do this are endless – whether it be a hike to see the chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains in Tanzania, an up-close encounter with elephants in a hide at Ol Donyo Lodge in Kenya, or a raw cultural experience in Cape Town, South Africa. These are the type of moments that have created everlasting memories for me, and I know the same would be true for my clients.
Most Recent Trip
Throughout October/November 2016, I spent three weeks exploring Tanzania. Over the course of my trip, I visited the iconic sites the country is known for, but I was also lucky enough to visit lesser-known regions. One highlight for me included seeing the Great Migration in the Serengeti. Another fascinating moment was at Chada Katavi, located in western Tanzania in Katavi National Park – this area has a healthy crocodile population. Since the major rains hadn’t started yet, I was able to see many crocodiles on dry land, conserving energy due to the lack of water. The sight of these creatures basically frozen all around us was fascinating.
In no particular order:
Sarara Camp (Namunyak Wildlife Conversation Trust, Kenya)
This property was talked up a lot to me by my colleagues before I visited it. I thought my expectations might have ended up being too high, but when I arrived, I was absolutely blown away. The property has a certain air to it that is hard to explain. While this camp is quite luxurious, it is not over-the-top. The landscape is beautiful and the unique cultural experiences were a highlight during my stay in Kenya.
La Residence (Franschhoek, South Africa)
Talk about a fun property in a beautiful setting! This property is a part of The Royal Portfolio brand (which has some more incredible properties throughout South Africa) and offers a unique vibe in the Winelands of South Africa. From the moment I stepped foot inside the main building, I was intrigued by the bright colors and hip style that they put forth. Each room is individually decorated and just so fun. I think it’s a wonderful option for honeymooners out in the Winelands looking for modern accommodations!
Cape Grace (Cape Town, South Africa)
The Cape Grace is a truly Capetonian property, ideally set on the V&A Waterfront. This is my go-to property in Cape Town because it adds such a fun flair to any visit. The staff is great and I love the comfortable, yet classy vibe of the restaurant, lounge areas, and more.
Ol Pejeta Bush Camp (Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya)
If you’re looking for a truly authentic safari experience, look no further. Ol Pejeta Bush Camp has a much more rustic style than many other properties I’ve been to and that is what makes it so special. I loved the bucket showers (sends you back in time a bit) and casual design. With an awesome owner who is incredibly personable, a stay here would surely blow you away. Not to mention that this conservancy is home to the 3 last remaining Northern White Rhinos in the world. Seeing these beautiful animals in person is an experience that will live with me forever.
Shinde Camp (Okavango Delta, Botswana)
This property is more than the nice accommodations, great food, and amazing game viewing. I found it to be an overall experience. From the wide variety of activities (day and night game drives, mokoro rides, motorboat, catch and release fishing) to relaxing at the pool, I simply felt at peace during my time at Shinde. The guiding is top-notch, and I was pleasantly surprised by the special touches along the way.