Southern & East Africa – luxury safaris, cultural safaris, primate safaris
South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, 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 – 2014
- 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
Visiting the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. I have been wanting to do this for a decade and finally had the opportunity. In addition to those 10 years of anticipation, the couple hours it takes to locate the gorilla family during the trek only increased my adrenaline and excitement. The hour I got to spend with them in their natural habitat was totally surreal. I’m unsure if I’ll ever be able to top this experience.
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
In August 2017, I visited Kenya and Rwanda over the course of two weeks. In Kenya, I saw the Great Migration in full swing. It was amazing to see so many wildebeest make this journey in search of food and water resources. While in Rwanda, I was lucky enough to explore much of the country beyond the typical stop to see the gorillas. I loved visiting a new country, especially one that has been through so much over the past couple decades. The people were so thoughtful and I still can’t get over the up-close encounters with the mountain gorillas!
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.