Chile – active and luxury vacations
The Galapagos Islands – active wildlife expeditions
Peru – active, luxury and wildlife focused vacations
Argentina – active and luxury vacations
Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana and Victoria Falls) – luxury wildlife safaris and cultural excursions
East Africa (Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania incl. Zanzibar) – luxury wildlife safaris, cultural excursions and beach vacations
India – cultural, religious and wildlife safaris
Expedition Cruising – Antarctica, the Artic, Australia, Micronesia
Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand) – cultural and religious journeys, as well as active and luxury travel
Honeymoons, Anniversary, and Intergenerational travel
South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Antarctica, India, Ecuador (Galapagos Islands), Peru, Chile, Argentina, Australia, Indonesia (West Papua), Palau, Thailand, Laos, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Italy, England, Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Morocco, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Greece, Belgium, Slovenia, Israel, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Costa Rica, Belize, Canada, Mexico and various parts of the United States.
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Spanish, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Travel Agent magazine “30 Under 30” Recipient – 2015
Where I’ve Lived Abroad
Spain & India
Why I’m a Travel Consultant
I often tell my friends and family that I’ve won the “job lottery,” and I truly believe that. It gives me so much joy planning once-in-a-life time journeys to some of my favorite places on earth. There is nothing more rewarding for me than sharing my travel experiences with others, so that they can use my experiences to help plan their own adventure. When our clients return home after an amazing trip to India or an adventurous safari in Africa they see the world just a little bit differently and have the opportunity to share those experiences with others. Travel is such an important part of my life because it opens my eyes to new ways of thinking and offers experiences and opportunities that I would never have in my hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota. We live in such a big world, I feel very fortunate to be able to explore it from north to south, east to west!
Most Memorable Travel Experience
My first safari in Botswana is an experience I will never forget. There is one particular moment on safari that will always stay with me. I was staying at Savuti Camp in the Linyanti and my guide Tsepo and I were out on an afternoon game drive. It was just the two of us in a vehicle and we came around a corner to this incredible view that reminded me of a scene from The Lion King. It sounds silly, but it was magical. There were giraffe and elephant in the distance, impala and zebra grazing together in peace and then warthogs scurrying about. Not to mention a variety of birds were floating around in the mix. It was this picture perfect moment that I just loved. We sat in that same spot for probably 20 or 30 minutes just taking in the scene. We only left once a large herd of elephant (including babies!) walked right in front of our vehicle, checking us out as they lazily passed by.
Recommended Right Now
My favorite place on earth is India. After living there for a year it captured my heart in a way no other place has. India is certainly not for the faint of heart, but so many of our clients are extremely well traveled having crossed many other countries off their list, I think India is an fantastic destination for adventurous travelers looking for a very raw and authentic travel experience. India has so much to offer from trekking in the Himalayas looking for a glimpse of the snow leopard to beach vacations in southern India. It’s an incredibly diverse destination in landscape, culture, language, food and sights to see. You can plan a trip to India focused purely on wildlife, focused on a certain religion or even base a trip around a particular festival. In my opinion, there is no place on earth that is so vibrant and exciting. Not to mention the palatial hotels… they are incredible! I can promise on a trip to India there will never be a dull moment!
My Most Recent Trip
My most recent trip was a 24-day adventure in Kenya, mainland Tanzania and the island of Zanzibar. The trip was pure magic! I spent time in Nairobi, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, several different private conservancies and the national park in the Masai Mara, Arusha, Tarangire, the Ngorongoro Crater, parts of northern and southern Serengeti and both private islands and mainland properties in Zanzibar. It was a whirlwind of a trip, but I loved every minute of it!
Some highlights for me included seeing so many thriving rhino and other endangered species in Lewa, being blown away by the sheer number of animals in the Masai Mara – even though the migration had left and the rains had already come so the animals are generally “harder to find”, taking in the incredible views in the Serengeti from the kopje (rocky outcrop) where Lamai Serengeti sits, and swimming with wild dolphins (who swam within six inches of me!) just off the shores of Mnemba Island.
Each time I return to Africa, I have this wonderful feeling like I’m returning home. I’ve lived in Minnesota for the majority of my life, but in many ways the African continent feels more like home to me than the United States ever will. Africa is a place that captures you on your first trip, and it draws me back time and time again. This was my 4th trip to Africa, and I’m already eager to plan my 5th!
In no particular order:
Nomad’s Lamai Serengeti (Northern Serengeti, Tanzania)
From the moment I arrived at Lamai Serengeti, I knew it was one of my new favorite properties in all of Africa. The views from the common areas (the bar, dining area, and lounge) are unbelievable! As far as the eye can see, you are looking at open Serengeti grasslands dotted with kopjes (rocky outcrops) that are iconic in the area, and in the distance you can see parts of the Masai Mara in Kenya. Lamai sits on a large kopje that is home to a pride of more than 30 lions, so needless to say, the lion sightings I had were some of the best I’ve ever seen! I stayed in room #1 which is a bit of a hike from the common areas, but it’s worth the effort! After seeing many of the other views on the property, the views from my room were certainly the best – ideal for anyone who wants to feel like they are all by themselves in the middle of Africa.
Xanadu (Zanzibar, Tanzania)
This 6-villa property is an exclusive little oasis in Zanzibar. The villas themselves are to die for, each with private plunge pools, enormous bathrooms and high-ceiling bedrooms, and the occasional primate visitor – blue monkeys. My favorite part of this property though was the main pool/dining/bar area that had this enormous thatched roof covering; it is such a beautiful and peaceful space. Beyond the aesthetics, what makes this property is the staff. My butler Lissu was so incredibly kind and thoughtful. The little touches he added made my stay at Xanadu stand out amongst all the rest.
Llao Llao – Patagonia (Bariloche, Argentina)
In my opinion, Llao Llao (pronounced locally: Shao Shao) opitimizes the Lakes District of northern Patagonia in Argentina. The lake and mountain views from this hotel are out of this world and the home-y nature of this large historic hotel makes it charming and cozy. There are two wings in the hotel – the new Moreno Wing and the Historic Wing. The Historic Wing offers more of what reminds me of “Southern Charm” in their rooms with gentle floral patterns and an antique design. The Moreno Wing features larger and more spacious rooms with all the modern amenities and features such as a separate shower and bathtub (with a view of the lake and mountains), a big balcony, and cozy soft furnishings. This hotel has it all and has a room for everyone’s taste.
Explora Lodge – Patagonia (Torres del Paine, Chile)
In my opinion there is absolutely no better place to stay in Torres del Paine than Explora Lodge. The views of the mountains with the lake set right in front of the property are absolutely unmatched! Not to mention the guiding, food, and accommodations are wonderful, but really the selling point is the view! It doesn’t get much better than waking up to a view of the most famous mountains in Chile.
Taj Nadesar Palace (Varanasi, India)
India is filled with palace-type accommodations and this one just happens to be one of my favorites! Nadesar Palace is a perfectly designed heritage property built to welcome royalty – taken over by Maharaja Prabhu Narain Singh during his rule in the late 1800s. Being surrounded by a large yard with gardens aplenty and peacocks roaming free in the midst of a hectic city like Varanasi – it’s paradise! They say smell plays a large role in making memories and I will simply never forget the sweet smell of mandarin as I walked into the room.
Little Vumbura (Okavango Delta, Botswana)
This camp is located on a little island in the Okavango Delta. I love the intimate setting of the camp surrounded by water, allowing easy access for mokoro and other water-based activities. Every morning and afternoon you take a short boat ride to get to the game drive vehicles and begin your overland safari. The game viewing in the area is phenomenal from hippo and elephant right outside your camp balcony to wild dog on land. Little Vumbura is where I watched my first wild dog hunt, it was exhilarating! Not to mention the rooms are cozy and classy and the staff makes you feel right at home!