Why Travel Beyond

Travel Beyond provides me with world knowledge that I would never have otherwise gotten and keeps me up-to-date on world news as well. It also allows me to travel to places that I have always dreamed of visiting but likely would not have had the opportunity to go to if I wasn’t in the industry. My co-workers are some of the best people out there, and we have created a powerful work environment and team – and we know how to have lots of fun together!

Destinations Visited

Africa: South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Rwanda
Latin America: Mexico
Southeast Asia: Indonesia
Additional countries: Canada, Trinidad, Spain, Italy, Norway, Belgium, Portugal

Education

BA in Psychology and Spanish, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse

Career History

I actually started as an intern at Travel Beyond during my college’s summer and winter breaks, and after graduating couldn’t see myself launching my career anywhere else. Within my first year of full-time employment, I was fortunate enough to embark on my first trip to Africa; and following that trip, as my passion for travel and travel planning grew, I knew this was what I wanted to do long-term. While at Travel Beyond, I have worked my way through a few positions and am now contributing to operations decisions and training for growth within our sales team. It brings me joy to help others and ensure our clients’ trips are not just once-in-a-lifetime.

Where I’ve Lived Abroad

Seville, Spain

Most Memorable Travel Experience

Growing up in Minnesota and living near lakes plus loving to swim, I have always been especially fond of staying at properties near bodies of water when traveling. Changa Safari Camp is one of the properties I’ve enjoyed visiting the most due to its’ location on the shores of Lake Kariba within Matusadona National Park, Zimbabwe. This tented camp also provides the comfort of feeling like you are home due to their incredibly friendly managers and staff. One minute you can be lounging at the pool and the next you are on an exhilarating walking safari with a high probability of approaching elephants or lion. The lake offers such as activities as seasonal fishing, Sanyati gorge trip, or a leisure sunset cruise.

Recommended Right Now

For those planning their first African adventure, I would recommend a South Africa safari along with touring in Cape Town. It’s a great introduction to wildlife and game viewing experiences. Plus, you have a high propensity to see the Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo) within one or two game drives. Adding on time in Cape Town is also a must, as you can explore the city’s beautiful sights, enjoy fine cuisine, and sample all the wines you can imagine!

For those looking for a combination of great animal viewing and cultural experiences, then Kenya is my recommended country to visit. Often the guides are from local villages and are able to discuss animal/bird facts as well as interesting anecdotes about their upbringing.

My Most Recent Trip

I recently traveled to South Africa in April 2022 for my second visit to the Kruger National Park and Sabi Sand Game Reserve areas. Alongside my colleague, Nicole Foels, who was visiting Africa for the first time, I had the chance to visit new-to-me properties! These areas were teeming with wildlife and we were thoroughly spoiled with some incredible sightings – especially of the elusive leopard. We also spent time in Gansbaai at the Grootbos Nature Reserve and exploring Cape Town. Grootbos Garden and/or Forest Lodge are a great addition for those returning to South Africa and wanting to explore areas outside of Cape Town. The lodges offer delectable food & wine, relaxing spa treatments, incredible sunset views and unique experiences like a flower safari, cave exploring or horseback riding, to round off your trip.

Favorite Properties

Favorite hotel: La Residence in Franschhoek, South Africa

Each room is decorated elaborately and differently. You will open your windows to the most majestic views of vineyard, mountains, and city. You feel and are treated like royalty when you are there.

Favorite luxury lodge: Bisate Lodge near Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

This lodge is really a shock to all of your senses – in a good way! From the moment you trek up the hill to your room to the friendly waves goodbye from the nearby community as you depart, you feel at home. The large thatched rooms are incredibly comfortable and afford picturesque views of the rolling hills. Your meals are well-prepared, delicious and often made from local produce from nearby villages or Bisate’s garden. When you are not out on your gorilla trek experience, you could be planting a tree on the property to help reforest the area, go on a nature walk above the lodge, visit the nearby village, or treat yourself to some spa pampering.

Favorite tented camp: Shinde Camp in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

This is a classic camp that has a little bit of everything! Situated on a lagoon, you have the opportunity to go boating, fishing, and on mokoro excursions, in addition to game drives and walking safaris to see abundant wildlife. The main areas provide a fun atmosphere to enjoy the company of other guests and swap stories at dinner, near the fire pit, at the pool, or as you’re looking out over the lagoon. You won’t find Wi-Fi here, which brings the staff and the guests even closer together! It’s a wonderful spot to disconnect and really enjoy a peaceful vacation.