Specialties

East and southern Africa
Luxury safaris
Inter-generational family trips
Honeymoons
Gorilla trekking and primate safaris
Cultural trips to Egypt and the Middle East

Education

BS in Psychology, University of Pittsburgh

Career History

I joined Travel Beyond in 2011. Prior to this, I worked at luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent for 11 years. I planned and sold both custom independent trips and escorted group tours before becoming the Product Development Manager for Africa & the Middle East destinations for 5 years, responsible for designing enticing and unique tour programs to a variety of destinations. This included extensive international travel to research and develop new tour program ideas.

Professional Awards

Luxury Travel Advisor Trendsetter 2018

Destinations Visited

Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Morocco, Abu Dhabi, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, Falkland Islands, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, England, France, Switzerland, Cambodia, Nepal, Thailand, Curacao, Antigua, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Canada, and various parts of the United States.

Why I’m a Travel Consultant

Helping people to realize their dreams is perhaps the main reason why I am a Travel Consultant. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to visit some of the world’s most amazing places, so I can use my personal experiences to design the perfect trips for my clients. I firmly believe that there is no “one size fits all” safari experience, and I love creating unique itineraries which best match with each of my client’s personal interests. Many people say that travel to Africa is a once in a lifetime bucket-list dream trip, and I especially love it when clients enjoy their first safari so much that they want to go back again and again!

Most Memorable Travel Experience

I have had so many amazing travel adventures that it is difficult to choose a favorite. One early experience that I feel has shaped my approach to travel is the time that we were chasing the total solar eclipse in Peru, when the clouds rolled into our observation zone. Serious amateur astronomers had their telescopes set up for hours, but we were traveling light with just our welder’s glass. Getting more nervous by the moment, the word was finally given: “We’re moving!” We all rushed to the waiting bus to travel to a better location with only minutes to spare. Flying down the rural road at about 80mph, we were only minutes away from totality. At the perfect time, the bus skidded to a stop where we all ran into the desert and were treated to the most spectacular celestial event, under perfect clear viewing conditions.

This experience taught me that if you are prepared to expect the unexpected and are flexible and open- minded during your travel, you will be rewarded with many amazing memories.

Recommended Right Now

What I love about travel in general is the opportunity to disconnect from the day-to-day hustle and bustle of our everyday lives and explore new adventures. Why I especially love travel to Africa is that its wide open spaces allow you to get off the beaten path and reconnect with the wonders of nature. Each and every day on safari is unique, and you never know what might be around the next corner. From the quiet moments of  gliding in a mokoro canoe in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, to the impressive power of thousands of thundering wildebeests crossing the Mara River, each experience will forever live in your memory and bring a smile to your face for many years to come. For me, travel to Africa is always rejuvenating and renewing, and I think that it will be for you as well.

My Most Recent Trip

I feel truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel last year, since I know that so many people had to cancel their plans. In September 2020, I traveled to Tanzania and had the chance to explore several of the top safari regions, including Tarangire National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti. It had been almost seven years since my last trip to Tanzania, and I was excited to visit several new camps as well as revisit some old favorites. What a treat it was to travel without the usual crowds and to experience the absolute wonder of the Great Migration of the wildebeest and zebra, which will be forever etched in my mind.

You can read more about this amazing trip in my blog post.

Favorite Properties

In no particular order,

Singita Sabora (Tanzania)

Sabora has always been one of my favorite camps. With its prime location on the expansive savannah grasslands, animals can frequently be seen throughout the day from your very own tent. This, to me, is the quintessential safari experience, that of being immersed in the surrounding natural habitat. The camp was recently redesigned, and I love that they were able to keep the feel of a classic tented safari alongside their fresh updated look. It has a truly elegant and refined feel, offering plenty of comfortable indoor and quite impressive outdoor space. Each tent has a large outdoor deck with a shaded daybed and quiet meditation area. This space allows you to spend time reconnecting with the nature that is all around you. I also loved the unique deli area with its fresh and healthy gourmet treats. You can easily create your own picnic any time of day. Combining this with the abundant and varied wildlife viewing and outstanding safari guides, makes Sabora the perfect place to enjoy the safari of your dreams!

Tswalu (South Africa)

Tswalu offers a unique environment that is not found in the other game reserves in South Africa. Because of this, I think that it combines well with a greater Kruger area safari, to provide two truly diverse experiences. Tswalu is often referred to as the “Green Kalahari,” and the mixture of savannah grasslands, mountains and desert supports a wide variety of animals. You may also see some rare species such as meerkat, pangolin and aardvark, all of which are not typically seen elsewhere. The opportunity to walk with the meerkats is unquestionably one of my favorite wildlife experiences! Another thing that I love about Tswalu is the that each couple or family group has its own private guide. This allows you to customize each day to your personal preferences. There are plenty of activities to choose from, including day and night game drives, guided walks, horseback rides, and visits to the community and research projects. Spacious rooms, excellent food, and a spa, gym, pool, and photo studio round out your excellent experience here.

Lewa House (Kenya)

I really love the personal, home-like feel of this small safari lodge, and absolutely adore both Sophie & Calum, the property’s extraordinary hosts. This lodge is perfectly situated in the heart of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a game-rich private conservancy focused on the protection of wildlife, including several endangered species such as the black rhino and Grevy’s zebra. In addition to game drives and guided walks, you can also visit the conservancy headquarters to learn about their conservation efforts firsthand or accompany Calum on a walk to ancient archeological sites. There are two styles of accommodation here, both of which work well for any traveler: the comfortable family cottages or the stunning Earthpods nestled along the hillside. This property always gets rave reviews from my clients!