Why Travel Beyond

I love to explore new places, around my neighborhood and around the world. During college, I was constantly trying to find study abroad programs and volunteer opportunities that would allow me to travel to unique destinations like Ghana, Honduras, Belize, and Peru. After spending a few years working as a primate keeper at zoos across the country, I found myself looking for a more “normal” job.  Instead, I found Travel Beyond! Now I can help clients pursue their wildest travel dreams and get to explore magical destinations I might have otherwise never been able to see. The Travel Beyond team is a passionate, creative, flexible, and supportive group that works together to thrive, despite the many challenges that have been thrown our way; I am so lucky to be able to work alongside them!

Destinations Visited

Africa: South Africa, Ghana
Latin America: Peru, Belize, Honduras
Additional countries: Dominican Republic

Education

BS in Biology from Loyola University, Chicago
MS in Biology with a concentration on Animal Behavior from Tufts University, Boston

Career History

Prior to working at Travel Beyond, I was a zookeeper at a few zoos around the country. During my time at the Houston Zoo and Toledo Zoo, I was a primate keeper, working closely with orangutans, gorillas, chimps, and several species of monkeys. Several of the conservation organizations that I used to work with are organizations that Travel Beyond also supports on the ground in Africa.

Most Memorable Travel Experience

In July of 2015, I started a month long study abroad program at a primate research station in the Peruvian Amazon.  I spent three weeks studying dozens of primates in their natural habit while learning about conservation and field work.  After I completed the program, my mom met me in Lima (with a suitcase full of clean clothes). We spent the next week exploring Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu. It was a wonderful trip full of animals, food and culture. It was made even more special by the fact that I got to share the experience with my mom on her first trip out of the country.

My Most Recent Trip

In December 2019, I traveled to South Africa for my first safari! Although it rained every day for the first week, I was still able to experience several amazing animal sightings including the Big Five, seven lion cubs, a lion pride in the middle of a hunt, wild dogs, and the chance to get extremely close to a mob of meerkats.  Other highlights included a tour of Johannesburg, amazing dining experiences in Cape Town, and wine tastings in Franschhoek.  I got bit by the safari bug and I cannot wait to go back! In September, I will be making my way to Zimbabwe and Rwanda with my co-worker, Melanie Reger.  We will visit several properties that are new to both of us and also get the opportunity to go gorilla trekking!

Favorite Properties

Singita Lebombo, South Africa

Singita Lebombo is a stunning contemporary safari lodge located in Kruger National Park and a wonderful addition to any itinerary looking for ultra-luxe accommodations in ‘Big Five’ territory. This was the first safari lodge I ever stayed at, and they set the bar very high!

Tswalu the Motse, South Africa

Situated in the Kalahari Game Reserve in South Africa, Tswalu is made up of a small luxury camp and a five-bedroom villa. Each booking is guaranteed to have a private safari vehicle and guide to help you make the most of exploring the expansive reserve. There are also several unique species that are more common to this area than anywhere else in South Africa including aardvark, pangolin, and black maned Kalahari lions!