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!
Africa: South Africa, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Ghana
Latin America: Peru, Belize, Honduras
Additional countries: Dominican Republic
BS in Biology from Loyola University, Chicago
MS in Biology with a concentration on Animal Behavior from Tufts University, Boston
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 September 2022, I visited Zimbabwe and Rwanda with my colleague Melanie Reger. Zimbabwe is known for guides that specialize in epic walking safaris and many other unique activities! While here, we were able to approach large game, like elephants and cape buffalo, on foot, canoe down the Zambezi River, try out catch and release fishing, and enjoy an ‘arm chair safari’! Even though Zimbabwe isn’t the ideal destination for people looking to cross ‘The Big Five’ off their list, it is an amazing place to experience safari in a whole new way!
After exploring Zimbabwe, we made or way to Rwanda to go gorilla trekking. This encounter was truly unlike anything I could’ve imagined. We had a very challenging trek, but once we got to the gorillas, the hour we spent with them was absolutely magical!
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!
Kanga Camp, Zimbabwe
Kanga Camp is a great place to experience the “arm chair safari!” With a pump-fed watering hole directly in front of camp, you can see tons of amazing animals without needing to leave camp. One evening, while we were getting seated for dinner, a pride of lions came into camp and attempted to ambush a young elephant. Luckily, the mom was close by and chased off the lions by trumpeting and charging into the bush!
Singita Kwitonda, Rwanda
Singita Kwitonda is a stunning property located just outside Volcanoes National Park. After a challenging gorilla trek, this magical property is the perfect place to enjoy an amazing meal and a fantastic massage. The private plunge pools in each suite are also the ideal spot to take in the beauty of the surrounding volcanoes!