I had my first taste of independent travel when I finished school, backpacking my way through Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand for seven months. Working on a pheasant farm in Hawkes Bay and at a guesthouse on a beach in Cambodia helped fund my trip.
Living in Paris as part of my French degree at Edinburgh University helped me understand that travel is where my true passion lies. I set off whenever I could during university holidays — watching the sun rise at Borobudur in Indonesia and exploring Vietnam’s temples and India’s palaces.
I have always been at my happiest relaxing on beaches, so I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to spend six weeks volunteering in Mauritius. I was fortunate enough to revisit the island on my most recent trip with Audley, which also took me to Zanzibar, Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve and island-hopping around the Seychelles.
I'll never forget when…
One night after dark, while walking from my tent to supper, I came face-to-face with a hippo. I was on safari in the Selous, in Tanzania, and although my heart almost stopped knowing how dangerous hippos can be out of water, I felt completely safe standing behind one of the camp’s Maasai guides. Watching hippos bob their heads up and down in the Rufiji River on a boat safari was one of the many highlights of my time in the Selous, but practically bumping into one on the path at the lodge was truly unforgettable.