I first went to South Africa as an exchange student during my junior year of college. I went to Cape Town to study business and knew immediately that I was somewhere special. The trip lit a spark in me and ever since, I’ve taken advantage of every opportunity to travel. After graduation I volunteered for three months in Tanzania at a sports charity and then returned to Cape Town for six months volunteering at an NGO for refugees. I then returned to Boston and found a home at Audley.
Joining Audley has opened many new doors into the travel world and offers me the chance to share my experience and assist others wishing to embark on an adventure of a lifetime. During my time at Audley, I’ve had the chance to travel extensively through Africa. I’ve seen the natural wonder of the world that is Victoria Falls, explored the beaches of Mauritius, seen the Great Migration in Tanzania, swam with whale sharks off Mafia Island, taken a self-drive trip through the Namibian desert, and spotted cheetah cubs learning to hunt in the Okavango Delta. This region of the world holds so much beauty and it's my passion to share it.
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Q&A with Laura
What's the best local dish you've tasted?
In Cape Town, South Africa I visited a food stand above the train station where I joined the locals for a traditional meal of chakalaka, beans, pap and salad. Chef Sandile proved a gracious host and his chakalaka, a spicy vegetable relish, is one of the best in South Africa. Served with baked beans, pap (a maize porridge served as a soft yet sticky white ball that you can pull apart with your hands) and some salad, it was delicious and easy to see why this combination of dishes is the most common comfort food in South Africa.
What's your most vivid travel moment?
While on safari in the Timbavati Game Reserve, our guide asked if we wanted to finish the morning with a bush walk. I was terrified. We had encountered lion, elephant and leopard that morning and the thought of walking in their proximity filled me with fear. We started off on foot and soon spotted a giraffe in the distance. We stopped and waited as the giraffe began to come closer. It felt like the bush stood still, as if I could feel each of the giraffe’s steps as it moved. It was incredible, and while scary, I will never forget it.
Where would you love to travel next?
I would love to travel to Kenya next and experience safari throughout the Masai Mara National Reserve and see the beautiful coastline from Diani Beach to Lamu Island.