With the South African flag flying proudly alongside my American flag, I can truly say that I am a “citizen” of two very different yet equally special worlds; my heart is South African and my home is American.
Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa I was privileged to spend my formative years in a city surrounded by mountains, ocean and winelands, in a country filled with color, diversity and a palpable energy. I grew up during a time of great change and was blessed to be part of a family that believed in love and diversity. The new South Africa was embraced in my closest circles and from an early age I felt vested in being a part of my country’s continued metamorphosis and success. An interesting road-trip has brought me to this place…
As I entered the University of Cape Town I believed I would one day be a Human Rights lawyer and embarked upon a B.A. and accelerated LLB degree. However, after much contemplation and a ‘lucky break’ job offer I decided to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. Completing my B.A. (majoring in Psychology and Political Studies), I embarked upon a new adventure, as Personal Assistant to the owner of Cape Grace Hotel (voted Best Hotel in the World, Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice 2000) and this quickly turned into a sales & marketing role locally and ultimately abroad.
At the age of 22 I found myself hailing cabs in New York City on my first international sales trip, an ambassador for South Africa, Cape Town and Cape Grace Hotel. Two years later I accepted an opportunity to move to Atlanta to set-up an international sales & marketing office for the Meikles Africa Hotels group (properties in South Africa & Zimbabwe). Traveling extensively throughout America to share my African hotel portfolio with travel agents and tour operators, I realized that my true passion was sharing the story of Africa and teaching people about the incredible experiences that this part of the world has to offer.
As with all adventures, the time comes when you seek new horizons. My next direction was the perfect fit, partnering with Bobby Zur of Travel Artistry to launch Travel Artistry Africa. This new role focused on designing unique, personalized and truly special (some will say life-changing) travel experiences throughout Africa. An incredible opportunity to remain connected to my home continent on a daily basis and have fun while doing so. I am very aware that for every American traveler that we send to Africa; tourism industry jobs are created, families are fed and children are educated. Africa is not without her challenges (where is) and yet there is no place like it nor is there any other destination that captivates my imagination and my soul… like Mother Africa.
Shawshank Redemption / Life Is Beautiful / Braveheart
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett / Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien / Long Walk To Freedom: The autobiography of Nelson Mandela by Nelson Mandela
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere” Albert Einstein and “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind” Dr Seuss
The perfect cocktail and who would you share it with:
A Manhattan or Lagavulin 16 yrs on the rocks, shared with James Taylor, William Shakespeare, Nelson Mandela and Coco Chanel (and George Clooney is always welcome!)
Spare time pursuits:
A good book, a strength training session or long run, a scooter / bicycle adventure with my 2 little people, and finding that perfect meal with my husband (be it fancy spot or hole in the wall)