An avid reader of the National Geographic magazines scattered throughout her home as a child, Jen has always been captivated by the alluring cultures, regions and landscapes that exist around the globe. Building her early passion into a full-fledged travel obsession, Jen completed her Certified Travel Consultant certification at age 20 and has been an intrepid wanderer ever since.
After spending many years working as a Senior International Travel Consultant in Washington D.C., with a good deal of world travel under her belt already, in 2006 she accepted a position in Baghdad, Iraq working with the U.S. Department of State to arrange finance training travel plans for Iraqi government employees. She ended up spending over five years living and working in Iraq and Jordan, absorbing the region’s beauty, warm culture, magnificent food, fascinating history and ancient traditions.
Deciding to take a break from living in a conflict zone, Jen found her way to Southeast Asia, completed her PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certification, and set about traveling while teaching SCUBA diving and yoga classes throughout the region; which led to time spent living in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, while having the opportunity to visit Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong and Japan along the way.
Finding herself fully water logged after more than a year underwater, Jen next spent a year living in Mysore, India studying yoga, meditation, breathing techniques and Ayurvedic diets with some of the world’s top gurus, and finding within herself a deep love for this rhythmic, bustling, chaotic, and beautiful country – exploring majestic palaces in the north, white sandy beaches in the south, ancient temples, spicy food and wonderfully eclectic cities, all while trying to avoid hitting cows on her motorbike.
Eventually, Jen found a new home base in Lake Tahoe, and joined the growing team in the Wild Frontiers U.S. office in Truckee, California. Jen is a certified Holistic Health Coach and combines her lifelong travel expertise with a deep passion for healthy living and her infectious enthusiasm for adventure travel when planning trips for Wild Frontiers’ guests. When not arranging travel plans, Jen enjoys all manner of outdoor activities such as skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, camping, biking and kayaking in the beautiful California sunshine.
Q: Favourite city:
A: Amman! A unique blend of a modern Arab metropolis built on top of one of the oldest city settlements on the planet. Ultra-modern buildings, smart art galleries and trendy boutiques rub shoulders comfortably with traditional coffee shops, ancient roman ruins, historic spiritual artifacts and time-honored rituals. It’s such a fascinating mix of modern amenities and traditional culture, my heart swells whenever I am there.
Q: Favourite country:
A: Thailand: The people, the food, the vast natural beauty… even the air feels comforting there. I always feel like I’m coming home when I spend time in Thailand!
Q: Favourite meal:
A: Jalan Alor street market in Kuala Lumpur after dark! Malaysians take food very seriously, and these rows of hawker stalls offer up some of the very best traditional culinary delights the city has to offer. Affordable, lively, colorful and filled with an amazing variety of food choices, this market is filled nightly with locals and tourists alike, all usually eager to enjoy a fun chat while sampling from a seemingly unlimited choice of delectable options. Whenever I’m in Kuala Lumpur it’s the first place I want to go.
Q: Most memorable journey:
A: African Safari in the Serengeti and Ngoro Ngoro Crater. Seeing this wild, untouched place so vast and teaming with life, I felt like I was going back in time. The natural beauty and the concentration of huge, exotic animals was an experience I will remember for a lifetime.
Q: Next on must-see list:
A: Machu Picchu and the Inca trail, the Galapagos, Russia, Antarctica, Mongolia… How can you pick? I want to experience it all!!