Lara’s passion for travel began at an early age. Summers were spent travelling through Europe with her family and whilst at school, she was fortunate to spend a month travelling around central India as part of a school exchange programme in Delhi. It was this experience of being immersed in such a different culture than the one she had grown up in, in the rural Cotswolds, that lit her real passion for travelling and discovering as much of the world as she could.
Before University, she spent a year working and travelling around Australia in a VW bus. A degree in Media Communication and Cultural Studies almost took her on a different path, having spent time working for Bristol-based production company, Aardman Animations, on their then-latest production, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. However, travel beckoned again when her friends travelled to New Zealand and she couldn’t resist not joining them.
On her return, she began a career in tourism, initially offering support and guidance to gap year travellers, moving on to work for a wildlife conservation specialist operator and then a luxury tour operator. She then spent 6 months travelling through South America, volunteering in The Galapagos islands and enjoying the festivities of Rio Carnival.
From here, a new role in New Zealand beckoned, looking after Operations for an Antarctic Expedition company. After spending a few months travelling around South-East Asia, with one remaining working holiday visa left to go, she set off for Canada, where she found herself working on a horror film during winter in Toronto and running a small fishing camp in the Ontario lake region.
Returning to the UK, she worked for a tour operator, managing their group tour portfolio and leading some of their trips to Uzbekistan, the Arctic and the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. She has since joined the operations team at Wild Frontiers with over 20 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry.
Lara has travelled to over 80 countries (so far), and all seven continents, including two trips to Antarctica. She has had some incredible experiences, zip-lining in the remote jungles of Laos, Gorilla trekking in Rwanda, kissing a rhino for good luck as part of a conservation project in South Africa, and travelling from the east to west coast of Canada by rail, to name a few. They say travel is the one thing you buy that makes you richer and she couldn’t agree more.
BEST TRAVEL MOMENTS
Q: Favourite city?
A: Christchurch, New Zealand. Since the devastating earthquake, the city has rebuilt itself and is more vibrant and beautiful than ever.
Q: Favourite country?
A: Rwanda - stunning landscapes, incredible wildlife, and beautiful people, and their dedication to helping their communities, as part of a dedicated monthly project, Umuganda.
Q: Favourite meal?
A: Grilled Cuy from Peru…just kidding, you can’t beat a delicious steak in Buenos Aires.
Q: Most memorable journey?
A: My first trip to Spitsbergen in the Norwegian Arctic. I had never before travelled to somewhere so remote, with no Wi-Fi or any form of communication with the outside world, it was bliss.
Q: Favourite travel advice?
A: Treat each trip as a completely blank canvas. Don’t compare to other countries or experiences. Nowhere is the same, and no experience is the same, and that is one of the many joys of travel.
Q: Next on the must-see list?
A: Papua New Guinea. It has been on the list for a while.