At Oasis Overland HQ, we have a fantastic team who work hard behind the scenes to make our travellers’ trips amazing! Some of you may have spoken to Natalie who currently deals with all things Africa. Here’s a little bit about her and how she got the travel bug…
I first travelled to Africa aged five with my parents. We only went on holiday every three or four years, but when we did my Mum wanted to make sure it was to a far-flung place. I’m not sure Mum and Dad quite realised what they had started! In 1998 I packed my backpack and set off on a trip to Zimbabwe. It sealed the deal with my love affair with my backpack and my love of travel.
After university I started my initial career with the NHS, before taking a long-overdue ‘gap year’ (actually it was my second gap year but whose counting…) or should I say gap-two-year! I started this trip with a bang and went down to Antarctica, before heading onto South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Central and South America. It was an amazing trip and one that holds so many special memories. I went back to work and fast forward to a few years down the line, and I had itchy feet again. Way back when I was in Zimbabwe in 1998 I’d dreamt of travelling from Cairo to Cape Town. A simple search showed that Oasis Overland ran this trip, and I came along to one of the travel shows, signed up and never looked back. With my traveller hat on I can honestly say it was 16 of the best weeks of my life! It was truly life changing for me as well as I met my husband and best friend on the trip!
In 2011 an opportunity to work for Oasis Overland presented itself. The dream job really did exist, so I accepted the role and moved from London to Somerset to start the next chapter in my life. Initially I worked with the South America trips, and for two years I thoroughly enjoyed this. I was lucky enough to take five months off over last winter and to travel with my husband overland from London to Beijing and back to India. Having travelled through 12 countries and racked up 20,000km we had to board a plane!! Going back to work after such an adventure is not hard when you work for a travel company and since I have been back I have been involved in all aspects of our Africa trips. I love talking to our travellers and getting excited with them as they embark on their own adventures.
First Oasis truck travelled on (and still my favourite): Nahenda (some know her as Bulldog) – an amazing girl driven at the time by Franco. She’s a beauty!
Favourite country: An impossible question…. can I have three?!?! Zimbabwe, Myanmar, New Zealand
Top thing to pack: A small handbag / man bag that contains all your charging cables. If you get the chance for a night out on the town, then empty the chargers out and you are ready to go!
Top tip: When something doesn’t go to plan, then go with it… you never know where it will take you and what opportunities will pop up as a result
What is your favourite travel memory?: Standing out on deck in Antarctica whilst a pod of orcas circled near our expedition ship. We felt so privileged to be sharing their environment
Natalie will soon be leaving us for pastures new… thank you Natalie for all the help you’ve given our travellers in Africa and South America. We wish you all the best and will miss you!