Jean Campbell

My entire working life has been spent in the travel and hospitality industry. Each role I have occupied within the industry has taught me something valuable that I could build on to better understand the industry as a whole. This is not your average 9 to 5 industry and every day tends to be different than the last or the next. It’s what can be rather frustrating sometimes, but it’s also what I love about it. In a world that is constantly changing, so too is the industry, the product, and the expectations of our clients; as agents we have to grow and learn along with the changes so we are always challenged with something new.

 

Eighteen years ago I wanted to focus my direction more specifically, and I was fortunate enough to get a job with a tour company selling African photographic safaris. During my years there I learned so much from my colleagues, clients, and my own personal experiences; I couldn’t have asked for any better training – not to mention the privilege of spending each day focusing completely on Africa. Fast forward several years, and I was happy to be able to take what I had learned to FROSCH, where African safaris are still a large part of my business, and so I continue my love affair with the continent. I never tire of the process of planning each dream trip; each one is a journey for me too, and I enjoy living the experience vicariously through my clients.

 

Having come from the Highlands of Scotland, it might seem that I am a long way from Africa, but perhaps not so much. At one point, lots of people from northern Scotland emigrated to South Africa, among them were some members of my father’s family. When they visited us at home we looked forward to the parties, and when they went back we were sometimes lucky enough to receive “care” packages from them; it all seemed so incredibly exotic. What that also did for me was to evoke a sense of familiarity within, and given that it was family, a sort of distant connection to the land—paired with my love of animals, it was an instant match. Some of my fondest early childhood memories are of watching the film Born Free (many times over), and imagining myself familiar with the world where Elsa the lion walked. Years later it was one of my dreams come true to actually visit the very area in Kenya where Elsa’s story unfolded.

 

There are countless reasons to visit Africa, and so many more reasons to return, not least, the wonderful people of South Africa or Rwanda or anywhere in between. I am grateful in that I have visited almost all of the countries in Southern and East Africa several times over, and I find myself feeling very much at home in each one of them.

 

As Hemingway so rightly put it, “…all I wanted to do now was get back to Africa. We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.” That’s exactly how I feel, and I know many of my clients have been struck by this same condition.

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