German-born to a German mom and US military father. Grew up in rural Wisconsin. Graduated from UW-Madison in Poli-Sci and International Relations. Elected to the Madison City Council. Lost my second election by 11 votes and found my true calling in travel. Lead trips throughout the Americas. Hiked the Grand canyon 16 times. Did a stint as a newspaper and television reporter specializing in tourism and finance while living in Mexico City. Worked in Communications in Montreal, Canada. Hiked the Inca Trail 16 times. Met my Indian-born, US-military-trained husband and adventure pioneer in Costa Rica. Helped grow my husband's company to support over 100 local families. Mom to an amazing young woman.
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"Although I've been lucky to have been given many opportunities to explore many parts of the world from the Americas to Asia and back, I am most-comfortable giving inside information and fun tips about what to do in Central America, primarily Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Guatemala."
How did you get involved in travel?
"I am pretty sure if you look up the word Wanderluster in Wikipedia, my photo will appear. One of my earliest memories as a child is when my grandpa asked me "What do you want to be when you grow up?" My reply: "Thewardiss..." I dreamt of flying the friendly skies and being a "stewardess," but ended up taking the more-rudimentary route and became a tour leader and lead backpacking and camping trips for several years throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Peru, Panama, Nicaragua, but when I made it to Costa Rica, I hung up my backpack and married the owner of an adventure company. But once a wanderluster, always a wanderluster!"
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"My unique travel experience was what really gave me the travel bug -- I never had the opportunity to travel much as a child, so when I turned 21, I decided to go by myself from Wisconsin to Utah to go on a three-day voyage whitewater rafting down Cataract Canyon. We camped alongside the river under the stars, had amazing campfires, braved crazy rapids. Who would have thought I'd eventually marry a raft guide?!?"