At Ker & Downey, we believe that people matter. It’s the people who make up this incredible company who work to make your journey truly memorable. Over the course of the next year, we’ll be introducing you to the people that make up Ker & Downey. You can also read more about us here.
Jamie Bell is a veteran of Ker & Downey, having been with us for over 23 years. As one of our travel professionals, her list of countries she’s visited is long, including Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, and Namibia. She’s also traveled to countries in South America and Europe, plus Nepal and the United Arab Emirates.
Favorite place: My passion and love is Africa. There is no place better to be than out in the bush with nature and the wildlife. It is hard to really say one place is my favorite because each place I have visited has been special. However there are two places that really stand out. One was my trekking in Nepal; I can never stop talking about it and looking at my photos. There was just something that captivated me. The trek was difficult for me but I made it, which was a huge accomplishment since I have a fear of heights. Away from the city life up in the mountains, the people, villages, scenery and their simple ways of life were captivating. Then there was Uganda and the gorilla trekking; what an experience everyone should have! Driving through the countryside was amazing but the gorilla trek was beyond words.
Favorite city and why: Again how to pick just one, you can’t. I would say every place in Morocco (Fez, Rabat, Marrakesh and Essaouira) – what a vibrant country to visit with all the Riads, alleyways, history, ruins such as Chellah in Rabat and Volubilis in Meknes, and again the people and their culture. Watching them weave, the big dye factory, how bread is made and then finding your Riad in the middle of nowhere. I felt like I was back in time and not in the modern day world we live in. I loved all of the streets of the souks with the spices and the markets along the way with people selling their goods – another one of my favorite memories.
Another place I must mention is my trip to Russia with my son to visit my sister in law who was living there at the time. What an amazing place and so much to do! All the churches, museums, culture and the history was fascinating. I would love to go back and visit.
What is the best thing about traveling? Seeing how people in other countries live their life day to day, getting to know about their culture and trying their food. I also love to be out in the bush to see how people really live with no electricity or running water.
Favorite plane ride activity? I was lucky to have flown not once, but twice in business class on Emirates, which I must say was the best plane ride ever. I love to watch movies that I have not seen.
Top of my bucket list:Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. Second on my list? Italy and Ireland.
Beach or Mountains: Always the mountain countryside
How do you take your coffee? I don’t like coffee so I during the winter months I drink tea in the morning
If they could bottle your personality what would the label read? Outgoing, loving, modest, always wanting to help/volunteer, active, loves the outdoors, can be critical at times and tells you how it is. I say what I think. Quick to react and stubborn at times. I want things in a certain way, am neat/organized, and very crafty.
My theme song is: I don’t really have one, but I love music from the 60’s.
Any pets? I love dogs and my first pet was an Irish Setter named Ruffus. We now have a cute dachshund called Pinky and she is a dapple (black and white).
Two things I can’t live without are: my son, and I guess we all have to have water to keep on living, right?
It’s Sunday morning at 10 a.m. If I’m not sleeping, I’m: I never sleep past 8:00am so I am in the kitchen cooking morning breakfast and then whatever the day may bring, whether it be on the computer, cleaning the house, or just relaxing.
My favorite physical activity is: walking or working in the yard.
One thing I love that everyone else dislikes is: In my family it is traveling overseas and going to Africa. Actually a lot of my friends do not like the idea either, or have any desire to travel there. They will never understand.
The first thing I do when I wake up is: make up my bed, well most of the time (95%)
One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: that I am still married and that it has lasted this long. And how much I love to go to Africa and never get tired of going there.
My favorite TV show to watch as a kid was: We only had a small black and white TV when I was growing up but I recall watching Walt Disney shows on Sunday, Howdy Doody, the Flintstones and a few others
If I could instantly learn a new language, I would learn: Spanish
Guilty TV pleasure: Hallmark movies
On my nightstand (what you’re reading now): The Last Original Housewife
Life mantra in four words: Love, hope, happiness, determination
Favorite quote: Here are a few I think are wonderful:
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you will start having positive results”. Willie Nelson
“We do not remember days but we remember moments.” Cesare Pavese – how true this is!
Check back next week to learn more about another Ker & Downey team member! Stay up to date on all of Ker & Downey’s online content by “liking” our Facebook page.