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.
Lisa joined Ker & Downey over four years ago and serves as our Inside Sales Manager. She says selling and planning travel has been a passion of hers from a young age when she would spend hours mapping out road trips down to the tiniest detail. She traveled for a month through Europe at thirteen and was intrigued by the new world of food, cultures, languages, and customs. Since then, she has continued to explore the globe, adding Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and South America to her travels.
Favorite place you’ve traveled: Kenya. Kenya was my first experience with Africa and that trip in 2004 started a love affair with the continent that I hope lasts a lifetime. I loved Kenya for the diversity and the ease with which I could find it. Just hours outside of Nairobi one can find prolific agriculture production of roses and coffee, endemic species of the Northern Rift Valley and unique Samburu Culture, great rift lakes with amazing birdlife and idyllic islands, the snow-capped peak of Kilimanjaro welcoming me each morning from my Amboseli Camp and of course the iconic Mara Plains and the ever present Masaai Warriors herding their cattle. The amazing wildlife and intriguing cultures I’ve encountered all over Africa in the years since, but never in such abundance as that first trip to Kenya. It will always remain my first suggestion for someone who has never visited Africa, and has a desire to go.
Favorite city and why: Saigon. It is such a vibrant mixture of old and new colliding together in a city that on the surface seems entirely chaotic, but it just works. The young Vietnamese population has made Saigon the 21st century capitol and the Gen Y youth flock here for jobs, school, and to just experience life. The city is modern, relatively well planned out, easy to get around (once you get used to riding a scooter) yet still full of tradition. An early morning walk uncovers markets bustling with vendors selling everything from fresh fruit to fresh snails, rural villagers riding in on bicycles stacked high with hand woven baskets and men and women alike working the rice fields just on the skirts of town. Evening unveils public concerts on the steps of the Opera House, street food that would rival any popular New York City food truck, and karaoke bars by the dozen. And the Vietnamese style of coffee – in a word – amazing!
What is the best thing about traveling: Engaging with locals and feeling as though you’ve been able to experience a truly authentic experience in the destination. To see and experience a place as the locals would, not just as a tourist. This can come in so many forms, whether having a meal with a local resident, participating in a religious ceremony, spending time at a local market or even a bar – engaging with local people at local places. It often reminds me, as different as we are from a cultural perspective, we are also very much the same.
Travel accessory you can’t live without? Bose Noise Canceling Headphones and my Skype account.
Favorite plane ride activity: Reading a good long novel – preferably something historical fiction.
Top of my travel bucket list: New Zealand; Seychelles
Beach or mountains: Mountains
How do you take your coffee? Black; unless its Vietnamese style which is slow brewed fine French Roast, served over sweetened condensed milk.
If they could bottle your personality what would the label read? Open with caution. May contain stubbornness and aversion to authority. Contents may also contain frustratingly high amounts of practical reasoning and desire to overwhelm victims with above average vocabulary. Taken in small doses, will provide laughter, stress relief and help ease one’s ability to accept mistakes as part of the learning process.
My theme song is: Take it to the Limit by The Eagles
Any pets? Several – a happy home is a furry home.
If I were a super hero, I would be: Curious George. Not a typical super Hero for sure but he always seems to save the day through intuition and, well, curiosity.
Something I said I’d never do but did anyway was: Let my kid play on an electronic device while dining out….
Two things I can’t live without are: My husband – cliché but oh so true; Water – and there is the realist side coming through
It’s Sunday morning at 10 a.m. If I’m not sleeping, I’m: At church, teaching a Sunday School Class.
My favorite physical activity is: Hiking and Swimming
One thing I love that everyone else dislikes is: Order. Or a place for everything and everything in its place. Not OCD type order, but I don’t function well in a cluttered environment. This may not be something everyone dislikes, but Im definitely in the minority in my own household.
The first thing I do when I wake up is: Coffee and Facebook…
One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: I am married to my high school sweetheart. Going on 15 years married, nearly 20 years together. For being such a free spirit most of our friends and family barely gave us a fighting chance – guess I like to prove people wrong too.
The last concert I went to was: Lady Gaga, while on a FAM in Perth Australia! Kudos again to Crown Metropole for setting that up for me.
My favorite TV show to watch (or toy to play with) as a kid was: Favorite toy was Legos for sure. Didn’t really have a favorite TV Show – probably Beverly Hills 90210, but that was more pre teen years.
If I could instantly learn a new language, I would learn: The practical side of me says Spanish. The whimsical side of me says Italian
Guilty TV pleasure: House of Cards
On my nightstand: “Game of Thrones – Book Two”; “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell
What’s inspiring you lately? The coming change of seasons always inspires me to be regenerative. To rediscover a hobby or craft that was set aside when it became so unbearably hot outside and to set new short term goals. My 6 year old son is also a constant inspiration in so many ways. He reminds me to see things from a more innocent and simple perspective, he encourages discovery of new hobbies and activities and always is eager to share his creations which often times lead to ideas of my own.
Life mantra in four words: Genuine. Serene. Whimsical. Cultured
Favorite quote: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.- Author Unknown.
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.