Vanessa's passion for travel began after spending her honeymoon on the ‘Inca Trail and Beyond' with KE! She has since trekked to Everest Base Camp via the Gokyo Valley and the Cho La Pass, summited Mont Blanc, walked in the Annapurna region including Dhaulagiri Base Camp, climbed Mount Toubkal in Morocco, and toured South India amongst others.
Now heading up the KE Sales Team, she her next challange is to summit Mount Kilimanjaro - Africa's highest peak.
What’s your typical day at KE Adventure Travel?
I'm usually the first to open the office as I tend to take the opportunity to bike to and from work . It helps me incorporate exercise into my weekly regime! Taking around 50 minutes each way it helps set me up for the day, and wind down at the end of each day. Once into work, I get washed, change into my KE t-shirt and jeans, make a fresh cup of coffee, hot lemon, and eat a banana plus cereal bar for my breakfast.
The shop opens at 9am so I like to make sure the sales team are all tasked up come opening time. Daily tasks include checking the holiday status of each trip, and acting upon any changes immediately. It's our number one question 'When will my holiday guarantee?'. The main priority throughout the day is answering enquiries and ensuring that these are handled with professionalism, knowledge and efficiency whether that be by email, telephone or shop based.
Why are you climbing Kilimanjaro?
At KE we pride ourselves in delivering first hand knowledge to our customers and one of the perks of the job is most definitely the joining of groups on our trips.
By climbing Kilimanjaro I'm hoping to share my experience, and as one of our biggest selling holidays, it's vital our learning on the mountain is constantly refreshed along with accompanying dossier and website information.
KE grade this trip at 8 which means it’s ‘physically challenging’ – how have you been training?
Well I'm already a keen walker and cyclist so training for me is really just part and parcel of what I love! However as we all know, a busy job combined with household responsibilities can often make it difficult to devote the time to training. Luckily for me, I've managed to incorporate training into a daily commute to and from work on my bike which is around twenty-five miles per day. The route home usually involves a hill climb too.
I've also made a conscious effort to keep some weekends free, come rain or shine, to get out on the fells and do some back to back days walking .... trying to replicate the effort uphill I'll be experiencing on trek.
Have you bought any specialist kit for this trip?
I've bought new batteries for my head torch and plenty of memory cards for all the fantastic pictures I'm going to take, on the mountain and on safari! I'm also planning to buy some new sunglasses as hopefully the days will be bright and of course I've already got my KE buff to keep off the dust... Oh and a long sleeved shirt for those early morning game drives!
What are you most excited and worried about?
I can't wait to be standing on top of one of the seven summits of the world, Kilimanjaro. I'm probably like most people worried about whether the altitude will affect me. Although I've already experienced altitude on previous trips, there's always that doubt in the back of your mind. However by training, drinking plenty of fluids, reducing my pace, and 100% trusting our local crew, there's no reason why I should be concerned!
You’re also going on Safari – what animals are you excited to see?
I've travelled on Safari before and already been fortunate in the variety witnessed, however I'm still to see a Rhino. ... so fingers crossed I'll be lucky, and I mustn't forget my binoculars!
Since working for KE Adventure Travel you’ve attended many KE trips. Do you have a favourite moment from a trip?
My first KE trek will always be the most special because it was my honeymoon, and the start of my love for the outdoors! The magical moment of reaching the Sun Gate and looking across to the awe-inspiring lost city of the Inca's, Machu Picchu.
After climbing kili what’s next on your radar?
Have you climbed Kilimanjaro before? What advice would you give to Vanessa?