Welcome to Sharleen Smith!
Summer was in full bloom at African Portfolio – not only with more clients traveling than ever before but with the addition of two highly qualified, seasoned travel consultants to better service the ever increasing demand for travel to Africa and beyond. Sharleen is really a ‘new, old soul’ as we have worked with her for 20 years, first as our consultant at Wilderness Safaris and then as concierge for andBeyond. She brings a depth and breadth of skills as well as high energy and enthusiasm to our business – so you’ll be hearing more from her in the coming months as she shares her unique travel experiences enticing you to consider travel to India, Chile, Argentina – or one of her personal favorites, Bhutan.
Born in Johannesburg, Sharleen lived most of her life not far from a number of safari areas she often visited while vacationing with her parents. However, her love for safari really only developed into a passion for it once she left college and joined a safari company. She started to safari “the right way,” in open vehicles and with an extremely knowledgeable guide. She was out in the bush as often as possible after that, averaging at least one visit every 3 months during that time. Over the years, Sharleen has had the opportunity to visit a vast number of lodges first hand in her travels.
In 2006, Sharleen left all she knew for the “wilds” of Miami to further promote travel to the continent that she loves so much. While in the States, she broadened her knowledge base by traveling to India and Bhutan, describing the experiences as inexplicably similar to Africa and at the same time the polar opposite. She has also spent time visiting Argentina and Chile.”Every time I travel, I learn a bit about myself and the incredible world we live in,” she says. “Not only are all humans the same, at a base level, but the insight that you gain from spending time with people outside of your own little corner of the globe opens your mind in ways that help you back in your own corner.”
One of Sharleen’s favorite things is to build itineraries for first time travelers to any destination. She says, “The excitement and the wonder I get from our clients makes me want to make it a trip of a lifetime for them, one that will leave them wanting to travel as often as they possibly can!”