Meet the team: Catherine, HA Destination Manager

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What’s your role at Holiday Architects?

I’m a Destination Manager, specialising in designing holidays to Jordan, Oman, South Africa and Uganda. 

Why do you love travel?

To put it simply, I want to see the world and experience different ways of life. I just love learning about different cultures and the history behind a country; how they got to where they are now. It just shows how uniquely different we all are. I also love all things nature and the wildlife within it, it simply takes my breath away, be it mother nature’s landscapes or seeing animals go about their daily lives.


How did you find yourself working in travel?

I was lucky to go on a few holidays with my family, many to Europe and a few to more exotic destinations, but the idea of working in travel came to me later in life. It was in my late 20’s in fact when it clicked that travel is what I love to do, so why not make a career of it?

I’d travelled a lot, but not had any experience working in travel, so I went about getting some and then sent out my CV. On my 29th birthday I was offered my first job in travel working for another tour operator. I spent 3 years there organising European trips and experiencing some of these trips myself, before as luck would have it, HA were looking to expand their sales team. I jumped at this opportunity and thankfully Andy saw something in me and I remain ever grateful for the opportunity he gave me.


What do you love doing when you’re not designing holidays?

I like to run, mainly off-road through stunning woodlands and up and down the hillside. I’m a long-distance runner, with my proudest moment being completing the Race to the Stones event which involved running 100km cross country. When I’m not outside running, walking or cycling I love to watch movies. I’ve watched so many I couldn’t tell you my favourite, but my gut instinct would be to say Jurassic Park.


We’re big foodies here at HA. What would be your dream three-course dinner?

Well, I think my choice of wedding menu says it all… a lamb roast and all the trimmings, followed by a sticky toffee pudding. I’m not a massive starter person, but if I’m not going to be having another meal after this one, then I’d start with a pepperoni and pineapple (yes that’s right) pizza.


What’s your karaoke tune?

Anything by the Backstreet Boys or classic 80s….think Bon Jovi ‘Livin on a Prayer’.






Tell us more about Jordan…

What makes it special?

What makes Jordan really special is Petra, there really is nowhere else like it. However, for me it’s also the diversity of experiences, scenery and the friendliness of the people that keep attracting me back to this country.
If you’re looking for sensational views and a mix of experiences from history to local cultures and immersive hikes, then Jordan is definitely the place for you, plus you can float in water.

What’s your favourite memory from your time spent there?

It’s a simple one, but it would have to be taking a sunset camel ride through the Wadi Rum desert. It was just me, the camel and the local Bedouin who didn’t speak a word of English. Having driven around in the jeep, it was refreshing to travel through the desert in peace, rocking back and forth on the camel and then finding a peaceful spot to watch the sunset.



Where’s your favourite place to visit in Jordan?

The Wadi Rum. I just love the peace and unique beauty of the desert and rocky outcrops that break up what could be a flat view.

Tell us something most people don’t know about Jordan

It’s so much more than deserts and Petra. They have a brewery, vineyard, harvest olives and even have beekeeping farms!





Tell us more about Uganda…


What makes it special?

For me, Uganda is all about the wildlife. Not only do you see vast plans with what seems like herds of elephants around every corner, but you also have families of chimpanzees to trek through forests and discover. Plus, you can’t forget the gorillas – they make Uganda truly worthy of its place on many bucket lists!

Murchison Falls is a beautiful spot, too!



What’s your favourite memory from your time spent there?

Trekking through the jungle of Kibale and spending time amongst a habituated chimpanzee family. It was pinch-yourself special.


Where’s your favourite place to visit in Uganda?

I have to go with Kibale again. My memories of trekking with the chimpanzees really are some of my favourites from all of my time spent in Uganda. I’d always recommend it to my clients if they’re able to.

Tell us something most people don’t know about Uganda

Uganda actually has lots of mountains, including Mt. Stanley’s Margherita Peak. Standing at 5,109 metres high, is the highest point in Uganda and the third-highest point in Africa after Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya.




Tell us more about South Africa…


What makes it special?

South Africa has such diversity in what you can do in one country – no two trips are ever the same. You can go from a vibrant city with a famous mountain towering over it, to a remote safari bush in the space of a couple of hours. If you can’t decide if you fancy a city break, to spend some time in the great outdoors or have a wildlife adventure, then why not pick South Africa where you can do it all in one trip!?


What’s your favourite memory from your time spent there?

The safari guides in South Africa really are exceptional. On one particular game drive, my guide managed to find me a leopard in the thicket of a bush. It was the first time I’d seen one in the wild and such a special moment. We spent some time just admiring her (from a safe distance!), before she decided she’d graced us with her presence for long enough.


Where’s your favourite place to visit in South Africa?

Anywhere on safari in search of wildlife. It’s my happy place!


Tell us something most people don’t know about South Africa

The very first heart transplant in the world took place in 1967 at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.


Cat South Africa safari



Tell us more about Oman…


What makes it special?

I love the outdoors. Walking, running or cycling through it and I’m happy. Oman has so many opportunities for soaking it all up.

For me it is all about the scenery when you visit Oman and the spectacular views you get around every corner. There are numerous trails you can explore and wadis to cool off in. The people are some of the friendliest and most welcoming people I have ever met and cannot do enough to welcome visitors into their country and homes.



What’s your favourite memory from your time spent there?

Canyoning through Snake Canyon. I absolutely loved, abseiling, jumping and swimming my way through the gorge. The best fun I’ve had and such an adventure!


Where’s your favourite place to visit in Oman?

The mountains around Nizwa are so special. The views and trails you can explore are simply mesmerising.



Tell us something most people don’t know about Oman

Surprisingly, Oman is actually a great destination for birders! So, dig those binoculars out!
Cat Oman expert


Cat and all of the rest of our team here at HA are here to help. We love nothing more than chatting through your holiday ideas, sharing travel stories, finding out what’s important to you and piecing it all together to form the perfect tailormade adventure for you. Give us a call on 01242 253 073 or request a quick, free quote today, we’d love to help.