Sarah grew up in Morocco and has spent most of her adult life living abroad in Argentina, South India, and now Spain on the peaceful island of Mallorca. As an avid explorer and writer, she pairs her love for travel with photography, and a healthy obsession with offbeat coffee shops and old bookstores – both of which count as must-finds on any trip she takes.
What sparked your passion for travel and how did it become your career?
Born and raised in Morocco as an American was the privilege of my life that sparked my deep-rooted love for travel. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel the world at an early age, boarding my first solo flight at age 8 to the Swiss Alps.
Exploring the unknown, learning about cultures other than my own, and immersing myself in new places is my ultimate education and was a prestigious introduction to working in travel. After living in Morocco and the U.S., my work in travel led me to live in all corners of the world including India, Syria, Argentina, and Spain. Making travel my career was only natural and I take great joy in designing life-changing trips for people who are looking for a transformational experience.
Iguazu Falls in Argentina, one of the many countries that Sarah has called home
How many countries have you visited? What were your top 3 and why?
I have traveled to 40 countries. My top three are Mali, India, and Spain. I visited Mali in my late teens, a time when you're eager to learn and fully receptive to alternative perceptions of life. I traveled throughout the country, spent time with children in remote villages, and got immersed in their way of life—an enlightening experience that changed me forever.
From Morocco to Mali, the Sahara Desert has been pivotal in Sarah's travels
India was a similar experience in that it came at a time when fear was not factored into my travels. I was yearning to get out of my comfort zone and embrace a culture that I knew practically nothing about. My love for south India, its kind people, and colorful temples is timeless.
And finally Spain. Who doesn't love a late summer night dinner on a terrace with a distant guitar playing in the background? Spain is everything that is vibrant, warm, and remarkably joyous.
What’s the place you most want to visit that you haven’t been to yet?
I'm a lover of mountains and I have always wanted to visit Mongolia for its Altai mountain range.
Why is it important for travel to make a positive impact?
When thinking about travel, I like to focus on the impact it can have on us as people. Travel demands a certain level of receptivity on our part in order to have the desired effect of true transformation. As travelers, we choose to be removed from our comfort zone and we put ourselves in a vulnerable place where our preconceived notions are laid out before us. We break boundaries, we restore our reverence to ancient cultures, we introspect, and we revive our sense of wonder and respect for others. This renewed sense of awareness and awe is only possible through travel and hopefully reverberates back to our day-to-day lives.
How can you promote positive change when traveling?
There are numerous ways to promote positive change when traveling. My personal favorite is supporting local communities and small businesses. Wherever possible, I try to use local boutique properties that share my values with regard to sustainability. By giving these small hotels business, we are supporting local communities that make destinations unique.
I also encourage my travelers to get off the main tourist route and onto more local paths of exploration. For instance, instead of a cooking class at a Michelin-starred restaurant, I lean towards a meal with a local family after a visit to the vegetable market. These experiences not only increase the chances of personal growth but also add intangible value to the trip by supporting those who truly matter.
What’s the most surreal travel experience you’ve had?
I was exploring the Omo Valley in Ethiopia when flash floods took over the landscape. The storm was so strong that I had no way of getting back to my accommodations and therefore took refuge in the adobe hut of a nearby Hamer tribe village. The hut could not have been more than 10 feet wide and when I stepped in, I was surprised to find a group of 10 people sitting around a fire. A mother was nursing her baby while cooking on the open fire and a father was sharpening a spear.
There was no translator present and so we sat together in silence for 4 hours while the rain pounded down on the thatched roof. I merely sat and witnessed a very intimate moment in the lives of the Hamer tribe. An honor and a privilege in every sense of the word.
Which was the most memorable property you've ever stayed at? Why?
Deep in the Skoura Valley in Ouarzazate, Morocco, is a 9-suite adobe kasbah called Dar Ahlam. Underrated and exclusive, this property is the quintessential luxury experience with extraordinary service, with candle-lit courtyards, keyless 400-year-old doors, and next-level privacy.
You won't see any other guests during your stay as the staff coordinates private picnics and excursions to ensure you don't run into your neighbors. My favorite part of Dar Ahlam is their use of the natural elements: sunlight shines into their gorgeous living room and flowing curtains line the hallways.
What item can you not travel without?
The Google Translate app!
Pick one of your favorite photos from your travels and explain why.
Walking through the Marrakech medina, my hometown, gives me all the feels!