Travel Designer: A Mongolia Expert
Denise is PJ’s glamorous resident American; and has a CV that takes some beating. With 20 years of exploring, researching, and living in Asia under her belt, she came to us from Oxford University where she was running the alumni travel programme; and before that from a luxury tour operator in LA. She has also found time to co-found the Three Camel Lodge in the Gobi Desert and the Kazakh Eagle Festival, which has now been held annually over the last 17 years in the Altai Mountains.
Travel is in Denise’s DNA which, for once, isn’t a cliché: her Scottish mother ran away with an American Sailor. All the nice girls, after all… Having dedicated her life to it, though, her advice for travelling – to Mongolia especially – is sage and worth listening to. It’s this: always bring moisturiser and lip balm. Always. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mongolia was the site of her all-time favourite trip, where she and her son celebrated his third birthday by fossil-hunting in the Gobi.
When she’s not hand-crafting the trip of a lifetime, Denise keeps herself busy volunteering for a number of organisations, most notably Days for Girls, which provides solutions for feminine hygiene issues in developing nations; and the Gobi Economic Growth Initiative, funded by the UN Development Programme to provide economic opportunities for locals in the Gobi.
Denise is considered an expert on Mongolian nomadic traditions and culture, and has lectured on the subject at universities and organisations around the world: the World Wildlife Fund and the American Museum of Natural History to name but two. She is so much more than a specialist in Mongolia, and we’re pretty confident that try as you might, you won’t find anyone better equipped to design a life-changing journey to this extraordinary country.