Selected for Travel + Leisure's prestigious A-List of luxury travel advisors, Starla is recognized for her destination knowledge and concerted effort to deliver more than her clients expect. She travels for six months out of the year, and plans about 100 custom trips per year. These range from multi-country, three-week tours across Africa (typically combining areas such as Cape Town, safari destinations like the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Congo, Kenya or Tanzania with cultural components like southern Omo in Ethiopia, and ending in the Seychelles for island luxury, to diving expeditions in Raja Ampat in Indonesia, and rural Colombia to experience the country’s incredible biodiversity (an aspect of the South American nation that she feels is still largely unknown).
Starla was four years old when her first travel dream took hold: she decided she would one day see Egypt's Great Pyramids from a hot-air balloon. "Travel is all about freedom and adventure," she says, "and Africa offers that in its nature, culture, cities, and above all, in its vast remote spaces that allow your entire creative being to unravel."
In more than three decades of adventuring and 10 years of designing trips across Africa, Turkey, the Middle East, Asia, and South America, Starla has searched out top guides, discovered wonderful off-the-radar wildlife reserves, found inroads into typically off-limits areas, and secured unique and exquisite lodgings. She's camped with Bedouins in the Moroccan Sahara, driven the length of Namibia seeking elusive wildlife, meandered among lemurs in Madagascar, explored hidden Aegean Coast villages in Turkey, marveled at Istanbul's palaces and monuments, sailed the remote tribal islands of Raja Ampat, and heli-skied remote mountains of Chile and Argentina. She's passionate about unearthing surprises you won't find in guidebooks.
Knowing where to go is one thing, but getting there is another. Starla excels at handling complex logistics from behind the scenes, connecting hard-to-reach locales with skill and creativity, and giving GeoEx travelers the feeling of a fluid, seamless journey.
Starla strives to design moments that will become stories. She's arranged for her guests to float rivers with the great grandson of the first European crocodile hunter, tour private art galleries in Cape Town, helicopter across remote northern Kenya, enjoy five-course dinners on a private island in the Indian Ocean, sail among ancient ruins on a private gulet cruise in Turkey, visit the charming village of Abyaneh in Iran, and navigate the labyrinth of the Sinaw souk in Oman.
“Starla was just stellar. Her knowledge and recommendations made this trip work to perfection—and made the experience extraordinary.” – Marcia L.