Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Laura Otterness

Africa Specialist


Laura’s love of travel began at a young age and grew into a passion that led to study abroad trips in Germany, England, and France, and eventually, her dream job in the travel industry! She graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in Journalism and Communications and is now settled in Minneapolis where she works as the Marketing & Advertising Specialist for Borton Overseas. She is beyond excited to use her travel knowledge and love of marketing to help people experience once-in-a-lifetime adventures!

What aspect of travel do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy leaving the “real world” behind for awhile as I experience a new place, culture, lifestyle, and crowd. I have backpacked in Thailand, cruised in Alaska, camped in Africa, and toured around Europe. The greatest adventures are those that give you new perspective and insight.

What is one thing you would never travel without?

I wouldn’t go anywhere without my Grayl filter bottle! I’ve taken the pledge to travel plastic-free and purify my own water (which is especially necessary in places like SE Asia or Africa, but also useful while camping!). It’s easy to use, and I don’t have to contribute any plastic water bottles to the pile that ends up in landfills, oceans and alleyways.

What has been your most life changing-travel experience?

I would say my first trip to Africa in June 2018. I had the privilege to embark on a 16-day camping safari through South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana with my father, and I am hooked! There were so many moments when we would look at each other like, “Can you believe it? We are in Africa!” I learned how to set up my own tent in the dark, holding a flashlight in my teeth, and I actually cried the first time I saw a lion (I really like lions, okay?). I had seen all the Africa documentaries (thank you, BBC Earth), but it couldn’t possible compare to seeing it all in person. Africa is truly incredible.

What has traveling taught you about yourself?

Every trip I take has taught me something about myself – that’s what I love about traveling! When I was backpacking in Thailand, I learned just how low my spicy food tolerance level is (hint: it’s pretty low). When I went to Florida I got up-close and personal with a few sharks and realized that they are generally gentle creatures not to be feared (shark selfie in the gallery below). I found my love for adventure/adrenaline when I was whitewater rafting in Oregon, climbing waterfalls in Thailand, spelunking in Mexico, and base flying in Germany.

I’ve also learned that humor is my go-to when things to wrong; my father and I got absolutely soaked to the bone at Victoria Falls, catching the spray from the Falls unexpectedly, and I just couldn’t stop laughing. He didn’t find it quite as funny as I did.

What is your favorite destination, and why?

Definitely the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Africa. There is something about gliding through the waterways in a traditional canoe (called a “mokoro”) and encountering a pair of resident hippos, or having a herd of elephants crash through the grass to drink. I fell asleep nightly to the sounds of lions roaring, hyenas yipping and yowling, and hippos grunting right outside of my tent. Camping in an unfamiliar place was one of the most exhilarating, challenging, and incredible experiences I have ever had, and I would highly recommend traveling to Africa. I can’t wait to go back!

Have questions? We can help!

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