Although I'm originally from the UK, I've been based in Mongolia since 2006 and I call it my home. I work to promote Mongolia while also looking at ways in which our guests can become more connected with the country as well as becoming more responsible travellers. For this work, I have been declared a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. I am also the author behind the World Adventure Guides Mongolia digital guidebook.
Prior to Mongolia, I lived and worked in Greece, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and China — where I worked as a tour guide/manager for a UK based adventure company. I had various roles, but one of the most important was my relationship with local suppliers and the local host communities. It was during my role as a tour manager that I learned that the core of responsible travel is about creating benefits for the hosts in local destinations and putting the local people, their livelihoods, their landscapes, and their culture first. This led to a much more genuine balance of benefits for our hosts and local suppliers which led to a more genuine experience for my clients.
Here in Mongolia, I'm the founder of Eternal Landscapes, which is set up as a social enterprise. I wanted to do something whereby my Mongolian team had autonomy to control their own lives and destinies, so we are working towards them having complete control of the business with me just acting as an 'emergency umbrella!'
Jessica's Travel Expertise
I work countrywide. If you want to experience the life of a Kazakh eagle hunter, I can arrange it. Maybe you want to explore the southern landscapes of Mongolia's Gobi Desert? I can do that too. Or, a horse sledge ride on frozen Khovsgol Nuur in northern Mongolia? That as well. And it is all arranged through the local families and communities I work with.
My focus is on what I call the 'real' Mongolia. There’s a drive for modernity and progress in Mongolia and I try to provide a ‘realistic’ 21st-century overview of Mongolia, showing the places and communities where real Mongolians live and work. I work directly with local people, whether that be a philanthropist in Mongolia’s capital city, a musician in a provincial capital or a female owned and led local NGO.
Within our style, I can provide flexibility. If you want the freedom of tent camping I can do that or if you prefer to stay at the five-star Terelj Hotel, I can arrange it. I can offer experiences all year round and therefore can tailor trips to suit the time of year you are visiting.
- Horseback riding
- Walking tours
- Desert safaris
- Rickshaw, cycle or local transport tours
- Mountain biking
- Bicycle tours
- Day Tours and Excursions
- Food tours
- City sightseeing
- Sightseeing Tours
- Bird watching
- Local culture
- Museum and gallery visits
- Spiritual or religious tours
- Dog sledding
- Deserts and canyons
- National parks
- Road trips
- Festivals and events
- Nature and bush walks
- Hot springs
- Countryside and village visits
- Natural landmarks sightseeing
- Cultural, religious and historic sites
- Culture shows and excursions
- Classes and workshops
- Art and architecture
- Shopping and Markets
- Adventure and sport
- 4x4, quad and ATV trips
- Wildlife, landscapes and nature
- Sightseeing, attractions, culture and history
- Air tours, road trips and transfers
- Special interests and hobbies
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Jessica's best travel experience
I think in relation to Mongolia, it will have to be the meals I have shared with the local families and communities we work with. I've shared fish with the owners of a small ger camp on the lakeshore of Buir Nuur as the sun set over eastern Mongolia. I've eaten the Kazakh soup of koje during their spring festival of Nauryz alongside eagle hunters. I've shared a sheep's head with the Mongolian herding family we work with in the Orkhon River Valley, as well as celebrating the Mongolian Naadam Festival with khuurshuur (mutton pancakes) with a local family in Ulaanbaatar. I think my favourite though was when I took one of the rural Mongolian women I work with (she owns a small ger camp) for a day off. En-route, we were invited into a ger and we shared fresh clotted cream spread on thick homemade bread (baked in the ger stove) and sprinkled thickly with sugar. None of these experiences was contrived — just a genuine welcome to share time and friendship.
Why is Jessica the right travel expert
Because I really am a local travel expert. I live in Mongolia, I am the founder of a Mongolian tourism company and I continue to carry out research trips throughout the year. That means I keep up to date with changes on the ground and new accommodation ideas as well as keeping in contact with the local people and communities I work with.
Although I don’t necessarily fit the typical 'local travel expert' mould, my knowledge, experience and genuine love for Mongolia make me a good candidate. So rather than choosing a company where the 'travel expert' has been to the country once or twice and only on a tour, I provide information from the perspective of someone that lives in Mongolia.