Africa Travel Week

What the locals are cooking? With Lynn Strydom

Currently, the Sales Manager at Gondwana Collection Namibia, Lynn Strydom’s vast work history in different fields has proven she enjoys living outside of boxes and exploring options. She has 14 years of experience spread over the hospitality, mining and entertainment industries in which she has worn hats such as hostess, model, actress, casting director, consultant and project manager for a local NGO. 

Three years ago, Lynn intuitively jumped into the tourism industry as a consultant and is now the Sales Manager. This naturally increased her liking of social media and now thoroughly enjoys sharing the beauty, lifestyle and everything in and about her striking country through @LynnFromNamibia.  

This is an individual with substance, she is highly personable and a strong team player. She loves to volunteer her knowledge and expertise to challenge ideas.  

Where did your love for travel start? 

Probably in the womb, as original South Africans living in Namibia, my parents were avid travellers. Travelling back to see family often but also exploring their new home.  

Why do you enjoy working in the industry? 

It’s the closest thing to what I naturally love and love to do, in the freely creative way I appreciate – show and tell the world about my country and all its wonder! 

What is your favourite destination/place to visit and why? 

Anywhere away from here. Because nothing makes my heart fonder of home, as much as a foreign place does. It also revitalizes my imagination and gives me another lens through which to look at the world. Travelling to non-native lands sharpens all my senses and most importantly, my cultural responsivity.  

Tell us about one of your most memorable travel experiences and why it stands out. 

It is my first overseas trip to America. I experienced it all. Getting on the wrong train. Gossiping in Afrikaans and coincidentally sitting next to South Africans. Losing my passport, getting lost, bagels and ice skating, American football, Thanksgiving, parks, museums, and downtown. Shopping, pop tarts, string cheese, Reese’s, Hershey’s, Wendy’s and The Cheesecake Factory, drive-through pharmacies, filling up your own car at the gas station, cafeteria lunches and a vending machine around every corner, party in the basement, pink lemonade, BBQs and lots of snow, we even had a snow day, so of course, we made snow angels and built a snowman! 

Give us a travel tip you don’t think anyone else gives… or that isn’t given enough… 

This might be strange or a downer, but on that trip to America, I learnt a couple of things and ever since then, when I travel, I always have a file with me. First of all, to carry copies of everything, but what’s also in there is a letter stating everything I wish to happen if I were to die or land in a very critical condition in the destination country. Of course, with all emergency contacts and medical aid information and a little sobby bye-bye letter to the ones I love. 

Those copies come in handy and so can a letter like that.  

Based on the five senses and thinking about travelling what do you… 

Like to see: the hidden gems  

Like to taste: local cuisines and cocktails 

Like to feel: the soles of my feet treading unknown grounds 

Like to hear: a new land’s native language  

Like to smell: what the locals are cooking 

Suggestions on resources for other travel and tourism stakeholders. Any websites, publications, podcasts, thought leaders you can recommend or newsletters we should sign up to? 

The Gondwana Collection Namibia newsletter of course J And I also enjoy ATTA publications.  

Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows.  

And now it will be public knowledge J Because of my job and perceived social life, many people don’t know or believe that I’m quite the introvert. 

Lastly, what do you love about Africa Travel Week (WTM Africa)? 

What are your sentiments on virtual trade shows being the new norm? 

I love it! Plus, it’s pretty safe and reasonably more affordable, but you still get to “meet” all the people and selectively take part in discussions and online gatherings. I love it – it screams the introvert in me once more! 

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.