My Story

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.

H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Hi, I’m Helen!

In 2009, at the end of my twenties, I quit my corporate job in sales and headed to Africa.

I was sick of the 9 to 5 life, my 3-hour daily commute, and determined to go on the adventures I’d always dreamed of. You can read more about my ‘why’ here.

During that first trip, I climbed Africa’s highest mountain, volunteered in local communities, backpacked around, travelled overland from Nairobi to Cape Town, got up close to mountain gorillas, spent time with African tribes, and met some of the most wonderfully inspiring people I could hope to meet. 

I fell in love… with Africa, the people, the wildlife, and the scenery. I felt alive like never before.

When I returned home in 2010, I couldn’t get Africa out of my mind. I began working as a youth worker, a job that I loved, but then the Tory government came into power and cut all our funding, so when I was offered a job at my old company, in marketing this time – I couldn’t refuse.

I literally dreamed of Africa every single day and returned as often as I could. In 2012, I landed myself a job as a tour guide and project leader for one of the organisations I’d volunteered for previously.

I was working for The Book Bus, an incredible organisation that works alongside locals to promote literacy in schools. It was amazing, life-changing, and challenging all at once, but little did I know at the time that it would set the wheels in motion for what was yet to come.

Back in the UK in 2013, with my contract over, I was missing Africa terribly. So I did the only sensible thing and I started planning my next trip, looking on the internet for inspiration.

I soon realised that there were a) lots of misconceptions about Africa and b) very few travel bloggers travelling in and/or writing about Africa because of those misconceptions.

Africa was seen as a dangerous (thank you media), difficult (sometimes true), and frustrating (often true) place to travel. Or as a luxury/once-in-a-lifetime/honeymoon type of holiday. Or as somewhere that you could only go as a volunteer.

There wasn’t much online about the real, incredible, everyday Africa that I had fallen in love with, or the backpacking side of Africa that I had experienced and witnessed firsthand.

So, I started my own travel blog to share information on how to travel in Africa, dispel myths about the continent, and encourage and help others to visit Africa safely, adventurously, and on a reasonable budget.

I wrote my little heart out and grew my blog in my spare time.

Then 2016, whilst working back at my old company (call me boomerang) as an experiential events manager, a job I really loved this time (I organised our presence at music festivals across Europe – pretty cool, hey?), I had an idea. I would bring my passion for events and travel together and run my first group tour.

My tours would be backpacking/flashpacking trips mixed with immersive cultural experiences, but without the hassle of having to find accommodation, working out how to get from A to B, and booking all your own activities.

They would be laid-back and fun, kind of like an independent backpacking trip (with a bit of luxury), and a group of friends built in – the best of both worlds. I ran it by my Kenyan friends, who said they would help me with the logistics.

The idea quickly formed into a plan and before I knew it, I was in the middle of the Masai Mara, leading my first tour through Kenya! I called it the Helen in Wonderlust ‘This is Kenya’ tour.

It was so much fun, that I decided to run it again the following year. But, whilst I was planning it, I got made redundant (laid off). So I used the severance pay to set up my business.

In early 2017, I went full-time as a travel blogger and tour leader (here’s the whole story) and Rock My Adventure was born! I ran tours full-time for the next 3 years!

Then came March 2020 – Covid-19, lockdown, illness and some major surgery.

During the pandemic, I spent time recovering from my surgery, trained as a yoga teacher, and worked as a teaching assistant in a mental health school – which I very much enjoyed.

In late 2021, Rock My Adventure started up again and as of 2023, I now blog and run tours full-time again, dividing my time between the UK and Africa.

I’ve now organised and run over 50 tours across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, the DRC, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Eswatini, Mozambique, Morocco, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Benin & Togo. 

I’ve been to 17 African countries so far but have ambitions to visit the other 37. I still love Africa and I love my job. It’s hard work, but you know what they say… “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” So true.

If you have any questions, or just want to say hi, you can connect with me on Instagram or Facebook. Or just leave me a comment on one of my social media or blog posts! If you’d like to speak to me over email, you can contact me here.

If you’d like to join one of my tours, visit my Rock My Adventure website to find out more!

Helen x


  • Amy R
    May 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Probably the best ‘About me’ I’ve ever read! What an inspiration!

    • Helen
      May 19, 2013 at 10:52 pm

      Wow thank you Amy! I look forward to reading about your adventures in Angola! Hope you have an amazing time! x

  • Kim Law
    November 24, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Wow Helen I just found your website through Absolute Africa. Your about me is exactly the thoughts I had. I’m over 30 and have finally decided to quite my job to go travelling for a year solo. Wish you the best of luck and I will keep following. I start my journey in Apr next year x

    • Helen
      November 24, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      Hi Kim,

      Good for you! That’s amazing! Where are you going on your trip?

      What you realise, is that things at home kind of stay the same, so taking a year (or more out to travel) is not as scary as it seems! You’ll have such a great time I’m sure! 🙂

      Can’t wait to hear your plans!

      Helen x

  • Annie
    May 18, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Hey Helen! I am traveling to Ghana, Africa, and I have been so nervous and afraid to travel alone there. I am only 18 and getting lost is a huge fear of mine. Please give me tips. Thanks

  • erica
    August 2, 2016 at 12:48 am

    Hi Helen,
    I’ve been looking into planning a trip to Africa next year and came across your site. Its really inspiring! I was looking into some volunteer opportunities as well as joining a travel tour/group. It looks like you’ve done some volunteering and some tours, do you recommend any that just tugged at your heart? Thanks!

    • Helen
      August 5, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      Hi Erica,

      For volunteering, I definitely recommend the Baobab Home in Tanzania and Soft Power Education in Uganda!!!

      For tours, do you also want recommendations? Where are you looking to go?

      Helen x

  • Molly
    August 30, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Helen! This is amazing, I am in my final weeks of school now and have been planning a trip to (East) Africa for next year (it’s been my dream since I was about 13). I am so glad to have found somewhere I can find relatable advice for female travellers in Africa. Thank you so much for your blog – it has really helped to clear up questions that I have had so far! Xx

    • Helen
      September 16, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      Hey Molly,

      That is so good to hear! So glad it’s been helpful! If there are any unclear things, let me know!!


  • John Parker
    October 14, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Such a refreshing read. Thanks for sharing your experience of the tour with us.

  • cia
    December 11, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Hello Helen,
    You posts are inspiring and full of detailed informations wow, am planing a trip for august next year will be clocking 30 so want to spend it somewhere else am from nigeria , and I want to travel to some countries in African for like say 2 months just am looking at going to Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique and other countries around am looking at going to like 8 countries around Africa in the course of 2 months. What do you think as regards the time and budget. ..and will be going solo

    • Helen
      December 11, 2016 at 7:58 pm

      Hi Cia,

      Thanks for reading!

      8 countries in 2 months will be quite a lot, as you’ll be moving every week, but it is possible. I personally would do less countries, but if you are happy for it to be a whistle stop tour it may be ok.

      How much it will cost, will depend on how you travel and what you want to do, it varies greatly. But for me it cost £2464 for 5 weeks in Tanzania and Kenya. I could have travelled cheaper though.

      Joining an overland tour could be a good option to help you get round quickly and see all the sights you want to see.

      Hope that helps!

  • Kevin Fitz
    April 26, 2017 at 3:15 am

    Hi , I am dropping my son and his friend off at Kilimanjaro for a two week volunteer gig with Global Leadership Adventures. I’ve already been to Vic Falls, Hwange, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and all of South Africa and now I am looking to find another adventurous two weeks in a different direction. I’m thinking about Zanzibar or maybe Madagascar or Seychelles. I love to sail and surf and I am torn between that and a Nile river cruise that was put on hold during the “Arab Spring” Waddaya think? Any suggestions?

    Peace & Love, Kevin

    • Helen
      May 17, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Hey Kevin,

      Apologies for the late reply! Have you decided already?

      I’ve not been to Seychelles or Madagascar, but I love Zanzibar and the Nile. If you want to sail and surf, Zanzibar may be the one for you. Although there’s limited during, but it is good for kite surfing!

      Morocco is great for surfing should you wish to venture that far north.There’s also Mozambique?

  • Courtney Blacher
    June 11, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    You’re such an inspiration! I really enjoyed reading every word, and this is definitely best “About me” I read.

    • Helen
      June 11, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      Aw, thanks so much Courtney! 🙂

  • Ena Garay
    August 9, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    Love your site. Will book for Tanzania probably next year.
    I’m planning tours to the Caribbean. Any tips on where to advertise and how to gauge potential interest in a tour?
    Thank you

    • Helen
      August 25, 2017 at 5:48 pm

      Hi Ena,

      I just took a chance on the tours to be honest and go with my gut! I just advertise on my blog and on Facebook, that’s it! Seems to be working so far, but maybe I’ll do more advertising in the future!

      Good luck with it!

  • Senthil
    September 17, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Wow.. Again.. Inspired… 🙂 would love to be in touch…

    Best wishes,
    Senthil from India

  • Antony labui maasai
    November 21, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Hello Helen
    Am happy to meet you here and I would like to know more and know you ,am maasai and I love this page, I lives in Kenya at maasai Mara am broader in the next to park.

  • Lianne
    December 13, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Helen, so happy to come across your site! I have been traveling around the past 5 years and am coming to Africa next – you have a wealth of information! I am also so happy to see that Zambia is your favorite country – my boyfriend and I will be moving there actually. Would be cool to meet one day if you come to Zambia – can host you in our hut, haha.

    • Helen
      December 13, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      That would be lovely! I’ll be there next summer! 🙂

  • Amos
    February 6, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Hi Helen
    Your blog is so inspiring, well detailed and facts from the ground from the cultural aspects, transport and accommodation. Kenya has diverse culture and it’s good to experience from the source. And also if you would like to experience sports tourism and Nairobi city tour keep in touch through +254711141472 or email [email protected].

  • Elvar
    February 6, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    Hello, í William be visiting Zanzibar from 15-26th of march. I have been reading info about it might rain and be wet. I am therefore bit worried that it will not be as good trip as expecetiations are. Do you have any info on weather during this time?


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