Judi discovered her passion for adventure travel in 1969 while taking part in a USO tour that traveled to Vietnam. In 1978 she invested $300, rented a converted bathroom in Harvard Square, and founded Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT). In 1981, she and Rick Thomson, her now-husband, co-founded Thomson Safaris, which operates exceptional safaris in Tanzania. They have also founded Thomson Treks, Thomson Family Adventures, and most recently, Thomson Collection. Judi also helped found and serves as a Director for Focus on Tanzanian Communities (FoTZC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works on education, women’s empowerment, water, and health projects in northern Tanzania.
Judi’s passion for international travel and her many years as a female pioneer in the male-dominated adventure travel industry has given her the perfect insight to give AdventureWomen travelers the exceptional, active experiences that they have come to expect!
Nicole has been traveling the world her entire life, and with a mother like Judi Wineland, it’s no wonder! She joined the family business as Director of Family Expeditions at Thomson Family Adventures and in 2015 launched Thomson Collection, a new brand of hand-tailored, bespoke experiences worldwide.
She has been to Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Nepal, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Iceland, Vietnam, and many others. She has a sharp eye for unique experiences for women and continues to search the world for her next adventure passionately.
Erica began traveling the globe with her parents, pioneers in adventure travel. She has visited nearly a quarter of the countries in the world. This early travel experience gave her a strong sense of independence. Erica loves to explore places that are off the beaten path. She has twice climbed Kilimanjaro and Ol Doinyo Lengai, and spent two weeks orienteering in the Arrigetch Peaks with four women. She has also traveled to Pakistan as an environmental ambassador, where she was one of six people to climb and summit an unnamed peak. She has traveled to many other exotic destinations, including Egypt, Japan, Morocco, and Indonesia.
Erica is an accomplished photographer, which is a passion she pursues during her adventures around the world. Her experiences traveling as a woman on rigorous, exotic adventures have helped shape who she is today.
Paige developed a taste for travel at the age of 16 during a five-week teen tour of Europe. A few years later, she took a break from her anthropology classwork at Brown University to study in Australia, backpacking on her own and with friends during school holidays.
While serving as Senior Creative Director at Road Scholar for 17 years, Paige joined many groups of travelers to Newfoundland, Sicily, Greece, Costa Rica, the Grand Tetons, and beyond. But some of her favorite travel adventures have been with her older sister, who is also an avid and adventurous traveler. She deeply believes in the power of travel to bring groups of women together for deep, meaningful, and impactful conversations.
Born from a long line of matriarchs (her grandmother was one of three sisters, her mother is one of two sisters, she is one of two sisters, and she herself is a mother to a daughter), Paige believes that women embody all things powerful, capable, empathetic, and nurturing.
Born and raised in the Midwest, Emily developed a keen sense of wanderlust at a young age, and she felt that to understand the world truly, you must go out and experience it. Yet it wasn’t until her first international experience studying abroad in Paris that she fell in love with traveling. Since then, Emily has traveled to over 20 countries, including Hungary, Greece, Morocco, Russia, and India. Some of her favorite travel memories are backpacking through Europe, teaching soccer to young girls in Brazil, snorkeling off the coast of Zanzibar, hiking in the Tatra Mountains in Poland, and meeting and connecting with local women from different backgrounds throughout her journeys.
In 2009, Emily’s passion for international travel inspired her to complete a master’s degree in International Development, which allowed her to spend a summer working with women entrepreneurs in Tanzania. This deep connection to Tanzania led her to join the sales team at Thomson Safaris. After spending 5 years as the Sales Manager at Thomson, Emily made the leap to AdventureWomen, and the rest, as they say, is history. Emily specializes in helping guests find the right adventure and looks forward to helping you plan your next trip!
Born and raised in Stamford, CT, Ali fell in love with travel with a trip to France at the age of 12. She was able to explore a lot of my own and developed a strong sense of wanderlust. During her junior year of college, she studied abroad in Salzburg, Austria, and backpacked all over Europe every weekend and chance she could get. Shortly after college, a friend contacted Ali about teaching ESL in Thailand. She bought a one-way ticket, and that was it! Ali stayed for three years, teaching at a large high school in a remote region down to small groups in Phuket and everywhere in between. She learned lessons from the people she met there that she didn’t think she would have learned otherwise. Ali learned quickly to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and laugh at herself along the way. That gift opened the door to incredibly genuine connections with people from all over – even when they didn’t speak the same language.
After returning home, Ali led a career in hospitality and experiential programming. She became an Associate Director of Admissions with an all-girls boarding and day school in the Berkshires. Witnessing and being a part of a culture that empowers and lifts girls and their voices up is something she carried with her when she decided to move to the Boston area in 2020. Ali is grateful to be a part of AdventureWomen and will combine both her love of travel and her strong belief in the power of all women’s experiences into a career!
Adventure and Ambassador Manager
Mary’s passion for travel started at age 12 when her family moved to the Middle East, living as ex-pats for several years. The experience opened her eyes to the world, traveling extensively with her family exploring new countries, encountering different cultures, and meeting people.
Enjoying the experience and learning of new cultures is what excites Mary the most. Her travels worldwide have taken her to over 20 countries with memorable experiences that include a camel ride to the Pyramids in Egypt, rug shopping in Istanbul, a wedding in India, zip-lining in Costa Rica, and living with family in France for a year during college. Raising an adventurous family offered Mary the opportunity to explore domestic US travel. Favorite family trips include Alaska, ski trips to Utah and California, and exploring the many National Parks the US offers.
Gail’s adventurous spirit took hold when she shouldered her first backpack at the age of 8. Raised on Cape Cod, summer vacations with her family meant getting as far away from tourist-packed beaches as possible and embarking on ever-more remote backpacking trips – eventually even to the wilds of Alaska. Gail learned at an early age that exploring nature and pushing comfort zones strengthens bonds and solidifies relationships. For years she instructed experiential outdoor leadership workshops for adults and worked with at-risk urban youth introducing many of them to hiking and camping for the first time. Some of Gail’s most enduring friendships are the crew of women who surrounded her in her 20s and shared her passion for the outdoors. Studying abroad and exploring Europe by rail sparked a love for travel, but the real introduction to global adventure came when Gail moved overseas to work in international development. Fly fishing in Mongolia, hiking around mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan, and skiing in the mountains of Kosovo, she loved living and working around the globe. Gail now resides in Cambridge, still braves the tourists on Cape Cod, and is so lucky to work with fellow adventurers at AdventureWomen!
Jennifer’s curiosity and excitement to explore the world and experience diverse cultures dates back as long as she can remember. Jennifer has made it a lifelong practice to say ‘Yes’ to every opportunity that came her way which would push her beyond the comfort of the familiar, and broaden her scope of understanding through travel – from participating in a French exchange program in high school, to exploring Europe by rail with friends in her 20s, to traveling solo for a month throughout East Africa in her 30s. Having visited 17 countries and stepped foot on four continents, Sub-Saharan Africa remains the place that captures Jennifer’s heart like no other. From trekking to see mountain gorillas and chimpanzees in their natural habitat in Uganda, to hearing elephants topple acacia trees in the night while sitting by campfire light with the Maasai in the Kenyan bush, the experiences have made lifelong dreams come true. But it has been the human connections, being immersed in the spirit of community and ‘Ubuntu,’ that has had the greatest impact on Jennifer.
Jennifer has a background in film/video and still photography as well as Social Work. She is passionate about issues of social justice, diversity, and the immeasurable educational value of cultural exchange. Jennifer believes deeply that travel, and the human connections made along the way, change a person in ways that ripple out when they return home, so person-by-person, we can create a more connected, compassionate, inclusive world. Jennifer is delighted to be able to support women adventurers on their own journeys of growth and evolution.
While Kristi’s career has spanned the roles of training and development, non-profit leadership, and environmental education, it consistently had one theme in common: creating a foundation for others to thrive, learn and protect the world. Before AdventureWomen, Kristi worked at Tourism Cares as Marketing Manager during their website rebranding and assisted in launching the Future of Tourism during COVID. Kristi was also the visionary behind the Savvy Women’s Alliance, a national non-profit organization focused on environmental health and women, and was a national speaker and author. Her book, Little Changes, was awarded the Living Now 2014 Evergreen Medal for being a ‘world-changing book of this millennium.’ From camping in the Redwoods as a child to taking her children camping across New England, the outdoors is where Kristi finds her balance, clarity, and excitement for life.
Julianna is a marketing professional who joined AdventureWomen in the spring of 2023, eager to work for a company whose mission she deeply believes in. Her great grandmother, a lover of adventure who would explore every nook and cranny of their hometown of Cape Cod, instilled in her a passion for travel and a desire to live a full and dynamic life. Julianna believes that travel is the ultimate form of self-discovery, and she is excited to create unforgettable moments for women worldwide.
Julianna deeply understands the transformative power of immersing oneself in diverse cultures, forging connections with nature, and building meaningful relationships with like-minded women. She firmly believes that travel is a restorative force, having grown up skiing with her family in Vermont and recently discovering the wonders of Europe for the very first time.
Julianna is committed to spreading the word about the importance of travel and inspiring women to explore the world and embrace adventure. She is excited to embark on new journeys, always seeking new experiences and opportunities to connect with others.
Mona Kelly is a dynamic professional with a proven track record in operations management across diverse industries. Currently serving as the Operations Manager at Adventure Women, Mona brings a wealth of experience from her roles in the market research industry, real estate, and education sectors. With an international background and a penchant for exploration, Mona’s journey has taken her to 24 countries and led her to reside on 3 continents and in 6 different countries.
Originally from France, Mona’s upbringing was shaped by the rich cultures of Morocco, Burkina Faso, and her home country. Since settling in the Boston area in 2010, she has embraced life as a soccer mom, sharing her passion for the sport with her 14-year-old son. A true testament to her adventurous spirit, Mona’s son has even dared her to step outside her comfort zone by embarking on a bungee jumping challenge.
Mona’s interests are as diverse as her experiences. An avid reader and enthusiastic foodie, she is also a fan of scuba diving and constantly sharpens her keen eye for interior design.
Her role as an Operations Manager at Adventure Women perfectly aligns with her love for adventure and her desire to empower and inspire others to explore the world around them.