Life before Swoop

My love for travel began with a solo trip to Australia when I was 21. I enjoyed the freedom of life on the road, one day I was snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef and the next skydiving over the Whitsunday Islands. I continued to travel extensively both in my personal life and throughout my career in travel working for Thomas Cook. My favourite travel memories include island-hopping the idyllic Yasawa Islands in Fiji, exploring the prehistoric landscape of Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Park in Rotorua, New Zealand, and sledging down La Roche-Noire mountain in the French Alps, plus a whistle-stop tour of Sri Lanka and a few dreamy nights in a water villa in the Maldives.  

My favourite way to unwind is wild swimming. My passion for this hobby has led me into Scottish Lochs during the winter months and breaking ice to enter the local rivers near my home when they freeze over. I can honestly say that immersing myself in the waters of wherever I travel to feels like a whole new level of connection and it’s one I would highly recommend. This has also made me more protective of our environment as I witness the array of wildlife that call the water home.

A selfie of a woman on Deception Island, Antarctica

Helen takes a selfie on Deception Island in Antarctica

Why I love travelling

Travel is a hugely enriching experience. I have met so many interesting people and pushed myself out of my comfort zone with each journey I have taken. Travel also gives you an appreciation of the uniqueness of the place you call home. After a few nights in New York, I loved returning to the green and open spaces near where I live.

I encourage everyone I meet to say yes to the opportunity to travel whenever it presents itself. You will learn more about the world than a hundred books could teach you.

A woman poses in front of a ship on Deception Island, Antarctica

Helen enjoying her recce to Antarctica

Day to day at Swoop

My role in the Customer Experience team is to make sure you have everything you need to have the best time possible when you get to the polar regions. I understand that a trip like this is unique, so I will be there to answer all your questions and help you make the most of your holiday. More than anything, I encourage you to fully immerse yourself in all the activities on offer and keep your mind open to discovering a lot about the world and yourself.

A woman stands on a ship and looks out at Deception Island in Antarctica

Helen gets her first sight of Deception Island in Antarctica

My Antarctic experience

I have travelled all over the world, but nothing could prepare me for how spectacular Antarctica would be. I felt like a child at Christmas as I witnessed penguins in their natural habitat and walked on untouched snow at the start of the season. As an avid wild swimmer the polar plunge was a dream come true for me – an experience I will never forget.

Polar travel is an adventure like no other. Each day brings new surprises, from breathtaking wildlife encounters to witnessing how beautiful an environment made up of just a handful of colours can be. You learn to live in the moment, and by doing this, you connect to the world on a deeper level, appreciating both the strength and vulnerability of nature. When you mention you have been to Antarctica, people's eyes light up and they immediately want to know more. It’s like you have been to another planet. 

A woman does the polar plunge in Antarctica

Helen does the polar plunge in Antarctica