Meet the team
Oyster’s team of passionate and well travelled individuals are well-placed to give you the passion, care and commitment needed to make your trip overseas unforgettable.
Roger Salwey, Founder and Director
Roger started Oyster in 1999 after years of previous experience leading army and school expeditions.
Favourite travel memory: Kayaking down the Zambezi on the Zambian/Zimbabwe border passing crocs, hippos and elephants – being told not to put our hands in the water was good advice.
Strangest travel experience: Flying Aeroflot in Russia in 1994 and not being offered a brightly coloured drink – the hostess couldn’t reach where I was sitting because of all the luggage left in the aisle.
Top travel tip: Take two portable battery chargers. Offering electricity is always a good way to make friends and running out is very distressing.
Next destination on my bucket list: It has to be Iceland, I have wanted to go there since studying Geography a very long time ago.
You can contact Roger directly on +44 (0) 1892 771971 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jon Arnold, Operations Manager
Jon travelled to Tanzania with Oyster on his gap year in 2004. After graduating from university he started working for Oyster in 2007 and has been here ever since.
Favourite travel memory: Wow, where to start?! Swimming with turtles in Mexico, visiting Chichen Itza, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, watching sunrise over Mount Meru…
Strangest travel experience: Having to do a maths test whilst diving… whilst on my gap year in Tanzania, I spent a couple of weeks staying in the island paradise of Zanzibar during which time I took a couple of the modules towards my Advanced PADI Diving Qualification. One of the compulsory dives is to do a ‘deep dive’ down to 30 metres and, to test for signs of narcosis, I was given a maths test to do at the surface and also at 30m. A maths test is certainly not what I had signed up for that morning! Thankfully, GCSE maths had not completely deserted me and I passed with flying colours!
Top travel tip: Solar powered battery chargers, even in equatorial Africa, are not a good idea. I took one to Tanzania and to charge two AA batteries requires 12 hours of direct sun-light. I had a garden with walls all around it so every 20 minutes I was out having to move the charger into the sun!
Next destination on my bucket list: I’ve travelled to Canada and Mexico but have never stepped foot in the USA. A trip to Washington DC is high up on my bucket list!
You can contact Jon directly on +44 (0) 1892 771972 or by email email@example.com.
Anne Smellie, Destination Manager
Anne travelled to Romania, with Oyster, to volunteer at the bear sanctuary in 2009. She loved it so much that she headed out to Costa Rica to help set up our turtle programme before becoming a full-time member of staff in 2010.
Favourite travel memory: Ooh Can I have two? Collapsing on the beach on Zanzibar after having climbed Kilimanjaro and seeing the sun rise over Petra in Jordan.
Strangest travel experience: Whilst travelling in Burma I travelled on a goods ferry down the Irrawaddy river. I was writing some letters home when a lady making an enormous brightly coloured blanket asked if she could swap her beautiful blanket for my old biro. Best swap I have ever done, and it meant her child could go to school.
Top travel tip: Pack light. If you can’t get it in a day sack, you don’t need it!
Next destination on my bucket list: I have a long list, including the Philippines, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
You can contact Anne directly on +44 (0) 1892 771975 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Harriet Wray, Travel Adviser
Harriet joined the Oyster team in 2014 after returning to the UK having lived in Canada for two years.
Favourite travel memory: There are too many to choose from but watching the northern lights in Canada on Christmas eve was incredible and as cliché as it sounds visiting Machu Picchu was something I’m not likely to forget.
Strangest travel experience: There have been a few of these too. Our safari truck breaking down in Botswana and us all having to get out and push, getting a bus in Thailand that had more poultry travellers than humans and when my Mum agreed to exchange me for a camel in Morocco – thanks for that Mum!
Top travel tip: Take plenty of photos and never pack more than you can carry (remember to leave room for souvenirs).
Next destination on my bucket list: I am going to cheat and pick several. Japan, Argentina, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Iceland, Antarctica – actually the list goes on I should leave it there.
You can contact Harriet directly on +44 (0) 1892 771974 or by email email@example.com
Sarah Waldie, Travel Adviser
Sarah joined the Oyster team in 2015 having worked as a teacher for 4 years.
Favourite travel memory: It’s a tie between skydiving in Namibia, driving with locals across Botswana and seeing the elephants and giraffes freely walking down the road or riding the bamboo train in Battambang, Cambodia.
Strangest travel experience: Again I can’t choose so it has to be either riding an ostrich in South Africa or travelling for 5 hours sat with a chicken below me, a goat beside me and looking at the engine through a massive hole in the tro tro in Ghana.
Top travel tip: Speak to the locals! It’s the best way to learn about the country and avoid tourist traps.
Next destinations on my bucket list: Chile or Mongolia – or both! Love the idea that you can travel the whole of Chile and see so many different landscapes and I definitely want to experience the nomadic way of life in Mongolia.
You can contact Sarah directly on +44 (0) 1892 771973 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Marguerite Weatherseed, Office Manager
Call Oyster and there’s a good chance that you’ll get Marguerite. She works part-time for us in the UK office and keeps on top of the day-to-day admin, from marketing to accounts. She also assists Jon and Anne with preparing people for their departure. You can contact Marguerite directly on +44 (0) 1892 771974 or by email email@example.com
Overseas Representatives You don’t get anywhere without reliable ground staff. They are the overseas face of the company, acting as our eyes, ears and hearts and providing a real lifeline for participants. We’re really proud of ours: most of them have been with us since the beginning of each project and their warmth, humour and experience is frequently cited by participants as the most crucial element in adjusting to life abroad.