Natalie Lyall-Grant

Positive Impact Coordinator

I was raised by a family of explorers, adventurers and expats, where summers were spent visiting distant cousins in Tuscany. On those trips, evenings were spent eating al fresco dinners, learning to speak multiple languages and playing games that usually involved naming the world’s mountains, rivers, and capital cities. Mornings were reserved for exploring ancient ruins, art galleries, museums and cathedrals. And of course the afternoon was for fiesta! These early experiences fuelled a passion in me for learning more about different cultures, foods and languages. I’ve now travelled to 30+ countries, and still feel like nothing can beat the excitement of arriving in a new destination and that sense of childlike curiosity that gets ignited when you explore a new place.

My most memorable trip

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka will always be the most special country for me. I went out there to volunteer shortly after the 2004 tsunami and fell in love with it so much that I kept going back, and eventually ended up learning the language and moving there! It's a breathtakingly beautiful country with a rich and vibrant history, incredible food and great people.

Discover Sri Lanka

On my bucket list


I've been learning Spanish and salsa dance for the last couple of years, so unsurprisingly my bucket list has filled up with some of the best Latin destinations around the world. Currently Colombia and Cuba are two places I've got my eye on!

Discover Colombia

See where I’ve travelled

The best hidden gem

Gal Oya

Gal Oya on Sri Lanka's lesser visited East coast is home to an incredible National Park made up of an archipelago of sandbanks which you can sometimes see elephants swimming between.

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My favourite hotel

Pacuare Lodge

Pacuare Lodge in central Costa Rica is one of my favourite properties. The hotel can only be reached by white water raft via the Pacuare River! It's an adventure getting there, but once you arrive, it's so scenic and peaceful. The entire hotel also has an ethos of sustainability and positive impact, with profits being used to conserve a large area of natural forest around the property, as well as supporting local social initiatives.

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My top tips

There are many hotels around the world using tourism as a force for good by allocating some of their profits towards conservation projects and helping to support social initiatives that benefit local communities. Staying at these kinds of properties is a great way to give back.

Consider areas where you might be able to get off the beaten track to combat overtourism and get a unique experience!

Most hotels now provide filtered water, so it's easier than ever to save plastic by travelling with your own reusable water bottle.

Ask your guide if they know of any social enterprises that sell locally made handicrafts. These make great gifts or travel souvenirs whilst supporting local charitable initiatives.