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Ruth Koessel

[email protected]
00 44 (0)1273 964 021

Background bio

I joined Travel Nation in 2013 and re-joined in 2018 after taking a break to embark on a one-year work and holiday adventure in New Zealand.

Travelling and exploring the beautiful diversity in landscapes and scenery this planet has to offer has always been one of my greatest passions. This led me to take my first big steps into the world of travelling at the young age of 12 on a solo trip to visit various family members in the USA (thankfully my parents were never the ‘overly worried’ type). At 16, I spend my first year living abroad taking part in a high school exchange to Auckland, New Zealand. During and after my student years, I took every opportunity possible to venture further afield and the decision to turn this passion into a career now allows me to share my experiences and help others set-off on their very own adventures.

I absolutely love the outdoors and feel happiest standing on top of a mountain after a long hike. One of my goals for the next few years is to complete all the Great hikes in New Zealand (3 down, 7 to go).

Originally from

Berlin, Germany

Where did you spend your 'student days'?

Berlin and Sydney

Travel industry experience

I started working for Travel Nation in 2013

Ruth has visited:

  • Australia Flag


  • Belize Flag


  • Botswana Flag


  • Cambodia Flag


  • Colombia Flag


  • United Arab Emirates Flag

    United Arab Emirates

  • Ethiopia Flag


  • Fiji Flag


  • French Polynesia Flag

    French Polynesia

  • Guatemala Flag


  • Hong Kong SAR China Flag

    Hong Kong SAR China

  • Indonesia Flag


  • Japan Flag


  • Kenya Flag


  • Malaysia Flag


  • Mexico Flag


  • Myanmar (Burma) Flag

    Myanmar (Burma)

  • Namibia Flag


  • New Zealand Flag

    New Zealand

  • Singapore Flag


  • South Africa Flag

    South Africa

  • South Korea Flag

    South Korea

  • Sri Lanka Flag

    Sri Lanka

  • Thailand Flag


  • Tunisia Flag


  • Turkey Flag


  • Uganda Flag


  • United States Flag

    United States

  • Vietnam Flag


  • Zambia Flag


  • Zimbabwe Flag


Relax on the beautiful beaches of Moorea | Photo credit: Tahiti Tourisme

Last trip:

French Polynesia
Annapurna, Nepal

Next trip:


About Ruth

When I’m, not at work or travelling, I’m…

Playing with our family dog, out and about on a hike or practising the dancer pose on my yoga mat.

On my round the world trip, I spent longer than expected in:

Koh Tao, Thailand (I came for two days, but ended up forcing myself to leave after two weeks and two dive courses).

Which place exceeded your expectations on your travels and why?

Uganda. I had no idea just how ‘green’ Africa can be and tracking the mountain gorillas through the jungle is still one of the most awe-expiring things I’ve done.

What are your top 5 must-pack items?

Passport (obvious I guess), emergency credit card, camera (ideally with a spare battery), diary and coloured pencils.

When staying in a hotel room for more than one night do you a) unpack your bags or b) live from your rucksack?

Live from my rucksack. I’ve recently invested in one that can be unzipped at the front, which is very handy. I hate packing and as soon as I manage to squeeze everything into my bag, I try to touch the backpack as little as possible.

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be and why?

Queenstown, New Zealand

What was your first great travel experience?

A 4-week solo trip to visit various family members along the east coast of the USA at the age of 12.

What are your top 3 places in the world?

Dune45, Namibia. Abel Tasman Park, New Zealand. Angkor Wat, Cambodia (although I was there at the start of the tourism boom so not sure it would still be on my list these days if I were to go back).

What is your favourite hotel, why and where is it?

Octopus Resort, Yasawa Islands, Fiji. Not a resort for seekers of ‘uber luxury’, but a great, basic and clean place with a relaxed atmosphere, amazing food, one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to. And the sunsets are unreal. I could have stayed on the hammocks there for another month easily (and I’m not usually much of a beach person!)

Which is your favourite beach, where is it and why?

Yasawa Islands, Fiji. Most of the beaches here are stunning, and you won’t find them overcrowded by the tourist masses.

Where/what would you most like to visit? 

Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia (I can’t make up my mind if I want to see it in wet or dry season though).

What is the weirdest thing you have eaten while abroad?

Barbecued chicken hearts.

What’s the best/worst thing you’ve eaten on your travels?

Best: Banh Mi baguettes in Vietnam (I lived on these for a solid two weeks, they’re so yummy!)

Worst: Marmite in the UK (and this also includes Vegemite in Australia - why would you put this on your bread?)

Have you ever worked abroad? If so explain.

Work and holiday trip to New Zealand

Where is the most depressing place you’ve found yourself?

Urbia, the main town in the La Guajira Desert area in Colombia. The desert itself is absolutely stunning and I highly recommend a visit, but the closer you drive to Urbia the more plastic waste you drive past. It was the first time I was confronted with the clash of nature and plastic on such a scale.

What’s the funniest/strangest thing that’s happened to you abroad?

Approximately 45 people from a Chinese tourist bus each individually wanting to take a picture with me in front of a landmark called the Hin Ta rock on Koh Samui (it must have been because I have blonde hair!). I’ll leave it up to Google to tell you what Hin Ta rock stands for.

If you had just 24 hours in a big city which one would it be?

Seoul, South Korea. I’m not much of a city person, but Seoul just amazed me in so many unexpected ways that I would happily go back

What’s the best party you have been to while travelling?

An unexpected beach party on the Perhentian islands in Malaysia, when a sudden monsoon downpour forced all people from the beach bars to either run home or take shelter under this one wooden roof. Some locals soon came with music and started selling bears out of a cooler box and we all ended up dancing in the rain.

What do you miss most from home while you are away?

Proper bread (this seems to be a German thing!)

Plateau Ciudad Perdida

Admiring the view at Ciudad Perdida, Colombia

Yasawa Islands, Fiji

Sunbathing in Fiji

The surf camp itself is located right on the Red Island

Surf time in Indonesia

Strand San Juan

Ruth in Playa San Juan, Colombia