Staff Spotlight: Tamsyn Allen

Head of People


Tamsyn has been with GVI for 3 years and is based in Cape Town, South Africa. She loves all things people and travel and so GVI is the perfect place for her!

What is your favorite travel memory?

Ah, it is so hard to choose!

While eating all the gelato and pizza in Rome is up there, and so is zip lining in a cloud forest in Costa Rica, my favorite travel memory has to be when my husband and I hiked in the Cederberg mountains here in South Africa for 4 days, with everything on our backs. With no reception and our only mission to find water each day, it allowed me to truly switch off from the world in every sense of the word, and focus on nothing but the majestic surroundings. I came back recalibrated and exhilarated (and very, very tired!)

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I've grown every day, truly.

I've grown in my capacity to make swift decisions. In my resourcefulness. In my ability to prioritize and know what can be left for tomorrow.

But most of all, I've learned and grown from engaging with the most incredible colleagues and stakeholders from all over the world and hearing about their lived experiences.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I've heard a number of times that participants have come on a GVI program hoping to get some direction. And what they've walked away with is increased confidence, improved mental health, clear direction and purpose, and friends for life. These stories are unbelievably inspiring and make me so proud to be a part of GVI.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Such a hard decision!

I think the first choice might be to go and spend time in Dawasamu, Fiji. The village just sounds so special, and the surroundings so perfectly beautiful. It would be a perfect combination.

And I think the second choice would be to go and visit the elephants in Chiang Mai! They look majestic!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

GVI is the most grateful, team-centric, purposeful, resilient company I have ever worked for. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our team pulled together to innovate and pivot in order to remain not just current but forward-thinking in a time when travel was challenging to say the least. And well, we came out of it stronger and better. And I couldn't be more proud.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

There are so many important factors: Authenticity. Resilience. Transparency. Compassion. Innovation. A clear, shared vision. An inclusive culture. Strong leadership.

But most of all I think it takes bravery to be a successful company. And a team of people who genuinely care about each other's wellbeing, and who is never too afraid to make changes or fail and try again.