Here are the questions we ask each Famous Explorer to answer. Enjoy!
1. Why do you like adventure travel?
2. What would your favorite destination in the world be?
3. What trips are still on your “to do” list?
4. What are your biggest challenges/concerns about adventure travel?
5. What have you learned from your adventure travel experiences?
6. What is your best travel tip that you would want others to know about?
7. What is your funniest travel experience?
8. What else would you add to your description as a Famous Explorer?
Christine S – Utah
Why do you like adventure travel?
As a child, I never dreamed that the places I learned about in school and saw in magazines, encyclopedias, newspapers, on TV etc. would be ‘mine to visit’. I remember first seeing color TV and thinking that it can’t be true that the earth is red and orange (as seen in the early ‘westerns’ like John Wayne movies). Now I live in Northern Utah, which resembles the Swiss Alps, and I hike and bike in southern Utah, orange and red rock!, many times a year. Adventure travel is a privilege that I never thought that I would have. I have been in 46 of the 50 states and 5 countries outside than the US. The thrill to me is that I am mentally stimulated by the new places I visit and that I am physically active while on my travels; I have a complete, ‘Mind, Body, Spirit’ experience with each new city/state/country.
What would your favorite destination in the world be?
The four corners area of our country always inspires and amazes me. There is not enough time in a lifetime to see and ‘be’ there. Also, my trips to Costa Rica with Walking The World hold a magical place in my heart.
What trips are still on your “to do” list?
Galapagos Islands and hiking, biking and dining in Italy.
What are your biggest challenges/concerns about adventure travel?
My biggest challenges have been finding the balance of work and play. Being a fitness professional helps keep me focused on staying fit enough to do all of the things that I want to do in the area of adventure travel. Therefore, the main challenge is just creating the budget for the trips that are so very important to me because they so enhance by life.
What have you learned from your adventure travel experiences?
As Ward often says and demonstrates to his clients on Walking The World trips, we can stretch our limits way beyond our expectations. I have found this to be true for me both physically and emotionally. Also, I have witnessed this extensively in other Travelers who have been on WTW trips with me.
What is your best travel tip that you would want others to know about?
My absolute favorite piece of travel equipment is my purple and grey, REI day/Nalgene hydration pack. Of course it is functional but, to me, it also represents the freedom to be in the outdoors. I marvel at the technology behind this and all packs that help to keep us safe by having enough food, water and extra clothes handy all day long.
I completely adore the process of packing it with my favorite hiking foods (peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat), Power Bars and Gu and filling the bladder with 2 liters of water. I can also easily strap on another liter of water by using a carabineer and be set for the entire day. Its front elastic ties allow me to strap on an extra jacket and its two side pockets are perfect for my small camera and cell phone. Also, it is woman specific so it fits me very well; the chest and hip straps are perfect for adjustability so that I can comfortably carry a great deal of weight in this pack and then adjust the straps throughout the hike as the pack gets lighter.
What is your funniest travel experience?
The funniest travel experience that I have ever had is also one of the most memorable hikes that I have ever taken. I was in Costa Rica with an extremely fun Walking The World group. Our local guide and Ward had planned a great day hike in the ‘rainforest’. Let’s just say they call it the ‘rainforest’ for a very good reason. Not long into our hike this group of hikers started to don their full ponchos and rain pants in order to continue through the National Park in an all-day rain. The sights and sounds, actually, the entire experience were just glorious, but the fashion statement that we made by the end of the hike is what puts a smile on my fact to this day!
What else would you add to your description as a Famous Explorer?
I’m a staunch environmentalist who believes in making caring for Planet Earth a priority. Exploring the Earth can have that effect on people! I also enjoy meeting new people while being physically active in the outdoors. And I’m definitely one who appreciates the tiniest of things (moss, lichen, insects, flowers and birds) just as much as I enjoy the grandeur of a mountain peak, the vastness of wide-open spaces, the beauty of the ocean, sky, stars and moon.