From There to Here

Bio – taken from Air BnB Live Anywhere contest entry

Hi, my name is Emily and I am passionate about immersive travel, education, hospitality, and marketing. I can show people a lifestyle that dreams are made of. I used to not like aquariums, but that was when I was getting paid to lead snorkeling trips in the Sea of Cortez. I didn’t pay rent for ten years but now I own a house and teach people how to buy and sell coastal real estate. 

National Geographic spawned my wanderlust. I yearned to see and learn about all of this world, especially the oceans. This led me to seek creative ways to finance my travels. I learned Spanish, confidence, and empathy working at restaurants. The hospitality industry taught me to anticipate needs and it taught me how to connect with anyone, anywhere. I went professional nomad after graduating with a degree in Ocean and Coastal Resources from Texas A&M in 2004 when most grads were going to work for an oil company. After living in half of a trailer on the shore of Catalina Island for a year, teaching kids about science in an immersive environment, there was no way home. I managed to live on Folly Beach, then Dominical before I landed a job that forever changed my life. I went as a bilingual field science instructor and ended up living in La Paz, Baja California Sur for six years guiding whale watch, snorkel, and kayak tours in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Baja Expeditions became my family, literally. I felt like I belonged in Baja, and I loved sharing its secrets with hundreds of curious travelers. I may have made my money as a custom trip planner, teacher and a guide, but the real reward was all that I learned while traveling, or more so facilitating their travel. 

I want to teach people how much there is to learn through living authentic experiences in diverse places. 

One thing about living and working in a tourist destination is that you don’t often go on vacation – you visit family or get supplies. After my ‘domestication’ I began to travel again and I didn’t really like what I saw. Boats left the dock with just a captain, no guide. This seemed blasphemous to me after my time running eco-trips in Baja – we never let clients get in the water or go hiking unaccompanied. Not only for their safety, but also to make the most of each outing, they liked to be guided. I have been working on a short essay observing the different types of travelers. And if you are still reading this, you are my kind of traveler. 

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