Nicole grew up in Maryland and went to college at James Madison University in Virginia where she studied Sociology. After taking a few road trips out west to visit family and friends, when she was younger, she got an itch for travel, hiking and mountains. Going to school in the Shenandoah Mountains, she would hike as often as possible, but out west was where she really wanted to be. Throughout college she took a few trips abroad and following her graduation she moved to Juneau, Alaska to work as a sea kayak guide for a summer. Working outside everyday in such a beautiful environment has kept her from applying to a "real" job related to her college degree. Following her summer in Juneau she road tripped back through Canada and the Pacific Northwest and semi-spontaneously booked a ticket, three weeks later, to do a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand. There she backpacked the country while working along the way, while exploring the land ranging from the mountains and national parks to large farms. After New Zealand she backpacked Southeast Asia for almost four months before heading back to the states.
When she's not working she's most likely spending her time outdoors whether its hiking, hammocking, spending time with friends, or researching future travel adventures. She's very excited to see everything California has to offer!
As a South Bay Area native I grew up in the Santa Cruz Mtns catching salamanders and exploring the Redwoods in my back yard before developing a lifelong passion for the the ocean thru surfing. Since then most free moments have been spent scouring the coast of California in search of cold water thrills. Forever amazed with nature, I’m most inspired and happy when outdoors or traveling and learning new things. The best year of my life was most definitely a year spent living out of a backpack in South America wandering around the Andes learning Spanish along the way.
At one time I had a more normal career in construction management but opted for one where I could learn and teach for a living. The last 3 years I’ve spent learning to work with reptiles and amphibians with a local outdoor ed group which brings animals from all over the world into SF classrooms. 10 ft Burmese Python named Blondie is always the favorite but my personal favorites are Tree Frog Fred and Speedy the Gopher Snake. In my free time you will still find me surfing but also hiking the many gems just south of San Francisco. Favorite thing about the city itself….its tacos! But a few other things as well!
Kenya grew up in Benicia, CA, a town 35 miles north of San Francisco. She comes from a large extended family of entrepreneurs, Rosie the Riveter’s, and incredible cooks. Travel was her first love as she started touring the world with the VOENA children’s choir in kindergarten. Australia and Antarctica are the only continents missing from her list, and she’s seen more than half of the United States as well.
She studied entrepreneurship, energy, and environment at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and climate change in Vietnam, Morocco, and Bolivia. Upon graduation, she gifted herself a cross country cycling tour with Bike & Build. She raised $6,000 for affordable housing and biked 4009 miles from Connecticut to California. It was on this journey that she realized her love for the outdoors in her most meditative, joyful, and difficult experience thus far.
After Bike & Build, Kenya lived in Moab, Utah building straw bale homes with Community Rebuilds and then in Brooklyn, New York for a taste of city life. She has since found a balance of urban living and access to the wilderness in Oakland, California. She spends her time cooking pescatarian and plant based meals, designing celebratory experiences, exploring the many ways to live a fulfilling and sustainable life, and spreading love amongst her community of friends and family.
For her first year back in the Bay, she worked as a project manager for a green home improvement company. However, full time office life left her craving the outdoor adventure travel and she ended up as a guide for IA! She loves a good Syrah from Napa Valley, listening to Frank Ocean on the way out of Yosemite Valley, and perfect summer days at Sand Harbor Beach in Lake Tahoe.