Life before Swoop
Upon finishing university, I decided to follow the advice of a Chilean friend and go see this mythical part of the world called “Patagonia”. Not knowing where it was, I spent two months living near the Torres del Paine National Park and being swept up by the wind and the raw beauty of the region. On my return to the US, I realized that I had caught the adventure travel bug and that whitewater raft guiding was the perfect conduit to work and travel all over the world. I pursued this seasonal lifestyle, chasing summer around the world, making lifelong friends and interacting with travellers from all over the world on a regular basis. My knowledge and passion for adventure travel, as well as logistics and customer service, has led me to become a part of the incredible team at Swoop Patagonia.
My Patagonian experience
My first trip down in Puerto Natales was in 2010. The wind, the ice, the rain, the colours, the people - all this captured my senses and my imagination for adventure. I was hooked and continue to be equally as enthralled by the Patagonian landscape to this day. I have spent time exploring a vast majority of Chilean Patagonia and Argentine Patagonia over the last eight years in four separate personal trips. I continue to have close friends who live throughout the region and I am always on the hunt for a window of time when I can sneak back down to say “hola” and see new areas. The most common question I receive is “what is your favourite part of Patagonia?” and my answer to that is undoubtedly the Aysen region. The contrasts of the ice field and the pampas essentially butting right up onto each other and the slow pace of life really brings me into an appreciation of quintessential “Patagonia” as I have come to know it.
Day to day at Swoop
As a member of the remote Patagonia team, I work from my home in Missoula, Montana, USA. Here I am able to focus on helping our US-based travellers plan awesome trips. I specialize in all things whitewater and kayaking, the Aysen region, all mountain biking trips, fly fishing and the lake region of Argentina. I am always up for chatting with travellers, finding the best options for them, introducing them to our local partners and sending them on their way. The stories I hear when they get back are always rewarding - especially about the number of empanadas eaten!
Why I love Patagonia
For me, it is the way the people live with the harshness of the elements. “La Patagonia” as it is referred to by locals, is often seen as a being who brings the good and the bad. Life is tough in Patagonia and the local populations have done an incredible job to not only survive, but thrive in the region. Their respect for the land, the appreciation of where they live and what they have is demonstrated regularly but subtly. When you are deep in a Patagonian valley, or on a ridge top listening to the wind howl, or sharing a maté with friends around an Asado while watching the sunset over a glacier, the true feeling of “La Patagonia” is one that never lets you go once it has hold of you.
What is my next adventure?
I am fortunate to live in a place where “micro adventures” are possible every weekend. I would love to continue exploring the rivers of Patagonia on my next trip or to dive deeper into the history and culture of Chiloe Island and further explore what it has to offer.