We are so excited to introduce a new addition to the Wild Bum blog. Each month, we will have a Guide Architect of the Month and we will be introducing you one awesome member of our community. We like to call this little feature Q&A with a GA.
Our Guide Architects (GA’s) are at the heart of our community. They are the ones working hard behind the scenes to curate one of a kind travel guides. We are so grateful to this awesome group of more that 615 people from all over the world and we feel so fortunate to have them. So, without further a due, here is our very first GA of the month…
Wild Bum community, meet our Guide Architect of the Month: Maddie!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Maddie!
Hey hey! I’m Maddie and so happy to be part of the Wild Bum community! I grew up in Minneapolis, where I currently live with my husband, our two little boys, and our dog.
I work for Alight, an international humanitarian organization working with displaced communities all over the world, in places like Sudan, El Salvador and Myanmar. We have an incredibly dedicated team of staff and volunteers on the ground who make this work possible, and my job is to help build a global community through engagement and connection opportunities.
What type of traveler are you?
Definitely a pack-it-in kind of traveler. I want to take full advantage of being somewhere new and take in every opportunity to see and do as much as possible. Before a trip, I do a ton of research and I love to have a balance between planned and unplanned. I always solidify the big logistical pieces before traveling, such as transport and lodging, but tend to play the day-to-day activities and meals and such by ear to see what I find along the way. This allows me the peace of mind of having a destination and end goal yet still leave room for spontaneity and hidden gems.
Where have you been? Where has been your favorite place?
My love for travel goes back to high school when I spent my summers volunteering in different parts of Latin America. Since then I have visited over 20 different countries – from Europe to Africa to the Middle East. I also love exploring all that the US has to offer.
It’s hard to pick just one favorite place because there are so many! At the very top of my list would be Iceland, where my husband and I spent a week exploring the island by car, and Big Bend National Park in Texas, where my brothers and cousins and I took a four-day canoeing trip down the Rio Grande.
Why did you decide to become a Guide Architect for Wild Bum?
I spend so much time researching different places to visit and planning out trips – it’s one of my favorite things to do! Honestly, I could do it for hours. I love finding local spots, things off the beaten path, the best views, and most unique experiences – both in advance of and during my travels. And I wanted to start sharing this insight with others so that they can also experience the joy and wonder and magic of travel.
What guides have you created as a Guide Architect? Do you have any upcoming guides we can look forward to?
I have created 5 guides from some of my favorite adventures so far:
You’ll see that my guides are comprehensive, detailing a suite of options from which you can choose for your trip. I have a few ideas for future guides that I’ll be working on soon so stay tuned for more!
What is one thing you CANNOT travel without?
My portable phone charger. I love to capture the beauty of everything I’m seeing through taking lots and lots of photos and recording notes on my phone. I am always nervous I’ll forget things otherwise!
How have you stayed inspired during this time where travel has been a bit trickier, if not impossible?
The combination of the pandemic and the birth of my second son in September has definitely slowed travel for me, but I am looking forward to it picking back up as soon as it’s safe to do so! In the meantime it’s been a great excuse to explore more of my own backyard – and especially other parts of Minnesota. Just last weekend we took a road trip to the North Shore which is so beautiful this time of year.
What is something you enjoy about being a Guide Architect and being part of this Wild Bum community?
The Wild Bum community reminds me of why we need to prioritize travel and inspires me to discover new places. There are so many guides I want to check out!
We are all about the #wildbumming movement, inspiring people to get out there and travel, use time-off to explore, and find their wild. Tell us, when do you feel the most wild?
When I’m outside, under sunny blue skies and feel a breeze on my face 🙂
Check out Maddie’s Guide Architect profile right here.