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Emily Strauss

I’m an avid nature lover who uses every excuse I can to get out and hike, swim, bike or climb. Experiencing the natural beauty of a destination is always one of my top priorities when traveling. I also believe in scaring myself often. Whether it’s skydiving or jumping off waterfalls, I’ve always found that a little adrenaline is good for my overall physical and mental health.

I'm forever on the lookout for authentic experiences and new perspectives. I want to get to the heart of local cultures and learn about their history, as well as their modern lifestyles. Before travel and I were introduced, food was my first love! So one of my favorite side effects of an active travel style is the extra calories it makes room for. There are so many meals I’ve had while traveling that I still melt at the memory of, so making the most of every meal is an essential part of any trip for me.

How did you get involved in travel?

"As one of 9 kids, I didn’t grow up traveling. I grew up in Central Texas dreaming about all of the beautiful places I wanted to see. My first 3 trips out of the U.S. were voluntourism trips. I got to see Mexico, Trinidad and Costa Rica while being fully immersed in the every day lives of the locals. Those trips have very much shaped my view of what travel can be, and it’s that vision that has lead me to working in the travel industry. I’ve experienced first hand the frustration that can come with spending countless hours researching, only to end up in tourist traps, completely disconnected from the authentic pulse of a destination. It’s my passion to help others break out of the tourist ruts with experiences specially tailored to their passions. Whether that’s through food, nature, art or meaningful cultural exchanges, travel can be so much more than just a vacation!"

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"On my first trip to Costa Rica we camped on a remote Bribri reservation. We were working on a construction project when it started pouring rain. As we took shelter we sat and watched our tents flood and wondered how we would make it safely across the river the next day if it kept up. As we sat there, I noticed one of the local boys holding a beachball nearby. All I had to do was smile at him and he knew exactly what I was thinking. Before I knew it, half the kids in the village had joined us in our slippery mess of a beachball soccer match. I was never one to participate in sports and had never even attempted to play soccer. Yet there I was, sliding around in the mud with a dozen kids giving it their all. After playing for a while the kids started yelling at us to follow them down to the river. So we all took off barefoot to see who would get there first. We spent the afternoon swimming and skipping rocks in the river until the rain stopped.

Exhausted and muddy, running through the village back to our campsite, I remember thinking I was the luckiest person in the world to have an experience like that. "

Featured trips & expertise

Medellín & Colombia's Southern Interior -  13 Days
Medellín & Colombia's Southern Interior - 13 Days

This active, 13-day adventure is designed for those who want to experience Colombia’s vast, cultural interior. Start off in Colombia’s second-largest city, Medellín, with a scenic gondola and its year-round spring-like weather. Next, you'll head to Cali, the salsa capital of the world, and Popayán, with its stunning Baroque architecture. Finally, you’ll explore archaeological parks in San Agustín and Tierradentro, while finishing the trip in the Tatacoa Desert.

Rock of Guatapé (Piedra de Penol), near Medellín.
Highlights of Colombia: Cities & the Caribbean Coast - 16 Days

This classic Colombia itinerary starts in Bogotá and then travels north to the Caribbean. Along the route, you'll visit famous salt mines and charming colonial towns like Barichara and Villa de Leyva, with a couple of days to explore the modern metropolitan city of Medellín. Once you reach the coast, you'll spend a few days exploring Cartagena before relaxing on the pristine beaches of the San Bernardo Islands.

Bogota Cathedral
December in Colombia: Bogotá, Medellín, & Cartagena - 16 Days

This festive itinerary begins in Bogotá, where you'll discover museum, restaurants, and nightlife. Next, jet over to Medellín to explore historical sights and see the Christmas lights. From there, drive to the Zona Cafetera to tour the coffee fields and stay on a farm. On your last leg, ring in the New Year in Cartagena and snorkel in Tayrona National Park.

Tayrona National Park
Colombia: From the North to the Caribbean Coast - 16 Days

This urban-meets-outdoorsy Colombian itinerary is jam-packed with sightseeing and excursions. The 16-day trip starts in the capital of Bogotá, then heads north for a challenging hike in the heart of Iguaque Sanctuary, and a cycling tour through along the Suarez River. From there, you will fly to the Caribbean Coast and spend time exploring a stunning national park, followed by birding in Minca. You will end your adventure in romantic Cartagena, with a relaxing trip to Múcura Island.

The Northern coast of Spain
How kimkim Trips Work in Spain

Spain is known for its historical charm, beaches, and (of course) incredible gastronomy. With the help of our local specialists, you can discover the must-see cities, romantic hidden villages and dramatic landscapes. In this article, we'll go over how kimkim will help you craft the perfect Spanish adventure.